It’s nice to have a vegetarian friend: I get to experience new foods that I wouldn’t normally try.
And yesterday I experienced something completely eye-opening to me: a fully vegan restaurant called Viva Vegeria. No meat and no animal by-products . . . which for me meant NO DAIRY OR EGG ON THE PREMISES. This was the first time I’d ever been able to order a full meal without listing off all the parts of the meal that the chef had to remove. I got to order exactly what I felt like having with no fear at all of cross-contamination.
For our appetizer, we ordered vegan picadillo nachos. The picadillo was actually made with soy beans, and the vegan queso was made with carrots and sweet potatoes. I ordered a chile relleno stuffed with portabella mushrooms, vegan mozarella cheese, beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and coconut milk. My friend ordered buffalo wings, which were actually battered and fried cauliflower tossed in ancho and cascabel buffalo sauce. We ended the meal with a vegan funfetti cupcake.
Lemme tell you: I did freak out a little. I emphasized and re-emphasized my food allergies, and took a good five minutes before I’d actually try the nachos just because for the entire 25 years of my life, I’ve never been able to eat anything called ‘cheese’ or ‘queso.’ And it was a little scary to just jump right into it, even though my friend and the waitress and the chef reassured me it was all safe (I even unnecessarily went out to the car to retrieve my Epi-Pen just in case).
But the food was delicious!!! It was so freeing to enjoy my meal without needing to be worried, and I got to try at least five different foods that night. Vegan restaurants are perfect for people just like me! I’m making it a point to find one closer to me (I definitely don’t want to have to drive to San Antonio every time I want a worry-free restaurant experience). So please, let me know if you’re aware of any vegan restaurants in the Austin area! 😊