An authentic vegan Mexican restaurant opens in Pleasant Grove, Texas
Growing up in Texas, I often prided myself on knowing authentic Mexican food. After all, some people may label tacos and burritos from Taco Bell as Mexican food, but I always knew better. In fact, I considered myself somewhat of an authentic Mexican food snob at times because nothing quite hits the spot like real Mexican cuisine. But since I adopted a plant-based diet several years ago, it has been difficult to find vegan Mexican food or even vegetarian Mexican food. Indeed, this is a food culture that is steeped in the tradition of eating meat such as cabrito, lengua, bistec and albondigas. Now, however, there is a vegan Mexican restaurant in Texas that is putting their name on the map.
El Palote Panaderia is a vegan restaurant that does not use meat, lard, dairy or eggs. Instead, they focus on fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds! Aaron Arias, whose family owns the restaurant, said:
“Everything we do, we use no animal products whatsoever. We have a full menu of tamales, tacos, flautas, burritos. We process our own soy. Meaning, we tailor-make the soys to try to fit those traditional meat textures and tastes.”
By custom-making the soy, they are able to create meatless “meat” that is used in everything from enchiladas to tacos and burritos. And most of their customers say it tastes like the real thing! They also use tofu to resemble cheese crumbles and use vegan egg to create delicious breads and desserts.
This is a much healthier version of traditional Mexican food that uses lard, meat and cheese. And a vegan diet can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight. It can also help decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
The entire Arias family is vegan, including Aaron. He said, “It took a while. It took five years of [my dad] being vegan to fall in and decide to do it myself.” Now, the family enjoys sharing their vegan Mexican food with the community and hopes that others will see this as a healthier way to appreciate great food!
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