Author Archives: lazysmurf

About lazysmurf

Lazy Smurf lives in Texas and only blogs after she has had a lot of coffee.

Doggie Style: American vegan street food at it’s best

30633016763_08018ea773_cI can’t believe Doggie Style has been open for a year now and I haven’t blogged about it yet! It has certainly become one of my favorite spots when I want to indulge in childhood favorites. This wonderful trailer over by Bananarchy at the Live Oak trailer park on South First got a lot of support from the get go with their kickstarter campaign getting vegans in town super excited for some homemade hot dogs. Even though I grew up in Chicagoland standard hot dog toppings have never been my favorite so when I read about the Jon Stewart Dog (Russian Dressing and Sauerkraut) or the Chicago Dog (mustard, pickle, relish, peppers, tomato, celery salt) I filed it away as a place to check out the next time I’m with a hot dog lover. Lucky for me, as a good blogger, I also started following them on instagram and saw their weekly specials pop up that were like calls directly to the weakest most self-indulgent part of my soul. Yes my primal cravings involve french fries and free beer (every Sunday). And tater tots.

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One Hot Dog I couldn’t resist was the Totchos Dog which was topped with fried tater tots, white sausage gravy, golden cheddar, and jalapeños. You could also get it just as an old-fashioned pie of totchos. This is a hot dog that dreams are made of.

 

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Another day I went nuts over the similar Poutine Dog (mushroom gravy, cheese curds, and french fries). With a side of fries.

 

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On a different trip I planned to share these chili fries with friends. But then my friends were late and I Homer Simpsoned the whole bowl. I have no self-control at Doggie Style. They are the closest thing to Chicago Diner-style food we have here in Austin.

If you want to try them out but don’t want to go alone Vegan Drinks is having a meet-up there July 7 at 8 PM – 11 PM

And if you want to eat an excessive amount of hot dogs, or watch people try, the Hot Dog Eating contest on the 4th of July!19149318_1795477720766654_2788951882748127234_n

So follow them on instagram or facebook and see what you can’t resist, here are a few other recent posts from them:

The Buffalo Cauliflower Dog

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The Flyin’ Hawaiian dog

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The Donald

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The Cherry Bomb

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And just last week they had a cheeseburger dog. Who knows what’s next?

Vicecreme – Lake Travis’ Vegan Ice Cream Shop

In Austin we have five seasons: fall, winter, spring, summer, and TEXAS SUMMER. The latter is always in caps. It’s the extra season that people who live elsewhere don’t really understand. In some ways it’s more akin to the blizzards of the north because during TEXAS SUMMER you don’t want to go outside unless you are completely prepared for the elements (sunscreen, hats, deodorant) and it can be hard to motivate to get out of the sweet feel of air conditioning. If you are going to go brave the out-of-doors there are only certain places that are worthwhile; patios with misters and margaritas, Barton Springs, and Lake Travis. In the past, the latter was not very vegan friendly but times they are changing and now after a dip in the lake or a boat ride you can head over to the ever-expanding Oasis complex and find an all vegan ice cream shop: Vicecreme.

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I hadn’t been to the Oasis in a few years, and even back then it was an epic restaurant. Now it’s grown to be a Disneyland-style shopping experience with all sorts of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. We parked in the Oasis lot and took a golf cart over to the ice cream shop, because really why not? Then wandered around just a little bit until we found the storefront. 34305780643_55ed191476_b

The inside is very minimalist and modern with tasteful vegan art and lots of natural light and succulents. The menu includes sundaes with toppings like doughnuts and marshmallows, open-faced ice cream sandwiches (so you don’t squeeze out melty ice cream all over your hand), shakes, scoops, oreo cones, brownie sundaes, and banana splits. They make their own soft-serve, chocolate and “banilla” banana-based vanilla. 34729185990_5f0b2af2b1_zThe

Additionally, the case has six flavors of hard packed Nadamoo which will rotate by the season. I had my favorite Snickerdoodle but I also saw Chocolate Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake, Cherry Fudge Brownie, Java Chip, and Mint Chip. 34984894811_6a10aa3b85_z

They also have some eco-friendly items for sale that donate profits to animal shelters and marine life including Sand Cloud towels and bottles, Pura Vida bracelets, and Sydney Hale candles.

I topped my scoop with a doughnut and peanut butter sauce but Wes and Jessica went for a little bit of everything with their banana split.34951100942_f63919bfa8_z

So next time your out at the lake check it out and support these awesome vegans! 34271595574_f5898f8a23_z

Revolution Vegan Kitchen at the Midway

Update 6/20/2017 Revolution Vegan Kitchen relocated to 7800 S. 1st Street after this post was published34427123851_fca028daae_c

When Revolution Vegan Kitchen opened a few months ago there was a lot of confusion since this new trailer is named very similarly to long time Austin vegan business community members Unity Vegan Kitchen and Barbecue Revolution. At first we wondered if it was some sort of trailer offspring of the two super popular spots but it turns out that Revolution Vegan Kitchen is completely unaffiliated. I had heard it was out in Westlake but then I happened to see it driving out to the Hill of Life and learned that it is just west of Barton Creek Square Mall, off 360 in an awesome trailer park called the Midway. This is one of the most ideal spots for vegan kids in Austin. They have tons of covered tables and chairs, and a good-sized playground, and plenty of room to run around.33750286623_141216412a_c

And while you are waiting for your food you can chase after your little ones since RVK gives out vibrating pagers instead of giving you numbers to hang on too. 34086355250_8e02f855b1_z

Their menu is super kid friendly too, they have Mac ‘n’ Cheez, Corn Dawgs, Hot Dawgs, Chick’n Nuggets, juice boxes and 4 oz containers of Nadamoo ice cream! [It just occurred to me that this vegan generation might grow up really confused about how to spell common food words!] They also have curly fries and burgers (we guessed they were boca burgers but I forgot to ask) on the sandwiches and bites side of the menu.33747023693_bcb4190ffb_c

More exciting for adult vegans is that they have fried pickles and Mozzarella sticks but both were out the day I went. I bet they sell out of a lot of items on nice days, the Midway was packed, so if it’s across town for you, check their social media or give them a call before driving all the way out there.

The best part about RVK was the tacos, and I’m not just saying that because tacos are my favorite food ever. These vegan tacos were straight up legit – and I have an advanced degree in taco-ology. Looking at the menu, originally, I was disappointed because almost every offering was jackfruit based. 34430103896_681c86701f_b

But it turned to be some of the best jackfruit I’ve ever had. I loved the Al Pastor and it made me happy that the bright orange grease was running off of it, so authentic! I also tried the Chorizo con papas + way fauxs  and I loved that too, it was a very traditional breakfast taco. 34171484000_b1619a7696_z

I want to go back and check out the rest of the taco selection FOR SURE. I’ll just probably wait until the next time I’m hanging out with kiddos.  There is so much fun stuff to play with and I’m pretty sure it’s dog friendly too. 34471164465_951d3dfeef_c

Women owned vegan businesses in Austin

For International Women’s Day I thought I’d do a quick wrap up of the small businesses in Austin that are owned by women. There is a nationwide women’s strike today and although folks wanting to take part in the strike are encouraged to buy nothing and do no paid or unpaid labor, most of our small businesses need every penny so feel good about filling up your belly with delicious vegan food.32481086824_6102003b38_c

Unity Vegan Food  just moved over to the other side of Lamar but still on Barton Springs, right by Biscuits and Groovy across the street from Peter Pan’s mini golf. The food is as great as it ever was. Recent specials have included fried mozzarella sticks, chimichangas, and quesadillas but the muffaletta on house made bread (above) is always on the menu and so are those awesome avocado chocolate chip cookies.

Counter Culture Restaurant on East Cesar Chavez is always open and run by the indomitable and ever-present Sue. They just completely overhauled the menu with new sandwiches like the Pastrami Melt and Jerk Seitan and she always has daily specials like Artichoke Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza.

The Vegan Yacht is family owned and always delicious, they recently had a break in so if you’ve been waiting to check them out today is a great day! Their Freeto Burrito is infamous but the Buffalo Tempeh Burrito with blue cheese dressing is a good bet too.

Sweet Ritual ice cream shop is owned by not one, but two women and it would be difficult to find better vegan ice cream in the whole world. Their specials change every day, chocolate fans be on the lookout for Death Metal by Chocolate, and they always have  flavors like Peanut Butter Cup, Salted Caramel, Vanilla soft serve and lots of toppings like Magic Shell and edible glitter.

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Cool Beans has some of the best Latin American food in town, I long for their tamales (above)! I haven’t tried their tortas yet but they look amazing! They have moved a few times and are now on the lovely patio at the Spiderhouse off Guadalupe. And on the weekends they have brunch now!

Curcuma on South First takes it’s inspiration from Ayurveda and has popular drinks like the turmeric enhanced Golden Mylk or the Sexy Jo which has cacao, maca, cashew mylk, coldbrewed coffee, and cinnamon. They also have Sweet Potato Toasts and Bowls featuring whole foods ingredients.

The Great Y’all on the East side is owned and operated by two women who cook up Asian inspired bar food like cauliflower gobi wings, Samosa wontons, rotating flavors of bao, and cashew rangoons. Sometimes they have soup specials too, like hot and sour and won ton.33238152656_b3fcb64d30_c

The Beer Plant gastropub on the westside is another owned by a wife and husband team and has been getting better and better as time goes on. The sandwich pictured above is the Purple Pig which has beet bacon, sliced avocado, sunflower sprouts, green leaf, tomato, mayo on 9-grain bread. They also have their super popular “Hops and Chips”, a house made cheese plate, salads, desserts, and all sorts of delicious brunch options on the weekend.

The Blue Cat Cafe 95 Navasota Street, right off Ceasar Chavez. Inside you can hang out with cats that are up for adoption and watch them play on elevated walkways, lounge in unique cat beds, or play with toys. Outside is a vegan food truck with hot dogs, frito pie, nachos, and espresso drinks.

Capital City Bakery–  2211 east Ceasar Chavez. The best vegan baked goods in town. For real. Apple Pie ala mode Peanut Butter Crunch cupcakes this is where it’s at. I also love the Ham and Cheese Kolaches, the brownies, and their super espresso drinks.

Rabbit Food Grocery South First and Live Oak- An all vegan convenience store packed with so many vegan goodies that are hard to find anywhere else. Right now they have a ton of Easter treats. I love the Chocolate Hollow Hazelnut bar like nothing else. They also have vitamins, local handmade knitted items, cookbooks, and dog food. And they always have cookies by another women owned business in town, Celeste’s Best.

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Doggie Style has become my favorite “fast food” style place in Austin, I mean, they sometimes have a poutine dog on special! That’s what’s pictured above! The regular menu has a Chili Cheese Dog and a Chicago Dog. And they have this killer french fry plate with all the toppings. And Nachos! And free beer on Sundays! I don’t even like hot dogs and I just love this trailer.

Skull and Cakebones 3991 E Hwy 290 a, Dripping Springs. Newly opened all vegan, locally sourced bakery Skull and Cakebones is super popular! They have really fun items you can’t easily find in Austin like Babka, scones, and house made hot pockets. They also have soup and sandwich specials and, a variety of toasts, and espresso.

Cheer Up Charlies 900 Red River St You may know Cheer Ups for their awesome shows, queer friendly atmosphere, or just that Arlo’s has awesome burgers outside but they are also completely vegan! The two women owners make sure that all the drinks at the bar, from beer to kombucha is always vegan friendly! AND they have fresh squeezed local juice for their cocktails!

It’s also a great day to get out and do some activism which is… always happening in Austin these days. Today March 8 they are having a hearing in the Texas Senate about the fetal remains bill and you can testify at or just register your opposition to for the record. There is also an emergency rally outside of US Congressman Roger William’s district office in support of Planned Parenthood which the new healthcare bill defunds. And there will be a Planned Parenthood action forum afterwards.

UPDATE – PhoNatic – Vegan Friendly Vietnamese in Central Texas

2-14-2017 Update

Since writing this review I got several questions from folks that went to try out the vegan options at PhoNatic and were told that the egg rolls and salt and pepper tofu aren’t vegan. I reached out to and the company they assured me that all of the items that I blogged about below are indeed vegan and that they will do a better job training their staff to answer these questions in the future. They think what might have happened was confusion due to the shared fryer situation (they do not have a separate fryer for vegan items which is typical and I personally consider shared equipment vegan enough for this blog) Here is Chef Pat’s apology:

“Please express my sincere apologies for any confusion or misunderstanding as a result of our conversation. It is really important to me that we don’t mislead anyone. My family are Buddhist and we eat vegan on certain days of the year, so I understand the severity of misleading someone.”

I also asked them to send me an ingredient list for the eggrolls and they are indeed vegan.

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SO I rate PhoNatic as both being on the up and up for transparency and for vegan friendliness! I so pleased to repost my earlier review in it’s entirety below.

Review 2-10-2017

I’ve been a fan of the pho at PhoNatic for some time. The first one opened in North Austin on Anderson a few years back and then Southpark Meadows opened soon after. Now this local Austin chain has it’s fast-casual locations in Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Mueller as well. The restaurant by the same family who opened the first Asian grocery store in Austin and then later the sprawling Chinatown center and Pho Saigon the latter of which is one of the most highly rated Vietnamese spots in town. They contacted me to try all their different vegan options which they are very proud of showcasing which is always a good sign. I learned that the head chef grew up with Buddhist fasting which is great because that means he really knows what we mean by vegan (no fish sauce!).

While I regularly eat the pho at PhoNatic this was my first time trying their other options and I don’t know why I waited so long but I can tell you that it will be hard to resist their other apps and other dishes in the future. It’s a small brightly lit restaurant where you order at the counter, grab a number, and seat yourself. There are also a ton of condiments by the soda machine to gussy up your pho and they had a fun variety of beverages. The vegan eggrolls that we started with were on point with a tender flaky crust that wasn’t at all greasy and packed with vegetables.

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Next we tried the Spring Rolls which tasted fresh, sometimes you can tell that they have been sitting around all day but that didn’t seem to be the case at PhoNatic. Even though I don’t like lettuce I really like spring rolls, isn’t that weird? Maybe it’s because it’s mixed with mint and other herbs. 32763636076_58b733061a_c

My favorite part of the meal, which I will never be able to pass up on again, was the crispy salt and pepper tofu. I immediately had to ask where they get their tofu from because it’s clearly a much higher quality than what I get at the grocery store. Of course, their family members own the Chinatown Grocery store so they get freshly made tofu from there. Dan and I were fighting over every last crispy bit and it might even make my top ten list!

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After all this they brought out the small sizes of Pho Chay, which was still a lot of food for me! I have no control! It was so delicious. I’ve been going to Pho Please more often because it’s closer to my house but I do think PhoNatic is better upon reflection. I learned they make their broth in a two part process. It’s a traditional Buddhist vegetarian broth slowly simmered with daikons, shitakes, lemongrass, garlic, leeks, and spices then topped with crispy tofu, fresh bok choy, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, bamboo shoots, and fried shallots.31990233713_2611c33433_c

Finally, just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite they brought out the Crispy Veggies and Tofu bowl with rice, though you can also order as a salad bowl or a vermicelli bowl. The chef just whipped up a veggie sauce for me and I begged him to put it on the menu because it was delicious and a good sauce is what’s missing from so many vermicelli bowls in town. That’s why I loved Lulu B’s, everyone else just uses fish sauce. The tofu was crispy and succulent and hard caramelized bits on the edges. Why can’t everyone make tofu this good? The world would be a different place!31990250263_226a74d377_c

So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese check PhoNatic out and let us know what you think. To me, it seems like the perfect vegan friendly place since they totally get veganism, have fresh vegetables, delicious tofu, and locations in areas that are under-served.

Cookbook Giveaway: Vegan Mexico

vegan-mexicoVegan Heritage Press let me check out their newest cookbook by Jason Wyrick Vegan Mexico Soul-Satisfying Regional Recipes from Tamales to Tostadas. It’s chock-full of authentic Mexican recipes like Moles, Chilaquiles, Abodingas, Atoles, and even baked goods like Bolillos and Sugar Skulls. He also has some fun fusion recipes like Mushroom Crêpes in Poblano Chile Sauce. The book is divided into chapters starting with staples like rice, beans and salsas and then moving on to Street Food, Tacos, Tortas and other Sandwiches, Enchiladas, Tamales, Salads, Soups, Main Dishes, Grilled Fare, Small Bites, Bread, Drinks, and Sweets. You can see the whole table of contents on the Amazon Preview. I made the Frijoles de Olla and turned them into refried beans and I thought they were pretty delicious. I also made the Pumpkin Seed Tomato Salsa which was super easy, creamy and delicious and put it on top of the Northern Mexico Chimichangas (deep fried burritos) I was surprised my Texas friends had never had these before! veganmexicochimmichanga1

I think this would be a great cookbook for someone who cooks a lot and wants to try out Mexican techniques, or someone that knows how to do Mexican food but doesn’t know how to veganize recipes. The recipes always give options for removing oil or using vegetables instead of tempeh or seitan. It would also be great for anyone with a grill, Jason Wyrick clearly loves his. So if that sounds like you or someone you love I’m giving away a copy for my US readers.

12/9 update: Contest Closed thanks for playing!

All you need to do is tell me if you have ever had a chimichanga and if so, when and where? Make sure you put your email in the comment form so I can contact you.

My bff and I used to binge eat them on the last day of Girl Scout camp and then our parents would pick us up and want to take us out to dinner. So then we would eat Chinese food or whatever on top of the chimichangas and spend the rest of the night moaning about being too full. Then we would repeat the entire experience the next summer. It was the best of times.

Citizen Eatery opens on Burnet

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Vegetarian restaurants are popping up left and right these days. Okay, there have been two – with one more on the way- but it still seems like a lot! The much-anticipated Beer Plant soft opened to mostly rave reviews a few weeks ago and now Citizen Eatery has opened their doors as well. Embracing all the current trends of the day this modern light-filled restaurant will please not just the meat-free but also vegans, paleo, Celiacs, and other gluten-free folks. The kitchen is actually completely gluten free although they have wheat buns and bread shipped in (sealed) for those of us that want to keep our lives gluten-full. Peruse the menu before you go in because it is one of those spots where you order at the counter and get a number rather than being waited on. And, if you are anything like me, you are going to have a hard time deciding.

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We started with the breakfast menu. Pictured above is the vegan waffle with sunbutter, maple syrup, and a smoked sausage made out of lentils and mushrooms. The waffle was gluten-free so I probably wouldn’t order it again, it didn’t have that crisp and fluffy bite that I love in a waffle. The tofu scramble we tried, The Citizen Scramble, was excellent. Packed with vegan cheese and kale it was different from most restaurant scrambles and hit the perfect breakfast notes. We also liked mixing in a bit of the lentil sausage for some smokiness.

In addition to breakfast, the menu has a list of salads, seasonal dinner specials like Vegan Bolognese with “veggie noodles” (or “zoodles” if you prefer) and family style passed sides Butternut & Sweet Potato or Brussels with Grapefruit. We tried the cheesy Cauliflower dish which I loved, it was very comforting and almost seemed like something you could get a cracker barrel… if cracker barrel was a gluten-free vegan wonderland. 30538569590_900662c191

We also tried the Citizen Burger which was described as “house wood-smoked patty with white beans, citizen grain mix, kale and spices.” Served on a wheat bun with seasonal greens, tomato and avocado ranch dressing. I thought the burger was amazing and I’ve had a lot of really good burgers recently! We spoke with one of the owners and she said that each patty is made differently and that many techniques go into each one including smoking the mushrooms and onions in the citizen burger. It all leads to a much more nuanced taste than most patties I’ve had. And the avocado ranch dressing was delicious too! I can’t wait to try the hatch pepper version next because I could see it becoming my favorite burger ever.

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We also had a side of fried things, the Mixed Basket has french fries, sweet potato fries, a vegan aioli, and deep-fried vegetable noodles. We were all completely hooked on the latter. The vegetables change depending on what is in season and I can’t even remember what ours had (maybe butternut squash and zucchini?) but either way they were awesome! I love that all the sides and dressings are vegan. It makes ordering really easy. Also the staff was really nice, the building has plenty of parking, and the cocktails look intriguing as well. I think North Austin is going to be super pleased.