The Meatless Wonder

Going Vegetarian in the Land of Steak

Reviewed: Cosmic Cafe February 10, 2009

Filed under: Restaurant Review — Josh @ 9:55 pm

Cosmic Cafe

It is the mecca for vegetarians and vegans in Dallas.  An oasis of tofu in a desert of steakhouses.  It is, of course, The Cosmic Cafe (formerly Cosmic Cup).  This is one of Dallas’ few Vegetarian-only eateries.  In fact, I only personally know of one other place in Dallas proper that can claim that tag.

To repay me for dogsitting poet last weekend, I got Jesi to take me there this past Monday.  Food always tastes a little better when it’s free, does it not?  If that’s true, I guess you should take this review with a grain of salt, since that would mean that I’m biased.  Well so what?  The few times I’ve been here have all been good experiences, culinarily speaking.  This time was not an exception. 

I had the Mandala Pizza which is billed as an Indian style pizza on Naan bread.  The Naan is really the only thing “Indian” about it though.  It’s just fresh veggies, sauce, and cheese on Naan.  Simple, but yummy. 

The only problem was that it took about 40 minutes for my food to come out.  The waitress blamed it on the cooks, but I know how that works.  When I was a waiter, anytime I screwed up, I ALWAYS blame the cooks.  It’s too easy, and they’re not there to defend themselves.  It’s the perfect crime.

So, all in all, a good meal with subpar service, but usually they’re both stellar, so I’ll give them a pass this time.

Grade:  B+

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My first snag? February 4, 2009

Filed under: Personal — Josh @ 7:02 pm

I may have run into my first real stumbling block in my vegetarian quest. 

Valentines Day.

You see, I usually like to take my special lady out to a nice dinner on V-day.  This is almost always a prix fixe menu with very few options, and apparently, no vegetarian options. 

I think what would be perfect is a nice, high-end Indian Restaurant.  Such a thing doesn’t really exist in Dallas anymore.  There used to be a place called the Bombay Bicycle Club, but I think it’s been gone for about 10 years now.

Oh well, maybe I can convince her to let me cook us a nice dinner that night.

 

2 weeks down, 2 to go February 2, 2009

Filed under: Status Update — Josh @ 8:38 pm

This past Saturday was the 2 week mark for this herbivorian crusade.  Little over 2 weeks to go until the 1 month point of 2/17/09. 

I’d like to point out that Jesi said I would NOT make it even 2 weeks.  So there.

 

Reviewed: Kasra Persian Cuisine February 1, 2009

Filed under: Restaurant Review — Josh @ 9:15 pm

I’ll make this a quick one.  

Mark this down as one of the cuisines that is VERY limited in vegetarian options.  At Kasra Persian Cuisine in Richardson there wasn’t a single entree that was meatless.  I was relegated to the side item menu where I sampled the old standby’s, humus and falafel, which were decent, but unspectacular.  The one thing that did stand out was the Shirazi Salad.  The menu describes it as “Diced tomatoes. cucumber, red onions, lemon juice, vinegar, extra virgin oil, and ancient Persian herbs.”  If only I could get my hands on those “ancient Persian herbs,” I could make that at home pretty damn easily.  Oh well.

Grade:  C

 

Reviewed: Siam House January 29, 2009

Filed under: Restaurant Review — Josh @ 10:27 pm

Siam House in Denton is my boss’ favorite lunch destination.  In fact, it is really one of only 3 places he ever visits.  But that’s ok by me, since this place is awesome.  It was awesome when I ate meat, and it’s still awesome now that I am meatless. 

A word of advice:  get on the owner’s good side.  You’ll know who he is because he’s the only person in the joint.  His name is Russell.  I believe he is an ex-navy seal or special forces guy.  His hearing is more akin to a nuclear submarine’s sonar than any human trait. 

I almost always get whatever the special is that day.  Their menu is fairly limited, maybe 20-30 items, but what they do make is excellent.  And pretty much everything can be had with tofu instead of meat, which is a bonus.  Now, I am not a big fan of tofu, but I’m slowly coming around thanks to places like this that prepare it so excellently.  It’s fried and crispy on the outside, soft and flavorful in the middle.

Grade:  A+

 

How about a Poll?

Filed under: Personal — Josh @ 8:44 pm
 

Recipe: Josh’s Veggie Curry

Filed under: Recipes — Josh @ 8:26 pm

My first week of vegetarianism consisted of a few different variations on this theme, so I thought I would share it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder (from Kurry King if possible)
  • 2 tbsp oil – Sunflower oil is probably most authentic, but I use veg. or e.v.o.o.
  • water
  • salt – Kosher salt’s the best
  • 1 medium onion – cut into big chunks
  • 1 bell pepper –  (Green, Yellow, Red, or Orange) chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium potatoes – diced into 3/4 inch cubes (I used white potatoes, but whatev.)
  • 1 tomato – diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt or coconut milk

I prepare this in a non-stick wok, but anything large with a lid will probably work fine. 

First, add the oil and onion to the pan over medium-high heat.  I usually sprinkle on about a tsp. of salt.  Saute those bad boys for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the curry powder and stir.

Add a half cup of water and stir to create a sauce.

Add the rest of the veggies.  Add another couple tsp. of salt.  Stir to coat.

Add another cup of water. Stir.

Cover and reduce heat.  Cook for 30 minutes.  stirring occasionally.

Add tomato.  cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Add yogurt or coconut milk.  Go easy here.  You’re just trying to thicken it up.  If you put in too much, you’ll overpower the flavor of the curry.  Just add a little bit at a time and taste it along the way.  Salt to taste.  Cook on low for 5 minutes or so.

Done!

Serve this over rice or by itself with some flatbread and enjoy!