On the busy corner of Wheeler and Almeda sits Green Seed Vegan's new restaurant. It's only a few short blocks away from the original cabbage-green food truck where Matti Merrell and her husband Rodney Perry first got their start.
This brick-and-mortar location -- repainted from the bright red of its former tenant, Red Chili Taqueria, to the same cabbage-green of the truck -- represents the culmination of Merrell and Perry's original hopes when the pair started up the food truck: to one day move into a full-fledged restaurant of their own. And as of late March, that dream has come true.
The menu has been tweaked a bit now that Green Seed has a larger kitchen: Favorites like the Tosh and the Dirty Burque are still there, but they've been joined by new dishes like the Big Tex Burger. There are more smoothies and dessert drinks than before, too, and a few new helpers to make sure Merrell and Perry's food comes out quick enough to appease the diners that crowd in to eat the duo's delicious vegan grub.
Because like Radical Eats in Northside Village, Green Seed appeals to more than just hardcore vegans: The food is tasty, plain and simple.
Last week, a friend and I grabbed a classic Dirty Burque and a new Big Tex Burger, which featured the same buckwheat patty and vegan cheese as the Dirty Burque but topped with avocado, zucchini "bacon" and jalapeños. An order of dill-dusted fries and a green smoothie rounded it all out.
The Dirty Burque was as good as ever, its patty never mimicking meat but instead encouraging you to appreciate the savory buckwheat on its own merits. As usual, the bun was a bit too big on both burgers, however, and we both ended up tearing off bits of bread for a better buckwheat-to-bun ratio.
The dill fries made for a flavorful if texturally interesting contrast with the burger (the fries can have that same soggy consistency as the crinkle-cuts at JerryBuilt Burgers -- you either love it or hate it, but I'm a fan), although I found myself wishing for a lot more dill and salt in the whole package.
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My Big Tex Burger (pictured above) ended up the favorite of the evening, though, with its welcome punch of spice from the fresh jalapeños and the crunch of red onion against the soft fattiness of the "cheese" and avocado. Like the Dirty Burque, it's definitely no cheeseburger -- but it tastes damn good as its own category of sandwich, and you don't feel nearly as guilty about taking it down in six enormous bites.
One of my only caveats about eating at Green Seed Vegan before was that you had to enjoy your food in your car or stooped over on a curb. But that still didn't stop the food truck from forming a rabid fan base. With this new restaurant, I have a feeling Matti Merrell and Rodney Perry will be unstoppable -- I just hope they'll still serve brunch.