Denton Vegan Coop

Denton Vegan Coop at the Denton Community Market. Photo from the group’s Facebook page

Traditionally, colleges are a great place to be vegan. And I think that definitely holds true for University of North Texas in Denton. Besides being home to Texas’s only all-vegan store, Vegan Freak, Denton is also home to the Denton Vegan Cooperative.
The Denton Vegan Coop is a group of six people who bake at the Jupiter House Europa and sells their goods at the Denton Community Market on Saturdays, where they share a booth with Peace Kitchen, another vegan group. Typically they have nachos, ice cream, breads, muffins, and cookies. Since some of those can be hard to find at the average grocery store, I’m sure this is a huge boon to area vegans and people with milk or egg allergies. They also have a special each week, and this Saturday’s special is biscuits and gravy, a Texas specialty. Other specials have included donuts, spring rolls, and kraut rolls. I don’t know what a kraut roll is exactly, but I want one!
Denton Vegan Coop also sell their goods at both Jupiter House Coffee locations. I’m crossing my fingers that Denton changes their laws to allow food carts, because a Denton Vegan Coop food cart would be a great addition to the UNT campus.

Fried Pickles at Black Star Coop

Fried pickles at Black Star Coop. Photo by mollyjade

Austin loves its coops. One of my favorites (I’m lying, they’re all my favorite!) is Black Star Coop. It’s a beer and pub coop. They have lots of vegan options on their menu (including all the beer!). [Edit: apparently some of the beer is made with honey. Ask! And ask them to make all their beer vegan.] The online menu doesn’t show which items are vegan, but the printed menus at the restaurant are well marked. I love the fried portobellos, which are an homage to fish and chips. Be sure to eat them with lots of malt vinegar!

Last night one of their specials was fried pickles. I have a special place in my heart for fried pickles. These were unlike any others I’ve ever had. First, they’re huge. Second, they’re beer battered rather than battered in bread crumbs. And the pickles inside are flat and tart. So good! They have a plate of fried vegetables and pickles on their regular menu, but I haven’t tried that yet. One of these days, I’ll branch out of the fried foods at Black Star Coop. But, not yet!

Edit. As of September 2012, all of their beers are refined with isinglass, which is made from fish.