Tag Archives: Sweet Ritual

Sweet Ritual: Vegan Ice Cream So Good You Wonder What It’s Made Of

People say a lot of wacky things about vegans but when they call us picky eaters…there is actually some truth to that. Not that it’s picky to refuse to eat animals, that only makes sense! But, as a group, we have more issues with food than the average person. My theory on this is that we’ve given a lot more thought to food than the random eater but that doesn’t explain my own personal aversion to lettuce, or my friends’ allergies to tree-nuts, groundnuts, peppers, and even *gasp* wine. Even my dog Dinger has all sort of allergies. People go on all sorts of cleanses. I, and a group of taco scientists, once ate nothing but tacos for a whole month, for example. And I would imagine that a large share of vegans are trying to cut back on soy. Of course there is the fear of gmos, the fear of growing boobs, and the general fear or big ag and I would imagine that Sweet Ritual wanted everyone to be able to eat their ice cream and so they switched out soy with many different bases.

The good news is that whatever the reason that they made the switch the ice cream is even better than it used to be, and it used to be great! I tried the Death Metal By Chocolate the other day and, I have to say, it was better than any other vegan ice cream I’ve ever had. I often crave something that’s chocolate mixed with chocolate, topped with chocolate, and maybe a little chocolate added in that’s exactly what this ice cream was. I’ve also been picking up the pints at Wheatsville. I think I’ve tried them all now and I can’t tell you if Sweetsville or PB & Chocolate is my favorite.

Amelia, who makes most of the ice cream explained “We went through a giant overhaul and most of our bases changed. We now have cashew bases, almond, peanut, and coconut on offer. Sometimes we have more exotic bases, like tahini, cashew and sunflower. The chocolate chips we use have soy lecithin, but the only thing in our shop that has soymilk is the soft serve. The Cubano, vanilla, & strawberry are cashew based and are soy free.” I asked her specifically about the bases in the pints and she wrote me,

“Cashew: strawberry, vanilla, Cubano coffee
Coconut: mint chip, Sweetsville, salted caramel, toasted coconut
Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter Chocolate

Also, Wheatsville carries a gluten-free cookie ice cream sandwich made with cookies from Better Bites Bakery”

It only makes sense to have the peanut butter ice cream to have a peanut base and yet it’s brilliant and probably why it’s soooo good. And those ice cream sandwiches, by the way, totally worth it.

Now if only they could bring back the waffle cones.

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Vegan Weekend Plans

One thing that I do to make myself feel really terrible is make a ton of plans for the weekend and then cancel them all. This is going to be one of those weekends because there is so much vegan action that sounds like a blast. But, if you read yesterday’s post and saw what my deepest desires are then you know that I won’t make it to all of these events. Hopefully there are more energetic people out there than me and so this post is for you!

First up, is the return of Vegan Drinks tonight at Cheer up Charlies. It’s super exciting that Arlo’s reopened at the Red River location and they are even giving away free french fries if you tell them the secret password: VEGAN DRINKS FRIES! . The drink specials will include The Vegan Yeti (White Russian), The Banana Hammock (pineapple, banana juice, coconut milk & rum), and Whiskey Root Beer Floats made with ice cream provided by Sweet Ritual! It’s tonight Friday at September 5th at 7pm.

On Saturday morning, I will spend the morning at the Beagle Brigade at Norwood Estate Dog Park. Then, at 5pm Unity Vegan Kitchen is going to be throwing a birthday party at their new location in South Austin! And they are going to be making their chicken and waffles with an even better recipe! Hard to imagine cause they were pretty amazing at the 4th of July Party. 

If you don’t stalk Austin vegan business you might not know that there have been a lot of changes in the past few weeks. The Northloop trailer park had to close down completely and Red Rabbit moved into Monkeywrench Books, Taco ‘Bout It closed down, Unity moved to the South Austin Social lot, and BBQ Revolution moved next to Brass Ovaries at 3111 Manor Rd. The Vegan Nom moved back to it’s original location on North Loop. The Dojo closed down and it looks like the Health Box shut down too.

On Sunday Mr. Natural is serving up their monthly vegan brunch buffer at the Ceaser Chavez location.  They will be serving a Boston creme cake as a special treat. Counter Culture will also have brunch, as they do every weekend, this time they will be continuing the special of Blueberry Blue Corn Pancakes with Organic Maple Syrup which are amazing! And as usual Counter Culture will also be hosting the Rabbit Food Pop-Up shop so get your orders in. And if you haven’t read about it, please check out their awesome kickstarter ’cause it’s going to be the best thing ever.

On the horizon for next week Counter Culture will be hosting a Wine and Cheese night on September 10th. If you haven’t tried their cheese, it’s so good! I promise you will love it. They have also gotten together another screening of Cowspiricy because the last one sold out and it’s getting rave reviews. Finally, next weekend there is going to be a AVVA+VRA End of Summer Cookout .

So that’s the weekend haps that I know about. I can at least guarantee you one thing, I will spend the weekend eating vegan food.

Happy Veganmofo!

Sweet Ritual Ice Cream now available at Wheatsville!

I’ve been looking at this picture while listening to Explosions in the Sky and it seems rather apropos. Austin really makes magic happen sometimes.

Since the new Wheatsville south opened I’ve been going there, on average, once a day because not only do I love Wheatsville, but also it’s right on my path to just about anywhere in town. It is just damn convenient to pick up either groceries for dinner or bagels for breakfast or whatever else my heart desires.

And what my heart often desires is ice cream. I’ve gone through phases with almost every vegan brand but they almost always have the same standard flavors more or less: chocolate, mint, vanilla, whatever. As an ice cream lover it can get pretty boring. Meanwhile I follow Sweet Ritual on instagram and see their unique and ever changing flavors and then I think about driving all the way up to Hyde Park. I thought I was having a constant battle between my laziness, lack of superfluous income, and knowledge that ice cream is probably not something my body really needs at it’s current state.

And now I realize that, really, laziness was the only thing getting in the way of Sweet Ritual and me. As soon as I saw they started carrying the new pints at Wheatsville south yesterday I headed there as soon as I left my office. It’s true that I was especially excited to try the new flavor “Sweetsville Malt Cookie Dough” made with a new flavor of Celeste’s Best but when I saw the other flavors I had a hard time deciding (toasted coconut! ).  I had to try the special flavor. I could hardly wait to get home and unite the container with my friend the spoon. The whole household was in love (well we didn’t let crazy Willow try it, she does not need sugar) but everyone else expressed happiness in their own unique ways, me closing my eyes, Dan going to the store to get more ice cream, Dinger grunting in appreciation for his bite for ten minutes.

It’s good stuff.

It will be available at the Guadalupe Wheatsville soon and you can also get pints at the Flag Store by Sweet Ritual and the Juiceland in Oak Hill.

 

Taco Cleanse Day 12 – Sweet Ritual’s Amazing Wonder: The Chaco Taco

When we first started talking about the taco cleanse back in April I never would have guessed that it would have led to so much new taco goodness. At that time in my life I already ate a taco pretty much every day so I didn’t realize that there would be so much more to discover when committing to the cleanse. So many people have been joining the cleanse and local restaurants have been adding new and unique tacos to their menus just to help us through this! I got to try Teriyaki soy curl tacos at Counter Culture’s Taco Tuesday a couple of days ago and then a The Ginger Bliss special at the Vegan Nom last night. There is so much creativity coming out with tacos in Austin. But I have to admit, so far my favorite new taco on the scene is the Chaco Taco that Amelia from Sweet Ritual has put together for us.

I’ve been dying to try it ever since Ross posted his last week. Then they were suddenly all over social media. Last night I was up north with my fellow taco scientists and after eating Rockin Vegan Tacos for dinner we headed over to Sweet Ritual for the chaco taco dessert. When we got there they only had one left and everyone graciously stepped back and let me have it. The taco cleanse is really working, we are feeling so much more love for humanity and tacos than ever before.

I had cinnamon ice cream in my waffle cone taco shell topped with one the many long lost loves of my life, the hard chocolate magic shell. I was dead quiet while I ate it and went into a state of taco bliss that I can’t even describe.

And yes Austin, they have more today and will have them all weekend.

Interview with Texas VegFest Vendor Amelia Raley

Texas VegFest is tomorrow April 6 at Fiesta Gardens and people have already started celebrating, I’ve been enjoying watching photos from Herbivore Clothing, Food Fight Grocery, and Vegan Houston as they populate my instagram with Austin’s vegan goodness. Tonight is the Texas VegFest edition of Vegan Drinks and they are even going to have vegan trivia so bet there at Cheer Up Charlies! If you are curious about the festival details check out my interview with board member Molly to learn about the bands, speakers, children’s activities, and more and go to the official website. And join the facebook event. And follow on twitter. Earlier this week I interviewed speaker Christy Morgan and today we are getting the vendor perspective from local ice cream proprietress extraordinaire Amelia.

I’m so excited that Sweet Ritual is going to be one of the vendors at this year’s Texas VegFest, first can you tell us what kind of treats we can expect?

We’ll bringing several flavors of scooped ice cream, including dark chocolate, salted caramel (which is soy free!) and a few other flavors. We’ll have cups, cones, sundaes, caramel by the jar, and t-shirts to sell.

Oh that sounds so good, is this your first vegfest?

We were there last year with Salted Caramel soft serve

What was your favorite part about last year’s event?

As a vendor, I didn’t really get a chance go see the lay of the lend or participate in the fest because we were so busy serving ice cream. When we sold out early, I brought out my hand-cranked phonograph and played music for passerbys.

Serving ice cream kind of sounds like the best job ever but I bet it is actually really difficult. What is the most trying aspect of participating in something like this since you all aren’t usually very mobile.

We have to contend with ice cream melting at outdoor events. We’re bringing an arsenal of waffle cone bowls, so, if it gets too hot, everyone will have delicious ice cream soup!

I love waffle cones. I think I have even dreamed about them. OK last question, if you get the chance to trade ice cream for a snack from any other vendor what would you be most excited to try.

We are super-duper excited about Atkinson Candies from Lufkin, Texas being at the show with our favorite candy – Chick-o-Stick!

Oh, wow, I just looked at that list for the first time in a few months – I can’t believe how many vegan bakeries we have in Austin. That’s so amazing!

It’s going to be a great fest! Thanks so much for answering my questions and I will see you there!

Top Ten Austin Vegan Eats for 2012

2012 was such a great year for vegans in Austin, Rabbit Food Grocery pop-up shops expanded to include all sorts of hard to find vegan items from condoms to chocolate covered Twinkies they have got it all. Capital City Bakery and Sugar Circus both opened up their doors to cupcake loving vegans and both have fantastic reviews. Sweet Ritual added chocolate dipped homemade waffle cones to their menu and had a successful kickstarter for hardpacked ice cream, and both Sweet Ritual and Cap City made into the Chronicle’s best of Austin. Arlo’s moved their game-changer vegan burgers to Cheer-Up Charlies where ATX Vegan Drinks started having monthly events, many participated in the Worldwide vegan bakesale,and the bakesale for SARA animal sanctuary and we raised a ton of money for animal sanctuaries in Texas. Counter Culture opened their doors to their long awaited brick and mortar restaurant on the eastside. Green Island Catering started selling readymade vegan meals at the Daily Juice and hosted yet another Vegan Party Barge. Juiceland opened two more northern restaurants, the Steeping Room opened a second location, Austin Java opened an incredibly vegan friendly location on the westside, a ton of bloggers joined our happy vegan blogosphere, and that’s just off the top of my head!

My top ten is an annual tradition of what I liked the best this year, there are always repeats because I eat them all the time and I don’t want you to miss them! Other things have fallen off the list due to declining quality (using a shit-ton of turmeric in a breakfast taco for example). This year it was harder than ever to keep it to ten, somehow there wasn’t room for my beloved Bouldin Creek which I promise hasn’t declined in quality, but here is what I’ve got.

Brunch at Counter Culture.

The Potato Bowl

If there is one thing that I really wanted in Austin it was a place to sit around enjoying vegan brunch. A place to get your tofu scramble AND sausage that wasn’t chorizo or disgusting, just some good-old American vegan sausage. And fresh juice. And coconut water. Oh and maybe some tempeh bacon. And some french toast. Usually I prefer Mexican breakfast but Counter Culture gives me the option for Mexican or traditional American and your don’t have to wait an hour to sit down….yet. With Rabbit Food Grocery hosting their pop-up shops on Sunday it’s certainly become the can’t miss weekend event.

La Condesa Vegan Platter– I feel like this is the best secret menu item of all time. La Condesa has become my go to place for nice vegan meals because they have a fantastic atmosphere, the service is great, the cocktails are unique, they have 6 different salsas and four guacamoles, and the platter is always remarkable. I promise some day soon I’ll take my camera and take notes so I can properly blog about it but it’s always different every time. Truthfully, I also end up drinking too many fancy cocktails. They even have a vegan dessert. So go there next time you want to be pampered and check out Vegan Explosion’s post for an actual description.

The Specials at Capital City Bakery

Thanksgiving Pecan Pie with Caramelized Marshmallows on top, Mini Apple Pies with a side of coconut ice cream, and Cinnamon Roll Saturdays are what make me go to this magnificent vegan trailer more than I should. I think Kristen’s dedication to heard work and high quality is her secret and she makes the best baked goods I’ve ever had. Everything is just so perfect.

Wasota Vegan Platter 

This got number one last year and I couldn’t resist putting it on the list again. I just love everything about Wasota and every element of this platter is addictive and just so crave-able  Dan and I both will save leftovers only to eat them cold from the fridge at the first opportunity. I don’t know where they get their pixie dust but it sure would like to buy some and put it on all my food

Tom Kha Soup at Little Thai Food This soup has become my number one obsession, I blogged about it a while back, so check it out. Basically its the best Thai coconut soup I can remember ever having and perfect for dreary weather days.

Austin Cream Pie from Red Rabbit Bakery

Everyone loves the doughnuts from Red Rabbit Bakery. Honestly, that is kind of weird and just goes to show how great they are. People don’t even complain about them on yelp! And people complain about everything on yelp. I love all of their doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, bread, and apple fritters, but those cream filled doughnuts that you can only get at the dang farmer’s market are easily my favorite.

Chocolate Covered Waffle Cone Sundae’s from Sweet Ritual

I don’t think you really need me to describe these, just re-read the title. And yeah, the one in the photo is topped with chick-o-sticks.

Arlo’s Bacon Cheezeburger

When this trailer opened I was a little excited that there was another vegan trailer opening, but then I read the menu and thought, eh veggie burgers. The next thing I knew everyone was raving about them. One bite was all it took for me to become totally hooked. Their homemade patties topped with tofu bacon don’t sound nearly as delicious as their execution makes them. Plus Arlo’s is next to the vegan bar Cheer Up Charlies and you can get french fries and vegan milkshakes from other trailers in the trailer park next door to create a full 50s diner style meal.

The Salads at Juiceland 

While it might be true that the lure of The Originator smoothie is what brings me to Juiceland all the time I am constantly amazed by how much I adore their salads. I don’t even usually like salad. First I was hooked on the Soba Noodle Kale salad, then I finally tried the Quinoa Ranchero and that was all I wanted to eat for weeks. Though it was hard I finally, skipped it tried the Double Rainbow Quinoa salad and I loved it too! Juiceland amazes me!

The Tofu Vermicelli Bowl at Lulu B’s

This year I traveled quite a bit and I went to Vietnamese restaurants all over the place and I am more sure than ever that the vermicelli bowl from Lulu B’s belongs on this list, as it has every year I’ve been doing the list! I brought a couple of friends who had just spent the last 6 months in Thailand and Vietnam with me one day, they were so sick of noodles that they didn’t order anything and then they couldn’t believe how good my dish was and wanted to go back. Lulu B’s fantastically grilled tofu mixed with their always fresh ingredients and spicy vegetarian sauce always keeps them a step ahead of everyone else.

Best New Product – GoodSeed Organic Burger & Breakfast Sausage20121007-133528.jpg

I used to love the food truck down on Oltorf and I am thrilled that the people behind the trailer are selling their burger all over the place now, you can pick it up at Farmer’s Markets, Wheatsville, Greenling, Ingredients, and tons of other local spots. Additionally, some restaurants are now using the patty including Javelina, Snack Bar, Red’s Porch, and the Violet Crown Theater! I love buying a prepackaged burger from a company I completely trust that’s filled with organic non-gmo healthy ingredients.

Most Missed- Toy Joy

Thank all that is good that we still have Sweet Ritual but I will really miss the vegan ice cream at Toy Joy. I already missed the vegan cafe Dhaba Joy that used to be there. Not only do I adore their ice cream and late hours, but I also was always loved to bring friends there because instead of “vegan ice cream wtf” they would be all excited about Hello Kitty and Star Trek toys. Plus now I won’t have a reason to wander around buying toys I don’t need while waiting for my milkshake. It’s a sad sad closure.

If you live in Austin tell me what your favorites were. I love seeing everyone’s list.