Friday, 14 November 2014

A tour of Austin in Food Trucks.

For a whole multitude of reasons one of my favourite things about Austin is the weather. For starters I like being outside and I like being warm, I also love to swim outdoors. I can pack less stuff when I'm travelling to a warm destination too and, most importantly, I can sit outside at any time of day and eat. I love eating and I love how casual a dining experience stopping by a food cart is. Maybe I fancy Italian and my travel buddy wants Indian, when picking a restaurant this isn't usually going to work out especially if you want either meal to actually to be good, but with food carts it's totally possible to pick a spot with options for everyone or to cruise around to a few different places

My absolute favourite food truck in Austin, no, in the world, is 100% vegan taco spot The Vegan Nom. I lost count of how many times Nick and I swung by for breakfast tacos during our vacation.

My first order was a combo of the #1 and #2 breakfast tacos. #1 consists of tempeh bacon and tofu scramble and #2 is the classic tofu scram and potato combo. I added avocado because if you're somewhere where they actually have ripe delicious avocados I feel like you have to take advantage and order them at every available opportunity.

The Vegan Nom serve their full menu all day so you can pick up a Bean Diablo or some Rockin Vegan Migas any time. This made me happy as I fell in love with The Vegan Del Ray, a mock fish taco topped with cabbage, avocado, black pepper and an amazing cilantro lime crema, one afternoon and then proceeded to eat it at breakfast every day from then on. It is, in my opinion, taco perfection.

I'm hoping that The Vegan Nom get involved with Vida Vegan Con in 2015 on some level, I'd certainly love to be able to grab a taco from them on conference days. I will be in Austin for five weeks around the con though so I think they'll be seeing a lot of me!

Another new to me spot was Unity Vegan Kitchen and whilst the lasagne and the crab cakes from their regular menu came highly recommended it was the Chick'n and Waffles Plate that sucked me in.

This Labour Day weekend special is legitimately one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.

The gravy had just the right amount of pepperiness, the waffle was perfectly cooked and crisped at the edges (something my crappy waffle maker just won't do) and the breaded chicken was plentiful. I'd eat this again in a heartbeat.

Biscuits and Groovy is somewhat unsurprisingly a biscuits and gravy food truck! Cool. It's also somewhere where I totally misunderstood how to order food.

I have no idea how ordering went this wrong! I mean, who would order this little food?! Nick's was even more ridiculous because as he didn't say the word biscuit when ordering he just got the tiny amount of toppings and had and no biscuits at all! Just a tiny bit of tofu scramble and one piece of vegan bacon! How could anyone have thought that was a real order? They must have thought we were super weird! I ended up sharing my single biscuit with Nick and obviously we got more food somewhere else afterwards, we would have just ordered more biscuits but we didn't fancy waiting another 20 minutes or explaining that we had failed to order properly the first time around. The tiny amount of food I did eat was pretty tasty though so if any Austinites would like to accompany us to Biscuits and Groovy during our visit next May we'd love to know how to order a sensibly sized plate of food!

Swiftly moving on from that ridiculousness and onto more ridiculousness I am the absolute worst at remembering to eat fruit and veg whilst I'm travelling. Seriously, the worst. My three favourite food groups are probably mock meat, pizza and deep fry so unless the veg comes on top of or on the side of one of those I'll probably forget to eat any for a week or more. That's why I was excited about this next place, Mister Fruit Cup. This cute colourful truck makes eating fruit easy and fun! Pro tip - it's situated behind the university co-op and is a pain to drive to if you don't have the correct address because of all of the one way streets. Put the multi story car park behind the co-op into your GPS and go from there!

Mister Fruit Cup has lots of delicious fruity combos to choose from or you can create your own. I won't lie I was pretty gutted when they said they were out of the vegan chocolate chips, the thing that convinced me to go eat some fruit in the first place, but I had coconut flakes, a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of agave on my mango, strawberry, blueberry, orange cup and it was great.

When fruit's this easy I'll happily eat it especially when it's hot outside. This bodes well for Thailand especially now that it's been confirmed that I'm properly allergic to chilli rather than just a bit intolerant. I think I'll probably be finding most meals a little challenging and relying on fruit might be a necessity. Any advice on avoiding chilli when travelling in SE Asia would be gratefully received!

One of my favourite spots from my last trip to Austin was The Vegan Yacht. It's since moved location to the back of Spiderhouse, a quirky cafe / bar in the U district, that I really enjoyed hanging out at despite them giving me a root beer with honey in even though I asked them to check and make sure it didn't have honey when I ordered it! They were super nice and switched it for something else but I'm a little sad that people are ruining root beer with their damned honey. Leave the bees alone! 

Anyway, I'd been dreaming about the mock chick'n sandwich from TVY for almost two whole years so of course that's what I ordered. I got it in a wrap this time around because I fancied a change and it was definitely the way to go. You can fit a lot more in a wrap this size than you can in a sandwich.

I loved the amount of sprouts and shredded carrot they managed to stuff in there alongside the amazing mock chicken. Perfect. I was totally tempted to order a second but I needed space for some Sweet Ritual so I resisted. Spiderhouse is extra fun after dark as they have plenty of fairy lights and neon all over the place and there was even a lively pub quiz that we started taking part in but were too focused on ice cream to finish!

This certainly isn't it for Austin food trucks though, oh no, I wrote about BBQ Revolution, Pulse VeganBananarchyArlo's and Via 313 during Vegan MoFo and there are plenty more that I didn't make it to that I'm sure you can read about on dedicated Austin blogs Lazy Smurf's Guide and Red Hot Vegans. Stuff mentioned in this post aside I will say that the mac & cheese from BBQ Revolution and Via 313's pizzas are unmissable.

Writing this post has been so much fun, often when I'm writing about a trip I've been on I get that kinda sad feeling of not knowing when I'll ever get to go back combined with the bummed out feeling of being back home when all I want to be doing is travelling the world, but not this time! This time I'm writing with the knowledge that I leave Brighton in two months to head to SE Asia and that I'll be back in Austin in May. Epic! My house is going on the market later today which means that for now DIY is over, thank goodness, I hate it and I'm terrible at it. Nick hates it but is at least good at it. Now I can devote my time to more enjoyable tasks like attempting to sell some of my stuff and researching for the trip. Yay!


  1. so much good food! those tacos though - wow!

  2. Oh, my gosh! I can't wait to go to Austin next spring! All of those options look awesome - except for your meager amount of biscuits and gravy. What a hilarious mishap! I bet they were wondering why on earth you only wanted two mouthfuls of food. (You'd think they might have asked some follow-up questions when you were ordering…)

  3. Oh thank you for this, Jojo!! I'm gonna pin this to my Stuff to Eat While in Austin for VVC board! That chicken and waffles?! WHOA!! We have vegan chicken and waffles at Imagine here, and it's delish. But it comes with maple syrup rather than gravy. But GRAVY?! Damn.

    Also, this sentence is why I love you: " My three favourite food groups are probably mock meat, pizza and deep fry so unless the veg comes on top of or on the side of one of those I'll probably forget to eat any for a week or more."

  4. I have added many more pins to my Google maps!
    I am a bit worried about the weather, because while I love being warm I burn so easily that I end up all covered up and hot and sweaty and still burn anyway.

  5. Wow, so many amazing food trucks! I especially love the look of the Vegan Yacht, what a cool trailer!

  6. Amazing food, some inventive combinations there. Good luck with the house letting x

  7. Nice to see these food trucks. Good food in good bus. :)


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