Vegetarian restaurants are popping up left and right these days. Okay, there have been two – with one more on the way- but it still seems like a lot! The much-anticipated Beer Plant soft opened to mostly rave reviews a few weeks ago and now Citizen Eatery has opened their doors as well. Embracing all the current trends of the day this modern light-filled restaurant will please not just the meat-free but also vegans, paleo, Celiacs, and other gluten-free folks. The kitchen is actually completely gluten free although they have wheat buns and bread shipped in (sealed) for those of us that want to keep our lives gluten-full. Peruse the menu before you go in because it is one of those spots where you order at the counter and get a number rather than being waited on. And, if you are anything like me, you are going to have a hard time deciding.
We started with the breakfast menu. Pictured above is the vegan waffle with sunbutter, maple syrup, and a smoked sausage made out of lentils and mushrooms. The waffle was gluten-free so I probably wouldn’t order it again, it didn’t have that crisp and fluffy bite that I love in a waffle. The tofu scramble we tried, The Citizen Scramble, was excellent. Packed with vegan cheese and kale it was different from most restaurant scrambles and hit the perfect breakfast notes. We also liked mixing in a bit of the lentil sausage for some smokiness.
In addition to breakfast, the menu has a list of salads, seasonal dinner specials like Vegan Bolognese with “veggie noodles” (or “zoodles” if you prefer) and family style passed sides Butternut & Sweet Potato or Brussels with Grapefruit. We tried the cheesy Cauliflower dish which I loved, it was very comforting and almost seemed like something you could get a cracker barrel… if cracker barrel was a gluten-free vegan wonderland.
We also tried the Citizen Burger which was described as “house wood-smoked patty with white beans, citizen grain mix, kale and spices.” Served on a wheat bun with seasonal greens, tomato and avocado ranch dressing. I thought the burger was amazing and I’ve had a lot of really good burgers recently! We spoke with one of the owners and she said that each patty is made differently and that many techniques go into each one including smoking the mushrooms and onions in the citizen burger. It all leads to a much more nuanced taste than most patties I’ve had. And the avocado ranch dressing was delicious too! I can’t wait to try the hatch pepper version next because I could see it becoming my favorite burger ever.
We also had a side of fried things, the Mixed Basket has french fries, sweet potato fries, a vegan aioli, and deep-fried vegetable noodles. We were all completely hooked on the latter. The vegetables change depending on what is in season and I can’t even remember what ours had (maybe butternut squash and zucchini?) but either way they were awesome! I love that all the sides and dressings are vegan. It makes ordering really easy. Also the staff was really nice, the building has plenty of parking, and the cocktails look intriguing as well. I think North Austin is going to be super pleased.