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vegan options on drag/coffeeplaces
Goliboboli Posted at 2009/02/18 9:54pm reply to

Posts: 11
Hi there,

Just wanted to let you know about a Vietnamese restaurant called Hai Kai that opened up on the drag near Veggie Heaven.  I went there a couple of nights ago with a friend, and I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw that they have marked all of their vegan items (which are quite numerous).

The portions were HUGE--my dish, the Buddha Bowl, or something like that, was big enough to last me three lunches in the following days. The food wasn't spectacular or out of this world, but it was the best I have had on the drag.

Furthermore, they really seemed to know what "vegan" means, so that was encouraging.  I overheard one of the waiters verifying with the owner/manager/head boss guy (I am not sure which) whether a certain dish could be made vegan, and the boss man carefully explained to him in detail why it was not and what would have to be taken out to make it vegan, etc. I smiled inside.

Also, on another note, does anyone know of any decent coffeeshops that are open into the wee hours of the morning, preferably in central-ish Austin?  A friend called me the other night asking for suggestions, and I came up empty handed since it seems most close by around 9 or 10 PM, if not before.

Kristen Posted at 2009/02/18 9:58pm reply to

Posts: 849
thats awesome! thanks for sharing. i'll have to check that out.

bouldin creek is open til midnight. and austin java is open until 11pm, midnight on the weekends. there are tons of late night coffee shops! epoch in hyde park (?) is 24 hours. you could always go to kerbey lane on guadalupe and get some diner coffee! they're 24 hours, too.
Ripe Tomato Posted at 2009/02/18 11:17pm reply to

Ripe Tomato
Posts: 460
I don't know that area extremely well, but Spider House Cafe is open until 2 am everyday.  The menu doesn't list it, but I'm pretty sure they used to have a vegan version of their frito pie, in addition to hummus, salsa, and hummus sandwich, and soy milk for any (most?) of their drinks.  I haven't been in years, so maybe they changed the chili recipe altogether or something.
Diana Posted at 2009/02/21 2:50pm reply to

Posts: 207
I went to Hai Kai today on your recommendation. It really was pretty good and the portions were huge. I'm not usually a fan of Vietnamese food (it tastes like dirty Chinese food to me) but I really liked this place. Thanks!

I live near a 24hour coffeeshop called Epoch; it's pretty good.
Gabriel Posted at 2009/02/21 3:19pm reply to

Posts: 833
I go by this place all the time and will have to check it out.  Was there any language barrier?  I ask only because I have had some bad experiences previously with Asian places saying their food was vegan and then finding out later that something was lost in the translation.
weigand Posted at 2009/02/21 8:10pm reply to

Posts: 539
"Dirty" Chinese food?

I'm going to check it out sometime soon.  It's rare that I run into a decent Vietnamese restaurant that has a reasonable amount of vegetarian support.

A red flag always goes up in my mind when I hear that a restaurant is serving huge portion sizes.  It usually means their profit margins are slim.  Or that they're actually losing money.  For a variety of reasons. And that means they might be out of business in the near future.  Hope not.

If you've ever watched Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares", you'd know that's one of the things he fixes right away whenever he's consulting a restaurant that's struggling.  I watch that show and "Hell's Kitchen" sometimes just to get a feel for how real chefs operate and some of the cooking techniques used. I've learned a bit from it. It sucks, though, that he actually hates vegetarian cuisine (he even said so) and never seems to have any vegetarian main courses.

- Steve
Jacob Posted at 2009/02/22 12:01am reply to

Posts: 2479
I haven't had Vietnamese in such a long time since I realized the place I used to go to lied about their whole vegetarian menu (it all had secret fish sauce).

For 24-hour coffee shops in Austin, I think Epoch is currently the only one.  It's actually in Northfield Neighborhood which is just north of Hyde Park Neighborhood. :P
Kristen Posted at 2009/02/22 4:49pm reply to

Posts: 849
>For 24-hour coffee shops in Austin, I think Epoch is currently the only one.  It's actually in Northfield Neighborhood which is just north of Hyde Park Neighborhood. :P

so thaaaaaat's what that neighborhood is called! i see!
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