Although the Third Ward recently lost vegan cafe and art space The Eat Gallery to the Heights, the neighborhood is still home to a small but dazzling array of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. A friend of mine raised in the area recently noted with equal amounts irony and approval that the "veganization" of the historically black area was fascinating.
Doshi House, the subject of this week's cafe review, is the most recent addition to the number of vegetable-centric restaurants in the Third Ward. Part coffeehouse, part art space, part cafe, it serves many purposes to the community that lives near Dowling and Holman -- including supporting local food producers by selling their wares alongside homemade soups, salads, paninis and more.
Breakfast features pastries and other goods from local bakers such as La Unica and Ashcraft, while lunch offers a small selection of hot sandwiches, soups and salads. But dinner is where Doshi really shines: It offers a very egalitarian "evening meal" each night that's completely vegan and also completely filling.
Depending on the night, you'll find a Thai red curry or an Indian butter "chicken." There's only one choice at dinner; everyone gets what Doshi has made for the evening and everyone pays around $7 for it. There's a gratifying and comforting feel to the ritual of dining together with strangers in this way, and a meal that I hope Doshi never stops offering even as it expands its breakfast and lunch menus.
In addition to Doshi House, check out these other Third Ward vegan restaurants (one of which made last week's list of the Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Houston):
Conscious Cafe: Although my favorite items at this cozy restaurant on Scott Street aren't vegan (the salmon burger and the bean pie), there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from. Try the hearty eggplant hoagie with Vegenaise spread or the toasted avocado sandwich.
The Vegan Cafe: Not too far away from Doshi House, The Vegan Cafe (located inside the SHAPE Community Center on Live Oak) serves a wide array of standard fare gone green. Think all-American food like hot dogs and hamburgers. The fries are hand-cut and all of the desserts are homemade.
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Green Seed Vegan: All of the menu items, including the juices, are vegan -- and many are entirely raw. But your best bets are the tempting Dirty Burque, which is good enough to stand up against any meat-based burger, and the spicy Tosh panino with maple-jerk tempeh made in-house with garbanzo beans instead of soy. Juices and "elixirs" made with wheatgrass, fruits and veggies are also made to order here.