One of our favorite vegan restaurants in Austin is Counter Culture. Run in a small house, this vintage diner-like restaurant is washed up in Tiffany blue and brown highlights, serving vegan comfort food that is all organic. Despite being comfort food, what we like about this tiny spot is that they have oil-free dishes to suit the way we eat. Because of the Engine 2 presence here in Austin, and with Rip Esselstyn being their former firefighter, I’m not surprised to find at least one plant-based restaurant specializing in oil-free dishes. Oil-free or not, their food is good. We love that they provide the alternative, making dishes healthier and heart friendly without cooked fats and oils.
On our first dining adventure, I ordered the oil-free lentil loaf that had a spread of homemade ketchup on top, accompanied by an oil-free kale and carrot salad rubbed with tahini and garlic. The only thing that had a little oil in it was the jalapeno cornbread, but it was insignificant as I wasn’t affected by the oil afterwards, and the meal was very yummy! (Note that the cornbread comes with vegan butter as it is not oil-free, but I enjoyed it without the grease.)
Nick had the “special” for that night, which was a Mediterranean pizza made with cornmeal crust. It was not oil-free but delicious; however, it was very heavy and Nick regretted not ordering an oil-free dish.
On our return, Nick and I ordered the same dish, another oil-free concoction: beet, mushroom and walnut burger with a side of the kale and carrot salad again. Very tasty, and we both enjoyed the flavors of the patty.
Counter Culture is not only enjoyed by vegans, but also by omnivores. Vegan or not, it’s a cozy place serving good food with great flavors. I highly recommend it!