My good friend Sara and I met a few years ago at a yoga class. We instantly hit it off, and started doing everything together...grocery shopping, dining, working out. She even moved into my building.
But over the past couple of months, we've both been on crazy schedules. No more hanging out. Not even a quick phone call.
So imagine my surprise when Sara called to tell me she got engaged to some guy named JJ! What?!? How did this happen? I've never even met the guy!
Well, after weeks of juggling our schedules, Sara and I finally arranged a day for JJ and me to meet. So when that time came, I called Sara to get the deets.
The plan: meet at her place and take JJ to lunch...alone. She'd made other plans.
"Ok...how do I get out of this?" I thought.
But I decided to play nice and agreed to take JJ to one of my favorite vegan-friendly restaurants--Asian Mint in North Dallas.
Asian Mint has a sister location in Highland Park called The Mint, but the North Dallas location offers a larger variety of entrées for vegans...and they have sushi, too (JJ's a big fan).
Sadly, we got there too early for Sushi Hour, but JJ and I still had a great time getting to know each other over Asian Mint's regular menu offerings. Vegan appetizers include edamame, seaweed salad, fried veggie egg rolls (they don't contain egg), and fresh summer rolls. The summer rolls' accompanying peanut sauce is not vegan (contains milk), but you can request sweet and sour sauce instead.
Several noodle dishes can be ordered vegan by omitting egg, and tofu is listed as a protein option. Pad kee mow is made with rice noodles, bells, and tomatoes wok-tossed in a spicy Thai chili sauce. The pad kee mow woon sen is a similar dish, but served with clear noodles. Kua kai is a traditional Thai rice noodle dish served over a bed of lettuce and topped with green onions. Pad see lew is a mild, wok-tossed noodle dish with broccoli, and bok choy in a black soy sauce. Rad nah is essentially the same dish, but prepared with a heartier sauce.
A special house sauce is the base of the pad woon sen: clear noodles, snow peas, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, baby corn, and bean sprouts. Vegan stir-fries include Asian vegetables with tofu, spicy kung pao tofu, and all fried rice dishes can be made vegan upon request.
My selected entrée was the egg-less pad kee mow woon sen with tofu. The tofu was perfectly seared--crisp on the outside, but still tender in the middle. That's important to us vegans because, let me tell ya, there's some pretty jankety tofu out there. I ordered my dish at medium-high heat. It was great, but I might go with medium heat next time (they're serious about spice here). JJ ordered the Thai red curry. The curries are not vegan, but he didn't mind...considering he ordered his with chicken.
JJ turned out to be a really cool guy. I'm happy to hand Sara over to him. And I can't wait to see how his eating habits will change once they're married. Sara's a vegetarian who doesn't allow meat in her house...and she's a feisty one.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.