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It’s all vegan at House of Mexica

By Nora Tarte

At House of Mexica, there’s not a single item on the menu that isn’t vegan friendly. 

Sourced from plants and heavy in soy products, everything from burritos to big burgers is available for diners to chow down. You’d be surprised to hear the Bacon Lord Burger is completely meat-free. And the dairy is made from soy-based products, not nut cheeses like many places.

As more restaurants become diet-friendly, adding one or two menu items that are vegan and maybe a few more that are paleo or vegetarian, it’s still a guessing game for many. At Mexica, the worry is gone, because everything they make fits a vegan (and therefore a vegetarian) diet. No more substitutions or picking apart your food before consumption.

If you don’t know what you’re eating is vegan, it’s likely you won’t notice. The taste may be ever-so-slightly different, as plant-based “meats” tend to be, but it’s not an overwhelming disparity even for carnivores. With the addition of fresh veggies, sauces and spices, it becomes negligible.

The menu is, not surprisingly, heavy in Mexican fare. Everything from burritos to tacos to nachos are available. Just like at your typical Mexican spot, you also have meat choices. Order up your tacos with asada, al pastor, chicken, nohpalli (prickly pear cactus) or hibiscus. A huge plus is that you can go with a meat substitute or pick something completely outside of the box that doesn’t pretend to be meat and instead offers a very different flavor profile.

Loaded nachos from House of Mexica are vegan and tasty.
Loaded nachos from House of Mexica are vegan and tasty. Image: Mike Alt / This Is Reno

Everything is made and served fresh. The tacos are topped with cilantro, onions and house salsa. The BBQ Mac burger features house bacon, mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ sauce, house cheese, lettuce, onions and pickles. Everything feels like a heavy indulgence, but it’s not.

My fried chicken loving heart ordered up a Crispy Chick’N Sandwich (that’s what they cleverly call the meat substitute offered), served on a sesame seed bun and fried to perfection before it’s topped with house cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles. The meat is tender and the texture is on point. It doesn’t feel fake at all. As someone who eats about 50% vegan, I can spot a poor meat substitute pretty quickly.

I also dove into a bowl of creamy nachos. A no-go for many who avoid huge portions of dairy, the vegan version isn’t dry like I was expecting. Instead, a soy-based sour cream douses the chips, creating nachos that are wet and toppings that are evenly distributed. (Don’t you hate when you get that lone chip with nothing on it?) There are also beans for added protein.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hearty, guiltless options at Mexica. There are bowls offered with meat substitutes and raw bar selections that do contain nuts. All-organic smoothies are a healthy option on the menu. 

The real treat may be the fries, though. Get them how you want them. Mexica fries are topped with your choice of protein, house cheese and sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, onions and house salsa. The Buffalo Fries have a kick, made with house sauce and house ranch. The Asada Fries build on the Mexica fries by adding beans and jalapeños. And the Animal Kingdom Fries feature asada, house cheese, house sauce and grilled onions (sound familiar, In N Out fans?)

Details

3600 Warren Way #107, Reno, NV 89509
775-384-1690
Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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