Elimination diet. That just doesn’t sound like fun, right? But, as our writer discovered, taking gluten out of your life, or even cutting back on it, does not mean you remove great taste or nutrition (for more details on the health angle, see L Know on page 14). In fact, all of the spots we selected will leave you wanting to come back for more. Enjoy!
Beets Living Foods Café
Leave the burden of the city on the curb. Choose a booth, table or café stool looking out onto West 5th Street and soak in the clean, fresh feeling at Beets. The chefs here are inspired by the classic California raw food movement. The atmosphere is great for a breakfast of sprouted buckwheat, sesame and flax seed granola sweetened with dried apple, dates, cinnamon and fresh blueberries. Bring a book to enjoy as the almond milk softens the protein-rich buckwheat, or gaze around at the local paintings for sale on the walls. Sylvia’s Favorite Smoothie has the sweetness of banana, coconut and dates, paired with tangy lemon and chewy pieces of cranberry. It is a refreshing breakfast accompaniment on a hot summer morning. Get a slice of raw cheesecake to take with you– your body has never been so thankful for an afternoon treat.
beetscafe.com, 1611 West 5th St. Suite 165, 512-477-2338
Wheatsville Co-op is a welcome departure from the fast and greasy food spots elsewhere on campus. Their spacious parking lot allows easy entry to the oasis of fresh and local groceries, prepared meals, and their awesome deli counter. Feel free to run in and head straight back to the refrigerated area where you will find lunch items from Tom’s Tabooley and already portioned containers of pasta salads, hummus and tapenades. If you have a few minutes to spare, the deli counter is where it’s at. Choose a bread variety baked at nearby Sweetish Hill Bakery to encompass anything from the Catfish Jack Po’Boy with spicy vegan mayo to your own meat, veggies and cheese creation. New to Wheatsville are their yummy food bars. Take a portion of their curried chick- peas out to the covered patio where you are sure to find other health-conscious folks discussing their favorite summer activities.
wheatsville.coop, 3101 Guadalupe St., 512-478-2667
Yes, Snack Bar is gluten free! Spend the day browsing boutiques and trust that there is a place nearby that supports your system. Get gluten-free banana bread French toast, available until 4 p.m. The rice milk batter lightens up this brunch favorite and makes it vegan friendly too. Gluten-free millet bread is the way to adopt their Bulgo- gi BBQ sliders to your specifications. It is the perfect vehicle to bring the farm-fresh eggs, cheddar, and Niman ranch bacon of the OhM sandwich to your watering mouth. Take a passel of co-workers down for happy hour, when the icons that denote special dietary options dominate. Order the Double Dip plate of hummus, baba ganoush, and crudités and get a glimpse of what the global plate entrees have to offer. snackbaraustin.com, 1224 South Congress Ave., 512-445-2626
Stop and think about it: lunch at a pharmacy. Really think about it and it will make perfect sense to you. People’s Pharmacy has been an integral part of keeping Austin healthy for more than 30 years. Owner Bill Swail and the teams working at all four locations have the highest standards in holistic health care and offer services and products not found at many other pharmacies around town. So, after speaking with a naturopath and picking up your compounded prescription, go to People’s Deli to get a cup of organic soup you can trust. The selec- tions change daily, so don’t be afraid of getting hooked! They strive to utilize local produce, and always use local, grass-fed beef in Brian’s famous chili. Find what you’re missing in their custom smoothies and raw veggie salads. Rely on the good folks at People’s to repair and replenish your body.
peoplesrx.com, multiple locations, 512-459-9090
Mother’s Café and Garden
It’s more than the name. Mother’s Café and Garden is one of the most comfortable and familial places in town. Their house-made Cashew Tamari dressing takes salad to a new level. The unique Tofu Dijon allows hungry vegans a new option for sandwich spreads. Try vegetarian versions of two pasta favorites: Spinach Lasagna eases in the first-timer, while Mushroom Stroganoff will keep you coming back for more. On the lighter side, delight in any of Mother’s vegan stir-fries. Now that you’re family, come back for brunch! Just like all good Mothers, there’s something for everyone. Indulge your sweet tooth in vegan Banana Walnut Pancakes. Have someone who needs eggs to call it breakfast? Huevos Motulenos has got it covered. This plate holds corn chalupa shells that are piled with two eggs, black beans, ranchero sauce, jack cheese, perfectly seasoned sautéed tofu and peas. It’ll have you saying, “thanks, Mom!”
motherscafeaustin.com, 4215 Duval St., 512-451-3994