by Melissa Brenner
Vegan sports fans (yes, we exist) rejoice! While the list of sports bars in Dallas is enormous, trying to find one with vegan options is nearly impossible. This whittles our options down to: eating before heading to the bar and hoping you don’t get hungry during the inevitable double overtime OR going to a friend’s house/staying home (maybe you can watch it at home, but I haven’t had a tv for about 6 years).
During something as exciting as a Dallas team in the finals, it’s just way more fun to be out with the obnoxious crowds in a bar. The noise and excitement, high fiving people you have never seen before, bonding with the drunk guy next to you over that bad ref call….it’s just too much fun to miss. So, my friends, here are a few places that you can go to watch the game, revel in the crowds, and eat vegan treats.
Blue Mesa Grill has a secret vegan menu and a bar with TVs tuned to the NBA finals. It’s so secret that most of the staff doesn’t even know it exists. Before you head to the bar, ask for the vegetarian menu at the host stand. What they give you is the Nutrition pamphlet that lists the information for the Spa Plates, gluten free items, items containing nuts, and vegetarian/vegan selections. It has a listing of vegetarian items on the back panel, the starred items are vegan.
There is one exception: the Avocado-Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Quesadilla is not vegan unless you ask for no cheese. This really turns it from a quesadilla to a dry sandwich….kinda weird. The menu is broken up to include appetizers, entrees, sides, and dressings/sauces. There are detailed lists of what needs to be removed and/or substituted in order to make the vegetarian items vegan. You will have to beware of some of the sides that are served with your entrees. They always bring the corn cake on my plate, but it’s made with cream, which is just mean (I love corn cake and make a killer vegan version at home). Use the regular menu or ask the server to verify your sides before your plate comes, so you won’t have to be distracted with food issues while you’re trying to watch the game! (Bonus: the Jalapeno Relish is hot, delish, and vegan)
Anvil Pub in Deep Ellum has a ton of vegan options for their bar food. They carry vegan cheese, sour cream and chicken. You can have the chili, nachos, etc. I’m not writing too much up here, because I’m currently a bit irritated (this is a polite understatement for print) that they’ve recently instituted an outrageous upcharge on vegan items. Still, it is a bar where you can watch the game and eat vegan. If you go in, perhaps mention to the powers that be how the upcharges are less than appreciated.
If you’re on Greenville, hit The Libertine Bar on Thursday. The Dallas Vegan Drinks group will be there for the monthly gathering. Chef Taylor McCreary will be whipping up a special vegan tapas menu for the event. Word is that at least some of the items will become permanent fixtures on the regular menu. We’d love to fill the place up again (the 5 course vegan meal and beer paring sold out) and solidify the vegan support for regular food items on the menu. The other great thing about The Libertine Bar is that you can buy me a drink, even if you miss me that night. That buy your friend a drink board is just genius. If you feel so inclined I’ll be appreciative and maybe we can enjoy it together.
Finally, we have Humperdinks. This is probably the most surprising of all. It’s not my first (or even on the top 100) culinary choice, but it’s a huge bar with huge TVs and lots of beers that has recently added some vegan options. These include: the hummus plate (opt for extra veggies over the pita which contains dairy), the Veggie Delight Burger Bowl is a veggie patty on a salad (request no dressing), and a couple of salads that can be modified. Note: the local managers have verified the veggie patty is vegan, but we have still not received verification from the corporate office upon publishing.
Drop Crave’s Vegan Girl Melissa Brenner a line with your ideas, suggestions or merely to rant about the Dallas Vegan scene at firstname.lastname@example.org