Tagged: Counter Culture

Cool Events for a Hot Summer:

Upcoming Austin Vegan Events

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Austin Vegan Party Barge
Summer is in full swing, and everyone’s taking advantage of the warm weather. Austin vegans are planning up a storm, and with a dessert social, 4th of July cookout, party barge and more in the works, there’s something for everyone in this town. There are some great recurring events coming up, including the June Fruitluck (aka fruit potluck) at Barton Springs tomorrow (June 22nd), a newly created Crafty Night at Unity Vegan Kitchen on Thursday, June 26th, and an Austin Raw Food Diet potluck on Saturday, June 28th. In addition to these recurring events, we’ve quite a few special events on the calendar:

Sunday, June 22nd:

5pm to 7:30pm – NadaMoo!’s Whole ‘Lotta Dessert Social at NO VA Kitchen & Bar tomorrow is a not-to-be-missed fundraiser for the Whole Planet Foundation! It’s not mentioned on the event page, but the event organizers have assured me that this will in fact be an entirely vegan event with desserts, cocktails, and coffee provided by Skull & Cakebones, GoodPops, NadaMoo!, and Chameleon Cold Brew. So far I’ve heard there will be whoopie ice cream pies, pop-tails, and cold brew floats, plus Brad Sorenson from NO VA will be making a vegan dessert as well. For those hoping to watch USA in the World Cup, have no fear, the game will be playing at the bar. Tickets are $10, and you can purchase them in advance on Eventbrite or pay in cash at the door.

Raw Cheezecake at BeetsFriday, June 27th:

7pm to 10pm – Beets Cafe fans have known for a couple of months now that Austin’s one and only raw restaurant will be shutting its doors indefinitely. To celebrate the great run they had, they’re throwing a farewell celebration. There will be droves of Beets fans, music, and of course, the Beets crew is going to make some delicious raw treats! Let them know how much they meant to the Austin community, and send them off with a bang.

Sauced Vegan PizzaSaturday, June 28th:

All Day – It’s Vegan Pizza Day! This most glorious of holidays will be celebrated with pizza-themed specials at Capital City Bakery from 11am to 7pm. At 12pm the Austin Progressive Vegetarians are hosting a Vegan Pizza Day meetup at Sauced in the Highland Mall. For those looking to throw their own Vegan Pizza Day party, check out our extensive (and recently updated) Austin Vegan Pizza Guide!

9am to 4pm – Head on down to Seguin, TX for a chance to lend a helping hand at the SARA Sanctuary Volunteer Day and Picnic. Get out of the city, get your hands dirty for a good cause, and get animal kisses in return! Vegan food and drinks will be provided (beer & wine for the grown ups), but you’re also welcome to bring any vegan food you like. Their only requirement is that you be an animal lover.

BBQ Revolution Platter Friday, July 4th:

3pm – BBQ Revolution and the rest of the North Loop House & Yard vegan trailer gang will be hosting a 4th of July Cookout in conjunction with ATX Vegan Drinks! Every trailer in the lot is now entirely vegan (making this the first all-vegan food trailer lot in the world!), as Taco ‘Bout It recently switched their menu to be entirely vegan!  All the trailers will be coming up with patriotic specials, from veggie burgers at BBQ Revolution to vegan funnel cake and chick’n and waffles from Unity Vegan Kitchen. Rabbit Food Grocery will also be in attendance, dessert will be provided by Skull & Cakebones, there will be a raffle to raise funds for a local nonprofit, and to top it all off, there will be free beer!

4pm to 8pm – Counter Culture will also be hosting a 4th of July Party on the East Side, with summer classics including vegan corndogs, burgers, slaw, potato salad, strawberry shortcake and more. Enjoy your food while listening to all-American country, roots and rockabilly, and try your chances at the Happy Cow cookbook giveaway!

Brunch at Mr. NaturalSunday, July 6th:

10:30am to 2pm – Mr. Natural’s next monthly vegan brunch falls on the 4th of July weekend, and we cannot be more excited by their patriotic themed brunch! For $16 you get an endless buffet that will include corn dogs, mac and cheeze, fried chick’n, pancakes, chocolate cream pie, apple crisp and so much more! We think it’s really awesome that a vegetarian restaurant has taken on the task of creating a huge, entirely vegan brunch buffet, so we always look forward to these weekends. Expert tip for Mr. Natural brunch newbies – don’t skip out on the agave mustard! It’s a must on the country fried seitan, and whatever else you can think to put it on.

Sunday, August 31st:

12pm to 5pm – The Vegan Party Barge is back! The 5th Annual Vegan Party Barge is officially happening, and while it’s a little ways in the future, you should certainly start planning now (and buy your tickets ASAP, as they always sell out). This year the tickets are $40 (with a $5 discount for AV&VA Members), which includes entrance to the barge, pool noodles for lounging in the water, non-alcoholic drinks and a catered vegan lunch. The barge is BYOB, so pack a small cooler, and enjoy a beautiful day on Lake Travis with a bunch of awesome vegans!

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

The Lighter Side - Part 1 of 2

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Goodies from Juiceland
Red Hot Vegan Bloggers Daniel and Marie spent the month of September sampling, photographing, and writing about their Top 20 Austin Favorites – a list fairly heavy in oily, sugary, and calorie-dense foods. The foods included in their guide are all great, but I realized that list was a far cry from what my top 20 list would be, as I tend to go after foods that are lower in oil, are less calorie-dense, and don’t have faux meats. I was inspired to write my first ever blog post, to chronicle the lighter side of Austin’s vegan food scene. If you’re like me, you may find that you love some of these lighter, but equally delicious, options right here in Austin:

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Vegan News Bites

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Kaki-Age from The DojoVegan Ramen from The Dojo

Restaurant News:
– I noticed that a new Japanese restaurant in town called The Dojo mentioned they were working on a vegan ramen on their Facebook page, but when a friend emailed me pictures of the menu from their soft opening, I was shocked. 12 menu items were clearly marked with a vegan icon. Vegan ramen was just the beginning: edamame, pickled vegetables, seaweed salad, sunomono, spinach salad, tofu caprese, tomato croquettes, kaki-age, tofu steak, veggie gyoza and even homemade coconut ice cream were all marked vegan! The Dojo is Austin’s first izakaya, a kind of Japanese bar where food is meant to be enjoyed at a slower pace while ordering drinks and hanging out. Their tentative hours are 5pm to 2am, so this could potentially become one of the few late-night vegan options up north. I’m excited to see that another Austin restaurant has put so much thought into their vegan offerings, and can’t wait to check it out myself. (Above photos taken by awesome vegan food finder Aaron Reiser!)
Red Rabbit Coop Bakery Truck in North Loop- Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery has opened their first location in a trailer on 53rd St near Airport. Currently serving donuts from 7am to 1pm (or till sold out), this trailer is a welcome addition to the North Loop neighborhood! It’s the perfect morning stop on the way to work… maybe even grab a few extra for your co-workers who will be undoubtably impressed by these stellar vegan donuts.
The Vegan Nom, everyone’s favorite North Loop taco trailer, announced plans to open a second trailer sometime soon. When, where, and with what menu is still a mystery that I hope we will know the answers to soon!

New Menu Items:
Vegan Pizza from Sauced in the Highland Mall- Sauced, in the Highland Mall Food Court, tried out vegan pizza on their menu for the first time last weekend, and it was such a huge success that they’re doing it again this weekend. If this is something you’d like to see as a permanent menu item, make sure to go out there and show your support! With a crispy thin crust and two faux-meat options, I was really happy with the newest addition to the vegan pizza scene. I know I’ll be spending more time in the Highland Mall with pizza options like theirs around.
Mr. Natural is rolling out a new menu soon. They put out a Facebook teaser with a photo of a monster vegan Texas burger with fakin’ bacon, daiya, BBQ, jalapeños and more. If the new burger is any indication of what’s to come, I for one am looking forward to trying their new menu.
Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole- Baton Creole, an adorable pink trailer on E 6th St, has been cranking out new and exciting vegan options lately. There is a vegan jambalaya on a stick on their regular menu, and a rotating vegan special once a month that will coincide with ATX Vegan Drinks on the first Friday of the month. Last month’s vegan special was a “crab” cake, with okra creole over rice on the side. I’ve also heard that there may be a partnership between Capital City Bakery and Baton Creole, with the possibility of vegan beignets in our future. Everything Baton Creole has made so far has blown my mind, so I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Build-Your-Own Sundae Bar from Sweet RitualEvents:
ATX Vegan Drinks will be at Sweet Ritual this Friday with a build-your-own sundae bar, donuts from Red Rabbit Bakery and cookie dough from Celeste’s Best! It will be a BYOB event, so grab some drinks to bring, or take advantage of Juiceland’s large selection of non-alcoholic juices, smoothies and kombucha!
Counter Culture has posted an exciting Soul Food and Music event on Wed, July 24th. With food specials including fried seitan & gravy, BBQ tempeh, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, creamed greens, deep south slaw, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and more, I can’t wait to try them all while listening to southern soul music.
– CityBoy Cuisine will be starting a new event called Bistro Vonish, which will be a vegan fine dining supper club. These vegan multi-course dinners are hopefully the lead up to Chef Craig Vanis opening a brick-and-mortar vegan fine dining establishment, which is one thing that would certainly be a welcome addition to the Austin vegan scene.

Vegan Week in Review

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Food Not Bombs Benefit Show- This weekend, Austin puts the fun in fundraising! Head on over to the 29th Street Ballroom at Spider House tonight at 10pm for a Food Not Bombs Costume Benefit Show. For a small suggested donation at the door, you get a night full of great entertainment, and all the proceeds go towards cooking vegan meals for those in need. Tomorrow from 6pm to 9pm, get your shopping on at Treasure City Thrift, an awesome all volunteer run and collectively organized thrift shop. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit local animal advocacy group Action for Animals.  On Sunday, if you’re not heading up to Dallas for the Texas State Veggie Fair, be sure to check out the Vegan Bake Sale at Counter Culture, benefiting SARA Animal Sanctuary. Great music, shopping and eating baked goods to raise money for awesome causes – I’m sold!

- Fall is in the air, and it’s time to start dusting off those winter recipes. If you’re up to the challenge, break out your favorite chili recipe, and be sure to sign up for the 24th Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off, just a few weeks away on Sunday, November 11th. Texans take their chili seriously, so the competition is fierce, but so is the fun. Whether you attend as a competitor, or as a chili taster, you’re sure to have a great time.

Sandwiches, Salad, Soup and Tea from The Steeping Room- The vegan scene up north just keeps getting better and better. The Steeping Room on North Lamar is finally open! Scones, soup, sandwiches and more! All the things you love about The Steeping Room, at a great new location. Perfection improved! For Eastside Pies fans, there are not one, but two new north locations – one on Airport and 53rd, and the other on W Anderson. Now, if only they had a vegan cheeze option…. email campaign anyone?

-Vegan MoFo is heading into its fourth week, and the blogging is still going strong. Austin has a large contingent of bloggers participating this year, with great content coming from: Joanna VaughtLazy Smurf’s Guide to Life, Lizz DeliciousLone Star Plate, Muy VeganMy Healthy Chef, Ready Set Green DietThe Traveling Austin Vegan and Vegan Explosion. So much great food, so little time. I hope everybody gets a chance to check out all of these great bloggers!

 

A Fall Pumpkin Treat and a Bake Sale for SARA Animal Sanctuary

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Who doesn’t love the fall? The leaves begin to turn deep orange and red colors. Sweaters make their way out of the bottom drawer and onto our shoulders to keep us warm during  nippy evening strolls with our dogs (also wearing sweaters) through Central Park — wait — this is not the New York of When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. This is Austin, and our Zilker Park is still recovering from the throngs of people treading all over it for the Austin City Limits music festival. Yes, this is Austin, where pretty falls days are scattered between “unseasonably” warm days. What do we do in Austin to remind ourselves (and our dogs) that it is indeed Fall? We go to vegan bake sales, buy pumpkin-laced goods, and raise money for SARA Animal Sanctuary in Seguin!

Austin blogger Lazy Smurf recently reported that SARA Animal Sanctuary has fallen on hard times and particularly needs help paying their electric bill. Ms. Smurf has organized a vegan bake sale to benefit SARA Animal Sanctuary this Sunday October 21 at Counter Culture. If you can not attend the actual sale on Sunday then you can still sign up to donate baked goods and make plans with Ms. Smurf for a Friday or Saturday drop off. Alternatively, you can simply make a direct donation to SARA Animal Sanctuary. However you decide to help, please join the facebook event and invite all of your friends. Volunteers from the sanctuary will be present to answer questions, and Counter Culture will feature live music from Ken Atkins and the Honky Tonk Kind to entertain you during their popular weekend brunch. All in all, Lazy Smurf and Counter Culture have put together a pretty neat event for an awesome cause. And just to remind myself that is indeed fall, I plan to contribute something made with delicious pumpkin.

Obviously, I have been in a pumpkin mood tonight, so I took action and made the tempting cake you see pictured at the top of the page. To read about my experience making a vegan version of the pumpkin poke cake from the Something Swanky blog, click through to the next page.

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Vegan Week in Review

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- As if Thai Fresh weren’t already awesome enough (with their vegan baked goods, and vegan-friendly Thai menu), they’ve upped their game and gone and made all of their ice cream vegan! Get your butt over to Thai Fresh and check out their case of hard packed ice cream with crazy awesome flavors like Thai iced tea, fig, corn and sweet potato. You can even try them in an ice cream sandwich!

- There is one week left to vote for the 2012 Veggie Awards from VegNews! Support all your favorite vegan businesses and products by giving them your vote! A lot of local favorites are on there like Counter Culture, Celeste’s Best, NadaMoo and Food For Lovers Queso. You can also vote for Austin as your favorite veg-friendly city!

- Brand new vegetarian food cart Good To Go just opened up in the NATY trailer park on Anderson Lane. They offer quesadillas, frito pies, patty melts and four different veggie burger options (including the Goodseed patty!) with toppings such as Daiya cheese and Soyrizo chili. They are so brand new, that their menu is still a work in progress… meaning that if more vegan options are requested by customers (like vegan mayo and pesto), it might just happen!

- It’s already time to pull out your 2013 calendar: Texas VegFest has announced that next year’s festival will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2013! Don’t forget to save the date for Austin’s biggest vegan event of the year.

- Greens, Beans, and Grains, the latest food station to open up at the Whole Foods downtown, is now serving up some super tasty and wholesome vegan-friendly food (just stay away from the meat, and you’re good to go). The options are mostly what you would expect to see at a salad bar, but they also have some more complex offerings, like pesto and chili. You can pick an item off their menu, or create your own. If you want to most bang for your buck, create your own, and choose the baked potato as a base. At $5.99, it’s a steal!

- Counter Culture will be hosting a benefit for Austin Pets Alive! on Saturday, September 22nd, from 4pm to 9pm. The event will feature live music, with a portion of the sales going directly to Austin Pets Alive. Free music, good food and raising money for a good cause – I’m in!

- Awesome vegan catering company Green Island Catering is now offering ready-to-go meals at Daily Juice in Hyde Park (45th/Duval) and The Wet Whistle (MLK/Chicon). Stop by today and pick up a rustic pesto lasagna, fajitas or stacked enchilada – they’re all superb!

Vegan Week in Review

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- Counter Culture is offering fondue on the last Wednesday of every month. Fondue was one of the few things that I didn’t try before I went vegan, so when a friend invited me to join her for this event, I jumped at the chance. It was a fun and tasty experience. I’m told by the daughter of a Wisconsonite that the cheese fondue is very similar to the fondue she remembers as a child. The next fondue night will be Wednesday, August 29th.

- In other cheese news, the Japanese delicacy tofu misozuke, is now available for purchase online from California based company Rau Om. This miso-cured tofu, which is aged for up to six months, is described as having a sharp brie like taste and butter like texture – I’m sold!

- Austin is bursting with vegan baked goods! Sugar Circus has opened its doors in East Austin, with amazing vegan baked goods from the baker behind Sugar Tooth Bakery. As if that wasn’t enough great news, Mr. Natural is finally in the process of switching over 50% of their honey sweetened baked goods to agave sweetened. More vegan goodies for everyone!

- In honor of the “Meatless Monday” campaign, Maoz is offering 10% off a salad meal deal, or 10% off a catering order on Mondays! Just because we vegans go meatless everyday, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take advantage of this sweet deal. Just print out the coupon, and head over to our local Maoz, located in the Triangle. While you’re there, be sure to check out their vegan rice pudding!

- Community Cooking is introducing a series of cooking classes focused on vegan dishes made with simple ingredients that are cheap and easy to prepare. The class meets the last Saturday of each month at 3:30pm in the 21st Street Co-op kitchen (707 W. 21st Street, Austin TX). The next class will be on Saturday, August 25th and will focus on snacks: kale chips, avocado spinach dip, and green goddess smoothies. If you have any questions, menu suggestions, or would like to RSVP, please email Rachel at [email protected]

- Lastly, my own personal PSA: Get thee to a vegan or vegan friendly food trailer! Food trailers can suffer in the hot summer months as people are reluctant to brave the heat. But brave it, you must! Places like Vegan NomWasota and Mister Fruitcup will even let you call your order in ahead so that you don’t have to wait in the heat. Eat now so that they’ll still be here in the cooler winter months.

Vegan Week in Review

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- Want to get your hands on the new Vegenaise flavors? Pick up a jar of pesto, roasted garlic, chipotle, BBQ, horseradish or tartar sauce Vegenaise from Rabbit Food Grocery! Order online, or pick one up at this Wednesday’s ATX Vegan Drinks Wine and Cheeze Party at Counter Culture!

- Join Mercy for Animals for a week of veg outreach here in Austin! The Dallas Mercy for Animals office will be in town from July 17-20th, and they are looking for volunteers to help get the word out about plant-based diets by hitting the streets and leafleting.

- In addition to their already awesome vegan menu options (the veggie burger, beer-battered portabello mushrooms, chips – aka fries, and slaw),  Black Star Co-op has added a rotating ice cream selection this summer, including coconut milk based flavors like chocolate and lime!

- Craving $2 tacos for dinner? You’re in luck. The Vegan Nom is now open till 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

- Texas running back Arian Foster joins the ever growing list of professional athletes who have decided to go vegan! He’s been sharing his journey on twitter, even commenting, “People feel so strong about meat and milk. I wish they felt this strong about peace.” Hooray for awesome vegan role models!

 

Vegan Week in Review

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This week has been particularly full of announcements and openings! It’s an exciting time to be a vegan in Austin:

Red Rabbit Bakery Donuts at Wheatsville- Red Rabbit Bakery’s cinnamon-cardamon rolls, apple fritters, raspberry filled donuts, and cinnamon sugar donut holes are now available at Wheatsville Food Co-op!!! If you’ve had a chance to try these items at HOPE Farmer’s Market, then I bet you are just as stoked as I am to be able to get your hands on them at Wheatsville.

- Sagra, a vegan-friendly Italian restaurant, tweeted this week that they now have vegan homemade pistachio “cheese.” I’ve been looking for an excuse to try them out, and this sounds like the perfect opportunity – now I just have to wait till graduation week is over to be able to get a table.

Schmaltz Vegan Reuben- The old Counter Culture trailer found a new home on Cesar Chavez and San Marcos as the new all-vegetarian food cart Schmaltz. Their menu includes falafel and an awesome rueben (vegan if ordered without the cheese), and they offer a cute little grassy seating area tucked behind Domy Books, an adorable bookstore and art space.

- On Monday, May 21st, Moses Falafel will become the newest addition in the Longhorn Food Court (Downtown: 610 W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd & Rio Grande Street). This makes the Longhorn Food Court the most vegan-friendly trailer lot in Austin, with Moses joining the likes of Conscious Cravings and the brand spankin’ new Capital City Bakery trailer (don’t forget about their Grand Opening Party tonight!)

Counter Culture Sign- Speaking of grand openings, after a successful soft opening, Counter Culture has announced their Grand Opening Party will be on Wednesday, May 30th at 6pm. Check out the Facebook invite, and come join the fun!

- On June 3rd, Sweet Ritual will be at Secret Society’s Summer Frolic! serving up hand-cranked earl grey ice cream with lavender waffle cones. Earl grey ice cream, people! EARL GREY!! My life is complete.  That is all.

Counter Culture Soft Opening!!!

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Counter Culture’s soft opening is this week! It’s cash only, the staff is still being trained, and some menu items are not available yet, but WOW, it’s awesome!

Their menu has a bunch of raw, gluten free, soy free and Engine 2 Diet approved items all clearly marked. I have no such restrictions, so I plan on working my way through the whole menu. I loved everything I tried, but my two favorites so far are the spicy baked artichoke dip, and the quiche. I could do a face plant into a bowl of artichoke dip, it’s that good. They also had a couple slices of cake available from Capital City Bakery, that were insane! I can’t wait until the full dessert menu is available.

Counter Culture will be open Thursday through Sunday this week, from 5pm to 10pm, at 2337 East Cesar Chavez at Clara. Remember that it’s a soft opening, and it’s CASH ONLY until they get their internet working (my husband forgot and had to hike four blocks to find a working ATM) – so be patient until they get all the kinks worked out. Let’s all give a warm welcome to the newest (and raddest), all-vegan brick and mortar restaurant in Austin!

Counter Culture Sign

Counter Culture Groupies, Kate and Jacob, with Counter Culture T-Shirts

Counter Culture Interior Seating

Counter Culture Exterior Seating

Spicy Baked Artichoke Dip

Tempeh Reuben with Pac Man Salad

Mac & Cheeze with Jalapeño Cornbread and Caesar Salad

Quiche of the Day with Cole Slaw and Texas Caviar

Lentil Loaf with Garlicky Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread

Black Forest Cake from Capital City Bakery