Vegetarian and Vegan Spots in Austin
Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., March 9, 2001
Veggie Heaven1914-A Guadalupe, 457-1013
Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun, noon-9pm
Veggie Heaven is a gift from the gods when it comes to vegetarian food in Austin, providing Taiwanese-style vegetarian and vegan food at moderate prices. Dare we say that it is quite possibly the most flavorful and adventurous of the vegan options around town?
The visually stunning menu features color pictures of each of the 48 dishes, and opens with a tribute to Supreme Enlightened Master Suma Ching Hai, whom we can only assume is the Buddhist spiritual guide of Veggie Heaven. She certainly must have the right credentials, because the food is excellent, the service hip and happening, and the aura comforting.
Veggie Heaven has a full range of vegetarian and vegan (clearly marked on the menu with a "v") items, from appetizers to desserts. And they always have some blackboard specials from which to choose. A couple of our favorites are the Tangerine Mushrooms ($6.95), which are a generous serving of flash-fried and crusted mushrooms paired with broccoli crowns tossed with a spicy tangerine sauce. The Cathay Fajitas ($6.95) are a take on the classic Chinese moo-shi pancakes, stuffed with delicately fried tofu strips, cabbage, sprouts, onions and garlic, carrots, and zucchini. They come with a side of hoisin sauce and we prefer to order them very spicy, which ensures the inclusion of lots of smoky, dark-fried Oriental chiles. Excellent!
Escape the purgatory of pedestrian vegetarian cuisine and the standard mundane under-seasoned vegetables with rice. Revive yourself by visiting the place that specializes in zesty vegetarian concoctions in the Oriental mode, and congratulate yourself for reaching nirvana after having made the right decision.