Zen Bistro and Dessert Bar just became a little more zen-like with the addition of gluten free and vegan options in their dessert line. In the past two years the restaurant owned by sisters Chonnie Richey and Czarina Hounsel has grown in popularity which first started as a cool coffee shop with a vibe in Deep Ellum. It was a great place to snag a cake ball or two, which is their claim to fame after appearing on the Cooking Network. Central Market loved the Zen cake balls so much they sell hoards of them each week.
Soon the girls found their customers asking about their Filipino heritage and wondering where they could actually find that style of food in Dallas. There aren’t many, to be sure. So the girls changed their name from Zen Baking Company and added Bistro to the name. Now you can find an assortment of Filipino dishes, some in tapas portions for easy tasting and sharing.
Look for a few breakfast items which are served all day including the Tocino, which is sweet cured pork served with rice and an egg, or the rice noodle Pancit. There are a few dishes that might seem scary for the average American palate, but rest assured all the dishes are amazing. Remember, most are tapas sized, so worth the investment to sample the flavors of another culture.
There are also a slew of dishes that might seem more familiar to most patrons. These dishes range from pork belly to Teriyaki Braised Short Ribs. For good measure they also serve a kicked up burger that is packed with flavor.
You might also want to sample the new brunch which starts March 16 and will fill you up on dishes such as the Brioche French Toast, Scrambled Eggs alongside traditional Filipino dishes such as Garlic Fried Rice, Tocino and Pan de Sal (traditional Filipino breakfast bread).
There are plenty of vegetarian options, and now a great place for vegans to spot traditional cake balls that taste exactly as their non-vegan counterparts.