Austin: The Best Bread You’re Not Eating

This photo serves no other purpose than to have something pretty at the top of the page and to show you these awesome looking brownies by Capital City Bakery.

Did you know there’s another vegan bakery in the Austin area you probably haven’t even heard of? Ridiculous, no?

Celeste’s Best satisfies our pb cup and cookie dough needs. Red Rabbit is filling us up with doughnutty goodness. Sugar Tooth is about to unleash tasty desserts on downtown Austin. The Happy Vegan Bakery makes some wonderful gluten-free (and nongluten-free) goods. And Capital City Bakery has been blowing us away with pies and brownies.

But have you heard of Tough Cookie Bakery? Probably not.

Tough Cookie Pepperoni Pretzel Bites. I tried to find a photo of their bread or a pretzel dog. Instead I found this incredibly awesome vegan pepperoni pretzel bite. Photo by Dallas Vegan.

They bake out of Bastrop, Texas, and sell their goods at the Bastrop Farmers’ Market as well as some farmers’ markets in DFW. (Yes, DFW.) Despite the name, what they are famous for is their pretzel bread. They also do pretzel dogs with Tofurky sausages as the innards. But unless you drive out to (or live in) Bastrop or DFW, or you caught them at Texas VegFest, you’ve probably never tried their bread. And that is sad.

It’s delicious. A friend (hi there!) bought some for me because she thought it tasted like what challah sounds like. (She’s never had challah, and I’m on a lifetime quest to find a perfect vegan challah). And while it’s not quite challah, it’s the closest thing to rich eggy challah that I’ve had in a long time. It makes delicious sandwhiches and French toast. And inspired by the challah comparison, we ate some of the bread dipped in agave nectar.

Alas, I haven’t had it since. I’m too lazy to drive out to Bastrop very often just for a loaf of bread. Even really great bread. I’m guessing you are, too. Which is why I was very excited to see this cryptic message on Tough Cookie’s Facebook page today:

Howdy Friends! We are now stocking out pretzel bread, pretzels, brats, and other vegan goodies at Producers Market in Cedar Creek. We also have some exciting news about Austin Faves picking up our goodies as well, we will keep you posted! source

“Austin Faves” could mean lots of things. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Wheastville Coop and Whole Foods are both high on the list, since they tend to work with small local businesses. But it could be coffee houses, restaurants, food carts, Rabbit Food Grocery, Greenling, that guy who brings food to my house for no apparent reason (note, that guy might be fictional, but wouldn’t that be awesome?).

So now you know what you’ve been missing, Austinites. And you can wait anxiously with me to see where you’ll be buying your next pretzel dog.

Texas Restaurant News

So much is happening across Texas lately that it’s too much for one person to keep track of. I’m always looking to add more voices to Lone Star Plate. If you live in Houston, San Antonio, DFW, or elsewhere in Texas and would like to contribute to Lone Star Plate, send an email to lonestarplate (at) gmail (dot) com

In the meantime, grab a drink and catch up on all the latest in vegan food in Texas: 

Austin

  • Arlo’s has reopened a few blocks away from their old location. They’re now just outside of Cheer Up Charlie’s! Get the best veggie burger in town and support the only veg bar in town. They’re still keeping bar hours (8 PM to midnight, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; 8 PM to 2 AM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), but rumor is they’re contemplating adding daytime hours.
  • Counter Culture had their soft opening last week. The menu looks fantastic. I know you’re going to find this harder to believe, but Sue’s food has gotten even better. I got the Philly Seitan. The seitan is sliced thin, the cashew cheez is now creamy, and there were lots more grilled onions and peppers. My husband tried the seitan roast, and it came covered in one of the best gravies I’ve ever had. Counter Culture is only open for dinner currently (cash only), but they’ll be opening for lunch and accepting credit cards soon.
  • Austin’s much anticipated Capital City Bakery is holding a grand opening party on May 18. The trailer will be located at Rio Grande and MLK in the same lot as Conscious Cravings. You’ll also be able to find Cap City’s baked goods for sale at Counter Culture. We tried the Black Forrest cake at Counter Culture, and were in heaven. RSVP for the grand opening on Facebook.
  • All my life I’ve dreamed of waking up to vegan breakfast tacos. OK, really I’ve dreamed about getting locked in a library stocked with lots of great novels and a case of diet dr. pepper, but I should have been dreaming about tacos. Because the Vegan Nom just opened up in Counter Culture’s old location, and it’s a dream come true. They had their grand opening during the Austin Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale last Sunday, and sold out almost immediately! They’ll be opening full time (7 AM to 7 PM) very soon. Drool over their menu in the meantime.
Dallas
  • CoolHaus, an ice cream sandwich trailer with a location outside Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin, is opening another location in Dallas. Check out Red Hot Vegan’s review of the Austin location for an idea of what you can expect.
Denton
  • Denton is getting a new vegetarian (vegan-friendly) food truck. Eventually. Shiitake Swerve will be serving tacos and sandwiches featuring a variety of mushrooms. They’re hinting at vegan pancakes for brunch as well.  But it will be a few months before their truck is ready. I’ve always thought Denton was a good place for veg food trucks and hope this is the first of many.
Houston
  • Green Seed Vegan has their brick and mortar location. The photos of the restaurant look so peaceful. According to that article, they have expanded their menu. I can’t wait to try out their new spot.
San Antonio
  • Check out this tweet about the vegan platter at Bliss! That’s my idea of fancy vegan food. A variety of vegetables, beans, and grains done just right. Maybe this has been there forever, but I’m just finding out about it. San Antonians, this looks like a great option for a celebration dinner or fancy work meeting.