Monthly Archives: September 2012

Guide to Austin’s Vegan friendly Breweries

photo by Lindsey Gee

Today I was looking at which local breweries were vegan friendly according to Barnivore and I thought I’d share the information cause, hey, I’m a blogger.

Thirsty Planet Brewing Company

(512) Brewing Company (ALTBruinIPAPalePecan PorterWhiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter, and the Wit are all reportedly vegan)

Jester King Craft Brewery

Live Oak Brewing Company

Austin Beerworks

Independence Brewing Co.

Circle Brewing Company

South Austin Brewing Co.

Twisted X Brewing Co

Here is a list about Brewery Tours

Please help SARA animal sanctuary keep the lights on

Sometimes reading about animal sanctuaries can be really heartbreaking. SARA Animal Sanctuary, which is down by San Antonio, takes in all sorts of animals but mainly dogs that were abandoned or abused. There is probably no one I love more than my dogs so when I read their rescue stories about owners shooting their dogs or throwing them out of car windows I can hardly stand it. Dogs are just so full of love and and their need to please people can be overwhelming. They can be the best friend you ever had. It’s appalling that anyone could abuse that trust.

But lots of people do.

So we are really lucky that there are so many organizations like SARA animal sanctuary that will take the unadoptable, the abused, the anti-social, and the starving dogs and give them some food, medical treatment, and a place to live. If the animals they help can be socialized they do put them up for adoption. But many will have to live out their lives at the shelter.

There are many ways to help. You can become a volunteer, or foster a dog or a cat, raise fundssponsor an animal, or just go to their site or their blog, read about what they do and paypal whatever you can. If enough people want too, maybe we can have a bakesale too.

Right now they are in critical need because their electric bill is passed due. I can only imagine how it must feel for the caretakers to be in this position so please help in any way you can.

Miss Willow knows you want to help

Austin Pets Alive Fundraiser at Counter Culture Saturday, September 22

As Dale Cooper once said, “when two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay strict attention”. In this case everyone’s favorite vegan restaurant Counter Culture is having a benefit for Austin Pets Alive, our amazing/large/inspiring no-kill animal shelter so pay attention! Sue has gotten together a bunch of local bands to perform 3 to 4 songs each about Cats & Dogs (she says “think Walkin the Dog, Leave My Kitten Alone, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Cool For Cats, Puppy Love, etc.”)

A portion of all the sales is going to be donated to Austins great animal shelter so come out! And don’t think you can use some sort of dietary excuse because Sue will feed you some delicious food whether you are gf-ing, E2-ing, soy free or whatever else you want to be. Even Paleo folks can come and eat a dang salad just like our ancestors did. And for everyone else there is going to be Tempeh BLT’s with Blue Sheese Dressing. I’m so there.

If you don’t come to the benefit this cat is going to be pissed off

Ice Cream Social Bus

 

Seriously. This is an avocado sorbet topped with sea salt, lime, and fried plantains. It’s like the people from Ice Cream Social Bus were sitting around saying, hmm I wonder what Lazy Smurf would really like. This little bus is in the Jessie St Food Trailer Park, which has kind of become one of the most vegan friendly trailer parks in South Austin between Bahn Bahn, Mister Fruit Cup, The Gypsy Kit (tacos with french fries!), and Chocosutra. I had to try the ice cream social bus because they were having Scoutmob deal for 50% off so you should totally go soon. Watch out, they don’t open until 6pm and they were out of quite a few things when we went. No need to worry too much though because there are plenty of other things to enjoy in the vicinity. They have rotating vegan flavors and the avocado sorbet is always on the menu along with popsicles and Italian sodas.

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And speaking of ice cream, there are only a couple of days left to join the Sweet Ritual Kickstarter. If you haven’t yet been this Friday night they are having a special meet up with make your own sundaes that can include Red Rabbit Doughnuts and Capital City Brownies!

An up to the minute account of learning Austin’s Frank is vegan friendly

9:47 am September 14th 2012 My coworker Alan comes into my office talking about a delicious cortado he heard about at Frank and tells me he is going to go over to get one. We discuss and then lament their policy about making espresso items “to-go”

9:49 AM I ponder if Frank, a hot dog place that I have passed a zillion times has any vegan items at all now that I am desperately craving some hot coffee. After a google search I learn that they have a whole veggie section with vegan items noted.

9:51 AM I tweet “I had no idea Frank’s @hotdogscoldbeer was so vegan friendly. I want to go asap” and update my Austin vegan guide.

9:52 AM I learn from my twitter feed that the university of Texas down the street has had bomb threats and immediately start to panic that we are all going to die.

10:10 AM (approx) I go to Alan’s office and tell him in light of the potential apocalypse I would definitely like to go with him to go get coffee.

10:51 AM I check in to Frank on foursquare and learn that it my first “Hot Dog Joint” since I last went to Dog Almighty in January 2011 and am reminded how much I miss it. I take a photo.

11:02 AM I take a picture of the veggie menu after looking it over for a while. It’s a tough decisions between hot dogs, vegan sausage, the pasta sausage special, and the frito pie. The only thing I know for sure is that I want waffle fries. 

11:10 AM My beautiful soy cortado comes and it is just as smooth as hoped. They even had hemp milk but I thought soy might foam up a little better. 11:11 AM I start to feel extremely caffeinated

11:25 AM My beanie weenies and waffle fries are delivered and I graciously accept. The beans are Boston-style with a little bit of spice and the field roast sausage taste succulent after mixing in with the sauce. The waffle fries are crisp and potato like. 

11:57 AM I return to the office with my belly full and ready to work.

Camp Swisher and another trip to Portland OR

My multiple trips to Portland have gotten almost ridiculous. People say things to me like “Oh I forget that you don’t live here” and “Will you be back for…?” and “You missed Star Trek in the Park?”. I never get tired of the Northwest though, my friends, the trees, the rain and the sausage stuffed waffles, the chicken fried tempeh, and of course the donuts. Oh, I ate so many donuts. 

I tried some places I’ve never been to before. I absolutely loved the Kung Pao Tofu and the Braised Spicy Ginger Eggplant at Lucky Strike and will go back next time to try more. Their tofu custard had these lovely little roasted soy nuts but otherwise was a total bust. Down the street I also got to try the El Beardo Scramble at Jam on Hawthorne. I had never been there before and I loved it. God those hashbrowns, the red pepper sauce, and the homeade JAM! The best part was the service, I think I had the most vegan friendly server in my history of being vegan. She just asked every question you could ever fathom. It made me so happy. She even let me add olives. And gave me a vegan english muffin with earth balance. It was breakfast bliss. 

I tried a little cart called Sonny Bowl downtown and had such a Portland ibowl: rice, barbecued soy curls, yams, kale with tahini sauce, and chow mein noodles. I wish I could go back in time clean up the sauce on the side of that bowl though. It’s just not worth photoshopping. Then I’d get to eat it again too, blogging makes me so hungry you guys.

 

While downtown I got to see all kinds of different art and I finally got to go to Ground Kontrol. They had a Star Trek TNG pinball game!!! We were so excited to play but the game just wanted to steal our money. The guy came to fix it and then he got so sucked in we didn’t even get a chance to have at it. We just watched him for a while and then went to find another one! I felt like a little kid. 

Another place that I finally got to check out was the Sweet Hereafter, a super styley vegan bar is southeast. I loved my pretzels with noochy sauce. They made me want to try everything on the food side of the menu. On the other side, I was a not a fan of the gigantic cocktail which feels weird to even type! What the hell? It just wasn’t mixed right, maybe if I’d been drinking all day it would have been better but that’s not much of a recommendation, tasty cocktails if you are wasted!  I’m sure it was a fluke.

 

After spending the weekend freezing my Texas ass off on the coast all I wanted for my last day was to get back to town, soak in warm water at the Kennedy school and get some delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. This time I tried Got Pho on Sandy blvd and it was tasty enough to completely satisfy my craving. The broth wasn’t anything special but once I got all the toppings and condiments mixed in I was slurping like crazy. The best part was the fried garlic and roasted peanuts for a topping. And also the totally compostable coconut water. The perfect spot for the hungover. 

And why was I hungover you may ask? Well the truth is I didn’t just go to Portland to stuff myself silly but actually went to see two of my most favorite people in the universe tie the knot during a camping wedding on the coast. I’d never been to the Oregon coast before and it was stunning, it almost looked like Hawaii.

A much colder version of Hawaii. My friends spared no expense and paid such attention to detail that we were totally overwhelmed with love all weekend. After taking a boat to the island campsite we all got flashlights, and Camp Swisher T-Shirts and souvenir pint glasses and walked through the sand to get to our cabins before the first of many meals. 
It was summer camp to the point that Friday night we had a talent show so Dan & I worked on our Biz Markie megamix for the first part of the evening which ended up going over really well. There were toasts and songs and s’mores and they even had sweet and sara marshmallows which I’d never had before but now will get every time I go camping. The next day the ceremony was right on the beach and it was just perfect. Then we went for more drinking and toasting and of course it was super vegan friendly because even though I was the only vegan there my friends are the shit. Plus look at them!!! They are the cutest.

I might have over did it on the wine just a tad. I was not a late night super star this time but I just had the best time. I was all set to move back to the northwest and open a vegan breakfast taco stand. Then we landed in Austin and I felt that sultry September air embrace me and I knew I could never leave forever. But I’ll think about you Portland every day. I love you all and your doughnuts.

 

Sacramento- the City of Trees and vegans

After driving up the coast for a while we made a sudden turn into the central valley of California and I got to see where so much of our food in this country comes from. We passed so many tomato and garlic trucks that I started to crave marinara sauce. In fact, I later had a tofu scramble covered in marinara sauce in Sacramento. I would not recommend it. I had never been to the capital of California and when we finally got there I was really surprised by how beautiful it is. They call it the City of Trees I think probably because they are in the most perfect spot in the world where you can grow every kind of tree. Redwoods grow alongside orange trees and there are sprawling sycamore trees behind stately rows of pines. I’ve never seen such a mix mash of trees, it was wonderful. Sacramento also has lots of beautiful old houses and one even contains a vegan restaurant. 

Sugar Plum vegan cafe was just a few blocks from my Mom’s new place and it’s an adorable spot. Plus they are totally dog friendly. We sat on the front patio and I had the tacos. I tried three different kinds, barbecued tofu, chipotle mushroom, and the spicy greens and I liked all three of them. They were spicy and delicious and the only drawback was the tortilla. But I guess I have become a total tortilla snob.My mom ordered the Reuben and was happy too.

The Whoopie pie was a disappointing end to the meal. I’m pretty sure it was a day old at least and that a fresh one would have been great. 

Another day we went to a Mexican restaurant also in midtown called Zocalo and I  had some delicious vegetable enchiladas. It was a nice spot to go with my mom who was a good sport about going to vegan restaurants but was definitely getting over it. They brought out the most giant molcajete of guacamole which I later slathered on my vegetable enchiladas. Overall it was a great meal and I’d go back for sure. 

I think I was most excited about trying the vegan doughnuts at Doughbot which are apparently made by someone who used to work at my beloved Voodoo donuts in Portland. I really enjoyed them but was so disappointed by the vegan selection. All the really exciting flavors were dairy and they don’t even have chocolate donuts! For shame Doughbots! I had the glazed, the peanut butter and the pink lemonade and all were floury and delicious. Doughbots is just walking distance to the Sunday Farmer’s Market which I whole heatedly recommend. It seemed like miles and miles of stunning produce. 

I also got to try Andy Nguyens which was probably my favorite spot in Sacramento that I went to. The exterior doesn’t seem particularly encouraging and then the menu was filled with menu items like “Inner Peace Noodles” (Vietnames Bún) and “Limitless Compassion” (Mongolian Beef). Despite the shtick everything I had was fabulous. 

These coconut bathed noodles with fried tofu and shallots were so comforting and delicious. My mom’s meal was tasty as well and a really good deal for a lunch meal. I’ll definitely be back.My last night in California we crossed over the bay to San Francisco where I finally got to try Millennium with one of my favorite people. 

We tried one of everything and the only thing I can even remember now is the fried green heirloom tomatoes. This is what happens when I don’t take pictures! It was a beautiful meal and I’m sure to go back when I go back to California. Next time I’m flying.