Cosmic Café Is An Out Of This World Restaurant

Cosmic Café, a vegetarian restaurant in Dallas
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:

  1. 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.“).
  2. I think bacon grease is the nectar of the gods.
  3. 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.

Wall mural at Cosmic Café in Dallas

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.

hand mural at Cosmic Café

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!”

portabella trance ... a meal at Cosmic Café

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!

fold in thyme ... a menu offering at Cosmic Café

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.

mango cheesecake

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.

colorful building behind Cosmic Café

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.

  10 comments for “Cosmic Café Is An Out Of This World Restaurant

  1. May 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Portabello mushrooms are the secret weapon. I do a vegetarian lasagna that has them and eggplant and spinach. You would swear on a stack of bibles that it has meat….

    Of course there is no way I’ll convince my son that it isn’t “food” unless it has a face.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..Kentucky Derby =-.

    • May 2, 2010 at 7:37 am

      As long as the “face” isn’t staring at you (can’t eat fish with heads on!). Yeah, portabellos are a favorite of mine, but I usually serve them beside a slab of meat. This restaurant might change how I do that, though. I even cooked vegetarian food last night. Two days without meat? I think it’s a record for me.

  2. Joy
    May 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    So now I’ve two reasons to come to Texas: to visit you and to eat at the Cosmic Cafe. Any meat-eater who can speak so glowingly about vegetarian cooking has got to be telling the gospel truth.

    Because I flat out just like plain vegetables raw or steamed, I’ve never thought a lot about cooking elaborate vegetarian concoctions. But with SB&C, that has changed. I know that to appeal to a wide audience, plain is not adequate. So thanks for the inspiration to think outside the brioche. Merely crimini /brown/white/button mushrooms cultivated large, I think it’s their sheer volume that makes them portabellas a culinary force to be reckoned with. One of the downsides of vegetarian cooking is that it’s not always substantial, in texture or satisfaction. Portabellas give a real mouthful rather than the more delicate slivers of their younger cousins. I’m getting some at my next grocery shopportunity!

    • May 2, 2010 at 7:41 am

      When you’ve developed a wonderful recipe for cooking Anasazi beans without a big old hunk of salt pork in them (and still have them taste delicious), I hope you will let me know. I enjoy eating legumes, but I can’t imagine how to cook them without meat in them.
      Yep, this restaurant has me thinking of cooking vegetarian several times a week. I don’t know if I could lose my carnivorous appetite, but I know it would improve my health to cut back.
      And, if you come to Texas, you had darned sure better give me a call!

  3. May 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Two of my 3 children were born in Ft Worth, and I count myself lucky when I can get one veggie on the plate of protein and carbohydrates. Now at least I know why! *lol* J/K, of course. The favorite Texasism I have is one from my younger son, who has always said, “Day-ad…”
    .-= LuAnn´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning Carnival – Week 1 – Friday =-.

    • May 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

      😆 I’m not sure that the kids not eating vegetables is entirely due to being born in Texas, but you can blame it on that if you want.
      As for “Day-ad,” I hate to burst your bubble, darlin’, but it’s not quite a true Texanism. I’ll grant that it has two syllables, but in Texas a true Native Son calls his father, “Daddy.” But, you have to flatten the “a” with the back of your tongue, don’t prolong the “y,” and say the word quickly. It sounds like “Deddy.” Or maybe, “Deddi.” Even grown men call their ancient fathers by that name. It is rarely shortened to “Dad.” except in formal situations.
      Just so you know. 😈

  4. May 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Oh my. It looks incredibly delicious. I wish I was in your neck of the woods !
    .-= Terry Elisabeth´s last blog ..Toilette du dimanche =-.

    • May 3, 2010 at 7:26 am

      I wish I could have a mini-blogging conference and just invite all of y’all to come visit :wink:. We’d do the town up right … and we’d start with dinner at the Cosmic Cafe.

  5. Joy
    May 10, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Your post provided the inspiration; Meatless Monday provided the opportunity to make good on my portabella promise. Check out today’s SB&C post Portabella on a Bun. I made it open-faced with eggplant, spinach and onions; tonight I’m doing a wine variation and having it with the krisped kale. If you’re game to try it, let me know the verdict. Easy shmeasy (technical term for ‘so simple a fifth grader could do it’.)

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