Vegan options at PhoXpress are available and expanding

6/10/13: Dear readers, the vegan options at PhoXpress are somewhat limited now, as of late Spring 2013–please scroll all the way down for the detailed update!

I must say that I am extremely picky about my phở, and most Vietnamese dishes in general. I blame the fact that I grew up in a Aulacese (Vietnamese) household full of food enthusiasts. 

I have heard horror stories about vegan phở at non-vegan establishments. The worst case scenarios recounted to me often resembled the following description, more or less: a bowl of rice noodles in salty broth, laden with MSG and some lettuce. To call that sad scene “phở” is a culinary crime and an insult to the taste-buds. I can’t even process the lack of effort–a complex, aromatic broth is the key to any phở, vegan or not.

PhoXpress set up

Phở condiments!

Based on such descriptions alone, let alone my Viet foodie background, I decided long ago that I would avoid eating phở outside my own home altogether. However, in the past month, I have tiptoed, quite warily, might I add, into giving a couple of places a chance.

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Pie Five Pizza Crust Controversy Resolved!

When Pie Five Pizza opened at College Park last semester, all the crust varieties were vegan–meaning vegan students (and lactose-intolerant students) could order the specialty Treehugger pie, or any custom veggie pizza sans cheese. However, this semester, there has been some discussion that the company has changed their crust recipes to include dairy.

Saddened by the sudden cutoff from my only source of vegan pizza on campus, I immediately contacted the company in hopes of hearing otherwise. They were quite helpful in their response and I was reassured to learn that vegan students can still go to Pie Five for all their pizza needs on campus. Continue reading

The Hacienda’s new vegan menu features sopapillas and more

I recently sampled the new vegan menu at The Hacienda on Henderson and I would like to report that the sopapillas changed my life. Typically served with honey, sopapillas are fried pastries topped with cinnamon and sugar. Naturally, the vegan version is served with agave nectar instead.

I am quite tempted to dedicate this post solely to the glory of those heavenly pastries. However, I will try my best to contain myself and at least briefly describe the other dishes I tried at the menu’s launch party this past weekend.

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UT Arlington’s Connection Cafe makes strides with vegan line

The Connection Cafe at UT Arlington now has a 100% vegan line that serves lunch and dinner.

Before the new vegan line came into effect, I never gave the Connection Cafe a second glance. From my lackluster experience at my freshman orientation, I knew the options would be too limited to be worth my time or money. Luckily, things have changed immensely since I first came to UT Arlington. Continue reading

Vegan Froyo at College Park (With Special Discount Offer)

The cold front is on its way out–just in time for the debut of Cool Berry at College Park, which includes vegan flavors!

I found the staff to be both enthusiastic and accommodating.  “There are many lactose-intolerant customers, so we always feature at least one or two dairy-free flavors.” said Vanessa Solis, one of the owners. The establishment offers over 90 flavors of frozen yogurt (41 cents per ounce) that will rotate weekly.

The fruit toppings included fresh blueberries, raspberries, maraschino cherries, grapes, kiwi, blackberries, pineapple chunks and strawberries.

This week, the vegan options were mango and pomegranate raspberry.

I tried both flavors and found the pomegranate raspberry to be a bit on the sour side, while the mango was a bit on the sweet side. The two flavors complimented each other well.

The frozen yogurt also came with a wide array of customize-able toppings, including many fruits and nuts.

I loaded up on all the berries, because berries are my favorite! I also got sliced almonds, kiwi and pineapple chunks. I’m a bit of a fruit fanatic.

Mango and pomegranate raspberry frozen yogurt, topped with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, almond slices and pineapple chunks.

In addition to froyo, Cool Berry also plans to sell bagels, coffee, smoothies and boba tea. Solis informed me that a veggie bagel sandwich will be on the future menu. I look forward to checking out these options once they are available, and I’ll keep you all posted.

If you’re interested in trying this place out, here’s a 20% off coupon for your froyo fix. The cash register was broken when I went, so it was cash-only, but the staff says they are trying to fix it as soon as possible. Bring cash, just in case.

In a previous post, I assessed the vegan potential of a few of the upcoming College Park businesses. Please check back for my vegan reviews of the businesses as they open!

Not so vegan line at UTA’s Connection Cafe?

The Vegan Line is here! Or is it…?

The new vegan line at Connections Cafe has been vastly appreciated by students on campus.

Education junior Andrea Fleeman has been eating at the vegan line every day, and she has been very satisfied with the changes. She has even been taking pictures of her vegan meals at the cafe to show how great the options have been lately. However, today there were some complications with the food offered.

Read Fleeman’s guest post below to find out the recent problems with the line: Continue reading