Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vegan Week!

It's Vegan Week here at Say Yes Austin, and I've been sampling some of the local vegan/vegetarian restaurants around town. As a on & off again vegetarian for 10 years, I am kicking myself for not trying these places before. There is an infinite list of places to try in this town and it's so hard to pick and choose!

My first real vegan meal was at Mother's. I nearly got down on my knees and kissed the ground when I was here. The entire menu is vegetarian, and most of the items can be made vegan. It's a small point, but, I'm kind of a water snob, and even though Austin has some of the cleanest tap water in the US, I still feel icky when I order water in a restaurant. But Mother's? They only serve and cook with purified water. I was so happy it was ridiculous. Moving On! The interior is super cute, with Christmas lights and random works of art lining the walls, and a calming fountain in the back dining area. I ordered the Artichoke Enchiladas and K had the Enchiladas Verdes. I got mine with a delectable scoop of super fresh, super tasty guacamole on top.

I wanted to save room for dessert, but I couldn't. I really can't wait to go back and try EVERYTHING!

Next, M took me to Casa De Luz. Casa is a cute little community tucked away near Lamar and Barton Springs. The menu changes daily, so you'll never get bored. We sat outside and enjoyed listening to the kids playing and READING during recess.

You pay at the counter and they give you little coins. You can place the coins at your table and they will bring you the meal, or you can hand them to the person behind the counter and get your meal there. While you're waiting, you can help yourself to the soup and salad of the day. They brought out our food and it was really tasty, and COLORFUL! You can even get a second serving!

Dessert is separate, and they had a lot of options. It was hard to choose! I can't wait to go back again. I would really love to go daily! The concept is wonderful, the people were friendly, the food was light and refreshing. Definitely a WINNER!

Next we tried Veggie Heaven on the drag. I had been in before but never eaten there. We had a Steam Bun, the Protein 2000, and the Tangerine Mushroom. Me and M ended up switching, because I liked the Tangerine Mushroom more. It was vegan, but it tasted so much like chicken! The whole menu is pretty vegan friendly, and definitely vegetarian friendly. It's mostly a Chinese/Asian influenced menu, but they also offer quesadillas. It's a great little place to grab a quick bite, a bubble tea, and people watch.

I've already been a fan of Bouldin Creek for a while now, but I haven't had the tofu in a while. I ate a vegan breakfast here twice this week. I had a tofu omelet, and it was a little too spicy/seasoned for me. But when I got the tofu breakfast tacos, it was easier for my taste buds to handle. My taste buds are a little sensitive, though. I do dig their vegan cookies.

Let's talk about coffee! I've recently become a latte girl, and for vegan week I switched to soy milk in my coffee. I gotta tell ya, I'm probably never going back to regular milk. M introduced me to almond milk and rice milk and they are equally as great! The Coffee Bean has a really great almond milk mocha, but I'm still on the hunt for a better one, since the place is a little too corporate feeling for me. M and I are at Spiderhouse right now and we just had some soy milk mochas, and holy espresso batman, they are t-a-s-t-y.

So, Vegan Week has turned into Vegan Weeks. I'm on week three now. I really thought that it would be harder to do, but it has been so easy to stay vegan. When I eat, I feel light and refreshed. I'm not constantly starving, I have lots of energy, I feel great. It feels so wonderful, I'm going to keep going for as long as I can. I did start to get some cravings for seafood, but they've gone away now. I think I'll end up eating vegan as much as possible from now on though. We'll see!

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