Were it not for the “vegan” in its name, on first glance, it’s easy to miss that Jeff’s Vegan serves no animal products. It’s not a place that tries re-create nonvegan food using dairy and meat substitutes in every dish. For the most part, Jeff’s Vegan lets the plant-based food stand on its own. The menu consists mainly of Asian dishes, with a burger and burrito section thrown into the mix.
In the corner of a strip mall in Frisco, the space is open and bright. This new restaurant is an offshoot of the Loving Hut franchise, which touts itself as the fastest-growing vegan fast food chain in the world. With more than 200 restaurants in 35 countries, including an outpost in Addison, Loving Hut champions its core values of health, compassion, service, happiness, loyalty and “green.” You see these values emblazoned on the exterior windows of the restaurant, the only minor bit of vegan proselytizing apparent at Jeff’s.
The service is fast; food arrived less than five minutes after ordering. There are a few standouts on the menu: buffalo cauliflower ($12.95), the Mongolian deluxe ($12.95), spicy love ($12.95) and the smile of Buddha ($10.95). All are stir-fried dishes served with different vegetables and sauces.
Soups, fried rice and noodles are also available, including familiar items such as pho ($10.95), chow mein ($9.95) and basil eggplant ($9.95). Gluten- and soy-free dishes are denoted as such.
Come for lunch, and you can get soup (wonton or hot and sour), a spring roll, and an entrée with white or brown rice for $10.95. Popular lunch dishes include spicy kung pao, yellow curry, pad thai, mixed vegetables with tofu, and the sesame and General Tso balls.
The balls (listed as passion balls on the main menu) are alarmingly chicken-like. Someone who’s indulged in a beer or two might not notice that they’re soy protein and not poultry that's been battered and fried. The breading is the perfect balance of crunchy and airy. You can get your passion balls, meant to mimic popular Americanized Chinese dishes, in a variety of flavors: sesame, orange, sweet and sour, General Tso, lemon or teriyaki. The sesame balls are served with broccoli in a pool of sauce that is so sweet, it’s more dessert than entrée.
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The dessert menu includes items such as cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, crispy sesame red bean rice balls and donut balls. (Balls seem to be a theme at Jeff’s Vegan.) The carrot cake could easily fool a nonvegan; even the icing tastes authentically cream-cheesy.
By offering well-known Asian dishes and using impressive meat substitutes sparingly, Jeff’s Vegan makes vegan food accessible for even a diehard meat lover.
Jeff's Vegan, 3580 Preston Road, Frisco