It’s about time that the west side of town got some more vegan options, right now it seems like the main spots are Beets Cafe and Juiceland which are both good healthy stops but not places to linger over a hot meal. From what I understand Tarrytown is almost completely lacking in local vegan food ever since the NuAge cafe and then the Cosmic Cafe closed years ago. The new Austin Java is in a strip mall next to Austin Pets Alive and a few other businesses. For years it has been a rather controversial strip mall (ha!) because the owner is pretty insistent on places catering to vegetarian values. When Austin Java finally leased the space they did it with the agreement that, unlike their other locations, they wouldn’t serve meat and they would have multiple vegan options.
I am a regular at the Austin Java on 12th and Lamar because it’s just a couple blocks from my office but I’m usually disappointed by their so-so breakfast tacos and their truly lackluster pasta dish. Still I somehow really like Austin Java. I want to love it. They are an Austin institution with locations all over the place and their coffee is pretty good and the service is always friendly. When I saw that the new location in Tarrytown was going to have vegan substitutions for everything from eggs Benedict to omelets I was jealous of those westsiders. We finally tried it over the weekend. The space is pretty cute, especially since it is in strip mall, but they do have two gigantic flat screen TVs. The service was super nice and the vegan options were plentiful, from a version of a Caesar Salad to Curried Tofu Wraps and Texas Pesto Pasta with roasted tofu. It’s the kind of stuff I would love to see at the 12th street location. I am a sucker for Benedict though so I tried the tree-hugger; vegan chorizo, tofu scramble, hollandaise and avocado on English muffins with your choice of side. I got the potatoes.
When it came to the table I was a little surprised. The hollandaise didn’t look very appetizing and both it and the tofu were bright almost neon yellow. I don’t know why it was a spread-like consistency rather than a sauce. Maybe it was made out of tofu as well and not blended? There was also too much tofu and sauce which kind of took away from the chorizo and avocado. It wasn’t very well balanced. But I was pleased to see the staff was asking everyone for critical feedback and I’m sure it’s going to get a lot better over time. So Austin vegans please check out the new location and let them know what you think. It will be great to have another place for brunch on the west side of town.
Wow, that hollandaise looks funky. The vegan options listed on the menu are pretty misleading. You’re lucky that your order actually came out vegan. The caesar salad isn’t veganizable as the menu suggests, unless they’ve changed their caesar dressing lately.
If Jeanne Daniels really cares about animal rights and veg options at her little mall, she should make sure that she gets a business that serves good food. That’s the only way that you’re ever going to win anyone over. When Austin Java goes out of business (and it will unless drastic changes are made), she should entice Spiral Diner to come down… or even Green Vegetarian to come up. Both of those businesses have been looking for the perfect place to break into Austin. I would love to see either of those in Tarrytown.
I think they are trying to figure it out so there is still hope. I heard them talking about the vegan Caesar to another table so I think they must have changed it.
Eek, too bad the food wasn’t all that good. I always support places trying though!
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I went twice last week. First time I had the same thing as you… with same way-too-thick sauce. It was super salty and I didn’t love it. Second time I had the vegan biscuits and sausage cream gravy. Holey Guacamole were they delicious. I wished for more sausage in the gravy but otherwise it was perfect. As good a version as I’ve had anywhere. Serve that up with some kale and I’d be in heaven. We also tried the veggie burger w/cheese. It was melted-ish, overall a good dish. Beautiful salad with bright red tomatoes. Oh – and vegan choc chip cookie for dessert, which I suspect was made using Celeste’s dough. It’s half price entrees all month, so it’s totally worth going even if you aren’t thrilled.
I’m so excited to read the biscuits & gravy are good! I’m totally going back