Weekend Vegan Holiday: Food is for friends!

Counter Culture soul food burrito

Counter Culture soul food burrito

We spent most of the weekend eating and showing off our city to some sweet vegan friends in town from Berkeley, who coincidently happened to be in Austin the same weekend of Texas VegFest. We kicked off our weekend eating a delicious dinner out on the patio at Counter Culture, Austin’s all-vegan comfort food restaurant, and my second home. I’ll write an entire post about how much I love Counter Culture soon.

After our scrumptious meal, we went to ATX Vegan Drinks Texas VegFest Edition at Cheer Up Charlies, where the theme of the night was vegan trivia. Trivia is not really my thing but we were intrigued by the idea of “vegan trivia” and then we were nudged by our friend Lazy Smurf, who named our team “the after smurf.” Most of the questions seemed to be about vegan celebrities, including actors and cook book writers. As a team we did okay, but I give Smurf most of the credit. She is an encyclopedia of vegan culture. We left before the final round to save up energy for the following day at Texas VegFest.

Good Karma Kitchen Spicy Asian Tacos

Good Karma Kitchen Spicy Asian Tacos

We spent most of our Saturday at Texas VegFest eating over and over and over again. The weather was perfect for spending the day outdoors, walking around vendor tents and running into friends. We normally don’t eat 5 times in a day (thankfully!) but the festival was an excuse to try out different foods and support Texas businesses that serve vegans. We had: 1) black bean tamales and chips and vegan queso from Vegeria, San Antonio’s only gluten-free and vegan restaurant; 2) sweet potato salad from Counter Culture; 3) double chocolate chip cookie from Houston’s Sinfull Bakery; 4) Spicy Asian tacos from Good Karma Kitchen in Houston; and finally, 5) a taste of vegan lasagna and canoli from Unity Vegan Kitchen. Needless to say, we were stuffed! But we were happy to try lots of things out. We also were happy to see the talented and downright sweethearts of Herbivore Clothing Company. We heard they designed the logo for the Texas VegFest t-shirts, which were rather adorable. Miranda and I purchased a few unisexual t-shirts from Herbivore. My shirt has a badass koala on the back which I plan to sport at least once a week.

Technicolor Hearts

Technicolor Hearts

We stayed at the festival till the very end, catching our friends in Technicolor Hearts perform mythical, dream-like songs that felt like popsicles floating through the pavilion, probably from too much sugar and food on my brain.

You would think we had enough food, but we took our Berkeley friends to The Vegan Nom for tasty tacos followed by Sweet Ritual for ice cream dessert later that night. It was awesome to show our out-of-town friends a delightful representation of vegan eating in Austin. We can’t wait to visit them in Berkeley!

sunday brunchWe wanted to end off our weekend with a bang, so today we invited our friend Sloan over for brunch at our home. Miranda made scrambled tofu tacos with refried beans and avocado. And mimosas. Several of them. It’s great to share food with our friends. I recently read a quote from Cesar Chavez that was posted by Food For Lovers:  “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Food is for friends!

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Countdown to Texas VegFest!

Texas VegFest 2013 flyerWe’re really excited to go to Texas VegFest this year! This vegan extravaganza takes place on Saturday, April 6 at Fiesta Gardens in east Austin. Texas VegFest Director, Adrienne Lusk, says the event will draw in around 5,000 attendees for a host of activities, vendors, speakers, cooking demos, and of course, great food and live music. What’s a vegan not to love?

One important thing to note about this event is that it’s been a grassroots, volunteer-driven effort by very dedicated activists. The Austin vegan community has helped improve and support vegan dining options around town, which has made Austin one of the top veg-friendly cities in the country. We applaud them for their many hours of hard work to organize Texas VegFest for the second year in a row!

While I expect to see lots of my vegan friends there, this welcoming event will attract veg-curious and omnivore folks as well. It’s a perfect event for anyone considering going vegan or reducing their consumption of meat and/or dairy because of the impressive list of local businesses that will be there selling their vegan fare. I know the major question people have when they go vegan is, what the heck will I eat? Texas VegFest will give you lots of yummy options and food for thought to help people think through their dietary choices. I suggest inviting a friend of yours who is not vegan to this event — it could really have an impact!