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Meatless Monday is Way Easier in Denton

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As a dweller of Denton, I have somewhat of an unfair advantage when it comes to veggie options, so I snatched up the opportunity to take on Meatless Monday posthaste.

Denton is home to gazillions of independent restaurants of varying age and stage, most with a fiercely loyal customer base. The greatest thing about these places is their warm embrace of Denton's culture and willingness to offer creative, delicious vegetarian dishes. Some locations even have separate vegetarian and vegan menus.

The dishes are a far cry from cheese nachos or a house salad or other fare that's vegetarian by default, something that has been made vegetarian by simply removing the shiny bits of gristly and delicious animal flesh. This is where Denton shines. Here we find restaurants that offer dishes borne of the vegetarian intention and savorily executed with deep flavor and consideration.

Denton's Greenhouse Restaurant (600 North Locust) is one of these places. Although suffering from brevity, the vegetarian menu is devoid of boring and is legitimately tasty enough to elicit cravings from even the most meat-dependent eater (that would be me).

Although the quinoa bean salad and curry zucchini cakes with plum chutney were tempting, I couldn't ignore the black bean tamales. Masa is masa and masa is ambrosia to people who grew up on tamales from South Texas. I would eat cat food if it was shoved inside some masa. And I were shithoused on whiskey sours. Anyway, Greenhouse's black bean tamales are serious competition for my usual snarfing of tamales filled with savory pig parts. A dense, soft layer of masa encase a hot mixture of black beans and corn with a subtle blend of spices and topped with light layer of gooey cheese. Five of these bad boys are served with fresh guacamole, sour cream and the joint's famous mango salsa, giving the table more than enough to share and an opportunity for all your weird friends to share.

Although I didn't quite adhere to the unflinchingly strict rules of Meatless Monday (breakfast was FULL of bacon), I managed to do it right for lunch. Here's to hoping next week will again find me dining on something creative and delicious, causing me to temporarily forget meat exists.

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