Dan and I have been traveling for the past few weeks (we’re in Chennai, India right now!), but whenever we have a chance to check the internet, we’ve been keeping up with all the exciting happenings in Austin right now. One big thing that happened for us is winning Best Local Vegan Blog in the Vegans Rock Austin 2013 Austin Veggie Awards! We truly appreciate everyone who voted for us, and also want to send out a big congrats to all the other winners – there’s so much amazing food in this town! We had some stiff competition in our category, and love that there are so many kick-ass bloggers in this town. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Lazy Smurf, The Little Red Journal, Lizz Delicious, Lone Star Plate and My Healthy Chef, I highly recommend that you do.
Because we’re traveling, we’re not able to get pictures of all the new stuff going on, but here’s a list of some of the latest news:
– Capital City Bakery’s storefront on E. Cesar Chavez has been under construction for months, but is now soft open, and looks super adorable! Check it out now, and head on over to their grand opening party on January 5th!
– Candy Cart is a new mobile candy store in Austin – think food truck, but instead it’s a store. Offering organic, vegan, and all natural candies, treats, and snacks. You can find them parked at the South Shore Eatery next to the AMLI on Town Lake. Stop by and stock up on sour beans, veggie booty, dark chocolate and more.
– If you’re in the market for some vegan kimchi, keep an eye out for Oh Kimchi Austin. Stocked at Wheatsville, The Wet Whistle and In.gredients, and sold at local farmers markets, this local kimchi company has quite a few vegan options including cucumber, napa cabbage and daikon kimchi.
– I ran across a press release about Scott Tucker, an Austin vegan who plans to open an American-style (aka burgers, hot dogs, fries) vegan food truck in Austin soon, but other than that, the details were murky. Anyone know more about this, and can fill us in?
– There’s a new baker in the Austin vegan scene: Kat Sisler, who goes by Craving Vegan. Head on over to her Facebook and Instagram account to see her tempting cupcake photos, or over to her blog CravingVegan.com for recipes and to place an order.
– Tom’s Tabooley announced on Facebook that they are going totally vegetarian starting January 1st! They’ll also be adding some breakfast items to the menu that will hopefully be vegan-friendly as well.
– Thrilled Cheese is a grilled cheese food truck in Austin that advertises vegan options on their menu. The truck is one of the few that actually moves around, and can generally be found at one of three North Austin locations.
– The Vegan Nom had officially planned to re-open on North Loop today, but it looks like something has delayed the trailer. Keep your eyes open for it though, as the official re-launch could be any day now. They have been sorely missed up north, and I’m sure all their regulars will breathe a sigh of relief once the north location is back up and running. Also in Vegan Nom news, they’ve switched their tempeh to Hearty Vegan Tempeh. Yay for local businesses supporting local products!
New Vegan Menu Items:
– The Hearty Vegan has really been keeping busy with the local food trailers, debuting their garbanzo bean tempeh at BBQ Revolution. This is a great option for those on gluten- and soy-free diets looking for the home-smoked taste of real Texas BBQ. If you’ve somehow been living in a rock for the past month and haven’t checked out BBQ Revolution yet, well, what are you waiting for?
– Ramen Tatsu-Ya has offered a vegan mazemen (brothless ramen) on their lunch menu for the past several weeks. The best part? It’s available all week long (except on Mondays, when they’re closed), so no need to wait until Sunday to get your vegan ramen fix. In other Tatsu-Ya news, the deep fried Brussels sprouts and tofu toppings on their Sunday special vegan ramen bowl are now fried in a new dedicated fryer that Ramen Tatsu-Ya added to their kitchen last month!
– Vegan ramen is now also available at Michi Ramen. They’ve had a veggie option on the menu since opening their brick-and-mortar at the beginning of the year, and they’ve finally sorted out the vegan noodle situation, adding a fourth option to Austin’s growing vegan ramen scene. We gave the new vegan option at Michi Ramen a try last month, and loved it! The well-balanced shoyu broth is both flavorful and refreshing, and complements the noodles and toppings well.
– Some bad news: the VERTS patties are no longer vegan. The company received complaints about the new recipe, so they decided to revert back to the old one that contains eggs. This is incredibly disappointing, but if you’re still a VERTS fan, you can get a vegan kebap with the grilled veggies instead of the patties.
Other Vegan News:
– Jay-Z announced on his blog, Life and Times, that he and Beyonce will be trying a 22 day vegan pledge. The news made worldwide entertainment headlines, and it even seems like they’ve kept up with it, with pictures of vegan food a mainstay in Beyonce’s Instagram feed. A picture of vegan cupcakes with 346,000 likes!?! Whether they decide to stay vegan or not, that’s pretty neat. Al Gore has also reportedly gone vegan, following in the footsteps of President Clinton perhaps?
– If you’re looking for an affordable vegan sparkling wine for the holidays, Domaine Carneros is a great choice. It’s even marketed as vegan on the back label – and you can find it at Central Market (probably other places around town too), retailing for around $20 a bottle. French 75 New Years toast, anyone?
Dan and I are looking forward to returning to Austin in a few weeks, and checking all this fun new stuff out ourselves. In the meantime, if you’d like to follow us on our trip, check out my Instagram feed. Happy holidays and a fantastic new year from Red Hot Vegans!