An all-vegan eatery has opened in Southlake, but it’s keeping the vegan thing on the down-low.
It’s Cinnaholic, a shop that does over-the-top cinnamon rolls that are 100 percent vegan: no eggs in the batter, no dairy in the frosting.
Most of us would not be able to tell that from the flavor or textures (these rolls are really luscious), and it’s not mentioned on a big menu posted on the wall.
But the vegan slant is not what will keep most people coming here. It’s that you can get your basic cinnamon roll smothered in one of 29 flavors of frosting (fruits, chocolate, pumpkin spice, root beer, mint) and topped with any of 20 extras like pecans, marshmallows, raspberries or coconut (a bit like the selection at a fro-yo shop). Each is made while you wait.
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This is the first franchise nationwide of a concept that started in Berkeley, Calif., and whose creators were featured on TV’s Shark Tank. As soon as Southlake resident Lynn Matarelli heard about it, she knew she wanted to bring it to her town.
She had worked in radio (the old Magic 102.9) and in disaster management, but never in food. But she had been a vegan for decades and was casting about for something new to do. She and her near-vegetarian husband are raising two vegan children in Southlake and felt the area was ready for this.
Matarelli admits, however, that she’s soft-pedaling the vegan philosophy.
“We are trying not to say ‘vegan’ until they’ve tried it. But the response has been overwhelmingly good.”
There was a steady line on opening day, a rainy Saturday. We tried one roll with coffee icing and Oreos, and one with orange icing and pecans ($5.50 each). Both were heavenly, with good cinnamon flavor managing to cut through all those extras.
We watched one guy order two “old skool” rolls, with just vanilla frosting ($4.75). Those looked pretty fine, too.
Cinnaholic is at 2704 E. Southlake Blvd., next to Johnny B’s. www.cinnaholic.com.
Market + Table good for vegetarians + vegans
The Market portion of FW Market + Table — a combination grocery, casual restaurant, coffee bar, juice bar and bar bar — has opened in the West 7th development, and it brings good new options for meatless dining.
It’s not a vegetarian restaurant, but vegans and vegetarians benefit from its focus on healthy, casual, everyday food.
Market + Table’s house-made black-bean burger instantly became one of our favorite veggie burgers in Fort Worth.
“I love veggie burgers,” chef Kalen Morgenstern told me, and it shows. The kitchen (which also turns out beef, salmon and turkey burgers) is still playing with the recipe, but the one I had during the soft-opening period was made of chickpeas, jalapeño, mushrooms, cumin, garlic and Dijon mustard. Morgenstern likes to use pureed black beans instead of a dairy-based binder. Hold the gremolata mayo, make sure they don’t butter the bun, and this can be vegan.
Vegans and vegetarians should seek out Morgenstern for a chat (she was working the dining room the day we stopped in). She’s well-versed in vegan cooking, and scoffs at the idea that any real kitchen would find it challenging. She builds in ways to keep her menu flexible for diners with special needs.
“It’s so easy. We kept our stock vegetarian; we kept our kale pesto vegan. So with the pasta on the dinner menu, you can just take the meatballs off and it’s vegan and gluten-free.”
For vegetarians, the lunch/dinner menu also has a sweet-potato hash, a flatbread and grilled cheese. Breakfast has pancakes, granola and egg dishes but also a quinoa bowl, fig toast with apples and pistachios, and avocado toast.
Since breakfast is served all day, we tried and loved that loaded avocado toast (with poached egg, peppers, micro cilantro and queso fresco). We also liked an interesting autumn panzanella salad, which was vegan (butternut squash, cranberries, arugula, shallots, croutons and rosemary-lemon vinaigrette).
A takeaway case has many prepared vegetarian dishes, like kale, broccolini or quinoa salads and hummus. The green-juice bar with drinks like The Holy Kale and Saving Private Romaine was not yet open but may be by the time you read this.
FW Market + Table is at 2933 Crockett St., in the former Tillman’s Roadhouse space. www.fwmarketandtable.com.