Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Screaming Goat

This place had such a cool name and even an appealing sign, so yes marketing work and we checked it out.  They having amazing specials, very good for the budget, not so good for the foodie :(  They have a vegetarian menu, but it is a little iffy as to what is/isn't vegan.  We went on buy one get one free burrito day (Wednesday).  The burrito's were very plain, the rice was dry, the beans were scarce.  Then when we asked for some salsa it kicked the burritos up a notch or two.  The red sauce is soo good, it instantly made the burrito taste good.  By the end of the meal we were not full and although $8 is not that much for a beer and 2 burritos, it likely won't qualify as a cheap dinner again.  We had to go home and eat more so did we really save money?  Still, the burritos were not recommended, the flautas were so perhaps we'll be back to try some other stuff.  $2 for a beer is somewhat cheap.  Also, we found the atmosphere to be very quaint and homey, just the way we like it.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Dog and Duck

Saturday was spring cleaning day, which included a lot of bleach to clean the grout.  Thus, we needed out of the house by the end of the day.. before our brains melted.  It was a beautiful day, just before sunset so what better atmosphere with which to enjoy the outdoors than The Dog and Duck?  The answer is none by the way.  We have technically quit drinking but Miguel can't resist a pecan porter or black IPA from time to time, that's not called alcoholism though, right?  So we enjoyed a pecan porter and some chips and salsa whilst perusing the menu trying to figure out what would still taste as good now that we are vegans.  Really, we already knew what we were getting.  The crispy, tender, melt in your mouth delicious, homemade spicy black bean burger.  We haven't tried all the vegan options but you just can't beat the burger.  The Dog and Duck seems to be a pub opened by a chef, he just couldn't decide so he decided to open a place that has good beer and good food.  Thank you to him.  We ordered the pineapple mango burger, veganified and were surprised to find that you don't miss the cheese in this burger.  It was swiss cheese, one of the less flavorful, but even the texture wasn't missed.  These cooks have major mods back there, the bun was perfectly crispy but also so soft, the patty was cooked to perfection and the sauce was spot on, there was even the perfect amount of basil.  Their bun is comparable to the wrap at Concious Cravings, crispy and toasy, but how do they do that?  Overall, it was a great night of eating.  We were afraid we were going to stop liking the Dog and Duck after one of their female bartenders ruined our experience 3 times in a row, one of which was with out of town guests and that's not cool.  The bartenders this night were nice and attentive and happy to help us out with our "strange affliction" (veganess).  Yay DnD we will be back!

Still Recommended.

Guero's - Vegan menu

Today was another work-related birthday celebration.. location: Guero's!  We have been wanting to go since we heard about their vegan menu and their decision to carry food for lover's vegan queso!  The excitement was short lived as we were told they were out of queso :((  So we ordered guacamole too, but alas, it was old and blah tasting.  Off to a bad start, but there was still the vast menu of vegan food yet to explore.  It seems vegan chorizo is their vegan meat option and everything else was some sort of rearrangement of veggies and/or beans.. but hey, that's mexican food.  We opted for the entree with the largest array of ingredients, the Vegan Tacos, soy pastor with charra beans.  Their next boo boo, which may  not go over as well with seasoned vegans, they brought out rice instead of potatoes.  This is after chasing the server around making sure she got the order right since she didn't ask about any of the accompaniments.  Apparently none of us are well versed at eating at a taco bar because the biggest complaint from the taco orderers was that all you get is meat and a tortilla.  All of that soyrizo with just a couple dried up pineapples and a shell was a bit overwhelming.  The dried up, over cooked potato chunks were not helping, so with the addition of lime, beans, salsa, the mini salad the lime sits on and some pickled onions.. it finally tasted pretty good.  Someone told us this is because you are supposed to go to the bar and fill your taco with ingredients?  This is the third time we have gone to Guero's and it's always been OK, except for the delicious don margarita (which is sometimes off) and the amazing queso (vegan and non).  We may be back but serious reconsiderations are going on regarding the out of town guests pouring in next month.. what if they are out of queso again?!

Still Recommended

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Driskill - 1886 Cafe and Bakery

This probably should have mentioned earlier, since we went here on Valentines Day!  Oh well, here it is now.  The Driskill is very intimidating at first look.  In fact, we almost left because some friends of ours coming from out of town felt uncomfortable.  They wanted steak but they are used to the Outback and Chili's of Vero Beach and couldn't understand why we didn't have any here!  We love to disappoint, truth is when you think of a good steak house in Austin there isn't a casual one.  So before leaving we checked out the menu and they saw the steak was only $17, they were confused but happy and we went on in.  This is not really a vegan friendly place, it's the type of place where you have to take the cheese out to make it vegan and all the desserts have egg, but it is vegetarian friendly.  That said, the vegan version of their Fusilli Pasta is awesome!  The only subtraction is goat cheese and it still has a lot of flavor.  We also got the Black Bean Hummus and made a believer out of our "meat and potatoes, hold the potatoes friend".  Miguel and I did not think the hummus was all that great but hey someone did.  Our other friend got the stuffed vegetarian mushroom and she really liked it, it is stuffed with cheese so no report on that.  They have a bottomless garden salad that is stuffed with veggies and sounds really good, but the pasta was so good there were no regrets.  The alcohol menu seems to be where they get you with the prices but they do have non-alcoholic beer so yay.  Overall a great experience and we would definitely bring more out of towners here again.


Conan's Pizza

For our monthiversary dinner we went with a more Miguel-themed place, Conan's!  It is decorated in awesome 80's drawings of Conan the barbarian and other greats.  The atmosphere is very casual and homey, we especially loved the TV in the side room.  Yay we finally got to watch the tele and what was on?  Well the life of Charlie Sheen of course!  Anyway, back to the pizza.  So the reason we went to Conan's is because we heard they have Daiya cheese, and whole wheat, deep dish crust.  Something we haven't had since Uno Chicago Grill in Orlando, which yes it's a chain but it's the best spinoccoli ever.  So we ordered the Veggie Supreme pizza with Daiya and only half olives for Miguel.  It was really great, for Austin pizza.  Austin does not seem to have pizza down yet but Conan's is the best so far.  The sauce was very hearty and seemed homemade, the crust was thick and delicious, and the cheese veggie's were generously piled on.  The only complaint, from Miguel, was that the crust got soggy quickly from the saucy sauce and since the crust was crispy enough to begin with he had issues.  We saved our last slices to toast at home though and they were great so just ask for extra toasty if that's how you like it.  Also, Conan's is only doing Daiya as a trial run and it appears that vegan cheese only succeeds in the University area.  They are thinking about taking it away from the Northern location menu!  If you live in the Northern Austin area go get some Daiya cheese pizza ASAP!  Here is a chance to encourage a restaurant to go and stay vegan.  We are thinking about hosting a vegan pizza party here in the near future to help support.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bouldin Creek Cafe

Since the discovery of the Lazy Smurf blog, our restaurant craze has reignited.  There are apparently all of these vegan friendly places in town that just take a little searching to find.  One of her strong recommendations was the tofu scramble at Bouldin Creek.  So today, on our monthiversary, we had an early breakfast out.  It opens at 7AM so we had to wait outside until it opened, I guess not everybody is such an early riser..  This seemed to be true for our server.  She looked like she had just woken up and even commented on how it was too early in the morning for so many questions.  Despite how early it was, the coffee was somehow old.  We are talking sour, burnt, and old.  Thankfully before we could stomach our first cup she started making some fresh coffee which was 100% better.  Although they cannot really lose points here, they use unfiltered tap water, which tastes disgusting in Austin.  Now the menu is very vegan friendly, noting that almost anything can be made vegan and there are even a few vegan "meats" to choose from.  At the coffee bar there were some vegan desserts, cookies, cupcakes and a creme filled cookie sandwich.  It was really easy to incorporate the tofu scramble since almost everything comes with it, so Shannon got the sweet potato pecan tamale with a side of facon (fake bacon).  Miguel got the tofu migas with a side of their homemade soy chorizo and a potato hash cake.  Shannon was much more impressed with this array of food.  Although we both agreed the facon, soyrizo and potato hash cake were not worth the extra money, the migas and tamales were outrageously good.  Apparently the cook decided to make the migas a different way, using fresh tortillas rather than chips, it was great.  Miguel thought the soyrizo was too sweet, the bacon was just a piece of tofu and the tofu scramble was salty.  Shannon thought the tamales were sweet and delectable and the migas and tofu scramble were almost creamy from the coating of nutritional yeast and spices.  The tortillas were just the plain store bought kind.  In case you are wondering why the tofu scramble could be considered the best in town, it is because of the unconventional preparation.  The tofu is crumbled, then coated, heavily, in a mixture of nutritional yeast and spices until a lot of the moisture is soaked up.  Miguel did not like the lack of moisture.  Overall, although we had differing takes on this place, we probably won't be back.  The bad service left a bad taste in Miguel's mouth which unfortunately started before he even took one bite of food.  The server started out sleepy, served us horrible coffee which she didn't refill until our food arrived, then went on to talk about us to her co-workers, and topped it off by calling Miguel "hun" (his favorite name next to "chief" lol).  The final draw was the $25 bill, that is an extremely expensive breakfast for 2 people, even with additions.  The horrible coffee turned out to be $2.50, which is pretty steep.  At this point Bouldin Creek will be recommended but it seems an explanation is in order.  If something is "recommended" it is because it has vegan options and the food is not horrible, for a better gauge of how enjoyable your visit might be refer to whether or not we will be back and why.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Onion

We got a free coupon in the mail for a large, 3-topping pizza at the Onion.  We walked on over after work to claim this alleged pizza and were not disappointed.  First off, this place looks really cool.  The whole vibe reminded us of underground, ninja turtles style.  The people working there were nice and they are very accommodating for vegans.  It came as a pleasant surprise when the woman taking our order offered us an extra free topping.. since we weren't getting cheese and all.  This is a refreshing change from some other places in town who charge for substitutions.  The tomatoes looked thick and juicy so we added them on in place of the cheese.  The pizza was great, the crust was bread like and the sauce was almost spicy.  We added our own spinach,  daiya and "parm" at home to compliment the artichoke, pineapple, tomato, jalapeno pizza that was ordered.  Overall, it was a great pizza, definitely a cool hang out, and a laid back spot for vegan pizza orderers (finally).


Biscuits and Groovy

We had been craving some biscuits and gravy and Shannon had heard about this vegan friendly trailer so finally the urge forced into the line last Sunday morning.  Shannon got the classic plate of vegan biscuits and groovy, which were very good.  The gravy was creamy and delicious and the portion size was huge, very filling.  Miguel got the ultimate platter, with every vegan meat and cheese he could fit on his biscuits.  They were to die for!  We both agreed Miguel's were the best, the bacon even tasted scarily like real bacon.  We will be back again for sure.  The poor guy running the trailer, alone, for the morning was swamped (omelet guy didn't show) and shorting himself.  He was giving everybody discounts to make up for the wait time since he had to make and take 20 orders on his own.  They have french press coffee but we opted for some coffee from the shop around the corner so we wouldn't have to bother him.  The outdoor seating and atmosphere are great but we were annoyed by the high school kids who started smoking at the end of our meal.. ruining the last delectable bite!  What is with all the smoking around trailers?  People are eating!  Anyway, anything but the wamellette and french toast can be veganized, they have a lot of hearty replacement options. 

Recommended X 10

Concious Cravings

It was inevitable, this veggie trailer stationed 2 blocks from our house, boasting amazing veggie food, we had to try it someday.  Saturday was the day.  Miguel had been fighting this place for weeks because the wrap is not so appealing to a hungry vegan.  All our doubts were shattered as soon as we bit into the delectable black bean slider wrap.  MMM!!  It had an indian spicy flavor, it was creamy from the black beans and it even had daiya cheese.  We ordered a side of baked rosemary fries and they just made the whole thing better.  Wow, yum, etc.  We are kicking ourselves for not trying this earlier but of course now we are happy to have found it.  We will be back everyday forever (exaggeration).  Another great note, we shared the wrap and the fries and were stuffed so after our Go Local card discount we paid less than $7 for a hearty, delicious meal.