This was meant to be a quick review of my weekend in Austin. After penning 1,000 words, I thought I’d spare you and make this a double feature. I mean we all know great music happens within the city limits of Austin but if you’re vegan you know that it doesn’t just stop with the music.
Austin is known for a few things, live music being one of them. In fact it is so popular there’s a show on TV dedicated to the talent that exist in the capital city and beyond, better know as Austin City Limits. I love music. It was a staple in my household growing up so I have a deep appreciation. My parents loved the oldies and sixties, my brothers rocked to seventies and I was a happy prodigy to all of it. I may have had an Elvis poster along with Led Zeppelin on my closet door. Just sayin. Peter Frampton and Sean Cassidy may have been my teen idols but they shared the same space with the likes of Willie, George, and Bocephus (look him up!).
So here I find myself in Austin for the millionth time ever. I’m only saying that because my daughter spent most of my money, I mean her education time here, and because of that I learnt a thing or two about Austin. This time though it’s not for the music. Sure you’ve read plenty of reviews on Austin and if you’re vegan even more so it’s no news to you that Austin has emerged as a vegan foodie heaven. In my quest to eat as much of it I could, I quickly discovered there is no way in hell you can eat all the vegan food in one weekend. Here’s what I squeezed in.
Upon arriving, within a few miles of my hotel I made stop at Sweet Ritual for an afternoon snack. Ya’ll, I’m telling you I’m not a sweet eater and the last thing I’d usually choose is ice cream It’s just not my guilty pleasure. This ice cream, no cream ice cream…is the real deal. In fact it is better than the “cream” in all that crappy milk shit you eat. No. Lie. This walnut fig scoop could make a girl change her ways.
After check in I took a stroll downtown, where I enjoyed a stop for a cocktail or two. It was FRIDAY and Austin has a vibrant downtown, one that I long for Dallas to adopt. I’m embarrassed (not really!) telling you that for dinner I may have had French fries. Not just any French fries though, these were top notch from a not so very friendly vegan French restaurant (it wasn’t my choice). All was not lost though, I enjoyed the best apple hotty toddy ever in honor of playing Ole Miss (ya gotta know SEC football) the next day. It proved to be damn good luck too.
I jumped back on the Austin vegan bandwagon the next day with breakfast at Bouldin Creek Café. It’s a mainstay while in Austin for an anytime meal but today it was all about breakfast. I choose a daily special that included grits. Mmmm…trust me and eat more grits. I make grits a lot at home and thank you Bouldin for giving me another way to use them. The bowl with grits, kale, add avocado was super good.
Now this normally doesn’t happen but we were so full from brekkie/brunchie we decided to do some shopping around and then do a must-needed workout at the hotel gym. Lunch became an afterthought even though there was still plenty of vegan food to be had. That would have to wait because we had another agenda. A Arkansas football game was playing and we made a mad dash to Black Sheep Lodge. Although vegan friendly we held out with the help of a couple of beers so we’d be plenty hungry for Unity Kitchen.
OMG…Worth. Waiting. For. The lasagna and special eggplant dish were both savory and had a perfect balance of Italian spices. You carnivores would never miss the meat in these two dishes. Back at the hotel for the evening I may have been guilty of enjoying cupcakes we snagged earlier in the day at Capital City Bakery. My friend Kristen is a great baker and it’s been fun watching her grown her trailer business into a brick and mortar who now offers lunch items and brunch. Talk about vegan inspiration!
Carrot Cake and Blueberry with a crazy delicious topping (sorry, I forgot!)
I’m telling you, not enough hours in the day for all the vegan goodness here in Austin Vegan Limits. I do my best the following two days though and you can catch Part 2 on Tuesday. Meantime, I’m in Portland at Vegfest selling boots and eating more all the vegan food again. I love my job.