Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our Last Day in Texas

It's a rainy and cold day here in San Francisco, so it's a pleasure to reminisce about my last day in warm and sunny Texas.

On our last full day we decided to take a road trip to San Antonio. We left Austin around 11am and arrived in town hungry and just in time for lunch. Luckily, we had a plan and headed straight to the vegetarian haven known as Green. We sat outside on the colorful and bright patio area (above) which was just perfect after being in the car for an hour. Even better? The food!

First there were cute little muffins served with vegan butter and a side salad with a delicious miso dressing. Seriously, very tasty.

My mom went with the "neatloaf" and, because I am lucky, she let me try some too. This hearty combo of vegetable protein, veggies, and spices had that nostalgic meatloaf taste but without all the death and carnage and stuff. Hooray! Rounded out by your choice of veggies, it's a hearty enough lunch to satisfy any palate.

For my lunch entree, I had the falafel plate. Piled high with cucumber, tomatoes, and a cucumber tzatziki sauce (made with soy yogurt, cucumbers, red onion, and delicious herbs a plenty), the plate has a spinach base and 3 large falafel patties. These are no ordinary falafel though, as they're made with chickpeas (normal) and oatmeal (totally not normal, but a superb idea in terms of taste and texture). All in all, a great lunch.

After breezing through the totally forgettable Alamo, and a nice stroll around the River Walk (above), we decided to head back to Austin for dinner at Veggie Heaven, where I happily enjoyed my first steam bun experience.

It may not look like much, but inside the light and sweet dough resides savory mushrooms, tofu, and and veggies. Dip in a little soy or sweet and sour sauce and this is a truly delectable appetizer. It may have been my first steam bun, but it will not be my last!

I also really liked my spicy yam entree. I should let it be known that I love love love sweet potatoes anyway I can get them, so I was thrilled to have them with fried tofu and sauteed veggies, and slathered in a spicy sauce. Good stuff.... but the best part of Veggie Heaven, as far as I'm concerned, is its proximity to Cornucopia.

Literally next door to VH is this heaven of all things popcorn. Not everything they make is vegan, but there are TONS of options, like the caramel corn, cinnamon toast corn, and cornfetti (think fruit loops) flavors we got. All were absolutely to die for, and made for perfect snacking on the plane home the next morning. Cornucopia makes me want to try more at-home popcorn experiments. If I do, I'll be sure to post it here.

Meanwhile, that sums up my Texas trip, so next up we're back in SF: Eating at some old haunts and trying some new products on the market. Stay tuned... and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Abigail said...

Dear Eats Well With Others,
Your Texas entries are beautiful! Of all your meals, I think I am most impressed by the vegan find in San Antonio! As I blasted by this city a few days ago on the I-35, it did not even occur to me to stop and pursue vegetables in what looked like the land of meat!
I did stop in Austin though, and hardly made it beyond the Whole Foods. Since I've been living in a small (1600 people) town in Mexico for 4 months, which as of March 2010 DOES have a store stocking organic, natural peanut butter and almond butter (yay!!), I felt like I had just walked off the moon as I wandered, mesmerized through this massive store. The aisle of soy milk alone was mindboggling. In Sayulita, Mexico I feel quite content with 2 brands of local soy milk and one imported brand. If I drive to Puerto Vallarta I can even find chocolate soy! Here in the Austin Whole Foods, I saw a field of soy, hemp, almond, and rice milks in different flavors, sizes, brands, and various levels of nutrititional fortification. Wow!! Not to mention the electronic price labels??? Have you ever seen such a thing?
I had entered the store for the soy milk alone and escaped by spending $120 on an assortment of shiny products. And of course made a second trip later on in the day, which caused one friendly employee to say "I recognize you! Back again are you?"
The cashier directly me to the weekly newspaper with local music listings and I enjoyed the southern friendliness at this Austin store, a feature they have not mastered at the Seattle Roosevelt branch...up there it is mostly yuppies running their carts into one another!
Of all your edibles in Austin, I wish most of all to have partaken of the Bruschetta with cacao nibs and the vegan soft serve, with the pizza coming in a close third! I don't know how you are ever satisfied with basic foods after such culinary adventures!
Today I will pursue some falafel in Natchitoches, Louisiana...and if that fails, I have tofu to cook in my van!
Buen provecho!

Sky said...

So glad to hear of your own mind-boggling adventure at that Whole Foods. It truly is spectacular, eh? Glad my blog helped you make your way through Texas (definitely stop in San Antonio next time though!) and I wish you continued success on the rest of your travels.
As for being content with basic food, I am way more than content. After vacation eating, nothing feels better than coming home and making simple food (salad! baked sweet potato!). The body knows what it really wants I guess.
Happy trails!