With a fast-growing line in front, the Dandelion seemed to garner the most attention out of the many food carts: a positive sign! One look at the menu and I fully understood why the bright green truck merited its popularity. Complete with five sandwiches inspired by multiple wordly cuisines (all of which can be served on a whole-wheat pita), two hearty entree-style plates, raw oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and a chocolate peanut butter cup for dessert, this cart knew what vegans craved.
Cilantro-topped black eyed peas, smoky rich collard greens, and a saute of sweet potatoes, onions, and poblano peppers surrounded three hearty slabs of tofu slathered in a tangy barbeque sauce to form a Southern medley of vegan happiness in my Texas Style BBQ Tofu entree. The tofu offered the only downside to the dish: while the texture skirted the perfect line between chewy and firm, I suspect that the tofu was not fresh, but rather freeze-dried reconstituted tofu that may or may not have been fried. A dash of refined sugar may have also weasled its way into the spicy-sweet sauce, though I sincerely hope (probably in vain), that the Dandelion chef used agave nectar or maple syrup instead. Despite the two soy-based flaws, I wholeheartedly enjoyed my trip down South at the Dandelion.
The Baked Tofu Sandwich came on a ciabatta roll topped with baked tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and avocado drizzled with a spicy veganaise aioli served with a side of tortilla chips and pico de gallo. My eating companion rated the sandwich as a definite 10 on the yummy scale.
What could easily constitute an entire meal (especially when adding the optional tofu for a dollar extra), a bed of spinach topped with brown basmati rice, corn, grated carrots, radishes, cucumbers, purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and edamame drizzled with Bragg's Liquid Aminos and sesame oil is much much more than just a side. The vegetable-and-whole-grain rainbow tasted fresh, crunchy, and very wholesome-I may become a regular patron of the Dandelion just for the "side" of vegetables.
Meeting all of my pent-up food cart anticipation, the quality of the Dandelion's food exceeded that of a few non-wheeled restaurants in Madison and was certainly on par with a good many regular sit-down eating establishments. It is a wonderful destination for a fast, cheap, healthy, and simply mouthwatering lunch.
Pictures and more info at my blog: http://farmersmarketvegan.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/dandelion-food-cart-review/