Austin restaurant news happens at such a breakneck pace that it's difficult for us to cover anything else. But foodie Austin happens in the shopping bag as much as it does on the white plate. Our commitment to eating local (and well) doesn't stop as soon as we hit the automatic doors, so we thought we'd offer a peek at the new essentials in our grocery cart.
Around this time last year, Austin-based Rhythm Superfoods added broccoli to its roster of vegan, nutritionally intact Doritos alternatives. As with their original kale chips, the snack fairies at Rhythm first roll fresh broccoli florets in a garlicky dressing of cashews, spices, and other vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free goodness, and then dehydrate them to irresistibly crunchy effect. Confuse and delight your inner lachanophobic toddler with the sinlessly delicious zesty nacho variety, or polish off a pouch of garden ranch without fearing for your waistline. Available at Central Market, Sprouts, and Live Oak Market.
Austinites know Kristen and Robert Strong as the owners of now-closed Pretty Thai for a White Guy, which once lit up the Moontower Saloon food truck park with green curry burgers and sriracha ketchup-drizzled sweet potato fries. These days, the couple-cum-Cooking Channel darlings are busy with a brand-new line of spice mixes and sauces, sold under the pared-down name Pretty Thai. We love the lemongrass-lime dressing, a zesty blend that gets its savory kick from fish sauce, a mainstay in authentic Thai cuisine. Find it sitting pretty on shelves at Thom’s Market, Quality Seafood, and In.gredients.
We recently crowned Hail Merry’s raw chocolate almond butter as our go-to vegan dessert table trick: dairy-free ganache that tastes like the real, bovine-influenced deal. UT-Austin grad and Hail Merry founder Susan O’Brien’s secret to these rich, smooth treats is a short deck of ingredients that boast complexity in concert. With organic maple syrup, virgin coconut oil, and fair-trade cocoa, these tarts should satisfy any sweet tooth, plant-based or otherwise. Snap them up at Whole Foods Market, Wheatsville Co-op, and Fresh Plus.