Y'all, Memphis has a NEW BLACK-OWNED VEGAN RESTAURANT! For the longest time, Imagine Vegan Cafe and Raw Girls were the only fully vegan restaurants in town. Both amazing! Love them so much! Plus, we have Da Guilty Vegan food truck (also Black-owned), and we have lots of non-vegan places that serve vegan options (see my Memphis vegan dining guide). But it's nice to have another totally vegan brick-and-mortar restaurant. It's called Plant Based Heat, and it just opened at 669 S. Highland, near the University of Memphis.
Plant Based Heat has been open for a week, and my friend Susan and I finally got a chance to try them on Saturday! The menu features burgers, phillys, chick'n sammys, wings, and more. They use some plant meats, like Beyond burgers, but they also have sandwiches that feature more whole food options, like a pecan meat philly and BBQ jackfruit and cauli wings. On Saturday morning, I ran 16 miles, and I wanted a very protein-heavy dinner, so I ordered the Fye Junt burger.
This is a hickory-smoked Beyond patty topped with jalapenos, vegan cheese, spicy BBQ sauce, and spicy mayo. The perfect level of heat! Don't worry spice-aphobes: They have a classic style burger without all the hot stuff too.
On the side, I opted for Sweet Potato Tots. They also have seasoned fries, but I figured I'd get a tad more nutrition with sweet potatoes. And tots are the best!
Susan ordered the Oyster Mushroom Basket with fries. You can get these regular-style (like Susan did) or buffalo-style (which is what I would do!). I didn't try any of hers because I didn't want to steal her food, but I was tempted! She said they were great!
Plant Based Heat is run by chef Ralph Johnson, and he did pop-ups around Memphis and Atlanta before opening his own place. I went to one pop-up on Beale Street over the summer and had the best damn vegan funnel cake. I'm so glad he took the leap and opened a restaurant, and I can't wait to go back and try the whole menu. The space is small, but it has a few tables for indoor dining. I love the decor!