For many of us, meat and cheese are the best parts of existing as a sentient being. But if you don't indulge in animal products, chances are, you still require tacos in your life. Vegetarian options in Houston have been historically hard to come by, with vegan ones nearly impossible to find. A great exception is the agedashi tofu at Fusion Taco, but what if you're looking for a more traditional bite?
Enter Veegos, which opened on Westheimer Road in Westchase in February. It's already proved so popular that it's moving down the road to a location with a larger kitchen soon. But until then, the shopping center that also includes Daiso department store and Kura Revolving Sushi Bar is home to the bright, light cuisine of Jesse Hernandez and his mother Claudia, originally from the Mexican state of Morelos.
The menu is brief, just tacos, nachos, pozole, tortas, quesadillas and a burger. And unlike most vegan restaurants in town (we're still reeling from the sticker shock of the $17 Styrofoam container at Soul Food Vegan), these dishes are inexpensive enough to try a few. A taco plate with three tacos, as well as flavorful yellow rice and pleasantly smooth refried beans is $10, making it the priciest dish on the menu.
We tried both the al pastor, made with soy flour, and the jackfruit tacos. While the strands of the fruit are more reminiscent of shredded meat, the fiery red al pastor had the flavor we were looking for. It's not as spicy or tangy as our favorite porky pastors, but the chile-marinated soy is definitely a serviceable approximation. bedecked with pineapple, cilantro and onion. A squeeze of lime helps, too.
Quesadillas without the stretch of real cheese simply can't win with an audience that eats the real deal, but we prefer Veegos vegan fake cheese, made with cashews, to the typical fake nacho cheese elsewhere. The nachos are unquestionably the star at Veegos. Most tables had them when we visited. They're available with three toppings—either of the taco fillings, or a bean-based chili. We were impressed by the last of those, a well-spiced (but not spicy), full-bodied stew. The sour cream was perhaps the most realistic approximation of a meat or dairy product on the whole menu, making the cilantro-and-onion-topped plate of nachos as massively satisfying as it is large.
Whether diners are searching for a vegan meal, a budget meal or a Mexican meal, they're likely to be happy they chose to try Veegos.