Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bengal Coast

I can't tell you how excited I am to introduce Jamey as the newest part of Dallas Vegan! If you've read any of Jamey's comments on other food blogs, you'll know he is a true foodie. After several e-mails and Facebook messages regarding blogging, Jamey and I decided to meet over dinner to discuss his plans to start a new vegan dining blog. Little did he know I was on secret mission to recruit him to share my platform on Dallas Vegan. Sneaky? Sure. But can you blame me? The guy is smart, funny, and loves good vegan food! So without further ado, here is Jamey's review of our first dining experience at Bengal Coast.

-Eddie G

My first trip to Bengal Coast also happened to be my first time meeting Eddie G (the founder of Dallas Vegan) to talk about starting my own blog. It felt a little like I was going on an interview, which as it turns out, was the truth. Eddie is apparently quite sneaky! Luckily, this is something I had been thinking about for a quite a while now, so I’d been rehearsing in my mind and never knew it. That’s probably why we had a lot to talk about right from the start.

It turns out we had some very similar ideas about the Dallas vegan restaurant scene, so it seemed rather than start another blog, why not join forces? After a few words of advice with pad and pen (and a delicious Lychee Basil Mojito) in hand, all of a sudden I was on the job.

Looking at the menu, Bengal Coast gets immediate bonus points for noting “vegan modifications available.” 

That being said, available appetizers were few. The Whole Wheat Roti was ok, but reminded me of a plain tortilla – not much excitement there. However, the Mixed Vegetables were a hit – lightly breaded and slightly seasoned bite-sized veggies (spinach, bok-choy, mushrooms, among others). Be sure and order both of these without their normal accompanying sauces – as they are not vegan. Instead, ask for the hot sriracha and chutney.

From here, the entree menu opens up a bit, with at least five items that can be ordered “veganized.” The menu is split between “spicy styles” and “mild but flavorful.” You can pair these with a variety of starches, including rice (white, brown, or even vegan-fried) or noodles.

I opted for the double-spicy “Bangkok Fire” – which, as someone who enjoys the spice, I was excited about. Given the fact that a foreboding two spicy-fire icons prefixed this dish, I was bracing myself for an inflammatory treat. Unfortunately, the spice wasn’t there – although the flavor was good. Maybe next time I will ask the chef not to pull in any punches in the heat department.

The Pad Thai, however, did not disappoint in any department. After we got through the initial puzzlement of the mystery substance that turned out to be tofu (helpful note: tofu is not on the menu, but it is put into the Pad Thai and can be added to any dish), we were able to enjoy the amazing flavors of this dish. Flavors, which among many others, included piloncillo – as noted by Eddie (who apparently is well versed in these things).

As sparse as the available appetizers were, the desserts were even more sparse – like no options whatsoever. (Did I mention the Mojito yet?…I would suggest having another for dessert.)

But with a decor much more expensive looking than the $14 priced entrees, Bengal Coast was no doubt a value (even though the wine list could have used a boost). Add to it the fact that there are multiple dishes to explore, and a decent specialty drink list (which were also a value at $8 a piece), I can definitely see a return trip to Bengal Coast…only next time it won’t be as a will be as a vegan blogger. Thanks, Eddie!

Bengal Coast

3102 Oak Law Avenue

(214) 521-8600


Drew said...

Congrats on the new alliance! What a great idea! I don't know if you know this, but the Coast changed their menu not too long ago. I was really sad that they ditched the veggie "gem boat" appetizer which left us vegans virtually no starter selections. Not to mention, these little lettuce wraps were delish!!! But, I really enjoy the new tamarind barbeque tofu. If you go back - ask Mark B. to bring back the gem boats!! I will, too!!

Eddie G said...

Thanks, Drew! Will do.


Great write-up! Would you say the Pad Thai was a sweeter or more tangy version of the traditional dish? I think I mentioned it's a fairly new taste to me.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Jamey, you totally had me at Lychee Basil Mojito.

It is horrible, though, that there is not at least one vegan dessert. Sometimes I wonder if people have never heard of fresh fruit before.

Jamey said...

Eddie - yeah, it was definitely a different take on Pad Thai from what I've ever had. More tangy sweet, not as peanuty as some others. Definitely good though.

Drew - I agree about the appetizers. This was my first visit, so I didn't know about the lettuce wraps - can't imagine why they would get rid of a veggie version.

Mo - come on...fresh fruit?? That's crazy-talk! (and yeah, those mojitos were goooood).

Anonymous said...

Exciting that you guys have joined forces for the blog!