Last weekend, I had the chance to attend a wonderful menu preview dinner at V Eats Modern Vegan–Troy Gardner’s new vegan restaurant at Trinity Groves in Dallas. The event was hosted by none other than my friends The Harvest Hands. Thank you, Courtney and Zak, for inviting me to this stellar menu tasting!
Knowing the incredible chefs on Troy’s all star culinary team, which consists of John Mercer (former Whole Foods executive chef) and Evita Tezeno (vegan chef and educator, Living Life Fresh), we could all anticipate that the menu tasting was going to be amazing. We got more than just a taste–it was an experience to remember.
Walking in, I was immediately enamored by all the gorgeous air plants (by Hearth and Hovel) that brought life to the space. I also loved the massive open windows and outdoor seating. As a landscape architecture student, I am constantly interested in exploring the idea of blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. I could honestly write another post about the plants, architecture and atmosphere of the space alone–but for now, I’ll tell you about what I ate! 🙂
Chili Con Queso + Salsa Verde + Roasted Habanero Salsa
Rich, sharp and tangy, this queso hit the spot! I enjoyed alternating my chip bites between the fresh salsas and the queso. I probably could have satisfied my hunger from eating the chips, salsa and queso alone (I have been known to do this at other places). Call me obsessed–my sister and I currently have two full jars of their habanero salsa in our fridge! LOL. The fresh, spicy kick will go nicely with my lunch burrito bowls this week.
Smoked Paprika White Bean Hummus (not pictured)
Creamy, smoky hummus with pillowy pita bread pieces–this classic appetizer actually disappeared before I could get a shot!
Mystical Salmon Sushi
This mysterious, beautiful sushi…I know what you’re thinking, what is it made of?! Our server informed us that the marinated “salmon” was Troy’s secret. Honestly, I was almost too afraid to eat this, because I’ve never had fish in my life, and while I love me some veggie sushi, this just looked so real and…raw! I ended up enjoying the experience, and I think I have a good guess of what the salmon was made of–but I’ll leave that up to you to try for yourself. Don’t worry, it’s all plants! 😉
These tacos were a fiesta in my mouth! They featured succulent, house-made seitan, citrus pickled onions, and roasted tomatillo salsa. The cheese sprinkled on top added another layer of flavor that lingered pleasantly after each bite. It was mesmerizing.
Thai Tofu Crisps (not pictured)
I grew up eating fried tofu as a snack (ok, I grew up sneaking bites of fried tofu from the kitchen counter when adults weren’t looking). This lightly battered golden tofu was like a sophisticated take on my favorite childhood snack, served with a citrus chili sauce. It also was devoured too quickly for me to get a good shot!
Smoked Artichoke & Sausage Pizza Strips
This pizza was loaded with grilled artichokes, Italian sausage and mozzarella, both made in-house. Magic was obviously involved. How else could that delicate, crispy crust manage to hold all those toppings?! If you’re going to try one thing from V Eats, this pizza is IT! I do encourage trying more than just one thing, though.
This pasta was a garden of fresh flavors–a robust tomato sauce, house-made seitan crumbles, and grilled shiitake mushrooms on a bed of pesto. It tasted so fresh–we basically took a trip to the Italian countryside!
Salisbury Steak Mashed Potatoes + Onion Rings + Grilled Vegetables
They brought out actual steak knives for this one! The steak was seitan-based, made in house by chef extraordinaire, Evita Tezeno. Served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, this seitan steak was juicy and savory. The onion rings, mushrooms, and gorgeous grilled broccolini further enhanced the experience–I tried to get all the elements in each bite. At this point, I could feel myself getting quite full, so I had to stop myself halfway in order to have room for the dessert! The leftovers made a delightful brunch the next morning.
Almond Butter & Banana Cheesecake + Raspberry Sauce
This dessert was unbelievably rich and decadent! Creamy almond butter, banana, and a zingy raspberry sauce–it was like they took the flavor essences of a classic PB&J and elevated them into an elegant dessert. It was a sweet finish to a delight-filled evening.
After the meal, I got to catch up with John Mercer, who is one of my most admired people in the vegan DFW scene. Back when I was working for Hampton Creek, doing demos at Whole Foods, John was literally the first person at the Park Lane location to welcome me warmly to the store. I will always appreciate how that made me feel. He greeted me like a good friend, before I even had the chance to nervously introduce myself! That took a huge weight off my chest and from then on, I made a point to chat with John every time I was demoing in the store. His passion shines through in everything he does, and I am incredibly happy that he is getting to showcase his skills with the folks at V Eats!
Whether you like faux meats or vegetables (or both, in my case), there’s something for everyone at V Eats. With its beautifully crafted menu and inviting atmosphere, this place is a game-changer for the food scene in Dallas. I say food scene, not just the vegan scene, because this restaurant will show the overall community just how easy and classy vegan dining can be. I can’t wait to go back, and I urge you to go check it out for your next dinner date or family outing!
V Eats’ official opening date is October 24th, but they’re currently in their soft opening stage–my sister went there for dinner a couple days ago! Definitely call to confirm before going.
Follow V Eats on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on their happenings and menu additions, and be sure to follow my friends The Harvest Hands on Instagram and Facebook, to hear about future events. A delicious trend is planting itself in Dallas–you don’t want to miss anything!
PS: I must apologize for being so MIA on the blog and social media lately. I have recipes and a life update coming in the next couple weeks! Thank you so much for reading! 🙂