Tagged: Vegan Jambalaya

Exciting New Options in South Austin

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Selection of dishes from Pulse Vegan, Austin's newest all-vegan trailer

Pulse Vegan – Austin’s Newest All-Vegan Trailer:
Pulse Vegan announced their soft opening over the weekend to their Kickstarter supporters as a way to get a first look at Austin’s newest all-vegan food trailer. Once we heard, we hightailed it on over there Saturday afternoon and managed to order almost everything on the menu. We devoured The Frenchy and The Philly sandwiches, the sides trio with The Mac, dill home fries, and Slow-Burn Slaw, and the Buffalo Basket. We all really enjoyed the food, with the sandwiches being a standout, and the au jus for the vegan French dip was a table favorite. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, beware that the Buffalo basket carries a kick that only the die-hard spicy food fan at our table could handle. I’m excited to come back again for the grand opening on June 7th, and try the few menu items we couldn’t manage to fit in the first time. As Pulse Vegan evolves over the next few weeks and months, I’m sure it will soon become a staple vegan hangout, and a refreshing new option for the South Austin vegan community.

The Pulse Vegan Trailer in the South First Food Court

Pulse Vegan's all-vegan menu

Pulse Vegan is parked in the The South First Food Court on S. 1st and Live Oak, just down the street from Bouldin Creek Cafe and next to Fair Bean Coffee. In the same lot, you’ll find other vegan-friendly food carts including Bananarchy and Candanosas Snowballs. If you’re looking to get dessert to go with your vegan smorgasbord from Pulse Vegan, head over to Bananarchy for chocolate dipped frozen bananas, or to Candanosa’s for fruit-filled snowballs. Both desserts were the perfect temperature for these hot Texas summer days.

Chocolate-dipped banana from Bananarchy

Mango snowball from Candanosas

Baton Creole’s New Locations:
Baton Creole has opened a second location in South Austin, and it’s a game changer. Located in Sweetwater, a bar and Blues/Country/Rock and Roll music venue on Stassney Lane just west of South 1st, the new location comes with a new menu, including mini jambalaya on a stick (only $3!), vegan crab cakes, and dirty rice. The jambalaya on a stick is still my favorite thing ever, and the crab cakes and dirty rice were also a hit. The jambalaya on a stick is fried in a communal fryer, but the crab cakes are pan fried and the dirty rice is not fried at all, so there is something for everyone at the new location.

Selection of food from Baton Creole

We had a chance to talk to the chef at the new location and he mentioned that he’s working on creating some new vegan specials, and that he’s always willing to whip something up for vegans, even if he’s out of the regular menu items – so if it’s not crazy busy, just ask at the bar to talk to him if you feel you need some extra help ordering. While we were there, he treated us to a Cajun vegetable salad that he’s working on (not pictured), that was incredibly flavorful and which we’re hoping will become a regular menu item. We’ve also heard that they’re working on putting together a vegan-friendly brunch and hope to have it ready around late July/early August. Considering how stellar everything else has been that’s come out of Baton Creole’s kitchen, I for one think this can’t happen soon enough.

Decor inside the Sweetwater barInterior of the Sweetwater bar

Sweetwater is surprisingly nice for being situated in a strip mall. The bar is stocked with quality liquor and beer, there is plentiful seating including a shaded outdoor area, and there are pool tables and a stage for live music. The bar opens at noon, but the kitchen hours can be a bit tricky to find. Currently, the kitchen is open from 5 pm to 2 am, 7 days a week. The only downside to the new location is that the new cook is not currently making the beignets vegan at Sweetwater (they are still vegan at the trailer), but we can always hope that will change. Whether you check out the new location down South, or head to the original trailer (now parked in the 6th St and Waller Food Court), you won’t regret it.

Vegan croissant and OJ from Thai FreshCroissants at Thai Fresh:
Thai Fresh recently announced that they are making vegan croissants again, and this time they’re available every single weekend – Friday through Sunday. The new croissants are a bit different from the ones they produced last year, and are everything I remember a croissant to be, crusty on the outside, with soft, flaky – even buttery layers inside. At $3.50, they are a steal, and for a little more you can order them with a side of vegan butter, house-made strawberry jam, and OJ. As a die-hard North Austinite, few things will compel me to cross the river, but these croissants are one of my new favorite weekend treats.

Site of Ramen Tatsu-ya's South Austin location New Locations for Local Favorites:
Restaurants are opening left and right in South Austin, and luckily a few of our vegan-friendly favorites are slated to open locations down south soon. Ramen Tatsuy-ya, who offers a crave-worthy vegan ramen, will be opening their second location on 1234 S. Lamar Boulevard, next to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar development. Via 313, the phenomenal Detroit style vegan-friendly pizza trailer, announced they will be opening a full restaurant and pub in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Austin in the late Winter/early Spring of 2015. They plan to expand their menu to include a few more styles of pizza not already found in Austin (that will hopefully be vegan-friendly as well). Juiceland, the local vegan-friendly juice chain, has been popping up all over town, with new locations in Westlake, Lakeway and a South Austin location in Oak Hill that even has a drive-through. Glad to know I’m never too far away from the quinoa ranchero salad of theirs I love so much.

Let me know if I’ve missed any exciting happenings in South Austin! It’s not my normal neck of the woods, but something tells me I’ll be spending more time down there now that there’s so much popping up. Also, keep your eyes out this week for a full Vegan News Bites post already in the works…

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole

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The Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Croele

What happens when you throw some tofu soaked in hot sauce on a stick, cover it in dirty rice, fry it*, and then drizzle remoulade all over it? You get the masterpiece that is the Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole. It’s chewy and spicy on the inside, crunchy and fried on the outside, and then finished with a vegan remoulade that pulls it all together.

Baton Creole is a relative new-comer to the vegan-friendly scene on East 6th street, but since showing up a few months ago, they have been turning out one fantastic vegan dish after another. While the jambalaya on a stick is a mainstay on the menu (and my personal favorite), there are also rotating specials which are often vegan friendly, that have been killer as well. The Vegan Crab Cakes with a side of Okra Creole were to die for, and the Vegan French Onion Soup fulfilled a personal goal of mine to find a legit veganized French onion soup.

The Vegan Crab Cakes Special from Baton Creole

Vegan French Onion Soup Special at Baton Creole

Baton Creole Trailer Parked on East 6th StYou can find this adorable pink trailer at the food court at E 6th street and Waller. If you weren’t already excited enough, the vegan special this week is panko crusted eggplant on top of a bed of bowtie noodles tossed in a creamy cashew & almond sauce with roasted red peppers & hearts of palm! Love creole food? Let them know your favorite dishes that you’d like to see veganized. Lynzy, the owner, is super sweet and always looking for suggestions. I’ve heard there might be some vegan gumbo and beignets specials in our future!

* FYI: Baton Creole uses a communal fryer, so if that doesn’t work for you, look out for one of the non-fried rotating specials which are cooked on dedicated-veg equipment.

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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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.