Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Deli Salads at Wheatsville Co-op

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Mongolian tofu patty with salads from Wheatsville Coop

I have a love affair with salads, but probably not the kind that you’re thinking of – I love potato salad, tofu salad, pasta salad, broccoli salad, bean salad, quinoa salad, and even a well-massaged kale salad. Lettuce based salads are fine (and some are even really great), but I’m much happier when you pair a bunch of what would most likely be described as ‘side’ salads on a plate together. I love how these hearty salads often play off each other — one might have sweet dried berries, another garlicky greens, and another a tangy vinaigrette. When you pair many salads together, the flavors are varied and intense, and don’t get old fast. Restaurants that have bevies of vegan-friendly salads pre-made and ready to be dished up are incredibly common in major cities around the world, but unfortunately haven’t really taken off here in Austin (too hippy for us Texans?). I hope we can turn this “salads as meals” image around, because it’s my favorite kind of meal, and there’s only one place in town that has the variety to do it right: Wheatsville Co-op.

Deli counter at Wheatsville on GuadalupeBroccoli salad at the Wheatsville deli counter

To start my meal, I’ll head to the grab-and-go area to size up what’s available on the shelves, then I’ll head over to the deli counter (if I’m at the North location) to see what’s on offer there, and formulate my meal plan. The vegan options are all labeled with a green “V” and can sometimes be plentiful, other times sparse at the Deli counter, so the grab-and-go area is really helpful for completing a balanced meal. I’ll usually pick a protein to start, my favorite of which is the Mongolian Tofu (I realize this is technically not a salad). There are often other tofu based salads, bean salads and tempeh salads to choose from. Then I’ll move onto the carbs, and grab a couscous, pasta or potato salad. To get my veggies in and finish off my meal I’ll pick two green salads, often a kale salad and a broccoli or Brussels sprouts salad to finish. I like some of the salads (hello Raw Deal!) better than others, but I’ve never come across a salad I didn’t like at Wheatsville, so I’ll just grab whatever sounds good in the moment.

Raw Deal salad in the grab-and-go section at WheatsvilleGrab-and-go section at Wheatsville on Guadalupe

I know you’re probably thinking I’m breaking the bank with all my fancy salads, but the plate pictured up top cost me just under $9. Many of the ingredients are organic, and it’s made in a place that I know treats its workers well, so I’m really comfortable with that price. This meal also happened to be gluten-free friendly, as Wheatsville uses wheat-free tamari in many of their salads, so it’s a great option for those avoiding gluten – though probably not so much for those avoiding soy. Two slabs of tofu and three salads made for two hearty meals, so you can share with a partner or plan for some leftovers. You of course can go crazy, and grab four of the more expensive salads, but even then you’re probably looking at around $12 a plate (I know I’ve spent waaay more accidentally at the salad bar you know where). So really, the deli salads at Wheatsville are just a win all around.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Frozen Banana from Bananarchy

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Bananarchy!

Eating a plain banana can be pretty boring, but freeze it, and douse it in chocolate and nuts – and we’re sold! It’s a simple but powerful transformation that the banana artists at Bananarchy have mastered. Fans of Arrested Development (a hit TV show, for those of you who have been living under a rock), will be happy to find that this banana stand is peppered with references from the show. While it’s no visit to Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand on Balboa Island, you won’t be disappointed at Bananarchy, the revolutionary dessert trailer in South Austin.

Whole banana, dipped in vegan chocolate, with nuts and coconut from BananarchyHalf banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie special from Bananarchy

Ordering your banana is a simple, three-step process: first, decide whether you want half a banana or a whole one; next, pick whether you want it dipped once or twice (in vegan chocolate for us vegans); and finally, take your pick of toppings. The nuts, oreos, coconut, and cinnamon toppings are all vegan, and are labeled as such on the menu board. Bananarchy also runs specials that are sometimes vegan-friendly as well. On our most recent visit, we tried the vegan-friendly chocolate peanut butter pie special: a banana dipped in chocolate, rolled in graham crackers and nuts, and topped with organic peanut butter and chocolate drizzle. Yum!

Vegan G.O.B. from Bananarchy.A friendly Bananarchist

If you’re in the mood for a ton of food, try to finish off the biggest, baddest banana on the menu – The GOB. Pronounced Jobe, this massive, two-banana monstrosity is something the likes of which G.O.B. himself would order: double-dipped, with extra nuts, and with two sticks to support it all. Beyond Arrested Development references, you’ll also notice that Bananarchy has a few other funky little quirks up its sleeve. For example, the stick that supports your banana and gives you a handle to grab onto is also a spoon, which is very convenient for picking up any pieces of chocolate that fall off as you’re eating. Look closely, and you’ll see that the friendly bananarchists inside the trailer always proudly wear a spoon strapped to their heads.

Bananarchy Trailer at the South First Food CourtSouth First Food Court in South Austin

Bananarchy takes their frozen bananas pretty seriously, sourcing them from socially responsible suppliers like Turbana and EARTH University. You can find these yummy frozen desserts at the South First Food Court at South First and Live Oak – right next to Pulse Vegan. Bananarchy is open seasonally (typically closing at the end of October and reopening early March), and also closes whenever it’s not banana weather outside. So be sure to check social media before heading over, and remember: there’s always money in the banana stand.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Mochi Ice Cream from Frozen Rickshaw

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Vegan mochi ice cream on a stick from Frozen Rickshaw

Mochi ice cream! Clearly, this does not in any way resemble a fruit or a vegetable, but stick with us; we promise they’re in there somewhere. The rotating vegan mochi ice cream flavors at Frozen Rickshaw are all homemade with real fruit, and are the perfect light and refreshing complement to just about any meal. We know that’s a bit of a stretch, but who doesn’t love eating their fruit in ice cream form?

In case you’re not familiar with mochi, it’s an Asian staple which gets its name from the type of rice it is made from, known in Japanese as mochigome. This versatile concoction is pliable and chewy, and it works with just about any flavor you can throw at it. Wrap some mochi around a ball of ice cream / sorbet, and you have yourselves a mochi ice cream. Skewer it with a stick, or pick it up with your fingers — it’s delicious any way you decide to eat it.

Mochi ice cream and drinks from Frozen RickshawCross section of vegan mochi ice cream from Frozen Rickshaw

Mochi is used in a wide variety of sweet and savory treats throughout East and Southeast Asia, many of which are accidentally vegan. Mochi ice cream is one of the most popular ways to enjoy mochi in Japan and elsewhere, but unfortunately it’s rarely vegan. Frozen Rickshaw is one of the only places we’ve known to take on vegan mochi ice cream, and we’re so happy that they did. The vegan options at Frozen Rickshaw are listed as sorbets with fruit or coconut bases (coconut sorbet, a.k.a. vegan ice cream). There are always several vegan flavors available on the menu, and on our most recent visit, they were Lychee Coconut, Strawberry Passionfruit, and Blueberry Thai Basil. All three were amazing, and each did an excellent job of showcasing the beautiful natural colors and flavors of its ingredients.

In addition to delicious mochi treats, Frozen Rickshaw offers several beverage options which are usually either vegan or veganizable. Our favorite is the veganized tong sui, made with coconut milk and fresh taro, and served with little tapioca pearls. Depending on the season, they offer either a hot or a cold version, both with a rich taro flavor and just the right hint of sweetness. You can also get vegan sorbet by the scoop, if mochi isn’t your thing. But seriously, if mochi isn’t your thing, you either haven’t tried it, or there’s something seriously wrong with you. (JK, we love you Brittany!)

Frozen Rickshaw trailer on W 30th StreetSipping on a cold tong sui at Frozen Rickshaw

You can find Frozen Rickshaw on 30th Street just east of Guadalupe: within easy walking distance from Wheatsville Coop or Spider House. The trailer is open seasonally, so make sure to check social media or give them a call before you head over. The flavors are rotating, and new flavors pop up all the time, so we’re always excited to find out what’s new. We’ve been blown away by the level of creativity that goes into these seemingly simple little morsels. Give them a try, and you too will want to keep coming back to see what they think up next.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Cacao Cup from Mister FruitCup

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Traditional Mexican and Cacao Cup from Mister FruitCup

We’re taking a departure from the veggies for a moment to highlight another food group that we tend to neglect – fruit! Fruit, glorious fruit! Fruit is of course delicious, but how often do you actually go to town on an array of fruit?* Fruit all too often gets relegated to boring snack status: the squished grapes or banana haphazardly stuffed into your lunch sack, or the sad browning fruit salad sitting uneaten at a potluck. I’ve always considered fruit a quick snack, maybe a lazy dessert, but never something to put much effort into, that was until Mister FruitCup showed up on the Austin scene. These fruit cups are a huge departure from the cocktail cups of your childhood. They’re cups piled high with a wide variety of ripe fruit, covered in sauces and spices and then covered in toppings including nuts, coconut and lime. They’re the LeBron James** of fruit cups.

Tropical and Thai cups from Mister FruitCupTop view of vegan cups from Mister FruitCup

Since the Mister FruitCup trailer first opened up over two years ago, the menu has changed a bit. They’re currently located in the University Co-op Food Court, at San Antonio and W. 23rd, and cater to the hungry UT student population. A few of our past favorite vegan-friendly fruit cups have disappeared from the menu, but Mister FruitCup’s commitment to their vegan customers has not. They currently mark the fruit cups which are vegan or can be made vegan with modifications (agave for honey as an example), and are in the process of putting together a separate vegan menu. The flavors also change with the seasons, and our current favorite is the Cacao cup, comprised of mango, banana, orange, kiwi, cacao nibs, agave and fresh lime juice. The lime and agave elevate the flavors of the fruit perfectly, and the cacao nibs add a nice crunch to balance the cup out.

Mister FruitCup TrailerUniversity Co-op Food Court

If you’re looking for something a little less sweet, we recommend the traditional Mexican cup with its unique combination of flavors including watermelon, pineapple, cucumber and jicama topped with spices and coconut. For a nice breakfast, they have an “Energy” cup with fruit, granola and yogurt (vegan yogurt available). The Thai cup is another interesting flavor departure, with fruits such as watermelon, banana and mango, topped with peanuts and fresh herbs including basil, mint and cilantro, and served with chopsticks for a fun twist.

Because it is a food truck with limited resources, and because the ripening of fruit can be finicky, not all fruit cups are available at all times. The menu is so wide and varied, though, that there are always a few vegan fruit cups to choose from. The cups range in price from $4.50 to $6.50 depending on size, and all come with a generous portion of fresh fruit. And while the University Co-op location is clearly a great spot for students and UT employees alike, it’s also pretty convenient for those of us who drive by the area frequently, as there’s free parking (with validation) in the large parking garage directly across San Antonio Street from the trailer lot. So, whether you’re looking for an energizing snack, a light meal, or a yummy dessert, if you’re on or near campus, you should definitely look to Mister FrutiCup!

* Don’t answer that. I realize I’m probably alone in my delayed discovery of how amazing fruit can be.
** I know I wrote it, but I don’t actually know what that means. Basketball, right?

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Vegan News Bites

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We interrupt our (not so) regularly scheduled 2014 Vegan MoFo theme posts, “Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition” for an overdue (and slightly indulgent) “Vegan News Bites”. Some of this might be old news to many of our readers, but there’s so much that happens in this town, that we hope everybody will have a chance to learn something new! Apologies in advance for the epically long post, but that’s what happens when you combine the incredibly active vegan scene we have here in Austin with a healthy dose of good old-fashioned procrastination.

Vegan-friendly Businesses

Rabbit Food Grocery is moving to a brick and mortar!

  • We’ll start off with the biggest and most exciting news for Austin vegans: Rabbit Food Grocery is moving into a brick-and-mortar location! Their kickstarter campaign just got 100% funded yesterday, but there’s still a little over two weeks left for you to back their campaign and help them move in. Kickstarter backers can look forward to scoring some awesome RFG swag, groceries delivered to your home, or even a chance at an all-you-can-grab vegan supermarket sweep! In the meantime, you can still order online, and as our readers, you can save 10% off your whole order for the entire month of September! Just enter coupon code “RedHotVegans” at checkout!
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Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Tofu & Broccoli Salad from Bouldin Creek Cafe

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BouldinCreekSalad

Never in my life did I think I would wax poetic about a tofu and broccoli salad, but that’s what happens when you start diving into the world of great vegetable dishes this town has to offer – you find things you never expected to find. I think before this series started, we ordered a salad at Bouldin Creek Cafe, errr, once. Maybe? We figured if we were going to drive across the river (we’re die-hard northies), we’re going to get a Veggie Royale or a Renedict. When we placed our order for the Tofu & Broccoli Salad, we had low, looow expectations – I’ve never been happier to report that we were wrong. This salad has become our new go-to.

The Tofu & Broccoli Salad is loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower sprouts and seeds… you know, the standard salad fare. Where this salad really shines is in the crisp stir-fried broccoli and the firm sesame tofu – both flavored to perfection in a delicious savory marinade. The thing that seals the deal, and brings all the flavors together, is the ginger-miso dressing. Do not order this salad without that dressing! It’s imperative. We were so close to ordering it with just the garlic tahini dressing (because, tahini — yum!), when our table-mate and bestie Tenley, a Boulin Creek Cafe regular, saved the day and told us we needed the ginger-miso dressing. So we got both. The garlic tahini was no match for the ginger-miso. Tofu & Broccoli Salad + ginger-miso dressing = love at first bite!

BouldinCreekSandwichBouldinCreekRenedict

Before we stumbled upon the tofu and broccoli salad, Dan and I were dead set on featuring the Kool Summer Sammich at Bouldin. It was a very close runner-up to the salad. It’s basically a salad sandwich. A stellar salad sandwich. Made up of tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, sunflower sprouts, field greens, and shredded carrots piled high on grilled ciabatta with a chipotle-pecan pesto spread. It’s made complete with an order of tofu bac’n or hummus. Tenley (Hey, Tenley! Are you totally not embarrassed by all of these these shout-outs?!) also wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the hummus is legit, and that she loved her Kool Summer Sammich in large part because of the pesto spread – so now you know. Order that stat!

BouldinCreekInteriorBouldinCreekExterior

I’m happy we found a new favorite at Bouldin, and look forward to switching it up more often now. I honestly don’t think you can get a bad meal at Bouldin; I mean, c’mon, everybody knows Bouldin’s the bomb! So if you’re stuck in a rut like we were, ordering the same dish time and time again, maybe it’s time to try something new? Hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as we were.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Falafel Salad from Maoz

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Salad Box from Maoz

Love falafel? Who doesn’t? It’s a magical combination of chickpeas, veggies, herbs and spices all mixed up and fried into little balls. Maoz, an international chain of vegetarian falafel shops, has it down to a science. We’re lucky that Austin is one of the few US cities to have its own location, which opened up in The Triangle (Lamar and 46th) in early 2012. Grabbing a falafel in a pita is the standard go to, but we prefer grabbing a salad bowl. The bowl comes pre-filled with a little bit of lettuce and five falafel balls with plenty of room on top to spare for their rotating salad bar fixings: shredded carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, beets, fried broccoli, cucumber and tomato salad, chickpeas, tabouli, olives, pickles and more. There’s a cilantro sauce at the end that I love to slather all over my salad, and a green chili hot sauce that Dan prefers. To top it all off, we grab the squeeze bottle of tahini and go to town.

Salad Bar at MaozVegan Shawarma at Maoz

The best part about Maoz is that they take their vegan customers seriously. Almost everything in the restaurant is vegan, and they’re not afraid to label it so. They offer vegan soups, and even have a vegan rice pudding dessert. Almost everything on the salad bar is vegan, and everything is clearly labeled vegan if it is. The fryer is a dedicated vegan fryer, so pile on that fried broccoli – it’s so good! Maoz is also incredibly gluten-free friendly, making their falafel balls gluten-free, and labeling the salad bar with gluten-free labels. They’re also trying out a new option of a vegan shawarma and vegan BBQ. When we were there, they mentioned that the shawarma is a chik’n style protein fried with onions and peppers, and the BBQ is a beef style protein marinated in BBQ sauce. The BBQ style was temporarily unavailable, but the shawarma was delicious and can be added in a wrap or salad.

Maoz Austin located in The TriangleInterior of the Maoz location in Austin

We live nearby, so taking our food to-go is pretty standard, and we love that there are dedicated 10 min and 30 min parking spots right out front that are almost always available. If you plan to eat in, the sandwich is a steal at $6, as you get a little box for salad bar toppings that you can refill as many times as you like. If you get it to-go, they give you a slightly bigger salad container, so it’s still a good deal. If you’re grabbing a salad bowl, you can do like we do, and stuff it to the max and then head home and transfer it to a larger bowl for easy eating. This is one superb salad that will fill you up.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Quinoa Ranchero Salad from Juiceland

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Quinoa Ranchero and Smoothies from Juiceland

Juiceland, oh Juiceland, why are you so expensive*! I’d eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could afford it. You make spinach juice taste good. You’re clearly working some sort of voodoo magic. When we’re looking to eat our veggies, we turn to you first. Your Quinoa Ranchero salad is a flavor explosion. Steamed quinoa tossed with corn, covered in a tangy ranchero sauce, and topped with cilantro and massaged spinach. It’s bold, and limey (as in, full of lime flavor – totally unrelated to the wonderful British people). We sometimes cheat on you with the Feast in the Middle East, the Double Rainbow Quinoa Salad and the Kale Salad, but we always come back to you in the end. You pair so well with a Peachy Green smoothie – which tastes more peachy than green, but looks more green than peachy, or an Applelily juice – the lovechild of an apple and cold-pressed green juice. Both are our go-to drinks when we want the benefits of downing our greens, without it tasting like we took a nosedive into a patch of grass.

Assorted salads, smoothies and a Mannawich from JuicelandOriginator and Peachy Green Smoothies from Juiceland

When we’re not looking to break the bank, we make sure to check out your daily specials board. Get a medium size Originator for $5.95? Yes, please! I’m drinking protein powder and spirulina, and yet all I taste is peanut butter & jelly. When we’re looking for something sweeter, we grab a Mannawich – which, both baffles and intrigues me. Who came up with the idea to put cinnamon date paste mixed with cacao and goji berries between two slices of manna bread? It’s like a cake sandwich. I have a love/hate relationship with this bizarre concoction that keeps me coming back for more.

Mannawich from JuicelandJuiceland on Burnet

Juiceland, it’s so swell that you’re doing well. I swear I blink, and another location opens up around town. I can find you at Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, North Burnet, Hyde Park (shoutout to Sweet Ritual!), Oak Hill, E. Cesar Chavez, Lakeway, Westlake, 29th & Guadalupe, and now I even hear you have a location in Brooklyn (NYC, not some new nickname for the East side)! Three cheers for world juice domination!

*I kid! I know why your delicious food is expensive. It’s because it’s full of expensive sh*t. And I’ll happily pay, because what’s the alternative? I get my own juicer dirty, and have to clean it? I don’t think so.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Vegan MoFo 2014 is Here – Ready or Not!

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Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo is this month! The one month out of the year where hundreds of bloggers, out of a sense of fun and camaraderie, decide to blog at least 20 times in one month about vegan food. Some supervegans (aka people) have their act together and post all the time, but we can rarely make a blog post appear once a month, much less twenty, so this is truly a challenge for us – and we are so not ready!

Dan nomming on some donuts, ice cream, waffle cones and candy. The four main food groups, right?
Dan nomming on some donuts, ice cream, waffle cones and candy. The four main food groups, right?

Last year, Dan and I put together a list of our Top 20 Austin Favorites. A veritable list of all the most amazing vegan pizza, corn dogs, burgers and other insanely delicious food in this town. We didn’t really have to search high and low to find these dishes, because uhhm, we eat out a lot, and already frequented these fine dining establishments. If you fry it, we will come. We did notice that the list was lacking a certain something – namely vegetables. We eat vegetables, don’t get us wrong, but if we’re going to go out of our way to get some, it’s probably not going to be a salad. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some killer salads in this town, and this month we’re going to find them, along with some amazing stir-frys, bowls, sushi and even some fruity desserts. We’re calling it Top 20: Eat Yo’ Veggies edition.

The ideal way to get in your daily servings of vegetables - just add vodka. Bonus points if you add even more veggies on top - particularly the pickled kind.
The ideal way to get in your daily servings of vegetables – just add vodka. Bonus points if you add even more veggies on top – particularly the pickled kind.

We love that there are people in this town already dedicated to eating their veggies: the 80/10/10’ers, Engine 2 folks, and raw foodies, but this list is probably not going to be up their alley. We’re hoping to create a list of veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. We’ve got a great list started, and hope we surprise you with a few of our finds.

Eating Vegan at Alamo Drafthouse:

New and Improved 2014 Guide

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Alamo Drafthouse Logo

It has been over two years since we originally posted our “Eating Vegan at Alamo Drafthouse” guide, and it was in desperate need of being updated. Our seriously outdated post was still getting hits every week, due in no small part to new Alamo Drafthouse locations opening up left and right around the country, so we felt really bad that our guide wasn’t particularly helpful to anyone in its current state. Our previous contact at Alamo had moved on, and we were having trouble finding anyone willing to answer our emails… that was until we found Zane!

Through some slightly creepy Facebook stalking, we found the vegan behind the scenes – the one who helped create the new vegan menu at Alamo Drafthouse Village, the one who helped bring Alamo tofu to the 21st Century*, and as it turns out, the previously anonymous vegan staffer behind our original Alamo post as well! We are so lucky that he was able to take some time out of his busy schedule helping reopen the newly renovated South Lamar location to give us a hand in updating our list (and just in time for the sold-out Cowspiracy screening tomorrow night!). He’s let us in on some really exciting info including that the burger buns are vegan again (woot!), there’s dedicated veg fryers at most Alamo locations, and drumroll please… soyrizo is now on the menu (as an option for the black bean dip)! What!?! Now I just have to figure out what I want to put it on. We’re excited to share this list of the current vegan and veganizable menu items that you can find at Alamo Drafthouse locations around town:

Appetizers:

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Chips & Black Bean Dip (sub soyrizo, no sour cream, no cotija)
  • Garlic Hummus
  • Bottomless Popcorn (for our behind the scenes popcorn sleuthing, check out our original Alamo Drafthouse post, and in case you’re curious – the ‘real butter’ topping you can add is indeed real butter – so just don’t add that)
  • Baked Pretzel (no queso, sub dijon mustard for honey mustard)
  • Veggie & Fruit Plate
  • French Fries** (with ketchup)

Burgers and Sandwiches:

Note: The buns are vegan (no longer egg washed), and locations in Austin currently serve Goodseed as their veggie burger option (which is vegan & gluten-free). The gluten-free buns have egg, but you can always get the burger in a lettuce wrap (also an option for those who just prefer lettuce – you weirdos). You can get any of these with tofu as your protein too. We realize that ordering a “Prosciutto & Goat Cheese” burger with no prosciutto or goat cheese sounds pretty silly: each burger comes with many toppings besides the ones called out in its name; check the descriptions in the menu for more details.

  • Royale with Cheese (no bacon, no cheddar, no mayo)
  • Spicy Blue Cheese (no blue cheese, no mayo)
  • Kalamata Olive Tapenade (no mayo)
  • Mushroom & White Cheddar (no cheddar)
  • Prosciutto & Goat Cheese (no prosciutto or goat cheese)
  • Avocado & Pesto (no pesto)
  • Hatch Green Chile (no queso)

Salads and Wraps:

Note: These options are available as either a salad or a wrap. You can pick tofu as your protein, or leave them plain. The only non-vegan dressings are the lemon basil vinaigrette (see below) and the Caesar.

  • Caesar (no dressing, no parmesan)
  • Mexican (no cotija)
  • Greek (no feta, and request no pesto in the dressing: the lemon basil vinaigrette is pesto mixed with lemon vinaigrette)
  • Beets & Goat Cheese (no goat cheese)
  • Chopped (no mozzarella, no pesto)
  • Asian
  • Groot’s Root Vegetable (this is a temporary special, so it might not be available by the time you read this)
  • Side Salad

Pizza:

Note: Some of these pizzas come with multiple types of cheese, so you may want to make it clear that you mean “no cheese of any kind”, and not just “no mozzarella”. The gluten-free pizza crust unfortunately has eggs.

  • Roasted Red Pepper & Feta (no cheese)
  • Prosciutto & Spinach (no cheese, no prosciutto)
  • Mushroom & Caramelized Onion (no cheese)
  • The Godfather (no cheese, no pepperoni)
  • Asparagus (no cheese, no bacon)
  • Brussels Sprout (no cheese, no bacon)
  • Artichoke (no cheese)

Candy:

  • Sour Patch Kids

* Alamo Drafthouse recently changed the procedure for its tofu. It’s now marinated and grilled as opposed to just being dropped in a fryer right out of the box. The marinade features chipotles, ginger, lime juice, cilantro, and other deliciousness. This new procedure, and the marinade recipe are all because of Zane! Woot for vegans helping to make change!

** In Austin, Alamo Drafthouse has dedicated veggie fryers at all locations except the Village.

Vegan Menu at Alamo Drafthouse Village

In addition to all the options listed above, the Alamo Drafthouse Village location rolled out a small vegan menu with spiced tofu tacos (try them with soyrizo!), cherry tomato & avocado bruschetta and oatmeal cherry cookies (plus samosas that were unfortunately nixed). These items are currently only available at the Village location (on Anderson), but we’re hoping that if they are popular, other Alamo locations might get the message.

This list is specific to the Alamo Drafthouse locations in Austin (and not all menu items will be available at all locations), but all Alamo Drafthouse locations maintain a set menu, so while you should always double check to make sure that another kitchen doesn’t do things a little differently, this list is a great starting point.

Now that we feel confident in our connection at Alamo, we’ve gone ahead and made this list an official Red Hot Vegans “Guide” – which means that we are going to do our best to keep it up to date. So, in the future, head on over to the guides section to see our latest edition of “Eating Vegan at Alamo Drafthouse.”