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.
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.
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!