Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Brief Detour Through Austin

Hi Y'all! Don't mind my newfound Southern accent - I acquired it on my recent 3 day trip to Austin, TX. :) So, while I am well aware of how many more Portland eats there are to tell you about, I wanted to do a quick round up of some of the best of Austin. First up? Breakfast of course!

I've been to Austin before, but never to The Steeping Room, and I'm sure glad it was our first stop of this trip. Their Sunday brunch is AMAZING! Even though they are not an all-vegan place, they have a ton of vegan options, like the tofu scramble above. I love that they don't feel like they need to dye the tofu yellow with mustard or turmeric like so many places do (as though that makes it any more egg-like), and instead they focus of texture and flavor. The tofu has a nice bite to it and is paired with the exact right amount of peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Super-tasty fried potatoes and a crisp green salad round out the meal. I capped off my meal with a currant scone that had a beautiful crumb and light sweetness to it. Perfect with any of their gazillion teas! My husband got his sweetness elsewhere, however. Check out his beautiful French toast:

Vegan French toast is not something many vegan restaurants try, let alone omni places, and even from the one bite I was allowed to have, I could tell they nailed it. Wonderful balance of cinnamon and sugar, good coating on the chewy bread, real maple syrup and fruit. Not a bad way to start the trip, eh? But, alas, one can not live on breakfast alone!

Want to eat the best darn veggie burger ever? Get the guacamole burger at Mother's. I've had this before and I still think it's one of the best burgers you can buy. You can get it plain or with vegan cheese and with or without guacamole, but I'm telling you that the combination of the savory burger with the fresh guacamole is perfect. Ready for dessert? I've got two good options for you:

You could try a peanut butter cup from Wheatsville Coop and you would be a very happy camper. More like a peanut butter cookie with a thick layer of fudge than the peanut butter cups you've come to know, this is one for a hearty sweet tooth. It is rich and decadent and worth eating your vegetables for. BUT....

.... there's also soft serve from Toy Joy. Vegan soft serve ice cream is a pretty elusive commodity in this country, so if it's an option somewhere, you know I'm getting it. If I can get it topped with crushed Chick-O-Stick and chocolate syrup, I'm in heaven. Toy joy makes their own soy and coconut-based soft serves and they have two flavors everyday, which they churn out in addition to making shakes and sundaes galore. It's smooth and creamy and even better than the soft serves of my youth. I love Toy Joy!

Ok, that's enough for now. We did have one hugely epic meal in Austin, as well as a day trip to San Antonio, and I'll get to that, promise. Up next though, more Portland talk. How awesome that all these U.S. cities are so vegan-friendly, eh? Here's hoping it's that way where you are!

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