Tagged: Vegans Rock Austin

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!

Texas VegFest is almost here!

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Texas VegFest is nearly upon us and we in the Austin veg*n community can hardly wait!

Texas VegFest Flier

Many of us here at Red Hot Vegans are well-acquainted with the folks who are running the event, so we’ve been privileged enough to see bits and pieces of the planning process from the very beginning. It’s been a real thrill for us to see it come to fruition; through the hard work of the organizers, what was once an idea among ordinary individuals has now materialized into what may possibly be the biggest vegetarian event of the year in the state of Texas. It’s exciting and inspiring, to say the least!

It’s important to give a little bit of background to help understand exactly what this means. I’ve been lucky enough to have been associated with the Austin vegan scene for about seven years now, after attending my first potluck by Vegans Rock Austin, a social group that was then just a couple of years old and still associated with Meetup.com. Since that time, the scene here has blown up: VRA got their own site and message board, different social groups arose, multiple local-focused vegan blogs came online, the quality and quantity of dining options exploded, and the sheer size and general connectivity of our community grew exponentially. Texas VegFest is the culmination of this history: the most prominent mark yet that our community has made on the culture of this great city. So for the old-school veg scenesters like me, anticipation couldn’t be higher.

So, what does this event have in store, anyway? Their tagline says “From cupcakes to kale, there’ll be something for everyone,” and from the looks of it, that appears to be true. While a full detailed list is available at the Texas VegFest website, here are some of the highlights that many of us are particularly looking forward to:

This is only a brief overview, so check out the Texas VegFest website, Twitter, or Facebook page for more info. You can also RSVP on the Facebook event page. It takes place at Fiesta Gardens, on the shores of beautiful Lady Bird Lake in East Austin, from 11am-6pm this Saturday, and don’t forget about ATX Vegan Drinks – VegFest Edition this Friday from 7-9pm at The Brixton. Hope to see you there!

Local Organic Dosas from an Airsteam Near You

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[Editor’s note: According to a tweet from Nomad Dosa, the trailer is closed until further notice. Here’s to hoping they open up again soon! Also, their domain name appears to have been taken over by cybersquatters, so we’ve removed all hyperlinks that previously pointed to their website from this post.]

Nomad Dosa opened last Wednesday at 3421½ N IH 35, one big block south of the Fiesta Mart on 38½ St near Concordia Ave and Robinson Ave. Chef and proprietor Todd Davis, trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute, works to provide his customers with an all-around “quality experience,” from the flavor profile, to the friendly faces behind the counter, to the shopping list. We were lucky enough to get a taste of the vegan Mangonana Lassi and the lentil sambar during the soft opening on Saturday. Both impressed us so much that we had to return today for the full menu experience.

Nomad Dosa Trailer

The menu guides customers through a streamlined ordering process. First, you choose between a dosa, dosa set, or a rice bowl. Next, you choose a filling, toppings, and a dipping sauce. Marie tried a dosa with the Holy Cow filling (creamy spiced potatoes, sauteed onions, roasted cashews, and green peas), stuffed with raw chopped onions, and coconut chutney on the side. Marie says, “the mild rating of the coconut chutney is accurate,” so if your tongue recoils from heat, this chutney flavor is a good bet. The dosa tasted fresh and light and was not weighted down with too much oil.

I chose a dosa set. The dosa set features two small dosa flat rounds with a filling on the side, as opposed to the regular dosa which features one large round with the filling stuffed in. I ordered the Kerala Kokonut filling (mixed vegetables, garlic, ginger, with coconut curry), topped with romaine lettuce and bell peppers, with the cilantro chutney on the side.  The cilantro chutney definitely has a kick. If you order the dosa set, then you can stuff your filling into the rounds and eat them like tacos (please note the inauthenticity of this method). We also tried idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes) and vada (savory Indian donuts) on the side. The Kerala Kokonut filling and the vada were our favorites, but we recommend you give everything a try. (As part of a promotion for the soft-opening, we tried our food for free, in exchange for food pantry donations.)

Dosa

The only non-vegan items on the menu are the India Jones filling and an always optional cheese topping. All menu items are gluten-free, wheat-free, and soy-free. Nomad Dosa prioritizes using “the best food available from local family farmers who practice organic and sustainable ways of growing crops.” They do other neat things like fermenting their own dosa batter and making their own coconut milk.

A major life event, a trip around the country, and a love of dosa inspired Todd to start up his trailer and “share this delicious and nourishing food with others.” Marie and I had the opportunity to chat with him about his new venture, and we’re really excited about this new addition to the Austin food scene. Currently, Nomad Dosa is open from 11:00am till 3:00pm Monday through Saturday. If business demands it they may open for dinner and Sundays too. We are so excited about this new food trailer, that we’ve already scheduled a VRA meetup; so please make haste and show this new food trailer some love!