No beef? No downside. The Panhandle embraces vegan tacos. – Texas Month-to-month

The orange mud of the Excessive Plains obscured the blue sky above Amarillo, however my pleasure about consuming at Yellow Metropolis Road Meals was crystal clear. It was my second go to to the eclectic restaurant and I used to be thrilled to introduce my vegetarian spouse to his vegan and vegetarian tacos.

Owned and operated by Scott and Rin Buchanan, the restaurant is not precisely the form of institution one would look forward to finding within the coronary heart of the Panhandle. In spite of everything, Amarillo is dwelling to the Large Texan Steak Ranch and its 72-ounce steak problem. However Yellow Metropolis Road Meals has confirmed to be a favourite amongst locals on the lookout for one thing totally different however nonetheless glorious.

When it opened in 2013, it instantly attracted a various buyer base and continues to take action. “I all the time assume it is extra a technique, however it’s not,” says Rin, who’s chargeable for Yellow Metropolis’s vegan delicacies. “It Simply Holds” [being] very numerous.”

Among the many different regulars is a gaggle of firefighters who’re fierce followers of the Hulk, a charred roasted hen taco with a blackberry of contemporary greens, shiny pineapple pico de gallo, sharp cotija cheese, and creamy remoulade. Typically the restaurant has run out of hen, leaving the house-cooked seitan the one substitute choice. The primary time the firefighters have been reluctant to order the vegan model, they have been pleasantly stunned. “I believed you stated you have been from the Hulk,” stated a primary responder. “That is undoubtedly not vegan.” Now about half of the group orders the vegan Hulk. “We identical to introducing that to individuals,” Rin stated.

On my most up-to-date go to, a gray-haired gentleman in khaki shorts and seaside footwear stormed out of the restaurant and declared that Yellow Metropolis Road Meals’s fish taco was the very best taco he’d ever had. Certainly, each time I’ve had it it has been good, with salty and tart flavors from the mix of a remoulade, cabbage, Monterey Jack cheese, crema, and purple onions. The principle filling is a agency textured swai fish in a stretchy however pita-like flour tortilla from the native Carniceria La Standard.

My first meal in Yellow Metropolis – in the summertime of 2020 doing analysis for the Final Texas Tacopedia – included the Fish Taco, the Vegan Hulk Taco, the Dragon Tofu Taco, and the Fried Mushroom Imposter Taco. The Dragon Tofu was my favourite. The tofu is marinated for 48 hours in a soy sauce base blended with maple syrup and garlic. Then it’s coated in a extremely seasoned breadcrumb comprised of pretend eggs and potato starch. The ensuing crust appeared to drift across the tofu however did not fall off once I bit into it. I additionally loved it on my most up-to-date go to. It stays the very best tofu taco I’ve ever had.

The Diablo Shrimp taco did not supply the infernal spice I hoped for, however the plump shrimp had good texture – agency however not overcooked. The greens supplied textural stability and a clear edge, and the sunshine sprinkling of black sesame seeds added a crunch. The Imposter taco featured closely breaded cremini mushrooms sourced regionally from Majestic Mushrooms, with a balsamic discount that provides a scrumptious zing. One other masterful choice is the vegan carnitas taco, which makes use of shredded jackfruit. It even has a texture just like the standard pork.

Whereas Yellow Metropolis Road Meals makes its personal seitan from important wheat gluten, chickpeas, and different vegan elements, it is the tacos eschewing meat substitutes that shine the brightest. To me, the very best vegan tacos are those that use veggies, fruits, and nuts to create not solely stand-ins, however separate dishes that may and will stand out.

The present constructing of the operation is the second location. It opened in 2016. Nonetheless, the Buchanans initially opened Yellow Metropolis Road Meals as a downtown drive-through 9 years in the past, after chef Scott Buchanan was fired from his earlier restaurant gig. It was an immediate hit, which stunned Rin and Scott. The couple simply wished to earn sufficient to pay their payments. “It obtained off the bottom. We had individuals ready in line for therefore lengthy that they have been simply down the road,” Rin stated.

On the time, there have been solely two vegan gadgets on the menu. Now the restaurant is a pilgrimage web site for vegans from all around the nation. A buyer urges to cease by throughout common journeys between Florida and California. A Utah lady advised the Buchanans that she visited Amarillo to eat on the restaurant. “She was simply so excited, speaking actually loud and saying, ‘I really like you guys. I actually journey right here simply to eat right here,” Rin stated. A bunch from Austin heads north almost 5 hundred miles for no different motive than to dine at Yellow Metropolis Road Meals. “Which means the world to us,” Rin stated. And the demand for extra vegan choices is rising, even within the shadow of a voracious beef-eating competitors.

Road meals within the yellow metropolis
2916 Wolflin Avenue, Amarillo
Telephone: 806-353-9273
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 12–8, Saturday 11–3