Vegan comfort food has made its way to West Dallas. Da Munchies is a hole-in-the-wall, mostly takeout joint that serves comfort food to herbivores and omnivores alike. But it’s Da Munchies’ vegan menu that has people flocking from all over the city.
Owned by sisters Elizabeth Anderson and Angela Alexander, Da Munchies opened at the beginning of the summer. It’s easy to miss this place, at the end of a sleepy strip mall on the corner of Westmoreland Road and Canada Drive. They don’t yet have a sign out front or an awning with their name on it, so trust your GPS when you drive into the shopping center but see no signs for the restaurant until you’re right in front.
Anderson is the one behind the vegan menu. A vegetarian since the mid-1990s, she became vegan 10 years ago. The vegan menu at Da Munchies is inspired by the food she grew up with and is vegetable-based and focused on using whole, real foods.
Anderson and Alexander are mindful about the value of their menu. “We keep the price down but fill you up,” Anderson says. And they are succeeding in that. The most expensive item on the vegan menu is the $12 Beyond Meat burger.
The Big Mac N’Cheese Buffalo Chick’em Sandwich is a feast for just $11. Served with tater tots or fries, this sandwich includes oyster mushrooms breaded in cornmeal, deep fried and doused in Buffalo sauce, piled on a bun with vegan mac n’cheese, pico de gallo and vegan mayo. When breaded and fried, the oyster mushrooms are an eerily good stand-in for chicken. It’s a fabulous balance of flavors and textures; adding pico de gallo brings brightness and acid to the fried oyster mushrooms and creamy vegan mac and cheese on the sandwich.
While the chick’em sandwich and chick’em basket ($10) are two of the most popular items, the oyster mushroom po’boy ($11), nachos ($9) and queso are also big sellers. Anderson’s favorite is the So Crunchy Cauli Burger ($10), cauliflower steak double-breaded and deep fried, served on a bun with vegan mayo and vegan pesto or Buffalo sauce.
Anderson is allergic to cashews, so none of her “cheeses” or ranch dressing use this popular ingredient in vegan cooking. Instead, she uses a mix of vegan “cheeses” and “creams,” including coconut cream.
There are some gluten-free options, as well, like the “fish” or “chicken” tacos ($10) and “fish” and chips ($10). Da Munchies also offers gluten-free bread, and if you call ahead, Anderson can make the mac and cheese using gluten-free rice pasta.
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Da Munchies is the perfect place for vegan and non-vegan friends to eat together. Their omnivore menu includes items like Philly cheesesteak eggrolls ($3), flaming hot chicken tenders ($8), fried catfish ($7), street tacos ($2 each) and a burger ($7).
Next on the horizon is a second location, more of a sit-down restaurant. They’re looking at spaces in and around Deep Ellum for this French-inspired space that will be called Les Munchies. Anderson and Alexander are also getting into food manufacturing. They’re going to start bottling their queso and ranch and selling large pans of the mac and cheese.
Da Munchies, 4121 N. Westmoreland Road