Now, y’all know that I was born and raised in The Lone Star State. I am 5th generation Texan, and with roots so deep in my native soil there are some things that you can automatically assume about me. No, you can not assume I ride a horse, tote a gun, and am a redneck (my neck isn’t even slightly pink). You can assume that:
- I am not inclined to enunciate consonants and I’m in the habit of changing one-syllable words into two-syllable words
(as in: “Ah eat with a fowark unless Ah’m usin’ chopstiyuks.“).
- I think bacon grease is the nectar of the gods.
- Beef is “what’s for dinner.”
At least, you could assume that until I dined at the Cosmic Café — rated by the Dallas Observer as THE best vegetarian restaurant in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Austin for the last nine years. Now? Two out of three of those assumptions could change. If I could eat food that the Cosmic Café serves every day, I’d happily become a vegetarian!
What was that sound? Was that my grandmother rolling over in her grave? Ah tell you whut! She would! She did not know that you could cook food without frying it in bacon grease. However, I believe that even my Mamaw would change her tune if she sampled the cuisine at Cosmic Café.
Now, I’ve seen this restaurant, on Oak Lawn in Dallas, for years. How could one miss it? In fact, I wonder how many traffic accidents occur in front of it as people gawk at the gaudiness of it? Every single surface of it is adorned with brightly colored murals. My hands have been itching to grab a camera to take photographs of it.
But I never deigned to stop. I mean, vegetarian food? Come on, y’all. Vegetables are what food eats! Or … maybe not. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by an aroma emanating from the restaurant. My Sweet Spousal Unit said, “If that smell is coming from here then I’m for it!”
My husband went into a stupor when he sampled the “Portabella Trance.” It’s one of the “light” offerings on the menu at Cosmic Café. It’s a passel of succulent portabella mushrooms, spinach & onions sauteed in garlic/basil butter all wrapped up on nan (Indian style bread) with cream cheese & tomatoes. I swear I tasted it, and would never have missed meat!
I chose to try something called “A Fold In Thyme,” which included melted cheddar, avocado, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, & mushrooms tossed on nan with sprouts and honey mustard. My mouth is watering just remembering it! People, I nearly didn’t allow my husband to try a taste of it … it was so delicious that I wanted it all to myself.
We both splurged on mango cheesecake for dessert, because our server said it was his favorite. It quickly became my favorite … and I think he said it was gluten free.
Although it seems gaudy at first, the restaurant is a visual delight. Peaceful music plays so that the traffic from the street is hardly noticeable when you eat on the patio. If you are so inclined, there is a meditation room upstairs. I didn’t go see it, because I figured that I didn’t want to disturb anyone … and trying vegetarian food was adventure enough for one day.
If you are in my neck of the woods, you have to give Cosmic Café a try. I’m considering asking them if I can move into the little building out back and eat there every day.
I’d sweep floors or scrub toilets for food! Cosmic Café could turn this hard-core carnivore into a vegetarian. But, Ah ‘magine Ah’ll prob’ly still tawk with a Texas twang.