Just because the animal was vegetarian too doesn't mean I'll eat it.
March 2, 2008 8:35 PM   Subscribe

Oh God, this is shaping up to be one of the worst travel experiences of my life. I'm at the Hyatt Regency DFW until Friday, cannot expense the $40-one-way taxi costs into the city, and am a vegetarian. I've never dealt with Dallas on anyone's terms but my own, and I have to eat this week! Does anyone have any recommendations? (I'm 100% open to DART!)
posted by TheNewWazoo to Travel & Transportation (19 answers total)
okay, if you're at the DFW, there's no point going all the way into Dallas for food. Also, DART is god awful around DFW- Dart basically serves Dallas and the northern suburbs (not the airport).

I can't think of any good vegetarian food near D/FW, as the Fort Worth side will be more country bbq.

I think your best bet might be Irving. That's right next to D/FW airport, and there's a lot of Indian restaurants in there.

Do you have a fridge in your hotel room? Maybe you could phone ahead, order 3-4 meals, and the refrigerate them?
posted by unexpected at 8:56 PM on March 2, 2008

I can't give specific Dallas restaurants, but as a vegetarian business traveler when I'm in your situation I'll pull up google maps and put in my hotel's address and look (using the search nearby link) for the closest thai, indian or italian place until I get my bearings.

I see that yelp.com has some veggie dallas area restaurants.

good luck.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:56 PM on March 2, 2008

Best answer: Just ask your hotel concierge where to go for the DART shuttle that will take you to the DFW/Centerport TRE station. Then get on the eastbound train that you to downtown Dallas where you can access the DART light rail that will take you all over Dallas and the suburbs. My advice is to stay on the Northbound Redline. Try getting off at Mockingbird station where you will be in walking distance of tons of restaurants, etc. As far as vegetarian only restaurants, um, this is Texas, we like our meat. Good luck.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:58 PM on March 2, 2008

....and that DART trip is going to take you forever. The one that holdkris99 lists will take like an hour, at least, each way.
posted by unexpected at 9:05 PM on March 2, 2008

DFW is a hike from where I'm located (Dallas North) but there are some good veggie restaurants if you venture here - holdkriss99's instructions will get you into this area.

The Cosmic Cafe is all vegetarian with a lot of vegan options, and there are many Cafe Brazil locations which have a lot of choices for non-meat-eaters (and they're open 24 hours a day). I'm vegetarian, and I have no trouble finding options at most restaurants, plus there are some good Mexican, Italian and Indian places close to here. Feel free to message me if you'd like a few more!
posted by lhall at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, all. I'm a pretty seasoned road warrior, and this situation is frankly a little bit beyond my belief.

unexpected, I figured that DART would be about as useful as it seems to be, but it's likely my best option. I've taken commuter rail before in a few cities, so I guess tomorrow I'll give it a shot. What will it cost to ride? The map indicates that the DFW station is just outside the "fare zone".

lhall, I've actually eaten at Cosmic Cafe before and enjoyed it. Of course, I could hop in my car and I was only in Richardson... can you recommend any places within reasonable walking distance of a station? I'm going to try holdkris99's suggestion of Mockingbird Station... any others?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2008

I guess renting a car is out of the question? That seems like a possible help...
posted by amtho at 9:54 PM on March 2, 2008

If you can get to the Addison Transit Center, you're close to a billion restaurants too, but it's not a rail stop, it'll be a really long bus ride.

I'm looking at the Dart Rail Map right now, and I think your best bets for veggie food, which in my mind would be in "cool, upscale, urban area", the best stops would be west end, victory plaza, and mockingbird.
posted by unexpected at 10:00 PM on March 2, 2008

You're not far from tons of Indian food in Irving. The Taj Chaat House on Mac Arthur is mostly southern Indian cuisine and has plenty of vegetarian choices.
posted by Zebtron at 10:09 PM on March 2, 2008

"$40 one way" taxi means you're spending $80/day already on transportation -- you might was well rent a car and just drive to one of the veggie restaurants suggested. I just did a quick check, and you can rent one from Thrifty for around $250 for a week (about $35/day).
posted by spiderskull at 10:37 PM on March 2, 2008

Here are a couple of suggestions -

Jason's Deli isn't fancy cuisine, but they do have a handful of truly tasty veg sandwiches(e.g., the Garden Po' Boy), and they deliver. Check the Grapevine location - they might deliver to your hotel.

If you take the DART to Deep Ellum, there is a Cafe Brazil on Elm St. It's also a fun part of town to visit, with clubs, bars, tattoo parlors and all kinds of interesting nightlife.

My final recommendation is to check out GuideLive. The site contains a big list of DFW restaurants (with maps and reviews). When I checked, there were over 40 restaurants in the vegetarian category.

Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian. The cows in Texas are far too tasty.
posted by mattybonez at 10:43 PM on March 2, 2008

Have you searched for info on veg sites?

For example, here's a list of some veg places within 10 miles of the airport. If you call them they may have suggestions on some veg-friendly places closer to you. Maybe just take one trip to Whole Foods and stock up for the week?
posted by gluechunk at 11:34 PM on March 2, 2008

Try Chowhound? (I love that site). I've seen them help people out with restaurants near DFW before.
posted by MadamM at 11:34 PM on March 2, 2008

Hopefully you know about Happycow, and their pages for Dallas and Fort Worth. In the worst case, you could hit up a wholefoods and eat out of bags.
posted by beerbajay at 4:21 AM on March 3, 2008

Cosmic Cafe is currently closed for repairs (as of a week ago, when I was there -- caution tape suggested it might be closed for a while); Spiral Diner (veggie, mostly vegan, yummy cake) in Fort Worth is awesome -- and Kalachandji (veggie, mostly vegan) in east Dallas is also amazing -- but to get to either on public transportation seems like a nightmare.

I also had decent luck getting vegan meals from random Mexican restaurants -- just avoid hotel food :/ some of the worst meals of my life...
posted by obliquicity at 6:52 AM on March 3, 2008

Mockingbird Station has some good options...I like Cafe Express, plus you can stop off at the Angelika and watch a movie. Margarita Ranch is also fun.

Let's see...there are other stations in the area which are kinda close to decent food and entertainment, but it'll still be a bit of a hike for most of them. I like the idea of the DART Rail, but it really isn't functional in the way that a lot of cities' public transport systems are. It really is a shame. At least it's not boiling hot outside.

Anyway! There's a Central Market with a great deli on Greenville and Lover's, which is pretty close to a station (Lover's). There are some other places right along there, like Freebird's. I believe the Cafe Brazil in that area is just by the station, but you might call them and ask.

The Park Lane stop looks relatively (ha) close to Northpark Mall, which has a nice theatre and a decent food court...there's a Tin Star anyway, which has great portobello fajitas.

If you're up for a little walk, there's a really excellent Indian place kinda near the Walnut Hill station. It's barely marked on the outside but their food is good, plus they do delivery on most nights.

I'll try to think of a few more, but I hope these help!
posted by lhall at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2008

Maybe a Dallas MeFi would be willing to do a mission of mercy run with you to Whole Foods or something similar?
posted by DarlingBri at 12:15 PM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'm really trying to avoid renting a car, as it's very expensive (under 25) and my company won't reimburse me... you see, the training I'm here for (with ~1000 of my coworkers) is conducted onsite at the hotel, and they're providing dinner for two nights. The idea is that we not need to leave, in order to keep costs down.

Lots of the suggestions here are things I've done before - Whole Foods raids, etc, but I'm pretty stuck here. I don't have a minifridge in this room (and don't have status so can't demand one), so that's out. I think that Wednesday I'll have to venture out and try my luck. This whole experience has been comically bad.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2008

Cosmic Cafe is now temporarily closed, so please don't go there as you'll be upset when you get there and can't eat.

Item is now cooking at the newly-opened Spiral Diner in Dallas and it's in Oak Cliff. If you can figure out a way to get there, everything on the menu is vegan, tasty and reasonably priced. Try to sucker some coworkers into going with you and sharing the cab fare because it's worth it.

If you can get to Irving, try Mayuri just off the canal. Amazing, wonderful Indian food.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:17 PM on March 3, 2008

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