A downtown ghost kitchen will feature vegan fried chicken, sourced from one of Dallas‘ most popular meatless restaurants. Desperados is a new cloud concept from El Palote Panaderia, the vegan bakery and taqueria on South Buckner Boulevard.
During closures at the start of the pandemic, developing a vegan fried chicken recipe became a project for Aaron Arias, who owns El Palote with his parents, Aurelio and Lily Arias. A kitchen on Commerce Street will operate as soon as Arias is fully licensed, and boxes of vegan fried chicken will be available through Uber Eats, Door Dash, and GrubHub. But in the meantime, El Palote will serve the dish on weekends.
This is a noble attempt to recreate fried chicken. Arias put a lot of effort into the seasoning and crunchiness of the breadcrumbs, and the “diablo” option is surprisingly fiery. The soy-based “meat” tastes like chicken, and you rip it off with a bamboo stick instead of a bone. It comes in a box with peppers, bread, and fries, similar to Dallas fried chicken establishments like Hall’s.
Arias’ Fake Chicken looks and smells like fried chicken, and it’s just as addicting. But you will probably take a break after each song. Aria doesn’t give details, but her soy-based chicken has a significantly higher amount of protein than the real one, which makes it much more filling.
“I have been eating this at home since the start of the pandemic,” Arias said on Sunday afternoon, after selling drumsticks for the day in El Palote. He says ghost cooking is a given. “Overhead is smaller, it’s more streamlined, and with the Delta variant, our Uber Eats orders are skyrocketing.”
Aria says he plans to add vegan cooked chicken to the menu and eventually hopes to add a second Desperados Ghost Kitchen to Fort Worth.
El Palote is located at 2537 S. Buckner Blvd. To follow instagram.com/elpalote.vegan/ for more updates on Desperados.