Archive for December, 2009

Chuy’s – Mexican Food Can Be Vegan

December 9th, 2009

A new restaurant has popped up in the middle of what used to be restaurant central where Beethoven’s once resided in Coolsprings. Chuy’s serves the standard Tex-Mex in an ambiance that seems like TGI Friday’s crossed with Joe’s Crab Shack. This location is the first one outside of  Texas and has been met with extremely long wait times.

Upon first hearing of their opening I brushed it off thinking there would be nothing vegan, let alone vegetarian, on the menu as most Mexican restaurants fill their beans with meat stocks or lard and chicken stock is a common find in the rice. After a bit of research I found this is actually not the case at Chuy’s and there’s actually a decent selection for vegans and vegetarians.

Chuy's Guacamole Tacos

Chuy’s Guacamole Tacos

Our first visit we had the Guacamole Tacos and Veggie Enchiladas. The only specification needed for the enchiladas and the tacos was no cheese. The ranchero sauce served on the enchiladas is vegan. You have a choice of Mexican or Green Chile Rice and Refried or Charro Beans, all vegan. The enchiladas, filled with squash, peppers and onions, were a little small but the sides made up for the lack of filling. They are wrapped in blue corn tortillas but I’m sure you can substitute any of the tortilla selections if you want. The Guacamole Tacos, choice of hard or soft, were larger than expected with two good scoops of guacamole in each shell and topped with lettuce and tomatoes they were quite filling. On our second trip we split these for a late snack.

The Nashville area already has its share of Mexican restaurants but few, if any, can make vegetarian selections, let alone vegan. (Don’t get me started on those Mexican restaurants that have a Vegetarian section on their menu with beans and rice listed that are chocked full of animal juice!)

As for the list of vegetarian and vegan choices at Chuy’s:

VEGETARIAN

Vegetarian Sauces

  • Ranchero
  • Tomatillo
  • Deluxe Tomatillo
  • Boom Boom

Appetizers

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Nachos
  • Special Nachos
  • Cheese Quesadillas

Salads (all dressings are vegetarian)

  • Guacamole Taco Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Salad (no chicken)
  • Mexi-Cobb Salad (no chicken)
  • Dinner Salad

Sides

  • Flour, Corn, Blue Corn, Wheat Tortillas
  • Mexican Rice
  • Green Chile Rice
  • Refried Beans
  • Charro Beans

Tacos, Sopapillas & Burritos

  • Guacamole Tacos
  • Bean & Cheese Tacos
  • Bean & Cheese Burrito with above sauces
  • Bean & Cheese Sopapilla with above sauces

Chile Rellenos & Enchiladas

  • Cheese Chile Rellenos
  • Veggie Enchiladas
  • Cheese Enchiladas with above sauces

Combinations

  • #3 Taco & Enchilada (sub vegetarian taco & enchilada)
  • #4 Relleno & Enchilada (choose your own vegetarian options)
  • #5 Chalupa & Enchilada (no chicken on chalupa, sub cheese for chicken enchilada)
  • #6 Enchilada, Taco & Chalupa (sub vegetarian enchilada & taco, no chicken on chalupa)
  • #7 Vegetarian Combo

Desserts

  • All desserts are vegetarian but selections can vary by location so ask your server for options.

VEGAN

Vegan Sauces

  • Ranchero
  • Tomatillo

Appetizers

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Nachos (no cheese)
  • Special Nachos (no cheese)

Salads

  • Guacamole Taco Salad (no cheese)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad (no chicken)
  • Mexi-Cobb Salad (no chicken or cheese)
  • Dinner Salad
  • Dressing: Cilantro Vinaigrette

Sides

  • Flour, Corn, Blue Corn, Wheat Tortillas
  • Mexican Rice
  • Green Chile Rice
  • Refried Beans
  • Charro Beans

Tacos, Sopapillas, Burritos & Enchiladas

  • Guacamole Tacos (no cheese)
  • Bean Tacos (no cheese)
  • Bean & Cheese Burrito (no cheese, with above sauces)
  • Bean & Cheese Sopapilla (no cheese, with above sauces)
  • Veggie Enchiladas (no cheese, with above sauces)

UPDATE 10/11/2013: I regularly request vegan option information from Chuy’s since this post is extremely popular.  With the last reply I received this veg menu from corporate.

UPDATE 3/3/2015: I have checked again with Chuy’s corporate and am told nothing has changed in preparation or ingredients in the original vegan/vegetarian menu as posted above. Eat on!

Share

Being Vegetarian or Vegan

December 1st, 2009

crossword

Some decide to try a vegetarian diet only to give up in a short time because they miss a favorite food or maybe their family pressured them to come back to a meat diet.  Some people decide to try vegetarian on day a week and never go beyond.  I have heard of people who are vegan but decide to revert to their old ways during the holidays when family dinners consist of turkey or ham and hurting grandma’s feelings would cause irreparable damage to the family quilt.  Then there are those who have gone vegetarian and transitioned to a vegan  lifestyle or went vegan cold-turkey (no pun) and have stuck with it over the years.

People choose vegan or vegetarian for a variety of reasons.  Health, animal welfare are two of the most popular.  I often ask people their reasons for going vegan or vegetarian and many just forget why and say they just decided to try it and stuck with it.

So, I’m curious.  What was your reason for going vegan or vegetarian?  Did you want to improve your health?  Doing it for the animals or another reason?  Let me know!

Share