Tagged: VERTS Kebap

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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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 JournalLizz DeliciousLone Star Plate and My Healthy Chef, I highly recommend that you do.

Veggie Awards 2013

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:

Vegan-friendly Businesses:

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.

Toms TabooleyTom’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!

Michi Ramen – 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?

domaine carneros– 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!

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 RickshawFrozen 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 location– Trader 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-frontBetter 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.