Wednesday, November 3, 2010

vegan mofo: momoko cuteness

When you think “Texas” or “college campus” you don’t usually think “bubble tea.” The good news is that you totally can. Right in the middle of the UT neighborhood is the tiny Japanese boutique and tea shop, Momoko.

I went in today and got a new one for me, Romantic France. It tastes like pretty, if that makes sense. The color on this one is pretty bland, but the taste is amazing. I like getting a tea handed to me that’s bright pink, blue or purple. I’m not complaining about the color of this one, I’m just noting that the occasional technicolor drink is always welcome!

Momoko makes hands down the best bubble tea I’ve had anywhere. They don’t use powders or crazy machines or concentrates. They brew the tea, give you the option of milk (or soy milk!) and serve it to you in a normal plastic cup. No flimsy plastic wrap topping and no BS. This place is absolutely the real deal. I’ve been going to Momoko for almost 7 years and I have yet to try a tea that wasn’t delicious. They have a massive selection and I’m pretty confident that they’re all good.

Things you should know before going in:
* They have a card minimum of $5. Drinks are anywhere from $3.50 and up, adding boba is, I believe, $0.50 (don’t quote me on that!) and substituting soymilk is $1. My drink today cost $5.14 (+ $1 for tip)
* As you could probably tell from the above note, they are really pricey. I think it’s completely worth the price. After years of trying to find a vegan bubble tea, I really don’t mind paying so much.
* This is the kind of unique store you’ll want to support. The owner is crazy sweet, the vegan offerings are huge and it’s impossible to be in a bad mood here. The gifts are ridiculously overpriced, but I love it so much, I sometimes don’t mind spending $10 on a coin purse.
* Parking is limited, so consider street parking.
* The also offer rice balls and shaved ice. The shaved ice comes with a sweet creamy sauce that’s not vegan so if you want shaved ice, make sure you ask them to leave it off.

I love this place. I’m not a Japanophile, I just really love bubble tea. If you also really love bubble tea, get to Momoko.

705 W 24th St # A
Austin, TX 78705-4742

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

vegan mofo: autumn care package cuteness

Last week at work was realllly rough. In order to maybe boost some morale or at least show that I’m a lover, not a fighter, I made my coworkers a mini Autumn care package.
Those are pumpkin chocolate chunk cupcakes with a cinnamon caramel icing, candy corn gumdrops, peanut butter pretzels, chocolate teddy grahams and peanut butter crackers.

I’m dropping it off this afternoon. Hope they like it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

vegan mofo: halloween with awesome people

Happy Mofo, everyone! I hope you’re all as excited as I am. This month I’ll be cooking up a storm, visiting my favorite veg friendly restaurants and being crazy social. And that’s where I’m kicking off Mofo: Socializing.

This year we spent Halloween at our dear friend’s Chris and Crystal’s house (from Vegan Explosion and Food For Lovers fame!) Crystal’s birthday is in October and she asked us over to eat pizza, watch movies and celebrate.

When we walked in I was instantly drawn to the punch bowl. It was purple and looked so menacingly delicious with the dry ice! It was so good! We threw in a little Brandy to give it extra umph. Yum!

The rest of the spread included chips and pear relish, fruit, my own contribution of
muddy buddies
and these glorious sugar cookies. They were so moist and flavorful, I couldn’t even believe it. And look how cute!

We also ate something that I was beyond excited to try. Queso from THE jar.
If you aren’t familiar with the exciting things going on in the world of vegan queso, Food for Lovers is C&C’s queso company. They were the original great queso makers and have been working their asses off to get it on the shelves for everyone to enjoy. This stuff is unbelievable. If you are aware of the queso and have been excitedly waiting for it to take it’s place among the other vegan staples, you will not be disappointed. It’s amazing! It’s just like the original recipe only better if you can believe it. Patience is a virtue and the FFL queso is worth the wait!

All of this delicioness happened before dinner. They ordered pizza from Conan’s Pizza who has just started carrying Daiya. I’m not the biggest Daiya fan, but Conan’s used it Right. They got the proportions and use down so that the pizza was perfectly balanced. We got ours with onions, peppers and olives.

It was perfect. Generous with toppings, not crazy with the Daiya and with just the right amount of sauce (which was a lot!) The crust reminded me of the delivery pizzas of days past. Austin Vegans, get to it! Order from Conan’s and show them how much we appreciate the option. Maybe we can convince them to start carrying vegan meats. It Cruzer did it, maybe Conan’s will!

After we completely stuffed our faces, we all gathered around their ginormous TV for some movies that M picked for the occasion. We watched the adorable Frakenweenie (against mine and Crystal’s apprehension), It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (at my insistance) and Ed Wood, the brilliant film about The Worst Film Directer of all time.

It was a fantastic night. C&C were amazing hosts and pulled out all the stops (dry ice?!) Vegan entertaining doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult. It can be low stress and still be completely impressive. I can’t say whether or not this was stressful for them, but they made it it feel totally comfortable and like it was no big thang. Meanwhile mine and M’s mouths stayed open the whole time from eating, drinking or in just plain aw.

If you’re down for some vegan entertaining, I’ve got a post coming up later this month with some of my own tricks, secrets, ideas and aspirations. M and I love to entertain and did it a lot when we lived in Los Angeles. We’re still trying to work out our own style in the new TX digs, but so far I’m pretty pleased with what we’ve come up with!

This whole post was brought to you by:

Charlie and Betsy, Koop (perfect blogging music), the coffee I’m currently enjoying and the plea that Austin Vegans support the hell out of Conan’s Pizza.

Conan’s Pizza
603 W. 29th St.
Austin, TX