Viridescent Kitchen offers a plant-based menu with many gluten-free options. Photo courtesy of the Viridescent Kitchen.

Oct. 2, 2019

Many greenies know that eating a plant-based diet is not only healthy but good for the planet. According to a recent UN report, "reducing meat consumption reduces pressure on land and water and thus our vulnerability to climate change."

So we were pleased to discover a new casual café in Plano that joined our burgeoning plant-based market here in DFW in July. 

Viridescent nachosAt Viridescent Kitchen, located near Dallas North Tollway and Hwy 121, across from IKEA Frisco, even their name means “green.”

Partners Laura Thornthwaite, Gabrielle Reyes and Brooke Ali have cooked up a delicious vegan menu that runs from finger-food appetizers to full-course meals.

I visited recently and was able to meet Ali and chat about Viridescent’s goals and mantra. 

“Our food is mainly gluten free, organic and we clearly mark most potential allergens. But most of all, we are here to serve fresh, amazing tasting food!” 

Viridescent Kitchen vegan burgerThe Beyond Beef Figgy Burger featured a Beyond Meat patty. Photo by Andrea Ridout.

They have certainly done that. I ordered the Monster Nachos ($15) with a generous helping of tortilla chips piled high with grilled corn, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled jalapenos and slathered with vegan queso topped with vegan sour cream. Wow! I had to fight off my dinner companion whose Beyond Beef Figgy Burger ($10 + $2.65 extra for the Beyond Meat patty) was a sweet twist on an American classic smeared with fig jam, vegan cream cheese, curry aoli, arugula and sliced tomato with a side of spicy potato chips and fresh watermelon.

Viridescent vegan donutA delicious vegan donut topped off our meal. Photo by Andrea Ridout. 

We finished off by choosing a gluten-free donut from the Viridescent bakery case. The chocolaty goodness was coated in icing and sprinkles and we literally ate every crumb. Obviously taste is high on the list of priorities for this unique bistro as the company’s online ratings are overwhelmingly positive. Even non-vegans can find something delicious that will fill their tummies and perhaps expand their consciousness.

All of Viridescent’s nachos, burgers (if you choose the gluten-free bun), tacos, sandwiches, bowls, lattes and even bakery items are vegan plus many offer gluten-free alternatives. Ali’s own journey puts a personal spin on these specific menu options.  Though she has been a vegan for over nine years, she eventually became gluten-free for health reasons. 

Viridescent owner Brooke AliViridescent coowner and general manager Brooke Ali walked us through the options. Photo by Andrea Ridout.

“Once I made the connection that we don't need to eat meat or dairy and that it's actually optimal to follow a whole food plant-based diet, it was impossible for me to consider anything else. I eventually eliminated gluten due to an autoimmune disease and was able to sustain a healthy lifestyle without any medication. It can be challenging to be vegan and gluten free when you eat out. So, we created an allergen-free safe zone at Viridescent Kitchen.”

Ali says not only do they strive to offer healthy options, they aim to be environmentally friendly as well.

“We only offer plant-based food, which reduces our guests’ carbon footprint by more than 51 percent. We also recycle, use eco-friendly take away delivery items and promote zero waste in the kitchen,” said Ali.

Viridescent shopIn addition to the menu options, Viridescent sells a variety of vegan grab and go snacks, sweets, pantry staples and even jewelry in their plant-based grocery along one wall of the restaurant. We were tickled to find our favorite plant-based jerky in several flavors.

So give Viridescent a try. You'll discover going plant-based in DFW is a treat.

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