The Chicken-less Enchiladas are one of the plant-based Mexican dishes found at Belenty’s Love, near TCU. Photo by Andrew Ridout.
April 8, 2021
One of the things North Texas is known for is our Tex-Mex food. Some of my earliest memories are of loading up with the family and heading to one of our local Mexican restaurants for the Wednesday enchilada special.
As I've gotten older and started following a plant-based diet, I was saddened to learn that many of my favorite Mexican dishes contain milk, butter and even lard. Though it’s possible to navigate your way around a menu to order something "vegan,” you’re still never 100 percent sure what goes into your food.
Belenty Love's patio dining. Photo by Andrew Ridout.
That’s why I was very excited to learn about a new all vegan Mexican restaurant: Belenty’s Love, which opened recently in southwest Fort Worth.
Owner Belen Hernandez launched her original location in 2018 in Granbury and more recently expanded into Cowtown in 2020. Her mission is to provide fresh quality, great-tasting plant-based Mexican food to North Texas and beyond.
Hernandez puts her heart and soul into every dish that she serves.
“All Belenty’s recipes are mine and almost 95 percent of our fare is homemade – fresh from scratch,” said Hernandez. “I love to cook and I think it’s so beautiful when you cook with love.”
Hernandez and her family decided to follow a plant-based lifestyle in 2011.
Belenty Love's owner Belen Hernandez. Photo by Andrew Ridout.
“We started this beautiful idea and passion when our son, 11-years-old at that time, spoke to me and said, ‘Mom, I don't wanna eat meat anymore.’ It’s been 10 years since that day.”
From that moment on, she and her family have been 100 percent vegan and that's what gave her the initial idea for her restaurants.
I took my mom there for a recent sampling. The location was easy to find off of Granbury Road on the Bluebonnet roundabout, near the TCU campus. The decor was charming and colorful – artsy diner ambiance with images of Frida Kahlo looking on with approval.
We sat on Belenty's veranda and were greeted promptly by Hernandez herself. After drinks were served, a staffer brought tortilla chips, homemade salsa and a delicious black bean dip. We started our meal with a fantastic Mushroom Ceviche' appetizer topped with avocado slices and served on crispy tortillas. The portion was generous enough to split between us.
For her meal, Mom selected the Chickenless Enchilada Plate (with cream sauce) and was quite pleased with the taste and texture. The presentation included black beans, Spanish rice and a side salad with diced tomatoes and house dressing. Mom's only comment was that she wished there had been more sauce or cheese inside the enchilada, but otherwise it was delicious. She also had a margarita and said that it was the best one she'd ever tasted. Other popular dishes include their Portobello Azada Tacos, Cauliflower Wings, as well as nachos topped with rice, nacho cheese, onion, guacamole, and your choice of protein.
Beefless Quesadillas. Photo by Andrew Ridout.
I tried the Beefless Quesadilla Plate, which also came with beans and rice as well as a side salad. The quesadillas were filled to capacity with melted vegan cheese and ground "beef" and I ate every bite. Afterwards, Mom and I fought over an amazing German Chocolate Cupcake for dessert.
Belenty’s Love is a wonderful and cruelty-free way to satiate your Mexican food cravings and Hernandez has found a niche – as both of her locations are booming. She even plans to expand into a Keene location soon. I only want to know: when is she going to open one in Dallas?
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