Friday, December 5, 2008

Rawkin Out in Austin (or Rawstin)

Hey, peeps! I hope everyone had a safe and fantastic holiday. I'm back from visiting a good friend in Austin, and I thought I'd check in since I've been woefully behind on blog posts.

The past few weeks have been a blur of activity, many of them centered around raw food, or at least including it. I've been spending tons of time in the kitchen, and am continuing to love creating new dishes.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got to Texas. Sure, Austin is known for its weird factor, and it's a funky, awesome town. But smack dab in the middle of meat country, I didn't have a lot of high hopes for finding raw vegan food, or even vegan, at that. Boy, was I rawng. Get it? Wrong? I'm squeezing too much mileage out of word puns with raw, aren't I?

Suffice to say, my friend Chris must receive huge props. He checked out some possibilities for me and gamely went along with my strange food preferences.

I started out the journey less than prepared. Brought some flax seed crackers on the plane with me. Then proceeded to have 3 or 4 glasses of wine with Chris, and no food save an apple. Yeah, I can hear the Greek chorus of "duh" from here. The next day, Thanksgiving, I ate some fruit for breakfast and then we went to the home of a really nice couple that's friends with Chris. They had a full Turkey Day meal, and we were all sitting down to it. So I luckily had some food choices, and made some that weren't so great, like mashed potatoes. Not one to kick myself after being 100% for weeks, I instead relished the fact that I wasn't off the wagon. In fact, cooked food really didn't do anything for me except give me that full, logey feeling I hadn't been missing while eating raw.

Friday morning, we went to Austin's new (and only) raw restaurant--The Daily Juice Café. That link, by the way, only mentions their three juice locations, not their new restaurant.

The Daily Juice Café Meditation/Chill Room

I got a fantastic smoothie with strawberry, peach, grapefruit, ginger and fresh maca root. Whooot! I spoke with the owner and walked around checking out their well-stocked cases of live foods. I like that they make their food based on the principles of less ingredients, lots of taste. They don't use a ton of nuts or massive ingredient lists.

The lovely interior...mmmmmm, young coconuts.

The newest location of Daily Juice is a repurposed gas station.

Next stop was the Whole Foods Mothership. It's the first WF in the country, if I'm not mistaken, and the largest. Walking into this bohemoth was overstimulation at its finest. In a way, I walked out feeling as though I had been brainwashed with weeks of food porn. However, the saving grace of the day was when Chris grinned and pointed to one of the mini island restaurants...Live Foods. A whole case of prepared live foods, and behind it, a wall of raw products.

You can live it up at the Whole Foods Raw Bar.

Yummy raw goodness. Holiday style.

The wall of raw.

Sure, had I bought everything I wanted, I would have to mortgage my house, and I'm a renter. But seeing that many resources available made me realize that Austin has it going ON in the raw department. As well as the artsy, funky, cool department. If someone could just explain why mullets are considered trendy there...

Friday night we went back to Daily Juice for a dinner that was exceptional. The entire staff is so friendly, it was packed, and the food was phenomenal. I had the raw lasagna and a side salad that included little strips of young coconut. Delish. My cohort had the raw tacos and some pumpkin soup, which was insanely good. I got a piece of chocolate banana cream pie to go and it was the bomb diggedy.

Deeelicious side salad.

Rawsagna. Phwargh, it was good.

Raw tacos and pumpkin soup.

Saturday I walked to Daily Juice and grabbed myself another gorgeous smoothie, as well as one for Chris. To live within walking distance of a raw restaurant would be both dangerous and wonderful. We ventured over to the Austin Farmers Market downtown, which was small, awesome, and full of organic choices.

Austin's downtown Farmers Market.

I've heard rumors of an even bigger organic market six miles out of town. Saturday night I chowed down on a raw dinner compliments of Whole Foods. Everything was really amazing, and I packed myself a to go lunch of raw leftovers for the plane ride home on Sunday.

My dish on Austin? Raw Heaven. Lots of organics, very green living, fantastic raw resources, and to top it off, a fun, artsy, funky town. I give it 10 Durians out of 10!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

These pictures are amazing and make me want to relocate! I've never seen a whole foods with a raw bar, or any raw food section at all. Thanks for sharing!