Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Austin's Counter Culture

When you live in a city like Austin, it can be easy to get stuck in a routine. You go to the same stores, buy the same groceries, and eat at the same restaurants. This year, I set out to shake up my routine and explore some of Austin's vegan options - much like I do when I travel. After all, Austin has a great vegetarian restaurant scene - as long as you know where to look.

One of the first restaurants on my list was Counter Culture. The restaurant had its humble beginnings as a food truck, and got its own brick-and-mortar location with the help of a kickstarter campaign back in 2012. I'd been meaning to try it for quite some time, so when I was downtown  for an event recently, I decided to take a chance. And boy, am I glad I did.

  • Tasty yet moderately healthy vegan comfort food
  • Many gluten-free and soy-free options
  • Environmentally responsible
  • Fun vintage decor
  • Use organic, fair trade, and locally-sourced foods when possible
  • Reasonable prices
  • I wish I would've tried it sooner
I've had some good vegan food in Austin, but Counter Culture really impressed me. I tried the special - a blue corn pancake plate with tofu scramble and tempeh bacon. There were a lot of different flavors on that plate, and each was subtly balanced to perfection. The menu was simple but offered a variety of tempting options. I was delighted to see that the style was comfort food, but the focus was on real, unprocessed cuisine. In an era where a vegan option is often a frozen soy sausage or Daiya cheese, it was refreshing to see real foods. I left the restaurant feeling full, but the food was light enough not to weigh me down for the rest of the day. We had a light dessert of "donut holes" (like a sweeter version of a Larabar) and ice cream from Austin's own vegan ice cream parlor, Sweet Ritual. It was the perfect finale to a great meal.

Counter Culture is located in East Austin, near I-35. The location was easy to access and had plenty of street parking nearby. As a North Austinite, the location is a little tricky to get to for weeknight meals (due to I-35 traffic), but it was a quick trip on the weekend. I only wish I'd heard about it more, since I had no idea the food was so great. I'll be dreaming of a day when they can expand to a North Austin location.

Product Ratings (out of 5)

Performance (Taste)

Disclosure notice: This product was sent to me free of charge by the manufacturer for review. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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