I think the fact that I still have Austin eats to post is a testament to just how many vegan options Austin has, well that and how much hard work fixing up a whole house that had taps held together with gaffer tape and a leaky roof really is! I feel like house stuff has been non-stop since we made the decision to head off travelling in January. We have tenants lined up to move in now (yay!) and I've been Gumtreeing and Ebaying like crazy to make some extra cash. I've even packed my Pez collection, that's how you know shit's gotten serious! Anyway, enough about me let's talk about Austin!
Kerbey Lane Cafe is somewhere Nick and I visited last time we were in Austin because not only do they have a whole lot of vegan options for an omni diner spot but they're also open 24 hours a day! 24 HOURS A DAY!
I'm sure some of my Euro friends can understand the "OMG, woah, amazing" shock factor of this! In the UK, or at least in Brighton, almost everywhere serving food in a more casual atmosphere that isn't a pub closes their doors sometime between 4:30 and 6. Just when everyone's finishing work. It's so stupid. And one of the many reasons why I'm excited to get the hell outa here. A few weeks ago Nick and I went out to see a movie at 8pm, it was sold out and we thought surely there must be somewhere we can wander to to get some cake and a hot chocolate or something but nope. Only pubs or restaurants. Ugh! You can get huge pancake platters, tofu scramble and home fries anytime at Kerbey Lane. It's brilliant.
The day we went the pancakes were lemon drizzle and they were super delicious and, perhaps more importantly, absolutely fucking huge. The scram and potatoes were both too spicy for me because I'm silly and I forgot to ask whether they had any chilli going on but I will most definitely be getting middle of the night pancakes with some of my favourite people in Austin next May when I'm there for Vida Vegan Con.
Another rocking vegan friendly breakfast focussed spot is all-veggie spot Bouldin Creek Cafe. I always get the Garden Breakfast because it has tomatoes which are far better in Texas than they are in Sussex. It also includes Bouldin's famous noochy tofu scramble, spinach and toast. I always go for sourdough because it's the best.
We also went there for pie once at 11pm (hence the lack of a pic, it was really dark. I think they call that mood lighting) and they thought my slice was too small and brought me a second one for free making it one of the best days of my life so far. I'm not kidding!
Veggie Heaven was a kinda new discovery on this trip, and I'm so, so sad that I only made it there once because I just heard that they're closing. Veggie Heaven was a vegetarian, mostly vegan, Chinese restaurant that sold copious amounts of mock meats. Fried. You can see why I'm so distraught about them closing right?!
I read on a blog that the best dishes were to be found on the "Top 5 Vegan Dishes" page so the Protein 2000 I spotted there was the obvious choice. Mock meat, broccoli, steamed rice. Sold!
This meal is exactly the kind of thing I love eating, it was the perfect size and this spot was cheap too. Also note that this is a classic "How Jojo eats veggies" meal, pop them on the side of some deep fry and I'm sold. I hope somewhere else like this pops up in Austin soon.
One event that I was super excited to be in town for was the Vegan Sunday Brunch at Mr Natural. It happens once a month and as soon as I saw an example of the menu I knew it'd be right up my street. We were also lucky to have a tonne of great company to go with the great food including Joanna and her family and Marie and Daniel, the lovely peeps behind Red Hot Vegans. It was so much fun!
The brunch which is served canteen stye came with so many of the things I love, biscuits and gravy, tofu scram, fried chicken, pancakes. It was totally ridic!
The fried seitan chicken came with this totally delish agave mustard sauce and the biscuits and gravy were pretty spot on, the gravy could have done with a touch more black pepper, but other than that there were no complaints. There were also cheesy Daiya spinach puffs on my plate as well as some grapes (for health!) and a slice of delicious lemon chia bread. I also went for a piece of Boston Cream Cake because everyone told me I should and holy wow was this a strong piece of cake.
I loved the chocolate glaze, the moist vanilla sponge, light cream and slivered almonds - I wish I was eating this right now.
Sometimes I do choose fruit over cake or fried everything especially as juice is so perfectly refreshing when it's hot... and it's Austin so it'll be hot. Nick & I swung by the Juiceland near to Barton Springs countless times on our trip and I'm excited that our Air B&B for next year's Austin adventure is located right near both Barton Springs and Juiceland. Yay!
The Peachy Green smoothie made with green apples, peaches, spinach and kale ended up being both of our favourites but I also loved the Rosie Cheek which has watermelon, raspberry, lemon and rosewater because it was super refreshing.
We ended the trip the exact same way we ended our last visit with dinner at Frank's, a bar with a veggie hot dog menu, that we really enjoyed last time we were in the city.
I went with a classic order of a sauerkraut dog which I added cheese to expecting it to come melted, it didn't but that meant I could put the majority of it on the waffle fries which was a truly excellent decision as the piping hot fries made it get a little melty and unmelted Daiya really isn't a good idea ever!
Next time I'm in Austin I'm going to have a kitchen which means I can try all of the amazing looking Tofurky and Gardein products I always gaze at in stores whilst wishing they'd made it home in one piece. I can't wait!