A couple of years ago, late on a Friday morning, I found myself in the back of an ambulance, gripped by the worst stomach pain imaginable. Turns out I was having a gall bladder attack – definitely not a fun way to spend the weekend.
My doctor’s prescription: Start eating a lower-fat, more fruit-and-vegetable focused diet.
Lucky for me, for a city with the nickname “Cowtown,” Fort Worth has a surprising number of options when it comes to eating vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. The most famous healthy eating spot in town, of course, is Spiral Diner and Bakery, Fort Worth’s first vegan restaurant, which opened all the way back in 2002. Eschewing any animal products, and using as many organic ingredients as possible, the restaurant features a surprisingly expansive menu; there are also numerous gluten-free options, for those with gluten sensitivity.
Indeed, in the two years since the afore-mentioned gall bladder incident, I’ve become a regular at Spiral, where I usually start with the excellent hummus and corn chips, before ordering one of their soy patty veggie burgers, topped with chipotle mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and pickled jalapeños. I always wash it all down with one of the organic beers on the menu – a delicious meal that definitely doesn’t leave me hankering for chicken or beef.
More recently, though, a new player has emerged for Fort Worth veggie-lovers. Good Karma Kitchen is a food truck that first rolled into town in 2011, specializing in vegetarian and gluten-free creations. You’ll usually find it parked on weekends at Clear Fork Food Park, though make sure to check the Good Karma’s web site to find out its exact location. (The truck is also available for catering and special events.)
On a recent visit, we tried the Spicy Asain tacos: a gluten-free tortilla filled with Korean BBQ-style tofu, and then topped with jalapeno-lime cream, shaved vegetables and garlic-ginger pickles. Forget all your spongy, bland associations with tofu – this version is nicely crispy, with a sharp kick of spice; the toppings – especially those terrific pickles – prove the perfect tangy counterpoint.
We were also fans of the “deconstructed tamales”: No messy, soggy corn husks here, only a nearly prepared square of corn masa, topped with a black-eyed pea and corn relish. The masa is moist, and the relish offers texture and flavor – but what pulls the dish together is the marvelous bloody mary salsa, which offers just the right balance between acidity, sweetness and peppery bite.
The Good Karma menu features a number of other Mexican-inspired options, including their version of Frito pie (a three-bean chili, topped with cheddar cheese and Frito chips), and the meatless Karma Asada “tacos.” One of my favorite things about this food truck, though, is its list of specialty drink, including the strawberry basil lemonade and Organic Texas peach tea – especially good choices if you’re taking a break after a bike road along the Trinity trails.
Indeed, you know Good Karma Kitchen is doing something right: It actually makes you look forward to exercise and eating right.