Tag Archives: breakfast tacos

Lazy Smurf’s favorite vegan dishes in Austin for 2015

Usually I do this post in January but I didn’t cause I can be kind of….lazy. But here we are in April and I figured with Vida Vegan Con right around the corner some folks might want to know what dishes in Austin I crave the most. Maybe these aren’t the very best dishes in town and I’m sure they aren’t the healthiest, but this is what I get fixated on & nothing else will do. For what to do in Austin check out A Vegan Tour of Austin, and for every vegan option I know if see the Austin Vegan Guide. I also have a Vegan Taco Guide because tacos are the best. But you asked for it so here is my

2015 Top Ten

Bouldin Creek Breakfast Tacos

In years past I’ve said the rennedict or the tofu scramble/omelet are my favorite thing at Bouldin and while that’s often true it’s more true that I love the breakfast tacos. I never go long without eating the “Ren”, Tofu scrambler sautéed with jalapenos, garlic and onion and the “Neil”, Tofu scrambler, sautéed mushrooms, and spinach on corn. It’s my first meal when I come home after a long trip and what I get when I am so hungry I can’t think. On a craveability scale of 1 to 10 I’d give them a thousand.

Capital City Bakery Cupcakes, Brownies, Kolaches, and everything else

The truth is, I never really cared about cupcakes until I tried the ones from Capital City Bakery. Theirs are so light and airy and missing any cloying sweetness you get from other bakeries. These cupcakes are the best form of vegan activism there is because once a person realizes that vegan cupcakes are better, well, it can open their mind. I get the brownies all the time too and they are the perfect sweet treat for me, chocolate mixed with chocolate chips. Here’s a protip, that sucker will feed you for a week if you divide it up. And the ham and cheese kolaches are the kind of food that I never would have imagined I’d still get to eat vegan. Have it warmed up, though. It’s so good.

Migas Taco at the Vegan Nom Rockin’ Vegan Tacos

Since you can’t always get the Vegan Nom’s barbequed brisket with jalapeno mac and cheese taco I will happily put the Migas Taco on this list. It’s perfect for mornings when you’ve had too much fun the night before or if you are having a bad day and want to change that. I love their simple tofu scramble and mixed with roasted peppers, tortilla chips, cheddar, and a chipotle sauce it is even better. On the right is the maple miso sweet potato taco which is a close second in favorites. Everything they serve up is awesome.

Sweet Ritual Ice Cream Cone Sundae

On any given day Sweet Ritual Ice Cream Parlor has 17 different artisanal flavors. The specials like “Death Metal By Chocolate”, the “Peach Brown Betty” or the “Lady Pleaser (chocolate covered potato ships with smoked sea salt” will slay you with deliciousness but if you put that ice cream inside their homemade, chocolate dipped cone and then cover it with toppings like toasted marshmallows and peanut butter magic shell you will understand the meaning of life. It’s to eat ice cream. And they have different varieties from hemp to coconut and GF cones so I promise there is something for everyone.

The Tofu Vermicelli Bowl with Vegetarian Sauce at Lulu B’s

I’ve probably had Vietnamese Bun over a hundred times and the one from Lulu B’s is my favorite, I don’t know if it’s their chewy lemongrass tofu, the always super fresh vegetables, the mint and basil, the wonderfully excessive amount of peanuts, the sweet spicy sauce that everything is drenched in or just the perfect combination of all of the above but it’s the best version there is. They moved to a little restaurant on South Congress but it’s still cash only so beware!

Pizza from Via 313

If there was ever going to be a pizza that I would refer to as “The Love of My Life” this would be the one. VIA 313’s Detroit style pizza is truly something to get obsessed about. Their pizzas are baked in individual oiled steel pans that make the crusts taste almost deep fried on the bottom. The Follow Your Heart brand vegan cheese is cooked right on top of the crust which works much better on a vegan pie. You pick your toppings and the sauce goes on top and tastes fresh and herby. I love that they don’t skimp on my olives. They have a couple of locations, one at Craft Pride on Rainy Street which is fun because the only serve Texas craft beer and one on East 6th outside of The Violet Crown Social Club but soon, like really soon, they are opening a full on restaurant in Oak Hill. I can’t wait.

Smoothies and Salads at Juiceland

I honestly don’t think I’ve had a better smoothie in my life than the ones at Juiceland. Pictured above is “The Love Below” which has Cherries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Cacao, Coconut Oil, and Rice Milk. But I love the Originator just as much. Maybe it’s the Fresh Apple Juice but it also has Bananas, Blueberries, Cherries, Peanut Butter, Brown Rice Protein, Spirulina, and Flax Oil. I’ve tried to make these suckers at home but it’s just not the same. And their salads are off the hook too! It’s my summer ritual to go swimming at Barton Springs and then get a smoothie and a Double Rainbow Salad or the Quinoa Ranchero Bowl. The perfect meal when it’s 5,000 degrees out. And here’s a protip, they sell some of their juices by the gallon to make cocktails out of! The Kale Cucumber Margarita is the best thing ever to take with you on a river trip with a bottle of vodka, so healthy!

Bac’n Cheeze Burger with Tots at Arlo’s 

I often say that the one thing I’ve ever seen all Austin vegans agree on it’s the love of the Arlo’s Bac’n Cheeze Burger. Now that I’ve written it down someone is sure to disagree but most of us adore their handmade lentil based patties topped with cheddar daiya and vegan bacon. For me it’s always a late night downtown meal but now that they are open for lunch and have opened a second location on South Lamar I will get even more Arlo’s in my life.

The Specials at Unity Vegan Kitchen

Lately Unity Vegan Kitchen, a trailer off Barton Springs Road, has been killing it with their weekly specials. It’s always exactly the food I didn’t even know I wanted and then suddenly couldn’t live without. Last week it was breakfast mac and cheese, which was mac topped with tempeh bacon, tofu scramble, avocado, and all kinds of other good stuff. A few weeks ago it was chicken chimmichangas. And then she brings back the chicken and waffle special with white gravy. It’s all irresistable. I also love the muffaletta sandwich which is always on the menu, her homemade bread makes all the difference,  and the quinoa spring rolls are light and yet filling enough for a while meal. Don’t miss it!

The Buddha Bowl at the Steeping Room

I remember when I used to travel all the way up to the domain shopping center in the northiest section of North Austin to get a delicious bowl from The Steeping Room, so glad they opened one a bit more central on north lamar. I love that the beans, grains, and greens change all the time for variety at the Steeping Room. But, you can always get tofu, cashew sauce, peanut sauce, or even tamari which I’ve never tried because they have cashew sauce and peanut sauce. I also love their B.A.T. sandwich, tempeh bacon, tomato, and arugula with their hot soup like cream of mushroom. Of course the most fun part is picking out a tea from their 7,000 varieties and they always have dessert too!

So that’s what are my personal favorites but their are a ton of other things that could have been on this list like the barbecued soy curls at BBQ Revolution, the corn tamales at Cool Beans, the AMAZING homemade Cheeze plates at Counter Culture, the Vegan Platter at Wasota African Cuisine, the Veggie Meshi and Beet Fries at the East Side King Brunch at Bistro Vonish or “elevated stoner cuisine” at the Golden Spike Rail Cart. The Green Curry at Sway or the pastries at Thai Fresh. The sausage empanadas at the Fair Bean or the frozen bananas with toppings at Bananarchy the Freeto Burrito at The Vegan Yacht or the Tofu Po’Boy at Wheatsville or the Seitan Reuben at Schmaltz. The Mexican Pancake at Mr. Natural. Vegan Jambalaya on a stick at Baton Creole or the breakfast tacos with shoestring potatoes at Cherrywood Coffeehouse or the Sunday night vegan ramen special at Ramen Tatsu-ya.

Let us know what your favorites are!


The Austin Vegan Riot to celebrate Austin’s Most Vegan Friendly Trailer Yard


Last week the little trailer park next to Capital City Bakery closed up (probably to make way for condos) and Unity Vegan Kitchen, one of my favorite new spots in Austin, moved to North Loop to join forces with BBQ Revolution, Red Rabbit Bakery, and Taco ‘Bout It to form the most vegan friendly trailer park around at Northloop House & Yard. The only trailer that’s not vegan is the Taco Truck and even they have some vegan options so it’s, like, the opposite of all the other trailer parks in town. To celebrate they are going to have party down. Here are the details from the press release:

We are proud to announce the arrival of Austin’s first all vegan-friendly trailer space at the NorthLoop House and Yard, a trailer space and micro-business haus at 701 E. 53rd St in Austin’s NorthLoop neighborhood. To celebrate this momentous occasion the creative minds behind the NLHY are excited to kick off Austin Vegan Riot, a twice monthly party showcasing the unique offerings of this most-Austin locale. Currently at the NorthLoop trailer yard you’ll find Red Rabbit Co-operative Bakery, BBQ Revolution, Vegan Unity, and Taco ‘Bout It. Red Rabbit serves award winning donuts and other sweet things, produced by their worker owned co-op to organic standards. BBQ Revolution is the country’s only all vegan BBQ joint, creating a truly distinct take on Central Texas fare. Vegan Unity offers locally sourced favorites made from scratch. And Taco ‘Bout It brings tastes from south of the border serving several vegan and traditional options. With Austin recently named as PETA’s top vegan-friendly city it only makes sense that a trailer space would come about as the city’s first vegan-friendly destination. Be sure to stop by every 2nd and last Thursday for the Austin Vegan Riot, starting Thursday January 30th, 6-9pm at the NorthLoop House & Yard, 701 E. 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751.

Lasagna with cashew cream, vegan barbecue, and amazing doughnuts can all be had at once! And then you can dance it all off. In a Riot-like fashion. It’ll be great.

Cherrywood Coffeehouse: Vegan Breakfast tacos and coffee, what more do you need

Last night I was at the Vegan Nom with, what can only be described as a plethora of vegans including the wonderful organizers of Vida Vegan Con, and I learned that the Cherrywood Coffeehouse’s vegan taco options are not as well known as I, a taco connoisseur, would have guessed. In fact, someone even accused me of “holding out”. I took this comment to heart and decided to put things right by breaking out the old blogging machine and posting some pics less than 24 hours later. If that’s not service, I don’t know what is.

Cherrywood coffeehouse is a lovely little spot right of 35 next to the monarch convenient store on 38 1/2 street. They have salads, hummus tacos and sandwiches, and smoothies along with espresso and beer but the real draw for me is their breakfast tacos with their delightful shoestring potatoes.

The range of vegan ingredients is extensive and I think they are the only place in town that puts deep fried tofu cubes in a taco…with deep fried potatoes. Ah, the healthy vegan diet.  They also have soyrizo, guacamole, mushrooms, refried beans, and lime rice. I always have a really hard time deciding but the last time I went with an tex-mex theme for one (tofu, potato, and guac on flour) and a Mexican theme (beans, rice, and mushrooms on corn) for the other and it worked out really well. And I didn’t have to eat again for the rest of the day because these suckers are pretty big.

It can get really busy during prime brunch hours, especially if it’s a nice day and the patio fills up, but on weekdays you can always find a table. And they serve breakfast tacos all day so check it out next time the taco craving strikes.

Elsi’s Breakfast Tacos

A few months ago Molly from the Lonestar Plate did a fantastic post about the best places to go for brunch in Austin. I had heard her rave about the vegan chorizo from Elsi’s before but after reading more I had to try it as soon as I could make my way to distant north Austin. 

Elsi’s is a great place to go for brunch because it isn’t so packed you have to wait in line. I asked Molly what specifically to order because they had a fair amount of choices and she recommended a build your own breakfast taco with black beans, soy chorizo, and avocado. I have had a lot of vegan chorizo in my life. In fact, I think it was the first fake meat product I ever tried. But Molly definitely knows what she is talking about here. Unlike every other version of vegetable chorizo I have tried this one was actually made with vegetables! It had little bits of onions and pepper cooked right in it. It was also a little less greasy than many of the versions I’ve tried. The only thing missing on my taco was some fried plantains. Next time!

And here is a true story: this morning I wasn’t feeling so well and then I had a taco and then I felt fine! Great even! Full of energy and ready to start my day. Breakfast tacos do have some known healing qualities but now I think there is a good chance that they can SAVE LIVES! I’m thinking about writing a book, “A taco a day”. I’m sure it will be a best seller although clearly am going to need more personal anecdotes.

Working Austin favorites into your vegan meal plan

Today’s blog post comes from Carolyn from the blog content guild who wanted to share with you how to make restaurant dishes at home. I do love migas and I sure miss the version they used to have at Snackbar

Trying to find the quintessential Austin food is likely to start an argument for the ages. Your friends will insist the food truck phenomenon is the cat’s meow but you’re more partial to the cutting edge foodie culture championed by the master chefs of Austin. Either way, when it comes to breakfast everyone can agree that Austin has cornered the market on breakfast tacos and migas. As you well know, finding acceptable versions to fit into your vegan meal planisn’t going to be easy. We hear there are quick to-go options for the intrepid vegan who’s willing to traipse all over town, but wouldn’t it just be easier to make them?Mouthwatering migas

Migas is a dish from Spain and Portugal, although some people think it can be traced back even further to a type of African couscous. Traditionally, it was a dish for using leftover bread that wasn’t fit to eat in other dishes. In Texas we’ve changed it around a bit to include tortillas instead, along with scrambled eggs, onion, pepper, tomatoes and cheese. Obviously, the eggs and cheese aren’t going to work so we’re going to need some creativity. Fortunately, the food wizards who make soy products have made it easier for us.

– 1 14-ounce package soft tofu
– 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
– 3 stale corn tortillas torn into strips
– 1 pinch of ground turmeric or to taste
– 2 jalapeños, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile or to taste
– 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
– 1 cup of your favorite salsa

Drain the tofu in a colander. Add the teaspoon of oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortilla strips and fry until golden, then remove and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and crumble the tofu into the pan along with the jalapeños, chipotle, turmeric, salt and scallions. Cook the mixture until the water has evaporated and the tofu has the consistency of scrambled eggs, about five minutes. Add in the tortilla strips, tomatoes and vegan cheese and you’re ready to go! Add some of your favorite salsa if you want, or eat it as is. You can also eat the mixture in tortillas, but that’s a lot like our next option.

Tremendous tacos

Tacos are the perfect breakfast food. Tasty as any pancakes and a trillion times more portable, you can’t go wrong with this Austin favorite. Your quest for vegan breakfast tacos could be a little bit easier as places like Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse and Whole Foods have vegan options. That said, don’t you think it’s time to spread your culinary wings? Who knows, you could be the next food truck rock star if you create a bunch of tasty recipes to share with the world. Take inspiration from the migas recipe to create your own delectable version of Austin’s favorite breakfast food.

Whole Foods Breakfast Tacos have Daiya Cheese Now!

I think I have probably written about whole foods breakfast tacos more than anything else on this blog. To me, tacos are the perfect food and sometimes the only food! The breakfast taco is the most important taco of the day and when it comes to vegan breakfast taco options whole foods just has more than anybody else, and they are a great deal, and I can stop right on my way to work. Sure, they are kind of evil, but I have friends that work there that love it and they really do promote vegan food more and more. The key factor to their taco brilliance is that they are so freaking good. The spelt tortillas are warm and comforting, on a good day the roasted potatoes are salty and soft and crunchy all at once, the pico de gallo is always fresh and delightful.  So at least one morning a week I go, get my coffee, and stand in an oftentimes epic line behind people in teeny tiny little jogging outfits to wait for my taco.I spend the time thinking if I will get my regular -tofu potato pico on spelt- or branch out and get vegan chorizo, roasted vegetables, cilantro lime rice, black beans, re-fried beans or spring for avocado instead. Over the weekend  (they serve breakfast until 1, it is 11am the other days) I was looking at the new signage and noticed another free topping- Daiya Vegan Cheese. So, if you are a fan of Daiya you are in luck! The new vegan cheese has really taken over the lamar store. They even have premade take and bake vegan pizzas. I had one with seven different kinds of olives for my birthday a few weeks ago.

mmm olives.

ALSO don’t forget that Vegan Drinks is this Wednesday at Snack Bar. You don’t have to be a vegan to come!

The Freakin Vegan at Taco Deli

I love Taco Deli. It is one of those places that I regretfully didn’t try for a long time. We take our dogs to the Spyglass greenbelt access point sometimes and I had seen Taco deli for years but I didn’t stop in until a couple years ago and then I was soon hooked. The whole place has kind of  a summer camp at a strip mall kind of feel to me. Maybe because we sometimes hike there but also because there are tons of trees around it and on summer days everyone is sitting outside looking active and happy with their dogs.

today was not a summer day

I noticed the breakfast tacos seemingly everywhere around town but they were always eggs, bacon, & cheese so I didn’t think that they would have a lot for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Taco Deli is one of the most veg friendly taco joints in Austin.  They have 5 vegetarian tacos on the menu and most can be easily veganized. The black beans are vegan so you can choose the Frontera Fundido Portabella (no cheese) it comes with roasted poblanos, sautéed peppers, and onion strips or the Florentino which comes with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and peppers or the Veggie Taco which is their veggie mix of shredded cabbage, carrots,  zuchini, mushrooms, peppers, celery, and onions sautéed in olive oil and sherry. They also use the veggie mix in the burrito and the tortas.

The most fun part is that they have a secret vegan taco. I heard from someone somewhere that  this off menu item is called “The Freakin Vegan” and now this is what I typically order. At first I was a little hesitant. What if I ordered the freakin vegan and they looked at me like I was just making shit up? So far, that has never happened so I happily get my black bean, avocado, verde sauce, and pico taco on a corn tortilla.

I also highly recommend the chips and guacamole. You get a ton of chips for only a few dollars with some of my favorite guac in town.  You can also get rice, beans, guac, or roasted peppers with any order. I wish that every place had the options of Taco Deli. They really only have two things that I wish I could change. One disappointment is that they don’t use tofu, tempeh, or seitan which, for me,  is kind of sad. The non-vegan menu is really creative and I think it would be so easy to sub fake chicken or pressed tofu in any of the chicken tacos with fantastic results. Also, they close at three every day and that can be pretty early for us to make it there on the weekend but that isn’t really a problem since most people aren’t that lazy. So the next time you sleep over at your favorite south Austinite’s house and you are cruising up mopac stop in for a taco. Studies have shown that it only takes 5 minutes and your happiness factor will enlarge by approximately 67 percent. And 67 percent isn’t the kind of number that you can laugh off.

Goodseed Organic

I have passed by this trailer many times and wanted to stop for their breakfast tacos but it has always eluded me. Every time I go over there with the trailer as my destination it is all closed up but when I am in a hurry going somewhere else it is wide open. Today, I was headed over to the Fair Bean for one of their delicious empanadas when I noticed it was open AND I was hungry so I did a U-turn and stopped by for a quick taco on my way to work.

Their menu was very vegan friendly and very raw food oriented although I wouldn’t call it a full on raw food place. The first thing that I noticed was that they carry Buddha’s Brew Kombucha which I am totally obsessed with and bought a case of at the farmer’s market last weekend. So that is great to know that there is another place I can get it since they don’t carry it at whole foods or Wheatsville.  The breakfast menu included a manna bread peanut butter and jelly sandwich, oatmeal with homemade hemp milk, and steamed greens.

The tacos had the usual vegetarian suspects and for vegans they had a bean (black or refried pinto), seasoned potato, and avocado taco which is what I opted for. They also had the largest choice of tortillas that I think I have ever seen, including a gluten free brown rice tortilla, sprouted corn, wheat, flour and sprouted wheat. My taco was cooked on the spot and came out in just a couple of minutesIt was delicious! Both the potatoes and the beans seemed to be seasoned quite nicely and the avocado had a vinaigrette dressing. The filling could have easily filled two tacos and I was nervous that they only gave me one corn tortilla but it held up. The tortilla was kind of strange and I think next time I would go for a different one. The salsa and the pico were both spot on and added a nice flavor to the taco. I think it is a nice addition to the south austin vegan taco scene.

For lunch they have several different options including a couple different green salads and a pasta salad. I think this is a great spot for quick healthy eating, especially if you stay away from gluetan or are . And the coffee was good too!

VeganMoFo- Taco Town III

Sometimes I have a waking nightmare that I will be riding up to Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse and find a sign that says, “closed to put up condos”. In Austin this seems to be happening more all the time. Nothing was worse than going to the Cosmic Cafe for my birthday and seeing that it was closed. But thankfully Bouldin continues to go strong. It is one of my favorite coffee shops in Austin.

Bouldin is on South First, just down the street from me so I like to hang out under the oak trees and drink Mexican Mochas and watch the hippies and the scenesters do there thing.

On beautiful Sunday mornings it can get kind of busy but the people and staff are so laid back that you never feel like you are in a rush to get your food and get out. It is the kind of place to while away the morning.

It is also my favorite vegan food in Austin. I somehow didn’t even realize for the first few years that it was an all vegetarian menu. All of their entrees can be made vegan, and really they should be made vegan because Bouldin Creek has the best tofu scramble I have ever had in my life. It could make anyone go vegan. So often at restaurants the tofu has too many spices and is too liquidy, and the tofu has been crumbled into pieces that are just too tiny. At Bouldin Creek the ‘fu always comes out absolutely brilliant. You can sub it in any of the egg dishes, I love the Breakfast Sammich with tomatoes and spinach mixed in the tofu on a poppyseed bagel. My man Dan loves the Slacker’s Banquet which is rice & beans with vegan cornbread. They even have a soul food plate.

The tacos are out of this world. They are all named after people and each is delightful. Especially with a homemade potato hash cake on the side.

Here is what I had, on the left is the Ren, sauteed onions, garlic, jalapeno, and tofu scramble. In the middle is the glorious potato hash cake, which is crispy on the outside creamy in the middle and filled with rosemary goodness. The taco on the right is the Timmy and had homemade vegan chorizo, tomatoes, and red & black beans.

Bouldin’s chorizo is out of this world good. You can even order a side of it and on its own it is quite good which I can’t say for any other chorizo I have ever had.

Now I am so hungry, I hope I’m not driving everyone crazy with this taco tour, I will try to go back to cooking at home now that the weekend is over.

VeganMoFo- Taco Town II

After blogging yesterday about the wonder that is the Whole Food’s Breakfast Taco I became really hungry. I knew that only a breakfast taco could satiate me and so we went to Polvo’s for a glorious breakfast that only cost $4.20. I got one taco that had mushrooms, spinach and potatoes.

And the other was napolitos, beans, and rice. One of the greatest aspects of Polvos is that they have three different salsa’s that are some of the best I have ever had.

After Polvo’s we drove out to the Hill Country to play some Frisbee Golf, it was the most beautiful day.