Tag Archives: potato hash cake

Snack Bar Austin – open for business

I am so excited to report that I finally got to try Snack Bar for brunch over the weekend. I have been watching the progress on the building for months and my friend Judy has been giving me updates on their progress and telling tales of a vegan friendly menu for so long that I was beginning to think it was all a big joke and that they would have a vegan entree like “mixed vegetables” . Kind of like when I read that the Black Sheep Lodge had the best veggie burger in town but it turned out that it was a garden burger. I am happy to say that Snack Bar is everything it was hyped to be. They must have a vegan in the kitchen, or at least know one that is into food! The owner, an artist names Bethany Andree, has been beset with structural problems with the building since acquiring the place last year but has done a great job, with help from her friends, turning it around. They have done such an amazing job with the place! The outdoor patio looks really nice, it is right on South Congress but nicely shielded from the traffic with plants and the inside is bigger than I would have thought it would be and really nice. I love the casual modern style. The concept is to have a place where guests at the hotel behind it can pick up things that they forgot and also get drinks, food, and coffee but the location is going to also get lots of foot traffic and vegan traffic as well.

I went with Alin and Molly, who are both vegan food lovers in Austin and we were all happy with the overall experience. In fact, we talked about coming back separately the next day! There are several places in Austin where a vegan can find some brunch, notably Bouldin Creek and Somnios but Snack Bar is the first place in Austin to really make an effort at vegan diner food rather than ovo-lacto vegetarian food minus the cheese or tacos. Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos and scrambles but when I go to other towns I am always so excited to have things like biscuits and bacon-style tempeh. When I checked out the snack bar menu I was thrilled. We were spoiled for choice and had a hard time making decisions. The first thing I ordered was coffee, I was a first let down that they didn’t have vegan creamer but then thrilled when they brought me a glass of steamed soy milk, there was enough for the multiple cups that the wait staff kept bringing which was a really nice treat. The coffee itself was surprisingly good.Alin got the “Freedom Benny” which was griddled tofu, smoked tomatoes on petite waffles and topped with vegan Hollandaise. It looked really good and I can’t wait to try it. Molly got the waffles with apple chutney and maple tempeh strips. I tried the latter and I thought that they were super, tempeh can be tricky to prepare correctly and they did it just right. I really wanted to get the seitan sausages or the tofu scramble that is made with leeks crimini mushrooms and carrots but I couldn’t stop myself from ordering the biscuits with tempeh gravy because I was so excited that they were on the menu.The biscuits were really good, the gravy needs a little work but I am confident that they will get it together, the place did just open. It was cold the first time they brought it out but the waitstaff rectified the situation very quickly and handled the incident very well. I thought it needed a little more spice and that is was under-seasoned but I was a still a happy smurf and ate every bit. Alin and I both got the potato hash cake and that was definitely my favorite thing that I tried. The potatoes in this baby are mixed with cabbage, leeks, and onions and then pan seared. It was just perfect and only a dollar fifty. In fact, my whole meal was less than ten dollars with tip which means that I can go back any time and I certainly will!

The lunch menu looks really good too, the have an avocado stuffed veggie burger and a seitan BBQ sandwich in addition to quite a few salads, including a raw offering. Hopefully they will add a vegan monte cristo and then it will be perfect! The only real problem is that pretty soon they are going to have a long waiting line. Snack Bar os definitely be worth the wait.

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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.