Sunday, May 12, 2013

Austin Texas - Texas VegFest and a lot of Great Vegan Spots

Tom and I flew into Austin on April 5th through April 8th to celebrate our birthday's, mine is the 5th his is the 12th. We saw that the Texas VegFest was April 6th so we booked the trip and planned to eat as much as we could for that weekend. There are SO many Vegan places in Austin, I had printed the Lazy Smurf's Vegan Guide before leaving and highlighted a bunch of places to go.

We left Pittsburgh around 6 am and landed in Austin by 10 am. We got the rental car and drove straight to the Wheatsville Co-op, this was on the Lazy Smurf's guide and also I had read on another blog about how good the food is here. It's more of a grocery store but they have a prepared food section with many Vegan options. Their bakery also has a lot of vegan donuts, muffins, etc. Red Rabbit is a Vegan bakery that sells their products at the Co-op.

Tom and I decided the best way for us to be able to eat a lot and try things was to split a lot of meals so we started out with the Spicy Buffalo Tofu sandwich and an Apple Fritter, both were SO incredible!!! The Tofu options at Wheatsville Co-op were one of the best I have ever have, they let you try them before deciding.

Red Rabbit - Vegan Apple Fritter

After we left we drove to the Whole Foods Flagship store in Austin, I couldn't believe how big it was! It had a 3 level garage for parking. The store is massive! I would love to be able to grocery shop here every day.

All we bought at Whole Foods was the Vegan Peanut Butter Parfait. 

After leaving Whole Foods we went to downtown Austin to walk around on South Congress Avenue. We were in Austin in 2010 and walked up and down this street, it's also known for the bats that come out in the evening on the bridge, we experienced this in 2010. Tom and I just wanted to walk around and enjoy the nice weather.

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds -the biggest costume store I have ever been in

Uncommon Objects

Food Trucks in Austin

Uncommon Objects

Amy's Ice Cream

After we walked around downtown we were hungry again, so we went to Wasota Africa Cuisine, this is an absolute must if you are in Austin, we have never had African food and it was so wonderful to experience something different. This man has a food truck and makes all the food fresh as you order,  it does take a little more time because it's all made fresh but it's worth it. Tom and I sat at a table near a little creek and relaxed in the sun. The man was so friendly and sweet and the food was incredible. We ordered the Akara (Black-eyed Peas Fritters) and the Veggie Burger and Fried Plantains. This was the first time I have ever had Plaintains, they were very good. The burger was even made up fresh right then. The sauce he made for us, he made it spicy since we told him we like hot stuff.

Veggie Burger and Fried Plantains
Akara (Black-eyed Peas Fritters)

this was the owner and he was a sweetheart, we tipped him very good for the food and awesome service

After we left the African Cuisine, we wanted some dessert. We went to the Sweet Ritual, an all Vegan ice cream shop that is in the same storefront was Juice Land.

I had Toasted Almond and Cinnamon ice cream and Tom had Cinnamon

Next we stopped at Vegan Nom for Vegan Tacos. Tom and I tried a few different kinds Grilled Avocado Reale, 3 Amigo Locos Taco, and a breakfast Taco.


3 Amigos Locos taco and breakfast taco

Grilled Avocado Reale and another 3 Amigo Locos Taco

On Saturday morning we got up and went to breakfast at the Bouldin Creek Cafe, this was absolutely the best breakfast food I have had in my life! The tofu was locally made and unbelievable! Tom and I were in heaven trying each other's food. We ordered the Joe's Smokin Omelet homemade tofu stuffed with spinach, onions and Daiya cheddar cheese topped with chipolte pecan pesto and a Bouldin House Omelet homemade tofu sautéed spinach, garlic, onion, mushrooms with Daiya pepper jack cheese.

Bouldin Creek Cafe

 Bouldin House Omelet

Joe's Smokin Omelet

After breakfast we drove over to the Texas VegFest which was held at the Fiesta Gardens, we got there so early so we walked around Lady Bird Lake for awhile, that was so nice. We also walked through the festival to see everything being set up, it was exciting seeing all of the vendors and the food.

Tom couldn't wait to try the burger at Arlo's, they were set up at the Veg Fest. We were lucky to be there right when they opened because moments later the line was so long. He really liked the Bacon Cheese Burger, and I had a bite, it was very good.

 Chocolate Mint Cupcake and Oatmeal Cream pie from Capital City Bakery - this Oatmeal Cream pie was So delicious, I would love to be able to replicate this recipe, they were moist and SO yummy!

K-Toos Cookies- These cookies are a vegan version of Oreo's-very good!

Sinfull Bakery- I wish I would have bought one of these Cinnamon Rolls they are huge!

Tom's $5 Corn Dog, it was good but not $5 worth

Red Rabbit Bakery

We sat on the hillside and shared a Arnold Palmer, it was very refreshing in the hot sun. After we walked around the Veg Fest for a few hours, we left and drove to the San Marcos Outlets. I was there in 2010 and it's one of the bigger outlet centers that I have been to, over 140 stores. We shopped for a few hours then went back to the hotel to rest before heading out to dinner.

Even though the reviews for the Mother's Cafe weren't too good on the Lazy Smurf's guide, it was one that wasn't recommended, Yelp has very high reviews to it so we went and were very glad that we did. I wasn't very hungry after eating all of the complimentary chips, salsa and guacamole (was extra) so I just had a piece of cake. Tom got the Spicy Tempeh Enchiladas and I had the Belgian Mocha Fudge Chocolate cake. Both were excellent and we had great service, it was very busy there.


Spicy Tempeh Enchiladas and Belgian Mocha Fudge Chocolate cake

Belgian Mocha Fudge Chocolate cake

Spicy Tempeh Enchiladas

 We got tons of samples at the Veg Fest!

The next morning Tom and I went to the Kerbey Lane Cafe on Guadalupe Street, I had read really good reviews on their vegan sausage, tofu scramble and pancakes, so we each got the Vegan Breakfast Platter that had all 3 items to try. The pancakes were pumpkin, they have different flavors they offer, and these pancakes were so incredible. I swear they were peach cinnamon because there were pieces of peaches in them and they have served this flavor before but they told me they were pumpkin, it didn't matter what flavor they were because I was just loving the taste, they were So yummy and so perfect. The tofu scramble was so yummy also and we realized that they had nutritional yeast in it that made it taste so much better than the scrambles we have had before. Tom makes tofu scramble at home and I love it but now he has started putting the nutritional yeast in it and we realized that was all it needed. This place was packed also, but the service was great and we both cleaned our plates.

For lunch we went to The Parlor Hyde Park - This is kind of a dive place but they make incredible vegan pizzas! We had one with peppers, onions, banana peppers, and vegan sausage. The pizza was great.

We went to Juice Land and got two smoothies that were very good, just very pricey! I had the Berry Godmother and Tom got the Originator.

After all the eating we decided to go hiking to try to walk off some of the food we ate. I looked up what trails are great in Austin and the Wild Basin Wilderness Trail was one that came up. We enjoyed this trail a lot, at one point we came across a small waterfall that was nice. We hiked for a little while and then went back to the hotel to rest.


   For our last night in Austin we went to the Counter Culture for dinner.  This place had very yummy food. The service was great and my favorite was the Coconut Vanilla ice cream, I have had a lot of Vegan Ice Cream but this was the most creamiest ice cream ever and was so good! For an appetizer we got the Spicy Baked Artichoke Dip with bread, then we both got meals so we could try each other's. Tom got the Philly Seitan Sandwich, Texas Caviar (black eye peas cold salad) and I got the Sausage & Sauerkraut Sandwich, Jalapeño Cornbread. For dessert we got the Raw Cobbler ( pears, apples, strawberries, walnuts, cashew cream) and the best Ice Cream ever Coconut Vanilla.

 Spicy Baked Artichoke Dip with bread

 Sausage & Sauerkraut Sandwich, Jalapeño Cornbread

 Philly Seitan Sandwich, Texas Caviar (black eye peas cold salad)

Raw Cobbler ( pears, apples, strawberries, walnuts, cashew cream) and the best Ice Cream ever Coconut Vanilla-only problem with this was there should have been more ice cream ;)

 That was our trip from Friday thru Monday morning. We had a great time and pretty much ate the whole entire time :)

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