It was just a week ago, though it seems like longer, that my husband suggested we temporarily try out a vegan diet. (It had something to do with him seeing an old friend who “looked amazing” and said the secret was “going vegan”.)

Since Food, Inc., I’ve been leaning toward cleaner eating, so I agreed to try a vegan diet for a week and was happy to have my bacon-obsessed spouse on board.

Last weekend, I introduced him to Kalachandji’s, the restaurant inside the Hare Krishna temple on Gurley Ave. in East Dallas. They have a daily rotating buffet of vegetarian dishes that includes a variety of rice, tofu casseroles … fresh spinach, chickpeas, okra, potatoes, soups and a salad bar. The lunch buffet is $7.95 and the dinner is $10.95. I could eat the vegetable curry (Sabji) all day, and the moderately spicy Dahl (soup) made with lentil-type beans is a fantastic source of protein for vegetarians. My favorite was a savory/sweetish chickpea/rice mixture. I also recall loving vegetarian enchiladas here once, though they weren’t on the buffet this day. My husband loved everything and declared going vegan would be easy (he change his tune later in the week … but that’s a different story).

There were a few menu items that didn’t fall into the vegan category (such as the rice pudding —boo!) but products containing dairy are clearly marked, which makes it easy on us amateurs. I’m also addicted to the lemony Tamarind Tea, available on every buffet.

Kalachandji’s atmosphere (find the restaurant on the southeast side of the building) is so inviting. Even on a hot day the patio is shady and cool. Since it’s a buffet, you don’t have a hovering server, but helpful staff is around to bring out dessert, clear your used plates, answer questions and deliver the check. 

The restaurant is closed Mondays, and it is open for dinner the rest of the week from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; lunch on weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 3 p.m.

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