Say what you will about The Lone Star State, but delicious Mexican food and Texas go almost hand-in-hand. In every part of Texas, from the upscale restaurants in Midtown Houston to a small restaurant off I-35, you’ll find Mexican food of a far greater quality than Taco Bell or even Taco Cabana for that matter. Fantastic, absolutely delectable cuisine and in great abundance. You could conceivably never grow tired of enchiladas of all kinds, street and flour tortilla tacos, pinto and black beans and the many other incredible dishes that make up the spectrum of Mexican cuisine.


The cuisine is certainly awesome. However, and this is the semi-vegetarian in me writing this part, it’s rather meat heavy. As opposed to a Mediterranean diet heavy in vegetables and plant-based foods, Mexican food is often high in dairy and meat content. I’m in no way saying that’s a bad thing, though. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the many excellent Mexican restaurants in Texas.


One Mexican restaurant in East Dallas is radically changing the meat and dairy-heavy cuisine by offering a 100 percent and entirely vegan menu. El Palote Panaderia, just off Buckner Boulevard, began a decade ago, when Aurelio Arias changed to a vegan diet to counteract his severe heart and cholesterol problems by eliminating animal products from his diet. After he noticed how the dietary changes positively impacted his health, the entire Arias family became vegan as well.


The primary ingredient used to make the plant-based meat alternative in El Palote Panadería’s tacos, burritos and menudo is the popular soy. All preparation is done in house, such as flavoring their soy-based meats in the many flavors of their restaurant.


(Dallas Observer)

For anyone thinking their vegan alternatives to popular Mexican dishes would be bland and tasteless, think again. Their foods are flavored in many different styles, such as carne guisada, bistec and the always classic carnitas. When there on Sunday afternoon, I decided to buy the taco platter, a $10.95 plate that comes with four street style tacos in the delicious corn tortillas and two sides. I decided to be bold and adventurous and chose a different flavor for every taco. As well as the incredible flavors listed above, I had a taco in an “al pastor” flavor. While my soup-loving roommate had his menudo, I noticed the clientele of the restaurant.


Naturally, one would assume the only patrons of a vegan restaurant would be gangly and tatted up hipsters. Yet, there were all kinds of people at El Palote Panaderia. Hipsters, non-hipsters, families coming to lunch following a church service and people like ourselves who had heard through the grapevine about a vegan Mexican place and just had to try it.


It was fantastic, every last bite. Certainly worth going to if you’re in the Dallas area. Even if your name is Ron Swanson or you’re not a fan of vegan food, it’s worth going out of your comfort zone for because the tacos, as well as all the food, is both very delicious and one of a kind as well.   


Do you like vegan/vegetarian restaurants and would like to make a recommendation? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I’d love to know some new spots.