Dallas’ top vegan chef will open a restaurant in the space with A+ vegan karma

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One of Dallas’ top vegan chefs is launching a new restaurant in Richardson: Chef Troy Gardner will open TLC Vegan Coffeea cozy and casual vegan restaurant with food service and a small market for take-out food like sandwiches, desserts, etc.

He enters a space with great vegan karma: the former home of Reverie Bakeshop, at 1930 Coit Rd., well known for its vegan and gluten-free treats. (Reverie moved to 980 Coit Rd. in June.)

Gardner and his partner Sherry Copeland have applied for their certificate of occupancy, and construction of the space is already underway. They plan to open in the fall.

The cafe is a spinoff of TLC Vegan Kitchen, a ghost kitchen concept founded by Gardner in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

Gardner is one of Dallas’ most enduring figures on the local vegan scene, dating back to 2013 when he opened Samson’s Hot Dogs with plenty of vegan options on the menu. He then opened the more formal V-Eats Modern Vegan in Trinity Groves in 2016, serving comfort food including vegan Salisbury steak, sushi and more, for which he was nominated for Best New Restaurant at the 2017 Tastemaker Awards. from CultureMap.

He opened TLC as a ghost kitchen in response to the pandemic, operating out of Revolving Kitchen in Garland, and thrived as a thriving takeout business. TLC was selected as one of four restaurants in Dallas to serve Tindle, a buzzing plant-based chicken, and most impressively, it won a 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Best Ghost Kitchen.

But it was hard to resist the opportunity to go back to serving her food in a seated setting.

He opens it in partnership with Copeland, owner of Jai Meals, a food service with vegan meals from various chefs for pickup or home delivery, operating from stores from Willow Bend to Plano.

“Sherry and I started working together in 2020, when we were providing meals for her operation,” says Gardner. “She wanted to open a storefront outside the mall and rented the Reverie Bakeshop space after they moved, and it turned into an accidental partnership.”

TLC stands for “Tastes Like Chicken” and capitalizes on Gardner’s thoughtful use of ingredients to approximate the flavor and texture of meat. TLC’s menu includes dishes like cashew mozzarella pizza, chili, chicken fried steak, and vegan three-cheese lasagna: ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan.

“In the new restaurant, we will be cooking most of the dishes we currently do in Revolving Kitchen, but the seated spacing means I can do regular special dishes, which I enjoy but are difficult to showcase on an online platform. “, he says.

Last weekend, he made a special Crispy Citrus TLC Chick with their oyster mushroom “chick-nun,” rice pudding, Chinese broccoli, Thai chili, tangerines, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

“Dining out is also fun, it gives that sense of community that you just don’t get when eating out,” he says.

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