Tagged: Vegan Japanese

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 LoopRed 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 MallSauced, 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 CreoleBaton 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.

Vegan Adventures at Ramen Tatsu-Ya!

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Vegan Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Ramen must be the new it-food, because it’s all I’ve been hearing about lately. Luckily, vegans are not being left out of this growing food trend. Austin’s got not one, but two vegan ramen options in town!

Line to get in the door at Ramen Tatsu-Ya

The first vegan ramen we decided to get our hands on was at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Only available on Sundays, and sold out within hours of opening, the vegan ramen at Ramen Tatsu-Ya was phenomenal. The ramen consisted of a soy-based vegan broth, shredded red pepper, spinach, tofu, brussels sprouts, corn, menma (pickled bamboo shoots), woodear mushrooms and of course noodles! The line outside was daunting, but we were so glad we braved the half hour long wait, just to get inside this little ramen shop.

Modern Decor at Ramen Tatsu-YaOnce inside this adorable and modern restaurant, we were ushered down the line to order our drinks first. There was a bevy of imported drink options including green tea, unique sodas, and japanese beers (Barnivore tells me that both Sapporo and Asahi are vegan friendly)! With drinks in hand, we made our way to the cashier, who helpfully informed us that the vegan items on the menu include the edamame, the veggie ramen, and the cocopioca (a coconut tapioca dessert). A vegan appetizer, entree, and dessert option! We were sold.

Menu Board at Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Once our orders were placed, we were given a number and assigned a table. A short while later, our steaming bowls of ramen arrived. We tucked into our delicious food, and quickly realized why people take their ramen so seriously. The broth was the perfect temperature, the vegetables were still crisp, and the noodles were al-dente.  I finally understood why they don’t offer take-out – the noodles would go soggy. It all started to make sense as to why people were willing to stand in a long line, not begrudingly, but with an air of excitement, like we were waiting for a ride at Disneyland. I happily became a ramen convert.

Cocopioca Dessert with Strawberries

Ross and Dan dig into their vegan ramen


For those looking to experience Ramen Tatsu-Ya themselves, take a moment to become acquainted with Ramen protocol (taken from the Ramen Tatsu-Ya online menu), then go forth and enjoy!

Ramen Guide from Tatsu-Ya

Update 4/15/13: We headed back to Ramen Tatsu-Ya yesterday, to get our hands on some more delicious ramen, and learned that the salad is vegan (though it may contain non-vegan sugar), and that if you’re even remotely a garlic fan, you should order the extra garlic option. It’s a ton of garlic (enough for two or three people) that comes in a little box with its own garlic press, and it’s the perfect addition to an already amazing bowl of ramen. We also were able to confirm with Ramen Tatsu-Ya that the ramen noodles are indeed vegan, though they did mention that the Brussels sprouts and tofu were fried in a communal frier, so while they did not taste of any animal products, if the idea of that bothers you, feel free to order the ramen sans those two toppings.