Best Veggie-Friendly Burritos in ATX

Texas’ capital city is known for a lot of things, but if you google “food in Austin,” you can rely upon the fact that a good amount of the results that pop up will be Tex Mex. However, true to its hippie roots, ATX is a safe haven for all the vegetarians and vegans of the state. The result of a city famed for its delicious Tex Mex and a largely plant-based population? Here is a list of some of the epic veggie-friendly burrito establishments in Austin.

The Burrito Factory

Anyone who’s had good Tex Mex knows that local, family-owned small businesses are the restaurants with the real deal. This family-owned burrito establishment has been a staple in the Dobie Mall and a favorite of UT students since 2004. It’s stayed in the family for nearly two decades and is currently run by three siblings: Jose Luiz, Juan Luiz, and Ana Bertha Perez. Their burritos are customizable, so veggie-lovers can opt to leave meat out of their creation, and their menu also includes several other meatless options. The burritos here are giant, so make sure to come here hungry and you’ll definitely be leaving satisfied.

El Chilito

In typical Austin fashion, El Chiltio’s contemporary take on Tex Mex involves a heavy focus on local ingredients, which they use to make their recipes from scratch; from Texas producers, to their kitchen, to your table, every day. Their menu includes both tacos and burritos, such as their Nopalito and Selena–both great meatless options–or for a dairy-free choice, the Brentwood. Don’t forget to grab some coffee before you go! Aside from amazing Tex Mex, El Chilito also boasts a full espresso bar.

Mi Madre’s

Mi Madre’s Restaurant was opened in 1990 by Aurelio and Rosa Torres, and over 30 years later, it still serves only the finest of Tex Mex cuisine. If you’re looking for restaurants in Austin with a rich history, a lengthy menu, and an adorable patio, this is the place for you. As a vegetarian and Tex Mex enthusiast, I can attest to the fact that there are simply too many amazing meatless options at Mi Madre’s to name, but their Veggie Rito definitely needs to make your Austin to-do list.

La Cocina De Consuelo

When Connie Rodriguez started making food for a local church fundraiser in the 1980’s, she probably wouldn’t have guessed that her flavorful Mexican recipes would still be shared nearly half a century later through her family’s restaurant. Now run predominantly by Connie’s niece, Letty, La Cocina De Consuelo features a build-your-own breakfast burrito, and many of the fan favorites created over the years have been given names. For instance, vegetarians who don’t feel like conceiving their own custom burrito could order the Johnny or the Pedro. Connie’s recipes and her family’s devotion definitely give this place the authenticity that makes them one of the best Texas restaurants.

Recap of TATBILB and What to Expect from the Last

The final installment of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, based on Jenny Han’s novels, is here! Lana Condor and Noah Centineo reprise their roles as Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky, bringing their love story to a conclusion in To All the Boys: Always and Forever. If you don’t remember where things left off (or anything at all), here’s a quick refresher on the first two films and what to expect from the last. Spoilers ahead!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Released in 2018, the first film introduces us to reserved high school junior Lara Jean Covey, who writes letters to boys she likes but doesn’t send them. After some of her crushes confront her about these letters, she realizes – to her horror – that they’ve been sent out somehow.

Fast forward and Peter Kavinsky, one of the recipients, and Lara Jean begin to fake date to make his ex-girlfriend (and Lara Jean’s ex-best friend) Genevieve jealous. It works, but like we expected, Peter starts to develop feelings for Lara Jean. On a school ski trip, Peter and Lara Jean admit they like each other, but later, Gen tells her that he spent the rest of that night in her room. This obviously infuriates Lara Jean, so she breaks up with him.

After Lara Jean finally pays Peter a visit, he confesses that he’s in love with her. Happy ending, right? Not so fast…just when we think the film’s ended, John Ambrose Claren, another boy who got a letter, shows up outside Lara Jean’s door with a bouquet of flowers and the aforementioned letter.

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Released last February, this film focuses on John Ambrose, one of Lara Jean’s past crushes. Looks like he got his letter after all. Bad news for Lara Jean; she was hoping it’d gotten lost in the mail or something.

As part of her school’s volunteer program, Lara Jean chooses to spend her time at Belleview Retirement Home. There, she runs into John Ambrose, where they have a conversation about the letter. He reveals that he wrote her one, too. For some reason, Lara Jean can’t stop thinking about this conversation. To make matters worse, she’s insecure about her relationship with Peter, unable to stop comparing herself to Gen. Lara Jean and John Ambrose grow closer while volunteering together. He appears to be catching feelings, and Lara Jean doesn’t tell him about her relationship with Peter.

After Lara Jean’s led to (mistakenly) believe that Peter was actually planning to get back together with Gen the night they confessed their feelings for each other during the ski trip, she breaks up with him. Around this time, Lara Jean and John Ambrose decide to throw a ball for Belleview. On that night, they dance together, but Lara Jean realizes she loves Peter, so she rushes outside in her gown. Perfect timing, because Peter’s waiting for her. They kiss and make up, leading us to the beginning of Always and Forever.

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Wondering if the final film’s worth watching? Well, here’s what to expect. Don’t worry; there aren’t any spoilers beyond this line.

The Covey clan take a trip to Seoul, South Korea, where Lara Jean’s late mother was born and raised. Expect some familiar tunes if you’re a K-pop fan, like SNSD’s “Gee,” Cherry Bullet’s “Q&A” and Blackpink’s “Pretty Savage.” The whole time, though, Lara Jean’s worried about whether or not she’s been accepted to Stanford, where Peter plans to attend. If she gets in, they won’t have to do the whole long-distance thing. She spends the majority of the film contemplating where she should go to college; as much as she wants to be with Peter, she can’t help but feel attracted to New York City.

We get to see her last high school dance, graduation and a glimpse into her future: does she choose to be close to the boy she loves or miles away in the city she loves? Does their relationship even survive that long? You’ll have to watch to find out!

View the trailer here.

Gourdough’s – An Austin Take on Donuts

Are you in town and seeking out a menu that will satisfy your craving for the weird in a way that only Austin restaurants can? Gourdough’s is a restaurant that answers the age-old question of, “What if we loaded Texas-sized burgers with ridiculous toppings and then put it on a donut?” with a resounding YES.

The History

Originally established as a food truck on 1st Street, Gourdough’s Big. Fat. Donuts has served the city its characteristic fried donut creations since 2012. A tale of entrepreneurship, success, and expansion as old as time, the restaurant has since opened up a brick-and-mortar location: Gourdough’s Public House on S. Lamar Blvd.

Already familiar with the food truck, I opted to visit the newer location. A cheerful donut man, whom I can only imagine to be a Mr. Gourdough, almost seemed to beckon to me and made it easy to spot the restaurant with its sheet metal roof. A spacious outdoor patio on the side of the building could seat several parties, even during times of social distancing.

Going inside the restaurant we found a fully stocked bar, with several guests talking and enjoying the game playing on the screens. A projector was set up to play television and movies on the wall across from the larger tables in the back that are suited to groups. It was nice to know that Gourdough’s has plenty of options for dining depending on the occasion or amount of people!

With its roots as a food trailer highly focused on donuts, it was a pleasant surprise to see the expanded version of it at the restaurant proper. Gourdough’s features a full brunch with coffee cocktails, signature donut sandwiches, and burgers, and dinner entrees reminiscent of more typical southern food.

Menu

For an appetizer, I wanted to start with one of the more popular choices on the menu – The Big Cheez.  This starter consists of gooey mozzarella wrapped in donut dough and fried, then served with a cilantro buttermilk dressing. Not the cheesy bread you know, but a shining example of Gourdough’s willingness to experiment and improve upon familiar dishes.

I had known from the get-go that I wanted nothing more than to devour the entirety of whatever Donut Burger I ended up ordering, though the fact that everything looked good threw me for a loop. I ended up ordering the Gettin’ Piggy With It burger which featured sweet pulled pork, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, a potato pancake, and candied jalapenos all piled onto a burger and wedged between two donuts.

On another plate is the Mother Clucker, one of Gourdough’s original recipes that can be found at its food truck location. Crunchy deep fried chicken breast smothered in their house-made honey-butter sauce and served over a savory garlic donut – a perfect pairing for their hand-battered fried okra (that was probably also the best I’ve ever had).

Deserts

Finally, I didn’t want to leave without trying out the absurd desserts they are known for. So, I made my way to Gourdough’s extensive donut menu. Chocolate donuts, donut holes, peach cobbler donuts and even CBD donuts all enticed me, but I ended up deciding on the Fat Elvis which was easily the highlight of my visit.

 A halo of glazed goodness topped with peanut butter icing, smoked bacon, grilled bananas, and a drizzle of honey, this beast of a donut was finally the thing to defeat me. Half-eaten, I boxed it up so that I could look forward to eating it when I got home.

If you would like to try Gourdough’s for yourself rather than just taking my word for it, both the Public House and original location are open 7 days a week with the brick-and-mortar location offering dine-in and delivery. Just be sure to bring an empty stomach, and a craving for donuts!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer Recipe

Harry Potter’s butterbeer is a widely popular drink made with brown sugar, butter syrup, topped with cream soda, and a dollop of cream. Every die-hard Harry Potter fan has been dying to try this butterscotch concoction, ever since Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat down at the Three Broomsticks and ordered a round of Butterbeer. Recreating this magical drink while Texas is experiencing a winter storm with temperatures dropping to 19 degrees. This is a perfect excuse to stay inside, so grab your butterbeer, a cozy blanket, and press play on your favorite Harry Potter movie while staying warm at home. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 liters cream soda chilled
  • 1/4 tsp caramel extract
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract

For the Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of butterscotch topping
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Add butterscotch topping and powdered sugar.
  • Mix the caramel and butter extracts with the cream soda and then pour the mixture into clear cups or mugs.
  • Top with butterscotch cream topping and enjoy!

TLC Austin

Looking for something to satisfy your cravings? Maybe a pitstop to add while you are on your Austin tour. Well, you’ve come to the right place! TLC Austin is hands-down the best seafood place I’ve been to in Austin! They have a great variety of fresh seafood that you cannot get anywhere else in town. Easily one of our top seafood restaurants in Austin!

It’s the perfect place to bring your family and friends. They offer patio seating as well as indoor seating. With the pandemic going on, they have tables spaced out to promote social distancing. The picnic tables are enormous and could easily fit six people comfortably.

Upon arrival, you’re prompted to use the hand sanitizer with the sign at the door and are asked to seat yourself. This contactless strategy ensures that the employees, as well as customers, are safe. There’s a barcode at the end of each table that you can scan with the camera app to open up the menu. Our waiter then greeted us, he recommended the atomic shrimp cocktail and the charbroiled oysters. We also ordered the seafood boil with snow crab, shrimp, and andouille sausages. It also comes with texas corn and potatoes.

Let’s talk about the atomic shrimp cocktail; you’re going to want to ease into them because when they say atomic… they mean it. This shrimp cocktail was extremely spicy; it took me by surprise because I was not expecting it to be THAT spicy, but boy was I wrong. After getting past the spice, the flavor was quite nice and tangy.

The charbroiled oysters were to die for!! I’ve never had oysters with melted cheese on top, but this is something that everyone should try if they visit. Be careful because they’re hot right off the grill. The oysters were fresh and the texture of the two together just melted in your mouth.

Everyone has been raving about the crabs here and I had to check it out for myself. The star of the night had to be the seafood boil. The crabs were bigger than my head, and had a ton of meat on them! TLC provides you with all the tools and utensils you need to get the most out of your seafood. Don’t worry about getting your hands dirty either, you can’t help but to just dig in. The shrimp was amazing, especially in the lemon garlic butter sauce! The sauce was not too overwhelming in garlic and another great sauce to pair it with is the Thai chili lime sauce that’s on the spicy side. I highly recommend getting your seafood boil tossed in the citrus pepper seasoning! It was to die for! It’s pretty mild but packed with flavor.

Though there are tons of different flavors, nothing got lost. Everything complimented each other pretty well and made a filling dinner. I recommend this place to anyone who’s visiting Austin for the first time or locals looking to satisfy their cravings!

Check out our TikTok to see all of the mouth-watering food!

Vintage is the new Vogue

In the middle of the busy street of N Bishop Avenue in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff you can find Spinster Records owned by David Grover spinning the oldies and the newest vinyls inside the store. Before even walking into the store you can hear the fresh beats playing outside luring you into the colorful store. Once inside you see two walls of records both old and new on display, making you wish you were a millionaire and could buy every record on display. Plus, don’t forget about the beautiful art piece embedded on one of their walls that just combines the vivacious rhythm playing inside and that feeling you get when you find a new song. Their array of records consists of artists from all genres old and new such as Kendrick Lamar, Pink Floyd, Selena, and George Strait. Not only does Spinster sell records but multiple different turntables of your choosing, audio accessories, and local apparel.

Thanks to Spinster’s safe system of social distancing, mask requirements, and hand sanitizer you can continue to enjoy flipping through records as if we were living pre-pandemic. Now don’t be too sad if you can’t make it to their store, they’re able to ship records to your home if needed!

Being able to have bought my first records (two Ed Sheeran albums and the 1974 Santana Greatest Hits album), a music hall usb-1 turntable, and audioengine A2+ Wireless speakers from Spinster back in 2015 and seeing how much they have grown from the multiple live events before covid, the yearly record store day sales and events, to moving locations is worthwhile. And of course I had to buy at least one new record at my most recent visit (Fine Line by Harry Styles and AM by Arctic Monkey) and since I visited during their latest sales event and spent over $50, I got an awesome mystery bag to go along that consisted of two older 45s, one 8-track tape, and a glossy spinster records sticker that will go great on my laptop. So, here’s a reminder that vintage is the new Vogue, shop small business, and go get that record player you’ve been contemplating on getting. To stay connected and see what’s new about Spinster Records follow them on their instagram @spinsterrecords or their website.

Caramel Delights

Ingredients

10 oz sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

12 oz chocolate candy coating

1 package Ritz Crackers

Caramel:

½ c butter

½ c heavy cream

3 T water

¼ c light corn syrup

1 c sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread the coconut flakes evenly on a lined sheet pan. Toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until flakes are golden brown. Set aside.

Before turning on the heat, add sugar, water and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Turn the heat on to medium and cook sugar until it is golden in color. About 5-10 minutes

** Note: Caramel will burn very quickly so keep an eye on the sugar and DO NOT STIR.

Once the sugar is golden brown, carefully add the butter and cream. The mixture will violently bubble so add these gradually while stirring with a whisk. This will cause the sugar to cool. Bring the caramel back up to 240-245ºF and remove from heat. This should take an additional 5-10 minutes.

Mix caramel and ¾ of the coconut flakes together and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Alternate Method:

Melt soft caramel candies in a saucepan over medium heat, while stirring to prevent burning. Mix caramel and ¾ of the coconut flakes together and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Melt chocolate candy coating in a heatproof bowl. Dip the underside of Ritz crackers into the chocolate and lay chocolate side down on parchment or silicon lined sheet pans.

Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel mixture on each cracker. Spread and smooth out caramel on the crackers (I used my fingers).

Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut on top of the caramel topped crackers. Slightly press down the coconut flakes so it sticks into the caramel.

Drizzle remining chocolate on top of the caramel and coconut and let cool at room temperature.

Enjoy!

TikTok Baked Tomato Feta Pasta

If you have a TikTok, you may have heard of the iconic “Tomato Feta Pasta.” This simple recipe is delicious and has everyone trying it out. All you have to do is put in a couple of ingredients to a casserole, bake it, and add pasta. Although the original recipe by itself is amazing, it allows you to easily add your own touch to it by adding other ingredients such as chicken. This is easily one of my favorite pasta dishes and I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz block of feta cheese
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Fresh basil
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Pasta (of your choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes (16 oz) to your casserole dish.
  3. Add a block of feta cheese (8oz) in the middle of the casserole.
  4. Drizzle olive oil (¼ cup), salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes over the tomatoes. Chop 2-3 garlic cloves and add them to the casserole.
  5. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35 mins.
  6. While baking, boil water, cook pasta of your choice (I use Rotini), and set it aside.
  7. Take the cassole out of the oven and mix/mash the feta and tomatoes.
  8. Add basil and pasta.
  9. Mix it all together and enjoy!

Watch our Tiktok!

The Rise of Dogecoin

If you’re on social media then you have probably heard of the internet meme “Doge”. It’s a super old meme and it’s basically a Shiba Inu dog’s face with captions around it to depict what the dog is thinking. Thanks to recent posts and mentions on social media by celebrities Dogecoin’s cryptocurrency has SURGED through the roof.  

What is Dogecoin?

If you have absolutely no idea what Dogecoin is, do not worry. It’s a cryptocurrency, and its price fluctuations are not regulated by any government. Most people invest in cryptocurrency just to watch the value fluctuate. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency created back in 2013, partially as a joke. Actually that’s exactly what it is. It was literally made as a joke.

What is the recent surge?

The price for Dogecoin is up by more than 1,600% so far in 2021. The surge boosted its market value to more than $10 billion at one point. Ten Billion Dollars. 

Why is this surge happening?

With the recent craze over the Gamestop shares on the stock market blowing up, many people started to invest in cryptocurrency. And guess which cryptocurrency people are investing in? Yep, Dogecoin. Dogecoin has EXPLODED in investments, mainly thanks to Elon Musk. Elon Musk was recently was named the richest man in the world passing Jeff Bezos. 

If I’m scrolling through Twitter and Elon tweets saying “invest in Dogecoin it’s gonna be the next big thing”. Well then that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. Who isn’t gonna listen to financial advice from the richest dude in the world?

Should you invest in Dogecoin?

Well first of all Elon said so, so you should. Just kidding, I know nothing about stocks, BUT stock investors and experts predict that in later years Dogecoin could continue it’s climb up, which means you could sell for huge gains.

*We are not financial advisors and are not advising you to buy Bitcoin.

Music Inspired Recipes for your Austin Spring

Nowadays you can easily listen to your favorite artist, thanks to streaming services you can play music anywhere or anytime. It’s like your playlist is a musical buffet where your subscription gets you all you can eat music experience. With many options to choose from pop, rap, dance, acoustic, rock, and more it makes it hard to choose one genre to listen to. That is why you have several playlists for each category of your particular taste.

Listening to your favorite past and present musical artists, you will notice that they use foods as metaphors in the hook and title of their song. Like Harry Styles, “Watermelon Sugar,” song like this brought inspiration to professional chefs to make delicious recipes that are inspired by food-related songs so you can make and taste everything at your musical buffet.

Harry Styles- Watermelon Sugar

“I just wanna taste it. Watermelon sugar high tastes like strawberries on a summer evening and it sounds just like a song.”

Drinking this refreshing watermelon sugar high cocktail will taste sweet and juicy. It will make you feel like you are on a beach enjoying a summer breeze.

Lizzo- Juice

“It ain’t my fault that I’m out here getting loose, gotta blame it on the goose, gotta blame it on my juice”

Get loose! drinking this vegetarian and gluten-free strawberry lemonade smoothie. Dance like Lizzo to the beat of “juice” while feeling guilt-free in enjoying this three-step ingredient recipe that is ready in less than five minutes.

Migos- Stir Fry

“Watchin ’ me whip up, still be real and famous, dance with my dogs in the nighttime (yeah, woo, woo, woo, roof) In the kitchen, wrist twisting’ like a stir fry (whip it)”

Be in the kitchen like the Migos, with your wrist twisting while cooking this perfect Chinese restaurant-style beef stir fry recipe at home. To get your taste buds satisfied, serve this dish with white rice stir fry, egg noodles, and a side of vegetable egg rolls.

Kelis – Milkshakes

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours, damn right it’s better than yours.”

Kelis’s milkshakes brought all the boys to her yard, she might have followed this perfect milkshake recipe. The best part is that you can choose any flavor of ice cream that you want. Make this milkshake aesthetically pleasing by putting whip cream, garnishing the top with rainbow sprinkles, and put a bright red cherry on top.

Jack Johnson- Banana Pancake

“Waking’ up too early, maybe we could sleep in, make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend now, we could pretend it all the time.”

You can make it feel like the weekend all the time with this banana pancake recipe. These mouth-watering pancakes are fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside with the perfect amount of creamy sliced bananas. Drizzle the banana pancake with your favorite maple syrup and let your taste buds rejoice.