Tagged: Vegan Ice Cream

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Thai Tea Ice Cream over Sticky Rice from Thai Fresh

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Thai tea ice cream over hot sticky rice from Thai Fresh.

What’s better than vegan Thai tea ice cream? Thai tea ice cream melting over hot coconut sticky rice! Its rich coconut flavors melding with the bold flavors of Thai tea – the creamy, cold ice cream contrasting with the hot, chewy rice. This ice cream is more than just a summer staple: it’s the perfect year-round indulgence.

This incredible combination can be found at Thai Fresh, the coffee bar/Thai restaurant tucked away on Mary Street. I love the whole coffee shop/restaurant, but the ice cream and desserts blow me away. The ice cream case is entirely vegan, and with distinctive rotating flavors such as ginger lemongrass, Thai basil, sweet potato pecan and salty tamarind, you’re likely to want to try them all. The dessert case always has something fun going on, from vegan cookies and cakes, to pies, parfaits and ice cream sandwiches – for a few lucky months this summer, their amazing baker was even cranking out vegan croissants and pain au chocolat.

Vegan grasshopper pie and a latte from Thai Fresh.Vegan Croissants from Thai Fresh

Thai Fresh on Mary StreetIf you’re confused by the Thai restaurant/coffee shop combo, you’re not alone. This pairing is uniquely set up, with two spaces, and two focuses, yet with one counter from which you order. It’s unusual, but once you get used to the idea of ordering Thai food from a coffee shop, it all falls into place. Head there in the morning for a latte and parfait, in the afternoon for a full vegan-friendly Thai meal, or in the evening for some wine, dessert and live music. Vegetarian Thai cooking classes (that are vegan-friendly) are also offered regularly, and there is even a small Thai market with those hard to find ingredients, for when you want to re-create the flavors at home.

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!

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Salted Caramel Brownie Shake from Sweet Ritual

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Salted Caramel Shake with a brownie from Sweet Ritual.

You know the magic that happens with a brownie sundae, when the ice cream starts to soak through the cake? Now, imagine that as a shake. That’s the fun behind adding a Capital City Bakery brownie to your Sweet Ritual shake. This is not an official menu item, but it’s officially become my favorite off-menu item at Austin’s one and only all-vegan ice cream parlor. All you have to do is pick your favorite shake (mine’s the salted caramel shake made with soft serve), and then add a brownie. Your brownie will be crushed into your shake, and served with a big straw to accommodate the bits of brownie you are about to eat/drink.

I’ve never met a shake from Sweet Ritual that I didn’t like, but the salted caramel always takes the cake for me. The combination of sweet and salty is so good, you might just want to grab a bottle to take home with you. The recent collaboration between Sweet Ritual and Capital City Bakery to make ice cream sandwiches has also been a hit in our household, and we’ve been known to grab a few to take home and store in the freezer for a rainy day.

Salted Caramel available to take home from Sweet Ritual.Ice Cream Sandwiches from Sweet Ritual

Sweet Ritual rock star employee Nandy torching marshmallows for a Red Hot Vegans Sundae.While shakes and ice cream sandwiches are my go-to orders, I’m also a big fan of the chocolate waffle cones, and will order a sundae in a cone just to eat the cone. The RedHotVegans.com sundae (yeah, we have a sundae!), aka the s’mores sundae, is a favorite because it comes with a pyrotechnics show. After you place your order, stick around to watch the marshmallows get torched – and possibly burst into flames.

So next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, come visit this adorable old-fashioned ice cream parlor at 45th and Duval (inside JuiceLand). Whatever you decide to go with, be it a shake, sundae or ice cream sandwich, your inner child will thank you.

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!

Put It In Your Mouth:

Manhattan Milkshake

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While the rest of the US is socked in with snow and frigid temperatures, we here in Austin have the rough task of bearing 80 degree sunny, spring-like days. The perfect cure: a frosty vegan Manhattan milkshake! A combination of my two favorite food groups, cocktails and dessert, this boozy Manhattan milkshake is a crowd pleaser.

Vegan Manhattan Milkshake (serves 6):

12 ice cubes
1 fl. oz. sweet vermouth
6 fl. oz. whiskey or bourbon
1 1/2 cups plain vegan creamer
1 pint vegan vanilla ice cream, frozen solid
1 tbsp. grenadine
2 tsp. orange or angostura bitters
maraschino cherries for garnish (preferably Tillen Farms Brand)

Directions: In a blender, add ice cubes, sweet vermouth, whiskey/bourbon, creamer, ice cream, grenadine and bitters; blend until smooth . Pour into 6 old-fashioned glasses; garnish each with a cherry. Modified from SELF Magazine’s recipe.

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!

The Last Couple of Weeks in Review

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It’s been forever and a day since we’ve put together a Week in Review post, so some of this might be old news – but heck – life happens, so here’s what’s been going on in Austin:

- Mr. Natural’s Vegan Ice Cream Happy Hour is back! From 3-6pm everyday in June, you can enjoy 2-for-1 vegan soft serve cones. There are only 8 more days left to enjoy this – so get on it!

- Austin’s scheduled for its very own Walk for Farm Animals fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary. It’s going to be at Pease Park on October 27th, but you can start raising money for this awesome cause now. Create a team, or do it solo – there’s no wrong way to raise money for farm animals! It’s an incredibly popular event all over the country, and I’m so happy to be able to join in, right here in Austin!

- Red Hot Vegans participated in a vegan food swap hosted by The Verdant Life. The box we sent was featured on St. Pete Vegan Food Swap. They totally dug the Food for Lovers queso we sent them – no surprise there!

- There will be two new Daily Juice locations opening up soon! One location is planned for Westlake and one for downtown. I happened upon the downtown location the other day, and now I’m super psyched for them to finally open their doors. I’m hoping for an expanded vegan food menu like the Hyde Park location – with awesome nachos and the like.

- Ice Cream Social, an adorable little ice cream trailer, has a bunch of different vegan options, the most interesting of which is avocado sorbet! Unfortunately, none of their topping options are vegan, but they’ve got plenty of other stuff like rotating sorbets and popsicles to cool down with on a hot day.

- Have you checked out The Vegan Nom lately? They practically have something new each week, like queso and cookies (great for dunking), and a vegan migas taco that is insane! I eat there way more often than I should admit to. Word to the wise: if you’re not into spicy food, just ask for it mild. Almost everything they make can be mildified – I should know, I’m the biggest spicy food baby around.

- Austin has its very own vegan nut cheese company called Nutty Cow. Who knew? Products haven’t hit the shelves yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them out, once they do.

- Vegan Pizza Day 2012 is coming up on Saturday, June 30th! We’re working on putting together an awesome party with Capital City Bakery! Stay tuned for party details and a rad Austin vegan pizza blog post.

 

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.

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Carrot Cake Cookie with Strawberry Mojito Sorbet

Ice cream sandwiches in the haus! If you haven’t checked out Coolhaus already, I suggest you hightail it to their nearest truck. They are the sweetest little ice cream sandwich truck with multiple trucks around the country, including two in Austin (coming soon to Dallas too!). I was so excited when I heard that they offer a couple different vegan options, I ran out and tried them right away. Their current vegan options include:

-vegan cookies: chocolate banana truffle and carrot cake
-vegan sorbets: strawberry mojito, spicy pineapple cilantro, and blood orange

I’ve sampled both cookies, and all the flavors listed above, though not all the different combinations (there is time yet). And while some combos are stranger than others, there isn’t a bad flavor in the house – you just have to keep an open mind when creating your ice cream sandwich. We’ve tried a carrot cake cookie with the strawberry mojito sorbet, and a chocolate banana truffle cookie with the blood orange sorbet. Both were excellent, and fun combinations. They also come wrapped in these ingenious edible rice paper wrappers that help keep your hands clean.

The magnetic board on the front of the truck will tell you the current options of the day, and while I’ve yet to see a truck with all the vegan options, I’ve also never seen a truck with no vegan options – so you have a very good chance of finding some combination to try. You can usually find a truck parked at Hope Farmer’s on Sundays, and another one parked at 6th and Waller most weekdays, but be sure to check their schedule online or twitter for their current locations.

As the temperature starts to rise here in Austin, I know these little trucks will be a welcome respite.

Red Hot Vegans Sundae

A Campfire in a Cup!

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Torched Sundae

Sweet Ritual Counter

Sweet Ritual Menu

My favorite all-vegan Austin ice cream parlor and vegan hangout spot Sweet Ritual has debuted the RedHotVegans.com sundae! A tower of vegan soft serve topped with spicy chocolate sauce, graham crackers, and torched marshmallows. Watch your marshmallows get flambéed before your eyes! Fire + Dessert = Red Hot Vegan perfection. Thanks so much to Amelia and Valerie at Sweet Ritual for coming up with this masterpiece!

Sweet Ritual has another bit of exciting news for vegan soft serve lovers — starting today, Sweet Ritual will now be open until 10pm! No more worries about tragically missing out on after dinner ice cream!

Not like you need another reason to get your ice cream on, but if you haven’t had the motivation to try Sweet Ritual yet, now’s the time to do it. ScoutMob is running a deal: up to $5 off your ice cream Monday through Thursday. Enjoy!

Red Hot Vegan Sundae

Vegan Hard Packed Ice Cream in Austin!

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Don’t get me wrong. I love our vegan soft serve options in Austin, but sometimes a girl wants something a little harder. Lick on South Lamar definitely fills that craving.

Lick Storefront

After a successful meet up at Wasota African Cuisine with the Vegetarian Network of Austin, I had a hankering for something sweet, so I moved myself (and a few others from the meet up) on over to Lick.

The storefront is tucked away from the street, and the sign for it is small, so a couple of people in our party drove right past it. If you’re not sure where it is, keep an eye out for the sign for horseshoe lounge, and turn in there. Once we all found our way, we were so glad we did.

They normally have two vegan ice cream flavors – “spicy coconut & peanut” and “coconut, peanut butter & chocolate swirl”. Both are vegan, even though only one of the signs has the word “vegan” printed on it. Beware: there is also a third dairy-free flavor that is not vegan (contains eggs). Both flavors were amazing, and even though both contained coconut and peanuts, their tastes were surprisingly distinct.

Ice Cream

The prices for a cup of hard packed vegan goodness are decent, starting at $3.39 for a small (two scoops – pictured above), $4.19 for a medium (3 scoops), and $4.99 for a large (4 scoops). Each serving comes in a compostable cup with a compostable spoon, which is awesome – especially since you’ll probably be taking your ice cream to go. The store is pretty tiny, so unless you want to huddle with your friends on a selection of vintage milking stools, you’ll want to hightail it out of this ice cream shop to enjoy your treat. Lick is also great for an after dinner dessert spot, as the shop is open till 10pm Sun-Thu, and 11:30pm on Fri and Sat, so go get your ice cream on!

Accidentally Vegan: Kosher HEB

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Amazing vegan options can be found in some of the most unexpected places. International and specialty grocery stores harbor treasure troves of vegan food that, more often than not, are vegan by mere happenstance. Kosher groceries are often a hidden gem for vegans, because of the convenient overlap between kosher law and vegan food guidelines*. When my husband and I lived in the largely Orthodox/Hasidic neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, we fell in love with the local kosher grocery stores and their massive sections of vegan ice cream cakes, ice cream bars and cones, chocolates, and frozen foods. It was a veritable playground of non-dairy goodness, and all of it could be ours! We figured that although Austin isn’t known for its Orthodox scene, we could probably score some pretty decent finds at the local kosher section at the HEB in Northwest Hills.

Kosher Section at HEB
HEB kosher section - ghost town on a Saturday.

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