I was in Austin, Texas earlier this month for the SXSW music and film festival. I got to see lots of great bands and hear some beautiful new music. However, I did have one regret: I did not eat any real Texas BBQ or Southern comfort food. That’s a goal for next year’s trip. It’s terribly difficult to sit down to a multiple-course meal when you’re running around all over Austin trying to catch dozens of bands and artists over a span of just a few days. And besides, anything heavier than some fruit, granola or coconut water would have just slowed me down.
This wasn’t so bad, though, because I do get plenty of real food whenever I visit my boyfriend’s family in Dallas. His father, Ken, is an incredible chef, and he loves experimenting. He also enjoys the challenge of preparing traditional Southern cooking without meat, as my boyfriend is a vegetarian. Much like our own Chef Lauren (whose family also hails from Texas), Ken’s vegetarian dishes are delicious.
Tart offers plenty of vegetarian fare that’s also full of flavor. My boyfriend orders a veggie burger every time. The Blackened Chicken Penne and Rock Shrimp Rigatoni are just as tasty when the meat is left out. And many of the soups du jour are made either vegetarian or vegan. Of course, if it’s a big slab of beef you’re interested in, we’ve got that too. (Grass-fed only!)