I hope you're not bored to death with the great state of Texas yet-- I've realized that in doing this third post, I've actually spent more days on my blog in Texas than I was physically there! No matter.
Today's topic? FOOD. Now, I've mentioned before that Matthew and I have been following a vegan diet since November, and the biggest hardships have not been not-being-able-to-eat-cheese (which, hand to God, more than five people have told me would be the biggest obstacle towards following a similar diet path, and I understand!) or missing patty melts. Nay! Mainly, I've noticed that where we run into trouble are situations where we don't have options to eat at home or to go to a specific, known restaurant that has vegan (or at least vegan-ish...I don't mind picking something out of a salad if I have to) options. OH MY FREAKIN' GOD, THE VEGAN OPTIONS AUSTIN AND SAN ANTONIO HAVE.
This was part of a $12 brunch we went to on Saturday, and we ate enough for at least four people. Here's the menu for that day swiped from their Facebook page:
Spinach Tofu Scramble
Chocolate Chip, Flax and Chia Muffins
Strawberry Banana Grits
Sweet Potato Chipotle Grits
Mushroom and Swiss chard Pasta
Corn and Black Bean Salad Salad
Chips and queso
IT WAS SO GOOD. The potato salad almost had Matthew in tears. On Friday, we googled "Vegan restaurants San Antonio" after our debacle with the rental car-- at that point, the oatmeal we'd had at Deb's house around 4:45 that morning was wearing thin, and we needed nourishment! The first thing that came up was Vegeria Cafe. It took us three pass-bys to realize it was located inside the Viva complex, which also houses a bookstore and a gallery, but we finally made it to a small, house-like structure attached by a large wooden deck to the other parts of the building. Inside, there's a long wooden counter terminating in an old-time glass refrigerator case to display desserts (I wish I hadn't eaten so much each time, I could have had a 100% vegan, 100% gluten-free dessert!), and wooden tables with mismatched vintage and antique chairs in varying states of ornateness. The place was full, but we got a seat pretty quickly and ordered the Rosalie Special (a plate of enchiladas, refried black beans, salad and cilantro coconut rice) and the Buffalo Grits tamales. It took a long time to get the food to the table, but the waitresses were very solicitious and we sipped our waters, hoping beyond hope that the food wasn't a disappointment after everything else we'd been through that morning.
NEWSFLASH: It was hands down the best vegan food I've ever had, and possibly the best Tex-Mex food I've ever had. We were so impressed that when we came back to the Alamo on Saturday, we dropped in again for the aforementioned brunch, and it was JUST AS GOOD. Also, the combined price of the two plates of food was something like $12. Why, why, WHY don't we have for-real-real places like this in Nashville? I could bring all my friends and relatives in and in one fell swoop, convert them all to a grains-based diet lifestyle. Hélas. You can see more about what an awesome place Vegeria is here on their website. And if you're in Texas, go! Go, go, go!
Saturday evening, we were back in Austin and once again relied on Google to point our compasses in the right direction. The Vegan Yacht is a food truck surrounded by a few outdoor tables made from reclaimed wood and painted in the same adorable minty turquoise of the truck. Do you see the octopus riding the bicycle? I was like...all right, let's do this.
We were once again starving to death, in spite of our indulgent (though early) brunch at Vegeria, so we dropped by and had the leftovers sammie on olive ciabatta slamwich on olive ciabatta. We gobbled them up too fast and too happily to take pictures, but enjoy instead this photo of me standing next to the octopus:
And Matthew getting paparazzi'd from the passenger seat as he finished his slamwich. What was cool? There was a garden directly to the side and out back of the truck, and owner/operator Mike had a tiny, happy little baby in a baby carrier rocking in the background of the sandwiching making. After looking at the Facebook page for the Vegan Yacht, I know now this little guy's name is Otis. WELL PLAYED, YACHT OWNERS AND PARENTS. Well played.
Have you been to any blow-your-mind-case-open restaurants either here or abroad lately? What kinds of on-the-go food appeal to you? Have you ever tried a vegan or similarly life-altering diet? Let's talk, friends!
And in case you missed it, all the reasons you would need to at least give vegan cuisine a shot, as presented by Justin Timberlake. He knows what's up:
That's all for today! One more post from the 28th state tomorrow, then Photo Friday. Where is this week going? I'll see you tomorrow!