Let’s eat vegan in Abilene, Texas, about two hours west of DFW. You’ll notice a lot of chain restaurants on this list. Partly, this is because chain restaurants abound in Abilene. Partly, it’s because it’s easier to verify whether dishes are vegan when you’re dealing with national chains. As always, please let me know if anything on this list is inaccurate or out-of-date. If you live in Abilene, consider asking area restaurants to carry more vegan options.
Abi-Haus—vegan French toast at brunch, y’all! Lunch and dinner options aren’t quite as exciting, but ask about the seasonal veggie plate and seasonal pasta. If nothing else, you can have an avocado and tomato sandwich on sourdough (hold the cheese).
Bangkok Thai—In theory, some menu items can be modified to be vegan. However many diners report communication issues. Ask about fish sauce, shrimp paste, and eggs in tofu dishes. Beware of the veggie egg roll which contains chicken.
Bonzai Japanese Steakhouse—The usual edamame and avocado, cucumber, or vegetable sushi rolls. For hibachi, order the vegetarian delight and ask for them to cook with oil instead of butter.
Denny’s—Denny’s now carries Amys vegan burgers. A number of the vegetables and sides are vegan. If you’re here for breakfast, you can get oatmeal (no milk) or grits (no butter) with fruit on the side.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop—A Texas chain. Tortillas, grilled veggies, black beans, refried beans, lime rice, and fried potatoes are vegan. Combine them into a taco, burrito, salad, or fajitas. Allergen/vegan menu is available online (pdf).
Genghis Grill—The usual Mongolian Grill experience. Their website charmingly proclaims, All diets welcome! Choose your vegetables (including tofu), sauce, and starch (vegan choices include white rice, brown rice, or udon noodles). Ask for their nutrition menu when you get there if you want to look over the sauces to see which are vegan or check it out online. If seeing your food cooked on the communal grill bothers you, most places like this will cook your food in a separate wok.
Jason’s Deli—Chain sandwich shop that has a small vegan menu (pdf) online.
Johnny Carino’s—A chain restaurant. Try the angel hair pasta with artichokes (no parmesan) and a house salad without croutons or cheese. Or order a pasta dish with tomato sauce and vegetables (no cheese). I’ve eaten at this chain a number of times, and it’s decent if unexciting.
Middle East—Unsurprisingly, this restaurant serves Middle Eastern food. The usual hummus, baba ganouj, tabouley, fatoush, along with a few more unusual options like peayas, described as cubes of potato with mint, onion, lemon, and olive oil. Menu is online at Yelp.
Natural Food Center—This health food store includes a small restaurant with daily vegan options including soup, tamales, burritos, chili, smoothies, and more. Grab a vegan dessert from the grocery section on your way out.
Natural Grocers—This grocery store carries many vegan-friendly convenience foods and specialty products like dairy-free cheese and yogurt.
Red Robin—Another chain with a vegan Boca burger and a robust salad bar. Be sure to ask for the Boca burger as the standard Gardenburger contains cheese.
Subway—The veggie delite. We’ve all succumbed to this sandwich at one time or another. Secret vegan trick: buy a bag of potato chips and stuff ‘em in your sandwich. And then send a letter to subway asking them to add more vegan options.
Ta Molly’s Mexican—order meatless fajitas and they’ll load you up with mushrooms and tomatoes along with the usual peppers and onions
Tokyo Asia Fusion—Beyond the usual avocado, cucumber, and veggie roll, Tokyo Asia also has a sweet potato roll and an aspargus roll. Or order the hibachi vegetable dinner. Ask for your vegetables to be cooked in oil instead of butter.