I was cruising up South First a few weeks ago and almost stopped short when I saw that there was a new Venezuelan trailer setting up. When I wrote to Four Brothers on twitter and found out they were going to have vegan arepas stuffed with black beans, fried sweet plantains, tomato, and avocado I knew I’d be happy since that is one of my most favorite combinations. They also said the Mandocas (fried sweet corn fritters) would be vegan without the cheese and I could make a vegan patacone sandwich with the same arepa fillings. When I got to the trailer and saw that Arepa Vegana was on the menu and I wouldn’t have to make any substitutions I was thrilled.
When I got my arepa I was even more thrilled! I had never had Mandocas before, they were sweet and delicious and I could eat them every day. The arepa was just as good as I hoped. I wanted another one immediately but I knew that was a bad idea and sure enough, after the food hit my belly I didn’t need to eat again any time soon. But I’m going back soon. It’s the perfect place to stop since it’s right across the street from Rabbit Food Grocery and Bananarchy. You can do your shopping, pick up some CDs at End of an Ear, eat some tasty Venezuelan food, and then pick up a frozen banana on a stick. The perfect South First dinner! Note that they open at 5 pm and are closed Wednesdays.
I became obsessed with Korean food during my last trip to Portland where I had one of the most amazing meal ever that included having three waiters making table side bibimbap, which I remember like a fever dream at this point. An amazing fever dream.
I had never had delicious traditional Korean vegan food in Austin (although I love those fusion tacos at Chi’lantro) so when I saw that a new trailer, Korean Komfort, was opening up that magical night at Departure came flooding back. I chatted with one of the owners Min Choe and he assured me that both the bibimbap & the fried rice are vegan without the egg so I headed to the Rancho Rio Eatery trailer park on 25th & Rio Grande as fast as soon as I could.
We came right at noon and I believe, for a while anyway, they will be open noon-9 during the week and then later on the weekends. Although there were a lot of students about on such a sunny day the trailer park had a range of folks. Spring time in Austin is just the best. I liked that their food was wrapped up in perfect containers to take back to the office for the other 300 days of the year when it’s blazing hot or threatening ice storms.
The Korean fried rice was really tasty and had a good-sized portion for lunch. But, if I was going by myself I would stick with the bibimbap which hit those salty sweet notes of Korean really well. I loved it.
All the ingredients seemed really fresh but were also prepared nicely & well seasoned. The fried tofu was crispy and everything went together really well with spicy side of sauce. I learned that Min’s wife grew up and Korea and is the mastermind behind most of the dishes, preparing kimchi every day and making sure that all the dishes come out the way they are supposed to. I think it’s a great addition to the trailer food scene and I’m happy it’s close enough to downtown. Check it out if you love Korean food!
We are proud to announce the arrival of Austin’s first all vegan-friendly trailer space at the NorthLoop House and Yard, a trailer space and micro-business haus at 701 E. 53rd St in Austin’s NorthLoop neighborhood. To celebrate this momentous occasion the creative minds behind the NLHY are excited to kick off Austin Vegan Riot, a twice monthly party showcasing the unique offerings of this most-Austin locale. Currently at the NorthLoop trailer yard you’ll find Red Rabbit Co-operative Bakery, BBQ Revolution, Vegan Unity, and Taco ‘Bout It. Red Rabbit serves award winning donuts and other sweet things, produced by their worker owned co-op to organic standards. BBQ Revolution is the country’s only all vegan BBQ joint, creating a truly distinct take on Central Texas fare. Vegan Unity offers locally sourced favorites made from scratch. And Taco ‘Bout It brings tastes from south of the border serving several vegan and traditional options. With Austin recently named as PETA’s top vegan-friendly city it only makes sense that a trailer space would come about as the city’s first vegan-friendly destination. Be sure to stop by every 2nd and last Thursday for the Austin Vegan Riot, starting Thursday January 30th, 6-9pm at the NorthLoop House & Yard, 701 E. 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751.
Lasagna with cashew cream, vegan barbecue, and amazing doughnuts can all be had at once! And then you can dance it all off. In a Riot-like fashion. It’ll be great.
It’s kind of been an embarrassment that we don’t have vegan barbecue in Austin. I think it’s the most common question I get asked and I’ve got nothing to recommend. There were a couple places using barbecue sauce but as we Texans know, it’s not about the sauce so much as the smoking. If there is one thing the newest vegan trailer, BBQ Revolution, is all about it’s smoking! They even put together a giant smoker to make up there savory vegan goodness on site. I’ve been watching the whole project unfold on instagram and dying to try it and last night I finally got to brave the traffic and the cold to order my first plate of authentic Texas vegan barbecue.
Oh, and did I mention this new barbecue trailer is next door to the Rabbit Food Bakery trailer, aka everyone’e favorite anarchist doughnut making collective? It almost makes me want to sell our house in south Austin and move back to our little apartment on North Loop….almost.
BBQ revolution has just a couple of options right now, as they have just barely opened, but they do plan on expanding the menu and have specials like fried green tomatoes . I tried both the soy curls and the wheat roast which were both smothered in the Texas-style barbecue sauce. They will also soon be offering local Hearty Vegan Tempeh which I’m excited to try. I don’t have a lot of other vegan barbecue to compare this too but I can tell you that it’s legit. It was intensely smokey so I really enjoyed mixing it with the more neutral sides. I tried the macaroni & cheese which was old school nooch-based but super creamy and the potato salad which reminded me of my grandma’s; mellow and delicious. They also serve it as a traditional sandwich with white bread, pickles, and onions.
If you want to try it, and you should, tonight is the night because they are throwing a huge grand opening party. They are going to have fire dancer’s and music, beer, Red Rabbit is going to stay open late and sell doughnuts, Rabbit Food is going to have a pop-up shop with all of their awesome products, and they are even selling local soap. It should be a total throwdown. It is going to be cash only and they are going to have a limited menu “$9 plates $5 sandwiches 3 protein choices and 3 sides to choose from with a plate. Sandwiches come with potato salad, coleslaw and of course pickles and onions!” The weather should be a lot nicer than it has been and hey, if they run out of food, note that the Vegan Nom is closed for the weekend but Sweet Ritual is a few blocks away and I heard they have an amazing sweet potato ice cream.
If “wrapped in dough” is a food group, it’s probably my favorite one; empanadas, ravioli, zelijanitza, shoot, even the sandwich and the almighty taco fits the definition. Wrapping some tasty morsels in a blanket of carby goodness is the gastronomic version of cuddling with your favorite beagle on a rainy day. When I heard Dumpling Happiness was opening in Austin and that they would have some vegan options it was pushed pretty far into my “must try” queue.
At sxsw so far I haven’t been too impressed with any food, lines for free food aren’t usually worth it for me and the hardcore buzzed Paul Qui trailer park was pretty limp in the vegan department. I decided to venture all the way down to south IH-35 & almost the river to a trailer park I had never even been too on a beautiful spring day. It seemed so far I almost gave up but actually if you were on Rainey street or traveling by motor car, or even on the hike and bike trail in that area, it would be quite convenient. I ordered the scallion pancake and the kale & sweet potato dumplings and waited for my dumplings to be made to order. The pancakes came out first. They were perfectly crispy and delicious without being greasy and they had a few condiments to top them with. I kind of loved the peanut chili oil and sriracha and put a lot more on after this photo.
When my dumplings came out I was very excited, they were served on a bed of stir fried vegetables and came with a cup of coconut curry sauce for dipping. The combination of sweet potato and coconut is always a winner and in this case seemed to explode with flavor but the real highlight was the dumpling wrapper. It was so silky and beautiful. I’ve never had such a well made dumpling in my life and I’ve certainly not come close to that level in my own attempts! The only minor criticism is that I would have liked a little more kale, I am a vegan after all.
All in all a wonderful experience, go now before it gets super popular.
The Bouldin Creek Trailer Park is becoming my favorite park. Sure, part of it is that it directly on South First which I travel down every single day and I’m not always one for leaving my side of town. It’s always had different vegan friendly establishments moving in and out but once Wasota moved in, it became a top spot in book. Then Little Thai Food moved in and I became obsessed with their Tom Kha and now, the missing element of the east side of the street (I’m no good at left turns you should see my car) was breakfast and now Ruta Maya has come in and potentially changed my morning routine.
Ruta Maya is an Austin institution that’s been around forever and by forever I mean 1990 when it was a downtown spot on 4th to have coffee and talk about organic food, do some Tai Chi, and maybe bring your dog named Marley. They eventually got ousted from downtown and moved to Penn Field on South Congress into a really huge location that had tons of events like drum circles, Brazilian dancing, yoga, shows like Harry and the Potters, free classes and of course their locally roasted coffee. Now they have even been ousted from that location too as Austin gets more and more difficult to hold a lease in. I’ve heard they want to open up a new brick and mortar location but for now, in addition to still selling coffee beans in stores, they have this little trailer on at 1207 S. 1st St in the Bouldin Creek Trailer Park. I noticed it yesterday on my drive downtown and got to try it this morning. So far, it’s the soft opening and they don’t have much of a menu but they were super nice and offered to make me a spinach, mushroom, and black bean taco. I was also very pleased to see that they sold tiny 8oz coffees. I recently fell in love with the small coffee on my trip to New York and they aren’t as ubiquitous in Austin.
It sounds like their new menu is going to have lots of breakfast items but dinner specials too and they were very excited about all their gluten free options, including GF bagels. They will have regular bagels and I kind of begged them to serve vegan cream cheese so cross your fingers that they add that to the menu. If they do, it will probably become my #1 breakfast stop because as much as I desire Whole Foods breakfast tacos, I do not love the line. Also the Bouldin Creek Trailer Park is kind of beautiful, with the sometimes active creek, the nice seating, and shady trees. It’s a great spot. I am excited to see what all they decide for the grand opening in two weeks.
I finally checked out the Vegan Yacht at Cheer Up Charlies on East 6th street today and I’ve got to say that I am so impressed! I really didn’t understand until recently that the yacht is a veritable eating establishment and I have been missing out! Cheer Up Charlies used to be a trailer that served mostly beverages but then a couple of months ago the opened up a brick and mortar bar that serves beer, kombucha, and delicious vegan chocolates. They have a lot of events and outdoor movies there. The Vegan Yacht is on the back patio surrounded by little tables and succulents.Although I have heard the menu changes quite a bit, I thought is was pretty great. This Wednesday it included several sandwiches, a TLT, a mock chick’n, and one with sprouts, tomato and avocados along with the latter in lettuce wrap form for the raw/healthy/carbaphobic types out there. They also have a quesadilla made with seitan, daiya cheese, avocado, and bell peppers. We had a hard time deciding! For drinks they have iced coffee & chai, and smoothies or you can go to the bar inside. They also had beet brownies and coconut bliss for dessert. As usual when confronted with an all vegan menu I panicked. There were so many options! I was at Counter Culture over the weekend and someone was raving about the frito pie, that they serve either in a bowl or in burrito form and I thought it was just crazy enough to work and ordered the frito burrito. He gave me the option of adding avocado or daiya and I went with the former. It was fabulous!They perfectly grilled the tortilla which made it have a really nice texture and made it easier to eat. The chili was great and had corn and big pieces of onion in it and it wasn’t spicy at all if that is a concern. I would definitely get it with avocado again. Mmm. My friend tried the TLT which was also on grilled bread and surprisingly tasty.The tempeh was especially reminiscent of bacon which I have never really picked up on before from other tempeh bacon. Or maybe it was just the familiarity because of the vegan mayo and tomato that made it so evocative of the BLTS of yesteryear. Whatever the reason it was a perfect sandwich. I don’t know why they don’t have sides though? Some fries or chips or brussels sprouts or broccoli rice casserole or something would have been a nice side dish. At night it would be perfect to grab a sandwich and then go to the Eastside King for Beet fries.
I loved that they were open for lunch because I thought it was just a late night spot, but they actually have really perfect hours; closing after lunch and reopening at 7 until the party is over so it can be one of the best spots to check out for late night vegan eating. And they have parking!They also have a Sunday Brunch that I can’t wait to try, especially since they are open until 4 pm for Brunch which, to my mind, is the only civilized thing to do.
I hope the Vegan Yacht sails for a long time. We both really liked it and they seem like really good people!