If there is one group of people who gets overtly animated and shamelessly ecstatic when it comes to food, it’s vegans. That said, it should come as no surprise that we have our own top picks for comfort cuisine when dining around town. While the list could go on and on—here are a few mouthwatering favorites that are so delicious, you won’t believe they’re vegan.
WARNING: The following selections promise to leave you feeling full, satisfied and quite possibly grinning from ear to ear. You may even feel the urge to jump with joy and click your heels together upon first bite. We aren’t here to judge.
Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant
So many of Sluggo’s delightful vegan treats harbor prized qualities, that it feels impossible to pick only one. Can’t do it. Won’t do it!
Anything involving grits automatically screams “Southern comfort.” The Panhandle Tofu is a decadent dish of pan-Asian infusion meets Southern charm. The tofu wrapped in nori, grilled, covered in capers and topped with a creamy dill dressing simply melts in your mouth. Still, the dish wouldn’t be made complete without generous sides of grits, coleslaw and a salad. This plate is bounce-up-and-down-in-your-seat good.
Zucchini Griddle Cakes
I may be partial to these, as they closely resemble my childhood favorite—squash patties, handcrafted by my grandmother. While hers were laden with cheese and certainly far from vegan, these zucchini gems are equally decadent. Spicy mayonnaise serves as a perfect topping to liven the more subtle zucchini flavor. And they don’t call them cakes for nothing! Though marked as an appetizer, their fluffy, pancake-y nature makes them filling enough to stand alone. Wash these bad boys down with a “tall boy” PBR.
Harry’s Homemade Chili
I am not quite sure who Harry is, but what I do know is that one cup of his chili just doesn’t cut it. Better be sure to make it a bowl! Packed with beans, beans and more beans, the chili is a hefty meal in itself, perfect for the winter months. Don’t be shy—ask for a dollop of sour cream and an extra cornbread muffin to soak it up.
End of the Line — Sunday Brunch
No vegan (or non-vegan for that matter) should be deprived of one of the most important dining experiences of the week—brunch. Sunday after Sunday find a bite of comfort in End of the Line’s multi-course brunch demonstration. While the menu varies weekly, you can count on jumpstarting each experience with a soup that awakens your senses, followed by a main course boasting a diverse mix of brunch staples with a unique vegan spin, combined in an organic fashion. No really, it’s entirely organic which makes it taste even better. Finally finish things off with a generously iced or glazed dessert cake.
Bangkok Garden — Green (or Red) Curry with Tofu
What was once Eddie’s Thai House is now Bangkok Garden in a new location, yet still possessing the same mom and pop feel and serving up some of the freshest ingredients in town. To me, curry is synonymous with comfort. While I also fancy the red, nothing beats the overflowing fullness of the flavors that Eddie’s green curry with tofu brings to the table. It is soupy and sweet, and spiced with a kick. How much of a kick is left entirely up to you. The best part? It’s a big bang for your buck—such a generous serving that it feels like a crime to not have any left over.
Taste of India — Gobi Aloo
Taste of India has numerous, clearly defined vegan entrées on their menu, each presenting vibrant, rich flavors, served alongside a heaping helping of rice. Maybe it’s the Irish in me, but the Gobi Aloo is my personal favorite—packed with cauliflower, peas and potatoes, simmered in a sea of coriander and ginger. For added convenience, Taste of India happily delivers to homes within surrounding neighborhoods. Seriously, what’s more comforting than eating healthily and heartily while wearing your pajamas, curled up next to your fireplace?
The Leisure Club — Classic Grilled Cheese
A survey of stomachs is likely to show that few things can stand up against a Classic Grilled Cheese. While watching President Obama give his speech in the late night hours of Nov. 6, The Leisure Club reminded me just what a classic American favorite the grilled cheese truly is. Like other vegan-friendly establishments around town, they now offer Daiya as a tasteful cheese alternative, perfect for melting and pressing between two slices of toasted bread, carefully cut into four.
Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant
101 S. Jefferson St.
(2) End of The Line
610 E. Wright St.
1708 W. Fairfield Drive
Taste of India
2900 E. Cervantes St.
The Leisure Club
126 Palafox Place