Category Archives: Food

Curry in Hurry – Austin, TX

Soon I will be leaving Austin for a year. Before I leave, I’m going to try to write a brief review of all the Austin food places I like. I’ll start with Curry in Hurry.

Curry in Hurry offers great Indian lunch meals at a decent price. Each meal is about $6 and you get rice, one of three curry dishes, one of two daal dishes, and a choice of bread (either paratha or roti). You can view their menu here. Everything is vegetarian and most things are vegan. The employees are helpful and they can easily point out which menu items aren’t vegan.

They also have lots of interesting snack foods. I was asking the owner tons of questions about them and she was nice enough to let me sample a bite of each.

Apparently they have a whole menu devoted to sweets and chaat (Indian snack food typically served from street carts), but those are only available on the weekends (I haven’t been there for that yet, but I’ve heard it’s worth going for). You can see their snack menu here.

They also own the Indian grocery store next door called Gandhi Bazar.

Here’s their Web site:

http://www.gandhibazar.com

One of the things I hate about Curry in Hurry is that they always use Styrofoam – regardless of whether or not you order your food to go. I recommend bringing your own Tupperware and asking them to put your meal in that. I actually haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to try to remember to stick a reusable container in my car next time I go. I don’t think they’ll have a problem with it.

Curry in Hurry is kinda far away (off Parmer Lane, west of I35), but worth making a trip there if you’re in the area. I also just found out that they deliver!


Second Veggie Dog Eating Contest

Mike Litt, organizer of many vegan events in Austin is holding his second veggie dog eating contest this Saturday. For those of you who went last year, it was tons of fun.

Here’s the official press release:

iLoveMikeLitt’s Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest
Saturday, June 21, 2008 – 1 to 4pm
Competition starts at 2pm
Scholz Garten map
All Ages, Families Welcome – $5 cover

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2008

Contact: Mike Litt, 512-828-2484, ilovemikelitt@gmail.com

AUSTIN HOSTS SECOND ANNUAL VEGGIE HOT DOG EATING CONTEST
Austinites and other Texans invited to help eat 1500 veggie dogs and 14 gallons of vegan ice cream

Austin TX – Building on the theme, “No Meat, No Mercy,” Austin will host the return of last year’s inaugural veggie dog eating contest on:

Date: Saturday, June 21st

Time: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Location: Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto

The annual Veggie Dog Eating Contest was created by IloveMikeLitt, a local social group that puts together various artistic and cultural events, after a random conversation with The Hot Dog King, a local vendor who sells hot dogs on Red River Street.

Individuals can compete as solo competitors or as part of teams of two in the doubles category. Prizes from local businesses and national vegetarian-friendly companies will be awarded to the teams and persons eating the most veggie dogs in 12 minutes.

A $5 cover includes a free Smart Dogs veggie dog and all-you-can eat NadaMoo ice cream until supplies run out.

Co-hosts this year are Deb O’Keefe from the MorningX on FM 101.5, and Chris Trew, co-founder of ColdTowne Theater. Deb and Chris are both vegetarians.

Contestants this year include last year’s solo competitor champion, Colin “the Tim Duncan of competitive eating” Kalmbacher. Colin, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and vegan for six years says, “What is more Austin than a bunch of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores, all alongside each other, gorging themselves on hundreds of soy dogs for the sheer insanity of it?”

For more information go to www.ilovemikelitt.com.

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IloveMikeLitt is a social group based out of Austin, Texas that puts together various artistic and cultural events. Last year’s 1st Ever Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest was the group’s first event. This year’s contest marks the group’s 15th event as an organization. Events such as Vegan Arm Wrestling and Veggie Speed Dating continued the eating contest’s goal of bringing people of all eating orientations together for fun interactions. Involvement with events such as Treasure City Thrift Store’s Recycled Fashion Show and Hands on an Electric Scooter promoted other sustainability values. Events such as 20 Slideshows: 20 Tastes and Acknowledge Me showcased local artistis, crafters, and other model citizens. For more information go to www.ilovemikelitt.com.

Aster’s Ethiopian

Aster’s Ethiopian is my new addiction.

It’s quick, spicy, and yummy. It’s a little too pricey to eat there regularly ($9.95 for an entree and 3 sides; $12.95 for a vegetarian sample platter with all 8 veggie dishes), but it’s a lot of food and large enough to split into two meals. Also the staff is always smiling and they seem genuinely happy that you are eating at their restaurant. Also, it makes Miguel happy, which makes me happy.

I recommend getting the vegetable combination platter and a cup of ethiopian tea. The tea is strong and tastes sorta cinnamony – you can smell it across the room. If you order the vegetable combo, you get: collard greens, cabbage, eggplant, potatoes, injera salad, three different types of lentils, and 2 big pieces of injera bread.

If you’re with a few other people and you all order the vegetarian combo, it’ll be served on one giant plate and you’ll feel really extravagant.

Another thing I really like about Aster’s is that you get to eat with your hands. Forks are provided if you ask for them, but most people scoop up the food with little pieces of injera – the spongy, crepe like bread served with the meal. The other day, I was really hungry and I knew I was going to be stuck in traffic for a while. I was already on the access road near Aster’s Ethiopian, so I stopped. I ordered my usual and the food was ready in about 10 minutes. I took it back into my car, sat in traffic for about an hour, and proceeded to stuff my face with Ethiopian food. It’s funny how you forget that you’re still in public when your in the car – I would occasionally glance over at a stoplight and see people looking at me and my hands (and probably my face) stained with red and yellow lentils.

Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse

Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out. It’s casual, comfortable, and makes a great place to study or work on projects (as long as you don’t come during one of their really crowded times). Their coffee is great, their vegan cornbread is great, and their tofu scramble is great. My only complaint is that sometimes their portions are inconsistent (maybe it has to do with different chefs at different times of the day(?). Still, I wouldn’t hold it against them. Everyone should eat here – it’s good. While it’s all vegetarian, I’ve taken many meat eating people here and they always find something they’re excited about eating. Although those who get the scrambled eggs end up regretting it – the tofu scramble is just way better and much more flavorful.

I pretty much always get their El Tipico or their Tofu Broccoli Salad with tofu scramble. I should probably branch out and try something new, but I eat out so infrequently…it’s hard for me to want a change. Why mess with a good thing? If I ever try something new, I’ll post it here. For now, here’s a photo of the Tofu Broccoli Salad. Don’t you with you were eating it right now? I do.

Vegan Stuffed Zucchini

I’m not very good at posting sequentially after each potluck – I just post photos as I come across them.

Here is one I came across recently from the stuffed food potluck we hosted a while ago.

Everyone made such amazing food that night. We had stuffed mushrooms, stuffed chard leaves, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, two different kinds of stuffed shells, and some other things I wasn’t able to fit on this plate.
I made stuffed zucchini and I got so addicted to them that I’ve made them twice since then.

Basically I cut each zucchini in half, then sliced it lengthwise. I got a spoon and scooped out all the insides. I sauteed onions, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, then added breadcrumbs and the leftover zucchini pulp. For the first batch, I added soy sausage…but I don’t think it was necessary. I can’t remember the spices I used, but I think I used thyme, oregano, and fresh basil and parsley. I may have also used paprika, Bragg’s liquid aminos, and a small amount of flour. I added a ton of nutritional yeast, mixed it all together into a big mush, heaped a scoop into each zucchini shell, then sprinkled more nutritional yeast on top. I lined them all in a baking pan (no need to grease it because they exude a lot of liquid) and baked them at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Vegan Wontons

For our mini food potluck, I made vegan wontons.

I steamed mine, but this vegan wonton recipe has instructions for steaming and frying methods.

To make the stuffing, I took leftover curry (which had about 20 or more ingredients in it) and blended it to make a paste.

I mixed the curry paste with crumbled tofu,

steamed chinese broccoli,

bamboo shoots,

minced wheat roast from White Mountain Foods,

lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, Bragg’s liquid aminos, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

I made a quick dipping sauce by mixing soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and agave nectar.

Folding the wontons was fun and relatively easy, but I learned that you should always cover the metal steamer with oil or margarine and not pile the wontons on top of each other.  I learned this the hard way, but luckily I had enough wonton wrappers that I could afford to make some mistakes. Anyway, just cook them in small, manageable batches – otherwise they’ll end up looking like this:

Many wonton wrappers from Asian grocery stores are vegan, but some are not. Just be sure to check that you got the ones without eggs. This brand is the kind I used:

Beets!

Beets are beautiful. I especially like them when simmered in orange juice and ginger….but I also like them baked, canned, pickled, or pretty much any way.

Shredding beets is fun too. Beets make me feel like a messy little kid who doesn’t care if the fingerpaint dies her hands for days and leaves a dark red stain on everything else she touches. It’s fun to be messy sometimes.

Don’t toss the beet leaves – you can eat those too. With a dark red vein that runs through the middle of each leaf, beet greens look a lot like rainbow chard. You can cook them similarly as well. Here are some quick and easy instructions for cooking beet greens.