We are fortunate to live in Austin, TX. The community, the music, and the food! You might be surprised, but Austin is a wonderful place to get healthy, plant-strong food!
One of our favorite places is Counter Culture. This funky, cool 1960′s inspired diner is a great part of the plant-strong food scene in Austin. They even have menu items that are marked “E2″ for being Engine 2 friendly. If you haven’t been, you definitely need to check it out.
We asked Sue Davis, the creative genius behind Counter Culture a few questions about the restaurant. After the interview, find out how you can win a 10 dollar gift certificate to Counter Culture!
E2 friendly, Fruit Crisp. Thanks to Happy Herbivore for the photo.
E2: So, tell us the story, how did Counter Culture come to be? And why Austin?
Sue: I wanted to switch career gears and incorporate animal activism at the same time. I started to work in restaurants with the thought of some day being a private chef for a family. Then I fell in love with restaurant work and after a few years working in various restaurants in LA I was ready to move back to Austin and open a place of my own. I missed Austin and thought there was a lot of opportunity there to create a healthy vegan eatery that goes against the misconceptions that vegan food is bad.
E2: You have some really unique dishes, what inspires you to create a new dish?
Sue: First I try to create dishes that you can’t find anywhere else. Often they are things that I am craving. Other times I go with what is in season or I try to make a vegan version of things that I read about in magazines and cookbooks.
E2: Have you found it difficult at all to make plant-strong dishes?
Sue: I’ve never really cooked with meat so I don’t find it difficult at all. I don’t have to worry about all the bacteria you get with animal products.
E2: (isn’t it nice to know that there is not any nasty bacteria crawling around a kitchen?!)
E2: We know that Counter Culture is focused on sustainability, can you tell us what you are doing to make a more eco friendly environment and why that was important to you?
Sue: I buy as local as possible. We carry local fruit, veggies, kombucha, beer, wine, ice cream, tempeh and bread. We compost and/or reuse over 95% of our waste and we use all compostable to-go containers and trash bags bought from an independent local company. We even take the water, tea and coffee people leave on their tables and water our patio plants.
E2: You are also a DJ, tell us some of your favorite food inspired 60′s songs.
Sue: Lady Orange Peel by The Attack, Vega-tables by the Beach Boys & Everytime I eat vegetable it makes me think of you by the Ramones.
(Vega-tables by the Beach Boys)
E2: Do you find that people who are not vegan or plant-strong are surprised by the way the food tastes?
Sue: Yes, all of the time. They say “Wow” I had no idea it could have flavor!
The food most people eat tends to be predominantly brown in color and people are always intrigued when they see a variety of color and texture.
E2: We can definitely vouch for Sue’s food for people who have never had anything close to plant-strong! Some of the most die-hard meat eaters we know have loved the unique, hearty dishes!
We want to thank Sue for taking the time to talk with us, and for all of her tremendous hard work as a small business owner! Having a restaurant in Texas that does not serve meat is a risky venture, we wish Sue all the best, and hope that everyone that can checks out Counter Culture
Now for the giveaway! Today we are giving away 8, ten dollar gift certificates!
To enter to win, just leave a comment below and tell us which E2 friendly dish is your favorite, or which you are the most excited about. (you’ll have to check the site to see all of the options)
We will be doing more giveaways Wed-Friday, so keep checking back all week for more ways to win!