Totally Rad: Mexican Food Goes Vegan at Radical Eats
Fried green tomatoes and fried okra tacos are on the menu right now at Radical Eats.
Photos by Troy Fields
The Mexican food at Radical Eats is so good, you might not even realize it's vegan. Or gluten-free. And that's the way owner Staci Davis likes it.
She doesn't have anything against carnivores, she says; she's simply trying to offer something different if people are willing to try it. In fact, Davis is thinking about making T-shirts for her fledgling restaurant that read: "Don't tell your friends it's vegan."
And to be fair, Mexican food was almost a natural for this kind of cuisine -- the kind that eliminates all trace of animal flesh, animal by-products and anything containing wheat gluten. Mexican cuisine is somewhat naturally vegan and gluten-free anyway, its staples being rice, beans, corn and vegetables.
There's no lard in the tortillas, but it's hard to tell they're vegan.
Davis smartly uses this to her advantage, taking old favorites like enchiladas, tacos, tortas and tamales and stuffing them full of garden-fresh vegetables: corn, okra, tomatoes, avocados, black beans, spinach, mushrooms and whatever else she can haul in from her garden out back or one of the Urban Harvest farmers' markets, of which she's long been a member.
In fact, it's at the Eastside Urban Harvest market that Davis got her start, hawking tamales made with butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
Read more about Davis's inventive techniques for transforming Mexican cuisine into a vegan's paradise in this week's cafe review, and then head over to our slideshow to see exactly how her heavenly fried avocado tacos are made. And clear your schedule this Sunday: You're gonna want to have brunch.
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