Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bluff City Vegan Eats: Chang's Bubble Tea

How have I lived 29 years without bubble tea?! Well, technically 28 years ... since I first tried the fruity tapioca-specked beverage last year. For the bubble tea virgins (lots of folks around here haven't heard of it): It's a like a slushee with large, chewy tapioca pearls that you suck up through an oversized straw. The Green Apple Pineapple Bubble Tea at Chang's Bubble Tea is the best:

Many of the fruit teas at Chang's are naturally vegan. Stay away from Chang's creamier teas, like coconut, avocado, chai, and even the almond milk tea — those contain dairy products. Don't worry though. There are loads of fruit flavors to choose from, and they can all be mixed together in endless combinations. Flavors include mango, peach, lychee, blueberry, pineapple, payaya ... the list goes on and on.

Whatever flavor you choose, the black "bubbles" at the bottom are the best part. Each sip ends with a chewy surprise, like a package of gummi bears found its way into the bottom of your smoothie.

Though Chang's serves plenty of vegan teas, they're a little lacking in vegetarian food options ... at least for an Asian restaurant. Several of their tofu dishes contain beef or chicken (what?!)! Makes no damn sense, I know. But there are a couple of veg options, like Curry Tofu, Vegetable Tofu, Vegetable Fried Rice, and Vietnamese Spring Rolls (my fave!).

On my last visit, I ordered the Curry Tofu:

This dish did not disappoint. Tender chunks of fried tofu are coated in just the right balance of curry and coconut. Potatoes, carrots, and celery round out the dish, and the mound of sticky white rice was sinfully delicious.

Conclusion: Go to Chang's for the bubble tea, not the food. But if that tapioca isn't enough to fill you up, at least there are a handful of meat-free options on the menu.

Chang's Bubble Tea is located at 8095 Macon Road. Here's their website.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my American Vegan Kitchen giveaway. I'll be choosing two random winners Thursday morning at 10 a.m. CST. I'll announce the winners on the blog tommorow night. U.S. residents only, please.

P.S.S. Liz from Cooking the Vegan Books is also hosting an American Vegan Kitchen giveaway, but hers is limited to non-U.S. citizens. So international vegan buds, click here to check it out.

11 comments:

Keri - I Eat Trees said...

I've never had bubble tea, but it sounds like a fun drink! I remember when it struck me that tapioca was vegan; when I was a kid my mom told me the tapioca was fish eyeballs so I wouldn't eat all her pudding and I guess I never thought about it again until a recipe called for tapioca flour. I mean, I knew it wasn't really fish eyeballs, but... I guess that aversion stuck with me. :P

Tiffany said...

I love bubble tea, but it's been awhile since I've had any so maybe it's time to hit up my local bubble tea shop. :) At first the idea of sucking giant tapioca balls (or "boba," as it is often referred to around here) through a fat straw was a little strange, but then we realized it was kinda fun and the drinks were sweet and tasty, too.

misss_e said...

I tried to like buble tea but something is just not doing it for when in that plastic cup! I dont know if its the "boba" or the taste itself.

Kitchen Witch said...

Bubble tea is super popular in Hawaii, especially Honolulu. That is where I first had it... I think I had a honeydew melon one....

two vegan boys said...

Yum bubble tea!

prideandvegudice.com said...

No, not bubble tea! My food nemesis!

miss v said...

you know, i'm just not a big fan of bubble tea. i don't know what it is... but it's just never appealed to me.

as for mixing meat with tofu, what gives?! that always drives me nuts!

Bean said...

Mmm, I love bubble tea! I think I may go out and get one this weekend. Thanks for mentioning the fact that some might not be vegan ... I'm a new vegan, and sometimes it's hard to wrap my mind around how many things has animal products in it!

mr. pineapple man said...

I know thats what I thought when I first tried bubble tea too! how did I live without this? The tapioca is really good with ice cream too~

littlemisspotato said...

I've never met a tofu curry I didn't like. ;) It has to be one of my favorite meals.

Jamie said...

Sorry for the really late comment! (I'm waaaaay behind on my blogs)
But in Asia, where tofu comes from, tofu is not a meat replacement, and is actually often in meat dishes. But then America decided that tofu was exclusively for vegetarians, and that omnivores don't eat tofu.
So in authentic Asian restaurants, you're likely to find tofu dishes that contain meat. You can probably ask for it without the meat, and with extra tofu though!