Category Archives: Austin

Vegan Kauai Hawaii with the keiki

vegan-kauai-1I’ve wanted to go to Kauai for such a long time and this past week I finally got the opportunity to travel with my friend and her two kids. It was my first time going on a trip with preteens and whoa did I start using momisms fast! “This car isn’t moving until you put on your seatbelt” and “Stop fighting with your sister or we are not getting Shave Ice!” The latter was an empty threat because of course, I was going to stop for Shave Ice, it’s Hawaii! We stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn outside of Kapaa in Wailua Bay which ended up being a fantastic choice with the little kids because the hotel is connected to Lydgate state park beach that has rocks all around the beach to make a wonderful pool filled with tropical fish. In the winter month, which March definitely still is, most of the beaches on Kauai were too rough for them to swim so we were super glad to have an easy beach right in our backyard. Also, once during sunrise, I saw a whale breach!

acs_0178

Although I remembered Hawaii being the most wonderful place on earth, it was still overwhelming to be in such beauty with so many animal friends, flowers, and tropical vibes. The other beaches that were good for swimming and snorkeling were Kalapaki by the Marriot in Lihue and Poipu Beach on the south shore. Only 50 endangered monk seals are left around Kauai and you have a good chance of seeing them at Poipu because they hang out on the sandbar. We saw one and I got to lay on the sand close to a sea turtle and swim with them! (remember to stay at least 10ft away from all animals and don’t step on the coral!).

acs_0163-1

I did a lot of research on Vegan-Friendly spots on Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Happy Cow before the trip and I made a google map so I’d always be able to find a vegan meal wherever we were on the island. Note that I didn’t include juice and smoothie places or fresh fruit stands because they are everywhere. Add it to your phone and download before you go and then you don’t need to use your data plan while on the island, it’s all there offline and GPS works too which is great because data signals can be hard to find on Kauai. And speaking of GPS, I also downloaded this amazing audio tour created by Hawaiians called the Shaka Guide, they give you turn by turn directions to see all sorts of amazing sites and beaches while telling you stories and mythology about Hawaii. I highly recommend it, we love it and I got to learn ridiculous stuff like the beach where they filmed Gilligan’s Island.

acs_0151

And hikes and lookouts to so many waterfalls.acs_0181-2

They also directed us to the best shave ice and other cool local stores.acs_0192

I loved the town of Hanalei on the North Shore, Hanalei Bay is beautiful, you can see the Na Pali coast while you are swimming and it is the beach is gigantic and gorgeous. I’d probably stay there next time or in the summer. Right now, the road past Hanalei is closed because of the flooding last year. We also went to the farmer’s market there on Saturday where I bought tropical fruit, CBD oil, a dog collar (with tropical fruit), and a beach dress. There are different farmer’s markets almost every day on the island so I kind of used that schedule to plot out where we would adventure to every day but it ended up that pretty much everything is 20-40 minutes away so really you can go anywhere you want easily.acs_0197

I do insist that on Sundays you got to Hanalei to check out the food trailer Holy Grail Donuts which is only open Sunday mornings. They make to order vegan taro donuts, fried in coconut oil, and topped with local fruits, chocolate, and vanilla. We had to wait in an epic line (complete with DJ) but it was totally worth it for flavors like Kumquat and Poppyseed or Dragonfruit lemonade. They broke da mouth!

acs_0162-2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In Kapaa, I was really excited to try a vegan version of Saiman, the coconut broth riff on Ramen that is so popular in Hawaii and when I found out that kids eat free on Tuesdays at Saiman Dojo it became a must do (Hawaii is expensive!). I loved the mushrooms and those Okinawan purple potatoes!img_4646

We also went to Eat Healthy in Kapaa a few times, its the cutest little cafe ever and they have a breakfast menu with tofu scramble burritos, Macadamia Nut Banana pancakes, acai bowls, and then lunch, dinner, and dessert too. We all loved the lilikoi cake and I was thrilled to see the youngest fall in love with her vegan cheese quesadilla. img_4699-4

Kapaa has a fantastic health food store called Papaya’s Natural Foods that has everything you could ever want and a deli with made to order sandwiches and tacos, a case of premade takeaway, and even desserts like the famous Haupia (coconut pudding), and all sorts of local products like Spirulina popcorn. And if somehow they don’t have what you are looking for this tiny town also has another grocery called Hoku Foods Natural Market that I didn’t have time to check out. From Papaya’s I LOVED the Hawaiian Taro Hash taco that I picnicked with at the beach. The Blackened tempeh sushi style taco with wasabi sauce, was an experience that I couldn’t pass up but wouldn’t replicate.img_4586

At home, I usually prefer soy milk with my coffee but getting fresh coconut milk in Hawaii is so special. I had one of the best coffee drinks ever at Sunrise Coffee trailer, and omg don’t get me started on macadamia nut milk, the Kauai Juice Co was totally legit and they have multiple locations. ❤

And having picnics on the beach is the best. We stopped at a poke place and I wasn’t even going to look at the different kinds of poke until my friend pointed out the tofu! It was so good, I don’t remember the name but it was on one of the Shaka tours. acs_0180

We did some other tours too, I had always wanted to go tubing through the old sugar plantation on Kauai so I got to cross that off my bucket list thanks to Kauai Backcountry Adventures. And we got to drive over the road where the T-Rex comes at the cars in that famous scene from the first Jurassic Park!img_e4560-2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another day we did a sailing catamaran tour of the Na Pali Coast with Holo Holo tours and I got to see dolphins, whales, manta rays and swim with turtles! It was magical and they even had hummus so I didn’t starve when the sandwich bar came out.acs_0190-1

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, I found out that through the Kauai Humane society you can adopt a dog for the day and take them on an adventure with you! They pack up a backpack with treats, water, poop bags and everything you need and the dog wears a little “Adopt Me” vest. It’s a win win win since the dog gets exercise and out of the shelter for the day, you get to spend time with a dog, and maybe someone meets the dog that wants them! And if you fall in love with your dog, don’t worry, they ship! We took Edwin to the Waimea Canyon and he was significantly more chill than any of my dogs.dsc_0006-3

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here some more pics, please ask away if I can help plan a trip, or if you want to take me with you! I’ll babysit!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanksgiving in Austin, a guide for 2018

unturkeyThese posts get longer and longer every year, but I know it’s so confusing, especially for those new to town. So here is a breakdown of what you need to get your festivities going:

Pre-Thanksgiving Specials

Counter Culture has the famous Thanksgiving Sandwich on their menu and other fun stuff every day.

Wheatsville has their awesome Tofurkey bar with all the trimmings every Saturday and through Thanksgiving week where you can try out their gravy, cranberry sauces, coconut sweet potatoes etc and see if you want to buy any for your own festivities.

Milky Way Shakes has, what looks to be an amazing Apple of Discord shake with apple compote, rosemary salted caramel, candied pecans, and two dried apple slices through the 15th.

Mr. Natural always has a night before Thanksgiving all day feast on their hot bar as well. I love the vegan turkey! If you want to bring one home, pre-order it.

Sweet Ritual has Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Zucchini Kill and Bistro Vonish are co-hosting a Friendsgiving Brunch Sunday at 12 PM – 2 PM. There will be a photo booth and mimosas along with a vegan meal. Kid and Dog-friendly.

Free Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cooking Class at Wheatsville on Monday the 19th. Learn from Rolando Garza from Cool Beans. Participants will get free sample!

Side Dishes, Pies, or Entire Feasts to order for Thanksgiving

Mr. Natural has a complete menu you can pick and choose from, turkey, tamales, gluten-free options, green beans, basically anything you could ever want. Call in your order with whichever Mr. Natural you prefer.

Capital City Bakery is taking orders for pies, Festivus kolaches, and more! The early bird deal gets two pies for 40 dollars which will really help expenses if you are planning on one pie per person like I usually do 🙂 Pre-order here.

Rabbit Food Grocery has every roast imaginable, including roasts from the Herbivorous Butcher (first come first serve if you don’t pre-order by November 15), Tofurkey, Field Roast, and Gardien roasts. Get in wrapped in filo, get it naked and do your own thing, stuffed or unstuffed it’s your call. They also have vegan shortening, packaged gravy, Dandies marshmallows, holiday nog, and any other specialty items you may need. I like to make a fancy cheese plate for all-day snacking while we are cooking.

Cool Beans will be “having a decolonized thanksgiving tamale menu” which will be perfect for everyone who hates genocide but still wants to eat well. Mashed potato stuffed tamales y’all! Pre-order here.

Bistro Vonish also has a very popular thanksgiving set-up. You can pre-order each menu item for 1-5 people which is so nice and choose from smoked seitan, mac and cheese, stuffing, roasted brussels sprouts with tempeh, and more. They also have cinnamon rolls and other sweets. Pre-order here.

Fat Cats Organic Coffee and Dessert pre-order Apple, Cherry, Pumpkin, or Peach pie from our newest addition to 100% vegan spots in Austin. Give them a call at 512-296-2960 to pre-order.

Vegg Catering has an AMAZING looking lineup, buy it all and pretend that you are one of those people that creates their Thanksgiving checklist on October 1st and has been working in the kitchen for a week. Glazed Holiday Roast, Butternut Mac and Cheese, Stuffing Drop biscuits, or just click The Whole Package.

Happy Vegan Baker has pies, mac and cheese, greens, and some other sweets that you can order.

Vicecreme has a pumpkin ICE CREAM pie that you can order on instagram or by calling (512) 531-9811

Nissi VegMex Vegan Mexican Cuisine will have both red & green tamales packed with soy protein. Call in your order at (512) 293-2597

Zucchini Kill has cookie platters, loaves, and cupcakes like Candied Yam Cupcakes with marshmallow fluff for preorder which is especially ideal if you are gluten and/or soy free because everything they make is GF/SF/Vegan. Preorder by Monday, November 19.

Whole Foods has stuff too but please, BE THANKFUL WE HAVE SO MANY LOCAL VEGAN PLACES and forget about amazon dot com for one day.

Single Meals to bring to a Thanksgiving where people have refused to make vegan food for you and you still have to show up and be nice.

Counter Culture has fabulous to-go meals every year where you can choose a roast or a tempeh stuffed mushroom if you are gluten-free. Please, pre-order!

Doggie Style has meals you can pick up to go, be quick they are selling out. It includes a roast, green chile mac, and a chocolate pumpkin brownie, among other things. And you can get it delivered. What a world. “Open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:30am to 9pm. Stop on by or call in your order for pickup (830) 888-9869 ”

Bistro Vonish pre-order exactly what you want. Get three servings of mac and cheese, I won’t judge 🙂

Citizen Eatery has a fancy meal that starts with “Sage Risotto & Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash with Toasted Pecans” and pie. See pic and full details on FB Pre-order here or call them up at (512) 792-9546

Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving

Casa de Luz is open every year for their macrobiotic harvest feast. They haven’t updated us with a menu yet but here is an example menu from the past. This is your best option if you completely forget to order anything and don’t want to cook. Actually, it’s your only option so if you are reading this November 22, go to Casa de luz slacker and thank them for working on the holiday.

Let Food be Thy Medicine I just learned that this B&B will also have a 4-course meal Thursday – Sunday. Call for reservations (512) 264 – 2830. Living Desert Ranch 22701 HWY 71 W Spicewood Texas

Kerbey Lane is also open, but they don’t do anything special. You can also check out some of the Chinese restaurants which tend to stay open as well.

Recipes for Cooking Your Own Feast

I have a Pinterest board I’ve been updating for years with tried and true recipes, it has links to Miyoko’s Unturkey, The Serious Eats Wellington, Annie Shannon’s Beer Can tofurkey, my Brussels Sprouts, Isa’s pumpkin cheesecake, and so many other recipes that are so good they will make you cry when you think that a bunch of assholes are out there murdering turkeys instead just because they don’t know any better.

Adopt a Turkey

Farm Sanctuary has turkeys you can adopt every year! This year I’m adopting Bowie because I’ve been reading this awesome biography Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed and I’m going to spend *my holiday* listening to glam rock.

In the election for Texas Senator, the better choice for the animals is *clearly* Beto O’Rourke

The Humane Society Legislative Fund works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office.

They keep a scorecard of how legislators voted on different Animal Welfare bills, including if the legislator was the prime sponsor a bill, co-signed a bill, wrote to urge other lawmakers to vote for a bill, or worked against the bill.

In the Senate, this session there were bills and votes on the topics of

  • Horse Soring (where people scar a horse’s feet so that they prance higher in competition),
  • Pets and Domestic Violence (which was to help victims of domestic violence keep their pets with them at shelters),
  • Animal Fighting (the bill would protect animals from cruelty),
  • Horse Slaughter (to protect horses and consumers by prohibiting the transport and export of U.S. horses to slaughter for human consumption.),
  • Shark fin trade (strengthen federal laws against finning and prohibit the trade in shark fins),
  • The Checkoff Bill (” a vote for an amendment to the farm bill (S. 3042), based on the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act (S. 741/H.R. 1753), to correct abuses that have undermined the USDA’s agriculture checkoff programs and to prevent checkoff dollars from being misused to lobby against animal welfare reforms and family farmer interests.

Ted Cruz took a pro-animal position for the checkoff bill and didn’t support any of the other ones which gave him a score of 11. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and quite a few other Democrats scored 100. Only two Republicans scored more than 50, John Kennedy from Lousiana and Susan Collins from Maine, the latter of which also scored over a hundred.

In the House of Representatives, there were also many bills similar to the Senates’ on Horse soring, Pets and Domestic violence, Horse slaughter, Shark fin sales, Animal fighting, and also the Farm Bill. Additionally, the house voted on

  • Animal cruelty ( to strengthen the 2010 federal “crush video” law, which banned the creation, sale and distribution of obscene videos that show live animals being intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other heinous abuse.)
  • Animal testing for cosmetics (to phase out the testing of cosmetics on live animals and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the U.S.
  • Puppy mills (to address significant deficiencies in USDA oversight of commercial dog breeding facilities)
  • Interior appropriations (this bill included undermining the Endangered Species
    Act)

Supplementarily, in the House, some representatives co-signed a group letter to the agriculture appropriations subcommittee to get money for the above bills. and for programs to address the needs of animals in disasters and to encourage veterinarians, through student loan repayment assistance, to locate in underserved areas.

There is also a Congressional Animal Protection Caucus which did not affect scoring but Beto O’Rourke is a member of.

Overall Beto scored a number of 91. 

House members that scored over 90 include my Austin Repetitive Lloyd Doggett who earned a perfect 100, along with other Texas reps Al Green (Houston), Shelia Lee Jackson (Houston), and Marc Veasey (Ft. Worth).

The other Austin representatives, all Republican scored very low. Up for reelection on November 6-

Michael T. McCaul and Roger Williams scored 33

Bill Flores and John Carter scored an 8

By my count 132 Democrats and 11 Republicans scored over 90. I guess they don’t even call themselves compassionate conservatives anymore.

For more information and to see how your reps scored check out the full report card.

Democrats will probably score a lot higher than that so I recommend you vote for Mike SiegelRick Kennedy, Joseph KopserJulie Oliver, and M.J. Hegar depending on what district you live in. The non-partisan League of Women Voters has a great Voter Guide where you can look at where the individuals running stand on issues and make a ballot to take to the polls. Remember to print it out because you aren’t supposed to bring in anything digital.

Check the map for voting wait times here

In Travis County, you can vote anywhere in the county, even on election day.

 

New Vegan Options for Autumn + Vote for Beto!

Early Voting started last week and I wrote about why you should vote for Beto O’Rourke, Lloyd Doggett and other Democrats if you want to help them fight for animal welfare laws, early voting ends this Friday, November 2. This map shows current wait times. The Election is Tuesday, November 6.

Additions to the Austin Vegan Guide and the Austin Vegan-friendly guide:

43358146_1647370952076363_3888520234406558065_n
image via @frannyscomfortfood

Franny’s Southern Comfort Food, an all-Vegan trailer from one of the chef’s behind the Great Y’all opened up on North Loop in the same trailer park as Bistro Vonish and Zucchini Kill. They will be serving Creole and southern comfort food.

Citizen Eatery went from vegetarian to ALL VEGAN FOREVER thanks to a campaign from the Planted Team.

Ni-Komé at the fareground has vegan rolls, edamame, seaweed salad, and from what I’ve heard, a mediocre vegan ramen.

Easy tiger in the fareground and at their location on East 6th serves a house made vegan sausage but not the bun.

Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar at 102 1/2 W 3rd St trailer has the beyond sausage.

Darcy’s Donkey, a new Irish pub on Barton Springs has black bean and corn pie

Pint house pizza on South Lamar has daiya vegan cheese as of October 18. I think it’s only at the South Lamar location for now.

Thanks to everyone for sending me tips! If you have one, go ahead and leave it in the comments or message me Lazy Smurf’s FB page or on Twitter.

 

 

Early fall vegan-friendly openings!

New editions to the vegan and vegan-friendly guides:

Al Pastor

Nissi VegMex Vegan Mexican Cuisine opened a few weeks ago on the east side. An all vegan Mexican spot has plates of tacos, burritos, taquitos filled with options like al pastor or fajitas and all of your other favorites served with rice beans. I think their queso might be the best in town!taquitos

New vacation-themed bar The Last Straw opens on the east side with a menu that includes the impossible burger, veggie fried rice, and dumplings.

My Granny’s Kitchen, a trailer at 7800 South First in the Thicket has some great southern food options including Vegan Chicken and Dumplings, Green Beans, Black-eyed peas, and Sweet Potatoes

Hawaii Nei Cafe 1210 Barton Springs Rd has a vegan Tofu & Baby Broccoli poke bowl and you can also order spiced pineapple.

Nervous Charlie’s on 5501 North Lamar has bagels and vegan cream cheese and soy milk for coffee. Hello!

There are so many events I can’t keep up, follow the ATX Vegans page to see what’s up. I do know this month is the Vegan Taco Tour!

As of September 6th Sweet Ritual is closed for remodeling but they have a pop-up scoop shop in the same strip mall inside Toy Joy. Check out their site for more details. They also put their current flavors on instagram & I just saw yesterday that my favorite- Death Metal by Chocolate- is back.

And, as always, please let me know if you see anything that needs updating!

Go support Austin Pig Week!

ATX Vegans has put together a fabulous bunch of events and specials this week all to benefit Central Texas Pig Rescue. Yesterday I got to meet Hannah the rescue pig at Rabbit Food Grocery (she was on her way with the pig rescue team to check out the amazing brunch pizza at Lil Nonna’s).


Meeting her was probably the highlight of my life so far. Nearly all of the vegan business owners are putting together AMAZING specials all week. Counter Culture had a homemade ham and brie sandwich with jalapeno jelly yesterday that looked to die for. And the brunch pizza at Lil Nonna’s…, I’ll just paste in their Instagram. lilnonna

So go out and support the community! Share with your friends and help raise money for this awesome organization while eating amazing vegan food!!! You can pick up a map at any location participating and then bring your stamped map to The CTPR Pig Liberation Party at The Buzzmill (1505 Town Creek Dr. in Austin, TX) on 9/22 2-6pm and earn extra rewards based on how many specials you tried!!

pigweek

 

Openings and July events in the #atxvegan news

Nadamoo.jpgThe Nadamoo Scoop Shop had it’s Grand Opening and is now OFFICIALLY open for business. If you haven’t tried their plant-based coconut ice cream yet, the time is now! Nadamoo has been selling pints, first in Austin and then all over the place, for over ten years but this is their first eatery. You can get the retail flavors on a cone and cover it with all sorts of toppings and also be the first to try their in-house flavors. I had the chile mango and coconut the other day and they were delicious! They also have Capital City treats and will soon have a full on espresso program! Finally, an all vegan coffee place in south Austin!

Openings & Additions to the Austin Vegan-Friendly Guide:

Other exciting south Austin news, Kicked Up Grub a farm to table gastropub also opened and they have a whole plant-based section to their entrees that includes Spaghetti with Impossible Meatballs and an Eggplant Steak with vegan mozzarella.

A new Chilaquiles food truck opened up by campus. Chilaquil at Space 24 Twenty has a vegan bowl, the Chilango bowl, with salsa verde, nopalitos, and avocado.

The Loud Juice Cafe opened in the Yard at 440 East St. Elmo Rd.. They have cold press juices, smoothies, wellness shots, and acai bowls

Little Big Burger, the Portland-based burger chain, opened Friday, July 6, at 1648 East Sixth Street. This is the chain’s first Texas location and they have a house made vegan burger but the bun appears to not be vegan.

Spin Ping Pong Bar has veggie tacos, hummus, and shishitos.

Soursop 440 E St. Elmo Rd, Building G-2 at St. Elmo Brewing Company the Som Tom shredded papaya salad is delicious but SPICY. The Thai influenced menu changes around besides that but they assured me there is always something vegan. The yellow curry was also really good. And the online menu has a “Tempeh-nator” sandwich with tomato “bacon” and banana ketchup.

Upcoming Events 

July 17 ATX Vegans will be hosting another event at  SquareRüt Kava Bar which has the a new plant-based food truck ATX Food Co x GreenSpace Cafe. The event is called Look At Us Being All Healthy and you can meet up at 6:30p for the\ No Meat Athlete 3 mile Run/Walk event on Town Lake or just come for the food at 7.

July 18 Vegan Ice Cream Social with Gati. Austin’s next new vegan ice cream shop Gati (which is run by the people also behind Thai Fresh’s ice cream) will be having an Ice Cream Social at Bento Picnic. The sundae will showcase chocolate, blackberry & matcha ice creams from Gati and served with fresh bananas & cherries.

July 21 Insane Vegan Workout. This free workout will be at 11am at Zilker Park.

July 22 BBQ protest at Franklin’s with Austin Animal Save

July 22 Christmas in July Celebration at Capital City. If you are missing Christmas treats or just want to pretend it’s not 5,000 degrees go to the cool AC of Cap City.

July 24 Unit-D Pizzeria is going to have a total vegan takeover with ATX vegans! In addition to pizza, there will be other Italian food!

July 25 Vegan Book Club at the Buzzmill. They will be discussion We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang.

July 28 Plant-iful Breakfasts Learn how to cook healthy gluten free vegan breakfasts with Plant-Based Lifestyle And Nutrition Therapy

July 31 Austin Vegan Entrepreneur & Business Networking at CRAFT. “This networking event is created to help unite the vegan business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs and influencers, and vegan-serving businesses in the Austin area.”

July 31 Old Thousand Vegan Night – a special plant-based menu for one night only. To make reservations call 737-222-6637

August 5 Dominion Movie Premier at Cheer Up Charlies. “Join ATX Vegans and Anonymous for the Voiceless Austin for the free premier of Aussie Farms‘ Dominion: Documentary. Exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture through drones, hidden & handheld cameras, the film explores the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom. ”

August 9 Counter Culture and ATX Vegans will host a gluten-free Farm-to-Table night. Make reservations and check out the menu here.