Tagged: The Dojo

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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Vegan News Bites:

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Vegan-friendly Businesses:

Tempeh plate from BBQ Revolution

- Austin’s Vegan BBQ has finally arrived! BBQ Revolution celebrated their grand opening last night with much success, selling out of food within an hour. This all-vegan BBQ trailer is the latest addition to the very vegan friendly North Loop neighborhood (parked next to Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery). BBQ Revolution offers BBQ sandwiches and BBQ plates featuring your choice of home-smoked tempeh, soy curls or seitan, with sides of mac and cheeze, potato salad, cole slaw and beans, plus pickles and bread (they have some gluten-free options to boot!). We’ve literally eaten there every day since they opened, and are happy to say that the whole menu is delicious! With specials in the works like fried green tomatoes, we’re so happy to welcome the newest addition to the Austin vegan food scene.

Conscious Cravings officially has a third location, with a storefront in the Dobie Mall Food Court on the University campus. Students now have access to the full menu of wraps, salads and fries.

Vegan Mochi on a stick from Frozen Rickshaw- Frozen Rickshaw, a small mochi ice cream trailer, has opened on W. 30th. Vegan options are available, including rotating flavors like strawberry, grapefruit and Thai basil. For those who are looking for hot dessert on these cold days, they are offering a Tong Sui special (traditional cantonese sweet soup made with taro, coconut milk and tapioca – which can be made vegan, and is delicious!). They close for the season on December 6th, so head on over there before it’s too late.

- The Soular Food Garden lot has closed, but East siders have nothing to fear, as Capital City Bakery just moved to Cesar Chavez, next to their future storefront, and The Vegan Yacht has moved to The Grackle.

Tough Cookie Bakery at The Triangle Farmer's MarketTough Cookie Bakery has been serving up amazing vegan sausage pretzel brats, sourdough bread and more at the SFC Market at the Triangle on Wednesdays, and at SFC East (MLK and Miriam) on Tuesdays.

- Happy Vegan Baker, an Austin farmer’s market staple, can now be found at Fresh Plus grocery stores around town. They will also be opening their first storefront soon, offering grab and go items such as their delicious mac and cheese!

- Me So Hungry has moved out of Cheer Up Charlie’s, and is currently focusing on catering events. There are a few vegan-friendly trailers that are vying to fill up the vacant spot, and I can’t wait to see who ends up moving in!

Trader Joe's first Austin locationTrader Joe‘s first Austin location is now open on Bee Cave Rd down south. The store has proved to be incredibly popular with lines that wrap around the whole store during peak hours, and high demand for products like the Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl has led them to keep limits on the number of jars you can purchase. Let’s hope the planned downtown and northwest stores open soon, so the fervor will die down, and we can all bathe in tubs of Speculoos.

- Fountain of Health, a Mexican vegetarian restaurant on N. Lamar between Braker & Palmer is now open. With many vegan-friendly menu items, this is a great new option for those up north.

- South Austinites have lots to be excited about, including the opening of Wheatsville’s second location on South Lamar. Wheatsville’s new location is very spacious, and includes a large indoor eating area, perfect to enjoy your popcorn tofu po’boys on those hot/cold days.

Better Bites Bakery opens a store-front- Better Bites Bakery has opened a store front down south at 11190 Circle Dr. Suite #350. This gluten-free, mostly vegan bakery has their line of baked goods all around town including Whole Foods, People’s Pharmacy and Taco Deli. As a gluten-loving vegan, I was happily surprised by their delicious gluten-free offerings of cake balls, scones and cupcakes. With a certified gluten-free kitchen, this is a great option to know about for the gluten-free friends in your life.

- The Vegan Nom has moved their trailer to Buzz Mill Coffee down south on Town Creek Drive, and plans to add some new menu items. Their North Loop location will get a new trailer, and should be reopening soon.

- Mister FruitCup has moved to Break Point at The Boardwalk on Lakeshore Blvd. This new location has ample parking and a view of downtown! If you haven’t tried Mister FruitCup yet, now’s the perfect time.

New Vegan Menu Items:

VERTS Kebap now offer a vegan option!

- VERTS Kebap invited us to try their new vegan patties, and to see how they were made behind the scenes, so we can attest that everything is indeed vegan (even cooked on a dedicated grill top). We also learned that you can get a half patty, half grilled mushroom combo, which is our new favorite way to customize our vegan kebap. Try it loaded up with veggies, and topping it with their vinaigrette sauce (currently the only vegan sauce). VERTS prides themselves on providing a light and tasty meal, with their filling vegan kebaps coming in under 500 calories. [ UPDATE: VERTS has reverted to the old non-vegan recipe for the patties. Try the grilled veggies instead, for a vegan kebap. ]

- Chipotle has reformulated their pinto bean recipe to be vegan now, which is pretty neat, as it’s served in over 1500 locations worldwide. Chipotle also announced that they are offering tofu sofritas as a filling option in select locations. Unfortunately, Austin is not on the list yet, but it’s an amazing sign of progress.

- The Dojo has launched a lunch service Tue-Fri with plentiful vegan options. You can go with the Teishoku set and pick a main entree (tofu steak or nasu scramble) and a side dish (gyoza or tomato croquette), that will also come with rice, salad and soup. Or you can build a salad set or a ramen set with your choice of side. It’s a perfect option for a quick work lunch.

Baton Creole's vegan beignets!- Baton Creole just keeps getting better and better. With delicious vegan jambalaya on a stick, rotating vegan specials, and now vegan beignets! Airy fried nuggets of dough covered in mountains of powdered sugar, these are the perfect warm dessert on a cold Austin night.

Other Vegan News:

- Sea Shepherd Tod Emko and vegan comic book artist Ethan Young, friends of Red Hot Vegans, are collaborating on an awesome new project: “A Piggy’s Tale“, an all-ages comic book series which follows the superhero adventures of a three-legged dog named Piggy and his feline sidekick, Simon. Their kickstarter campaign is ending on Wednesday, and they’re oh so close to being funded! Help them reach their fundraising goal, and you could get great rewards, including signed copies of issues #1 and #2, Piggy swag, and more!

- The Students Against Cruelty Towards Animals group at UT is starting up again. If you’re a UT student and want to get involved, head on over to their first meeting on Wednesday, Novemeber 20, in room 2.304 of the Moffet Molecular Biology Building.

Free Popcorn Day at Cornucopia!- Cornucopia Popcorn Creations already has tons of amazing deals on their vegan-friendly flavored popcorn, like half off on all tin refills and free kids’ bags with a Go Local card, but did you know they have a free popcorn day every month? This month, it’s Monday, November 25th: come by between 10am and 8pm and leave with a bag of free popcorn!

- Thanksgiving is coming, and Austin vegans have a lot to be thankful for! Lazy Smurf has put together an extensive Thanksgiving guide covering all the different vegan Thanksgiving specials and events around town, from Mr. Natural, Happy Vegan Baker, Wheatsville, and more!

- Speaking of Thanksgiving, Shiva Shakti’s 8th annual Trancegiving at Zilker Park will be on Saturday, November 30th. This annual event offers “plates full of goodness with a bowl of fresh beats”, with vegan Thanksgiving buffet, an extensive music lineup, and plenty of dancing in the great outdoors. The event is free, though donations to help cover costs are appreciated.

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Mochi Tempura from The Dojo

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Mochi Tempura from The Dojo

[UPDATE: Unfortunately, The Dojo has closed its doors as of August 26th, 2014.]

House-made sweet mochi (japanese rice cake), covered in tempura batter, deep fried, drizzled with rasberry syrup and agave, then topped with fresh fruit and powdered sugar. For a girl who loves her mochi, and certainly all things fried (we’ve clearly established this), this is a dream team combination. From one quick glance of the menu, I knew The Dojo was going to be my new favorite hang-out spot in town, and it certainly has not let me down. The Dojo is Austin’s first izakaya, a type of Japanese bar and restaurant built around small plates and great drinks, with an emphasis on social dining – customers are encouraged to linger and share their dishes with their table.

With over 20 vegan options on the menu, and more being added seemingly every week, The Dojo means business when it comes to their vegan customers. With so many options, there is something for everyone on the menu, with small starter plates of pickled vegetables and edamame, salad plates of tofu caprese and fried tofu salad, recognizable favorites like gyoza and tempura, fun dishes like tofu steak and tomato croquettes, and even vegan ramen and dessert to finish off your meal.

Kinpira Gobo and Sapporo at The DojoTofu Caprese from The Dojo

As with all new businesses (their grand opening was just 3 days ago), things have been changing quickly, so I’m sure their menu will make a few more changes before they’re really settled in. Since their soft opening a few weeks ago, they’ve really listened to their customers and have implemented a dedicated veg fryer, added new vegan sauces (including a previously unavailable tempura sauce), and started a vegan-friendly lunch service.

Vegan Okoge Ankake from The Dojo

The Dojo in North Austin

I love to head over to The Dojo early for happy hour, when you can buy drinks together with one dollar appetizer specials, such as the kinpira gobo (braised burdock root – a traditional Japanese side dish and a surprise favorite of ours), or when in need of a late night meal (open till 1:30 am or later with a full menu till close). This Friday would also be a great time to check out The Dojo, at a special edition of ATX Vegan Drinks. We’ll be hanging around the bar area, where you’ll be able to order drinks and some special menu items that The Dojo will be putting together for this event, including a vegan sake jello shot. No matter when you decide to check them out, the huge vegan-friendly menu and the relaxed, casual izakaya atmosphere are sure to make The Dojo a fast favorite of yours too.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel, and does not necessarily reflect the views of all Red Hot Vegans bloggers. If you’re not a fan of oily, sugary, calorie-dense food, then this series is probably not for you. For everyone else, enjoy!

Vegan News Bites

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Restaurant News:
Unity Vegan Kitchen opens on the east side tonight!- Unity Vegan Kitchen’s soft opening is tonight! Head on down to their trailer at 2209 E Cesar Chavez (the lot next door to the future Capital City Bakery storefront) between 5:00pm and 8:00pm tonight to try some crab cakes, muffuletta sandwiches, spring rolls and pineapple cobbler. Welcome to the newest Austin vegan trailer on the block!

- Bistro Vonish, which offers vegan fine dining supper clubs, has just started a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of opening a vegan fine dining establishment here in Austin. The rewards for contributing to the Kickstarter campaign are compelling, with t-shirts, meals and fresh baked goods as rewards to help getting the restaurant off the ground. It’s no secret that fine-dining is one thing that the vegan scene in Austin is sorely lacking, so hopefully this will be just the kickstart we need.

Health Box trailer in South Austin offers 'fruit poop' desserts.- Fruit lovers will rejoice at another new trailer on the scene, Health Box. Health Box serves up frozen fruit desserts that are described as ‘fruit poop’. You pick the fruits and vegetables you’d like from their menu, and they serve it up to you sundae style, with different fruit toppings to make your fruit more fruity. ‘Fruit poop’ is just unadulterated fruit and vegetables, with no added sugars or flavorings, perfect for those fruitarians in your life.

- There’s a new trailer next to Red Rabbit Bakery on North Loop, and they’re offering vegan tacos! North Loop is already vegan taco central, but it’s Austin, and tacos are practically our official dish, so the more tacos the merrier I say! Head on over to Taco ‘Bout It to try their black bean mushroom, and sweet potato avocado tacos!

New Menu Items:
Vegan breakfast offerings from Maoz- Maoz, the international falafel restaurant located in the Triangle, has started serving up a new breakfast menu with vegan options! They offer “The TLT”, a tempeh BLT with vegenaise pita sandwich, and “The ’Fu”, a pita taco or pita sandwich stuffed with tofu scramble, sautéed onions and tempeh bacon. Both options are really tasty, and served up in Maoz’s fluffy pita bread. With breakfast hours Mon-Fri from 8am to 11am, it’s another nice option to have for breakfast up north.

TCBY offers vegan soft serve!- The national soft serve ice cream chain, TCBY, has announced a new chocolate vegan flavor made from Silk’s almond milk. The chocolate soft serve is available in town at the Martin L King Jr Blvd location near the UT campus and at the South Austin location on Slaughter Lane. Pair the chocolate soft serve with a number of available vegan toppings including fresh fruit and nuts to complete the picture.

- Sauced, the Highland Mall pizza shop, announced that their vegan trial run was so successful that they are rolling out vegan pizza by the slice on Wednesdays and Saturdays! I love pizza, but sometimes (aka most of the time) I’m not in the mood to eat (or pay for) an entire pie. I hope more pizza places jump on this vegan by-the-slice bandwagon.

Selection of vegan offerings from The Dojo!- The Dojo has expanded their vegan offerings! As if 12 vegan menu items weren’t enough, they went ahead and added 5 more! They’ve now marked a few items that can be made vegan upon request, such as their okoge ankake and their okonomiaki style potatoes, added a few salads, and most excitingly, they offer a vegetable set for their new table grills! I will not deny that The Dojo is my new favorite place in town. The food is good, the management really cares about its vegan customers, and the atmosphere is super laid back. It’s the perfect place for a casual drink after work, or for a full on party. Speaking of parties, look out for an ATX Vegan Drinks at The Dojo in September!

Events:
– The annual Ringling Brothers Circus protest is coming up next week on August 21st. Find more information about the event on the Action For Animals Facebook Event. If animal cruelty at the circus is news to you, please check this page out to learn more about the problems with circuses who use animals as entertainment, and what you can do to help.

Other News:
Simply Nice, vegan catering in Austin!- Since the loss of Austin’s only all vegan catering company to Hawaii, I know a few people have been wondering what catering company is going to fill those vegan shoes. While looking for other vegan-friendly catering companies in town, I was happy to learn that one of latest Natural Epicurian graduates, and awesome Austin vegan Sally Nicely has set up a personal chef/catering company! Simply Nice offers catering services, personal chef services and cooking classes, so future Austin vegan events have no fear, our caterer is here! Know of any other local vegan-friendly caterers? Let us know!

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.