10 Questions: Eddie Garza

In October of last year, he started a blog, Dallas Vegan dedicated to vegan dishes--right here in the land of prime beef.

That, of course, was his reason. In a city full of steakhouses and Tex-Mex restaurants, it could be difficult to find a decent vegan meal...beyond Cosmic Cafe and Spiral Diner.

Garza began his transition to a vegan diet about five years ago, after years of eating meat, meat and more meat caused this Brownsville native and North Texas music school graduate to balloon to over 300 pounds.

Well, he's a lot smaller now. His blog is a hit. And it's not bacon that makes him run from the house...

1. You say you used to eat everything. What do you mean?
I used to eat everything in terms of the nastiest shit ever. My idea of vegetables was mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. When I was at UNT I would go to this place, The Kettle, and get a big plate of bacon. I'd ignore everything else. I was on the verge of death. My heaviest weight was 309 pounds.

2. So is that what prompted the vegan diet?
No, what prompted that was a trip I made to Germany that convinced me how wasteful I was, how awful I was to the environment. A friend also told me the best thing for my health would be to cut meat from my diet.

3. What do you weigh now?
Right now, 140...give or take five pounds. Actually, 145 is my average.

4. Couldn't you just walk to Subway like Jared?
You're right, it can be done. Do it if it works for you. But that wouldn't have been practical for me.

5. Why start a blog? It's a lot of work, you know...
It's a lot of fun, too. It doesn't feel like work to me. It's sharing, and not just Facebook bullshit. I've always had a passion for sharing information.

6. Do you get a sense of how large a vegan crowd we have in Dallas?
It's hard to tell because a lot of people follow blogs blindly. You can't tell if they're vegan or even from Dallas. You know, a lot of my vegan friends didn't even know I blog. But there's a growing number. I mean, Spiral Diner does really well.

7. Have you seen a lot of changes in the way Dallas eats?
There is a lot more sensitivity to different diets now. I guess it started with the gluten-free thing, but restaurants are catering to us more--and that's brought on a greater awareness of health in general. It's been changing, and that's cool.

8. Is there anything the city needs?
I wish the Mexican restaurants would catch on. Vegan enchiladas would be great right now.

9. Do restaurants try to scare you off?
It depends on who you ask. I have friends who refuse to go to West Village because they feel they get the evil eye. But I've never had a problem. I've always been treated just like everybody else.

10. You used to eat tons of bacon. So if you smelled some frying now...?
At my house? I would freak out. At my dad's house, I'd expect it. Bacon doesn't bother me. But I used to have a roommate that would make chorizo every day. I had to leave the apartment. Of course, that may have been his point.

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries