News Bites from around Vegan Texas

Counter Culture's new Cesar Chavez space

Take a sneak peek at the photos of Counter Culture’s new space in East Austin. There’s so much to work with there.

My friends Crystal and Chris at Food for Lovers have teamed up with vegan crafters to make some unique holiday gifts. I’m not a holiday person, but I never turn down queso.

Dallas Vegan has a review of the Fort Worth Food Park. A year ago, DFW didn’t really have much of a food truck scene to speak of. Now there’s an entire area of vegan-friendly spots.

A possible new location near Llano for Sunny Day Farms

Sunny Day Farms is moving to a location closer to Austin! Don’t worry San Antonio, they’ll still be close to you, too. Brooke is looking at a location in Blanco. This will make it easier for the farm to reach people in both Austin and San Antonio. Sunny Day will need tons of help to relocate all the animals, both physically and monetarily.

The latest rumor is that Sweet Ritual will be opening in January. Crossing my fingers for ice cream in the new year.

Houston can look forward to some new vegan grub in 2012. Ripe Cuisine will be selling vegan food at Urban Harvest Farmers Markets early next year. Ripe Cuisine has been tweeting about Green Chili Burgers, Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Maple Cream Frosting, and a mushroom French dip. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

And dessert for last! After years of hard work, Celeste of Celeste’s Best is selling ready-to-bake (or eat with a spoon, no judgement!) vegan cookie dough at Wheatsville Coop. Right now there’s traditional chocolate chip, but Celeste is planning to branch out into other flavors and other stores in the future.

New Vegan Food Carts in Texas

Did you know today is World Vegan Day? There are events happening all around the world. I thought I’d celebrate by gushing over the vegan food cart renaissance in Texas. These carts are all about to open or opened recently.

Arlo’s will be located on 6th Street in Austin and will keep bar hours. So now you have a new spot to grab some food before taking the bus home after a night of carousing. Fittingly, the menu is full of classic bar food like burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, and chips. (My secret wish is for chili cheese fries.) Arlo’s is no slouch. They’re making their own burgers, seitan bacon, and hot dogs. I’m more likely to stay home and read a book than carouse in a bar, but I can’t wait to try out this food.

Eat At Zombies will be operating in the Greater Fort Worth area. They hope to open by November. The head zombie gave me a sneak peek at their menu, which is full of comfort fusion food like a Buffalo Joe (sloppy joe meets buffalo wings), Seoul Survivor (bulgogi sandwich with sriracha-ginger mayo), Hanoi Polloi (a bahn-mi-style tofu sandwich), and The Panther (chipotle barbecued tempeh with caramelized onions, cole slaw, and chipotle ranch).

Asian Lettuce Wraps. Photo from Good Karma Kitchen's Facebook page. Licensed under creative commons.

Good Karma Kitchen This truck isn’t 100% vegan, but it is 100% vegetarian and gluten-free and very vegan-friendly. They’re opening very soon in Fort Worth, and the menu will include foods inspired by places around the world. Check out their Facebook page for a sampling of the items on their menu.

Jackalope The owners of this cart spent years working in others’ restaurants and dreamed of opening their own vegan business. Jackalope was a huge hit at the Texas State Veggie Fair. The menu promises to be traditional sandwiches with a gourmet vegan twist. The truck will wander around DFW. Keep track of their location by Twitter or Facebook.

Cinnamon ice cream with butterscotch sauce. Photo by mollyjade. Licensed under creative commons

Kat’s Ice Cream This adorable orange truck was opened by a family member of Thai Fresh in South Austin. The ice creams range from traditional flavors like vanilla to more adventurous flavors like Hibiscus and Ghost Pepper. Ice creams are made with a variety of plant milks. Choose coconut for a really creamy ice cream or soy or rice for something lighter. You can also choose from a variety of toppings, from chocolate chips to sticky rice!

Tempeh Jerk Sandwich from Green Seed Vegan. Photo by mollyjade. Licensed under creative commons

And a quick shout of love to our established trailers, Counter Culture, Conscious Cravings, Vegan Yacht, and Green Seed Vegan. Thanks for leading the way!

Veggie Garden and Vegeria Grand Openings

Two all-vegan restaurants will have their official grand openings today and tomorrow. Vegeria in San Antonio, which has been open since August, will have their official grand opening celebration today and tomorrow. The event will feature door prizes, music, free cupcakes on Friday, and a tamale eating contest on Saturday.

Veggie Garden in Richardson (near Dallas) is reopening under new owners. Come by on Saturday between 11:30 and 2:30 to try the revamped menu. The food is traditional Chinese-American, except everything is vegan. I have my eye on the fried ice cream! Afterwards, there will be a showing of Forks Over Knives.

DFW: The Happy Poet

There’s an adorable-sounding movie called The Happy Poet that premiered at the most recent SXSW. The movie is a comedy about an idealistic young man who wants to open an organic mostly-vegetarian food cart in Austin, Texas, and the struggles he goes through trying to open his business.

It’s playing briefly at a few theaters in DFW, including The Texas Theater, where Spiral Diner will be selling food in the lobby before the movie this Saturday and Sunday.

Foodspotting Challenge

Dallas Vegan has thrown down a challenge to vegans in DFW to take photos of their great restaurant meals and post them to Foodspotting with the tag “vegan”. They’re hoping it creates a gallery of all the exciting food options in Dallas, something that one or two people can’t do alone.

Much like the initiative to post about vegan food on food forums like All Recipces started by Gary of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, this is a great way to share vegan food with the wider world. Really, check out this shot of the buffet at New Start Veggie Garden. Doesn’t it make you want to be vegan? As an incentive, everyone who follows Dallas Vegan on Foodspotting will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Ninety-Five: Meeting America’s Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs. The drawing takes place September 15, so get photographing!

Ann Gentry at Central Market

Image from Ann Gentry’s blog at Real Food Daily 

Ann Gentry of Real Food Daily will be teaching vegan cooking classes at Central Markets in Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio this month. The class will include four courses and a copy of Gentry’s new cookbook Vegan Family Meals for $55. Gentry will incorporate Hatch chili peppers into several of the courses, including a Jalapeno-Hatch cornbread with scallion butter. You can’t cook at Central Market in August without Hatch peppers, after all. The description of the event is a little fuzzy about whether it’s completely vegan or not (I think it’s just cutesy writing), so it’s best to ask when you register. Considering you get to meet a famous restaurateur and cookbook author, eat a four course meal, and come home with a $25 book, this class is a great deal.

  • Dallas, Monday, August 22
  • Fort Worth, Tuesday, August 23
  • San Antonio, Wednesday, August 24

Dallas: August Beer Dinner

Vegan beer in London. Photo by Rain Rabbit. Licensed under creative commons

It’s time for another five course vegan beer dinner at Libertine Bar in Dallas. Previous beer dinners have sold out. The theme for this one is spicy and will include roasted jalapeno stuffed with mushroom duxelles and ghost pepper soup. Each course comes with a beer pairing. The dinner will be at 7PM Wednesday, August 24. More details about the meals and making reservations on Facebook.

July Vegan Drinks

Dallas Vegan Drinks will be tomorrow, Thursday, July 14, at Blue Mesa Grill in Addison from 6:30PM to 9:30PM. Come out to meet with fellow vegan and veg-curious people to socialize. Blue Mesa Grill has a very clearly marked menu online showing what foods are vegan. I always loved their black bean soup, and I’m excited to see that it’s vegan. RSVP for Dallas Vegan Drinks on the Facebook event page.

Vegan Menu at Kona Grill

I’ve met a lot of new vegans in San Antonio lately, most lamenting the lack of restaurant options there. So I get excited when I find vegan food in San Antonio. Dallas Vegan tells us that there’s a secret vegan menu at Kona Grill in North Park Center Mall. I did some sleuthing, and it looks like every location has this menu. As of this writing, it’s not available to look at online.

So that’s one more place for folks to find vegan food if in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and Sugar Land.