Austin is home to an abundance of restaurants, bars, food trucks, breweries, and much more, all of which mirror the innovative city. To help navigate through the seemingly endless food and drink options, Eater is turning to some of Austin’s most talented chefs to share their recommendations in a recurring feature called Dining Confidential.
Lou Mustachio, head chef of vegan gastropub The Beer Plant, is the go-to person when it comes to vegan dining in Austin. Having chosen the plant-based lifestyle for the welfare of the planet, animals, her health, and her life as a chef, she has grown to appreciate what she regards as clean food from the perspective of a chef and a diner. “I have a deep love for the natural world — the way plants grow, look, smell and sound, and the environment in which they live,” she explained.
Tacos are among Mustachio’s favorite foods. She loves the made-in-house corn tortillas from the Cool Beans trailer at Spider House, along with the rotating menu of vegan and gluten-free tacos and snacks at The Vegan Nom. On Tuesdays, she frequents Counter Culture for its weekly taco specials.
Right now, her current top vegan pick in Austin is The Vegan Yacht. She appreciates the trailer’s commitment to veganism, clean food, community and spirit, which she sees as “an inspiration to all.”
As a vegan chef, Mustachio has to get especially creative with her ingredients. Most of her influences come from the people and elements around her. “While growing up in London,” she said, “I would often find myself in the kitchens of friends from around the world, learning about their culture and cuisines.”
When Mustachio isn’t whipping up bar-style vegan grub at The Beer Plant and doesn’t feel like cooking at home — where she often makes simple dishes using vegetables from farmers markets — she heads to Casa de Luz, where she absorbs macrobiotic fare and she “finds sanctity in their meditative environment,” she explained.
- All Dining Confidentials [EATX]