The Noochy Noodle

a world beyond the blue box

Tag Archives: travel

A Visit to Iggi’s Texatarian in Austin

Hello! I do apologize for the lack of noodly updates the past few weeks. Things have been a little crazy around Noochy Noodle headquarters. First I took a trip to my hometown of Austin, Texas (more on that in a moment!) and now I’m working like a crazy person on a super secret project. I wish I could say it was mac n’ cheese related, like I’m moving to Portland to open an all vegan mac n’ cheese food cart, but I’m not! But I think it’s just as cool!

Anyway, I am of the humble opinion that Austin is the greatest city earth. There’s something so special about it and I swear you can feel it as you step off the plane. Can you tell I miss it terribly? A lot has changed since I moved to San Francisco from Austin almost 4 years ago. I feel like the number of vegan offerings has tripled since I”ve been away and now I can’t even keep up when I go to visit. Luckily, I did manage to make it to Iggi’s Texatarian, an all vegan food cart. I met up with Chris and Crystal the folks behind the amazing queso from Food For Lovers, plus Chris’ adorable mom,Stephanie from Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life, and Molly from The Lone Star Plate. We sat around talking and I indulged in some great food!

The menu looked so good, I had a really hard time choosing. I wanted to order everything. I finally settled on the side of mac n’ cheese and a chili dog. The mac n’ cheese was just outstanding. It was a potato based sauce, so it had that creamy and startchy texture that I love. Is there Daiya mixed in? I think there is, but it’s really not much at all. The flavor was mild but quite tasty. I could have easily eaten another 3 servings, and I’m still kicking myself for not ordering more.

And the chili cheese dog? Well just look at it!

Mac n’ cheese lovers be sure and swing by Iggi’s if you’re ever in the Austin area!

 

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Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 3 Hungry Tiger Too

I hate giving bad reviews. I hate it. Hate. What can I say, I’m just not cut out for this line of stressful, yet well-paying work. I knew I would have to give a  bad review at some point, I just didn’t think it would be so soon! I’m going to keep it short, and probably put up 12 new posts immediately after I hit “publish” so I can bury it forever into internet oblivion.

Saturday for lunch we went to Hungry Tiger Too a bar in Southeast Portland featuring a full vegan menu. I had heard they were famous around town for their house made vegan corn dogs, so I split a corn dog basket, which also came with tater tots, and a salad, plus a side of mac and cheeze. That’s right,  I actually ate a salad on my trip! Gross!

To put it plainly, the mac and cheeze tasted like eating margarine and lemon juice with a teaspoon of nutritional yeast thrown in. I took maybe 3 bites before I just couldn’t do it anymore. But wait, don’t stop reading! Everything else we tried was great! The corn dogs were absolutely delicious, the tater tots were perfectly crispy, and I would like to personally give them a round of applause for the vegan ranch dressing. Hungry Tiger Too is greasy vegan bar food at it’s finest, just avoid the mac and cheeze. You will be as sad and disappointed as I was.

Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 2 Homegrown Smoker

On Friday we had lunch at Homegrown Smoker, an all vegan barbeque cart in southwest Portland. Not only do they have vegan mac and cheese, but the rest of the menu looked tasty as well. I put on my eating pants and went prepared to go big or go home.

The food was so good I sort of felt like crying. I didn’t, but I could have.

I tried out the Macnocheetoh wrap, which consisted of a healthy scoop of MacNoCheese, bbq beans, onions, peppers and smoked soy curls all on a warm and starchy flour tortilla. This thing was delicious. I think it’s moving to the top of my list of foods I would eat everyday if I was stranded on a desert island. The smoked soy curls inside were like eating the best barbequed brisket I had ever had as an omnivore, minus gross, chewy, fatty deposits, and the unnecessary death. Even better!

macnocheetoh

Gross, but totally necessary inside shot:

macnocheetoh

Now, while this thing was mind numbingly delicious, I didn’t really have a way to properly judge the MacNoCheese since it was all wrapped up in a tortilla and covered in BBQ sauce. So I tried a little side of MacNoCheese by itself (I DID NOT EAT THE SANDWICH THAT IS NOT MINE STOP JUDGING).

MacNoCheese

I’ve got to hand it to them, this is the best vegan mac and cheese I have had that was not made in my own kitchen. The sauce was decadently creamy, and a good balance between mellow, tangy, savory and cheezy. I don’t really know what else to say…good job?

My only complaint is that there is not a Homegrown Smoker in San Francisco. Get down here people! Bay Area vegans need you!

Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 1 Vita Cafe

I have finally returned from Portland, where I got to spend 5 glorious days pretending to be an average American, eating the standard American diet of carbs, protein, 3 vegetables, and a whole lot of mac and cheeze!

The first evening in town we had a late dinner at Vita Cafe, which was deliciously close to where we were staying. I had heard that there was ‘Mac and Cheese’ on the menu, but apparently you can also add broccoli, chili, sauteed tempeh, or fried tempeh! Since I planned to spend the weekend undoing all the good results of every bit of healthy eating and physical activity I had done over the past 2 months, I went ahead and ordered the fried tempeh on top.

I’m just going to get this part out of the way so that we can all move on with our lives; while this was a really lovely pasta dish, I’m hard pressed to call it mac and cheeze. The sauce was really more of a mildly cheesy-flavored margarine, and while I agree, that does sound delicious, you could have told me it was vegan alfredo sauce and I totally would have believed you.  The cheezy sauce to noodle ratio was a little low, I even came across a hand full of sad, naked noodles hovering around the edge of my bowl. And hey, I’m just going to nit pick and say that the pasta was rotelle and not macaroni.

Now the fried tempeh deserves it’s own paragraph, because WOW(!!!!), it was amazing! Being from the south I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in all things fried, and I do declare this to be spectacular breading. I would eat it with a fork covered in gravy if you let me. Actually, I think they will let you, and even throw in a side of mashed potatoes.

There was also crispy minced garlic sprinkled on top of the pasta which added 1 delicious point, but also gave the feeling that I could be eating it in a fancy-fancy candlelit bistro with table cloths and everything. The significant other even declared that the crispy garlic bits to be his favorite part of the dish.

So there you have it. Go here, order this, it’s really good even if it’s not really mac and cheeze! Be sure and order other stuff too because it’s all really good, I’m a big fan of anything with “buffalo” in the name.