“The best feeling is when my customers tell me they feel the love I put into my cooking. The mission of Down to Earth is to bring you good food that’s good for you!”
— Alma Rangel, founder of Down to Earth
My university, UT Arlington, hasn’t always been the best place for vegans, vegetarians, or earth and health conscious folks. Having been a student there for almost a decade (yes, I’m in grad school now), I’ve seen it all–the struggle of choosing a bruised banana or a greasy hashbrown for morning fuel was real. I remember at orientation, I made my first friend over a sad/hilarious vegan bonding experience over the slim pickings at the salad bar. We rallied with other forward thinkers (veg and non-veg!), advocating for more plant-based options on campus in various ways, earning unanimous support from Student Congress.
Options got better overall, but they weren’t particularly amazing or consistent. La Blue Casa had a great run at College Park, until it went down in an unfortunate turn. If you wanted vegan tacos, your best bet would be to make your own (which we did). Now, with the arrival of Down to Earth at College Park, students can get a variety of vegan tacos and other authentic, plant-based Mexican fare on demand. Read to the end to find out how you can win a free meal at Down to Earth!
This was absolutely unheard of when I first started at UTA, so you can bet I went to try them at the first chance I could. I was warmly greeted by Alma Rangel, the founder of the Down to Earth food truck. In the past, I’ve had Alma’s food at events like V Market Dallas and the Texas Veggie Fair, so it was exciting for me to come support and spread the word about it to UT Arlington students!
“I find joy and inspiration in cooking, because it allows me to be creative with food. I love good food and I’m honored I get the chance to bring it to the public through Down to Earth.”
— Alma Rangel, founder of Down to Earth
Alma’s love of cooking stems from her childhood, where she and her eight sisters spent many hours helping their parents at their hole-in-the-wall eatery in Matamoros, Mexico. In 2014, Alma launched the Down to Earth food truck, to serve nutritious and delicious plant-based food to the DFW metroplex. Down to Earth’s College Park location, located in a shared space with Bombay Chopstix, is their first sit-down location.
The regular menu includes classic starters like elote, Mexican drinks, a variety of tacos, and my personal favorite: all day breakfast items! Most of the items come with cocotija cheese, a cheese made in-house with coconut and cashews. Alma will also have a weekly rotation of specials–last week I tried the hibiscus blossom pozole rojo and was blown away by the complex flavors, elevated by fresh, aromatic oregano. Have you ever had hibiscus blossoms before? It was my first time trying them, and I felt like a vegan forest fairy eating that soup–I think we could all use some of that energy in our lives. This week’s special will be chili cheese nachos…I’m actually drooling as I type this.
The prices are honestly pretty comparable to other options on campus (less than $10 per entree), and to me, these flavorful options are more worth the money than paying similar prices for something basic at the University Center. At this point, I have literally tried everything on the menu, and I must say that their black bean mollettes are pretty up there in terms of my favorites.
This is huge news for UT Arlington, and Arlington in general. The only other vegan restaurant in town is Loving Hut, which I absolutely adore, but it’s not always convenient when you’re a student trying to grab a quick bite between classes!
And finally, what you’ve been waiting for: I’ve partnered with Alma to host a GIVEAWAY on Instagram to introduce more people to Down to Earth–check it out and share the good news with your friends!
If you want to check out Down to Earth, note that they share a space with Bombay Chopstix at College Park at UTA, located at: 441 Spaniolo Dr, Arlington, TX 76010.
Down to Earth’s hours are as follows:
Monday – Thursday:
11 am – 9 pm
11 am – 10 pm
They plan to expand their inc weekend hours soon, and Alma told me that in February, she will be starting a Sunday vegan brunch special. Currently, there are zero vegan places for brunch in Arlington, so this will be a game-changer!