Moby’s Vegan BBQ at SXSW
Hi, guys! I’m working on a couple posts about our Disney trip, but in the meantime, I have another guest post for you today by a very special guest – the man behind the scenes here at C’est La Vegan. Enjoy!
Well, hello there. I’m Ryan, Kim’s husband, and for the past two years, I’ve been the guy behind the camera for all of my wife’s amazing vegan creations. It’s been a quite a journey collaborating with her on this site, especially considering I knew nothing about food photography when we started. Fortunately for me, Kim makes my job an easy one, cooking and baking up some of the most beautiful dishes. Plus, I’m the lucky one who gets to eat the stuff once I snap a decent pic!
A few weeks ago we left for a trip to Disney World with Kim’s family, and she asked a couple of friends in the blogosphere to contribute some guest posts while we were away – the first time she’d introduced any new voices within these pages. So when she suggested that I maybe write up a post on Moby’s Vegan BBQ, which took place this past weekend in Austin, I figured it was probably time I stepped out from behind the camera and put some pen to paper – or fingers to the keyboard as it were.
This was my 8th trip down to Austin to attend the annual South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW for short). For those that aren’t familiar, this music festival is like no other. Literally thousands of bands (I think 2,000 officially and probably another 1,000 unofficially) descend upon the town, and just about anywhere you can fit a ten-foot stage, you’re bound to find a band playing there over the four-day fest. It’s quite a scene to say the least, which is why I keep coming back.
But SXSW also has a special place in my heart as it was during my first trip back in ’04 that I had my last non-vegetarian meal. It was biscuits & sausage gravy, an absolute favorite dish of mine in my former meat-eating life. When I returned from the festival that year, Kim told me all about what she’d learned at a panel discussion and screening of a Peaceable Kingdom that she’d gone to while I was away. We’d already given up beef and dairy, so we decided there and then to say goodbye to pork and poultry as well, and eventually that path brought us to going vegan. (BTW. For all the other biscuits & gravy fans out there like me, you absolutely must try Kim’s recipe, which I dare say is better than any non-vegan version I ever had.)
Of course the irony is not lost on me that I basically went to Texas to become a vegetarian, as the Lone Star State is hardly known for it’s veggie eating ways. It’s all about the bbq down there, and Austin is certainly no different. So when I learned that Moby would be hosting a vegan bbq, you better believe I knew where I was going to be eating that day!
Truth be told, there are a growing number of places to get some sweet vegetarian fare in Austin, and it definitely doesn’t hurt to have the Whole Foods headquarters there as well. But what I dug about the food at Moby’s party this weekend was that it really tasted like some good ol’ Southern bbq. I mean, just look at that packed paper plate above, and tell me that doesn’t make you salivate!
The fine folks at Iggi’s Texatarain food truck were responsible for this tasty seitan bbq sandwich, mac ‘n’ cheese and potato salad. Unfortunately, that was all there was to order on the day’s menu (not that I needed to order more!), but with stuff like chili cheeze dogs and Frito pie normally being offered, I would love to check this place out again. They’re presently located in the Cheer Up Charlie’s lot in East Austin, and I should point out that the Me So Hungry food truck (awesome name) also shares the lot. They’re not vegan, but they do have several options on their Asian cuisine menu. Their stuff look good, but I was just in the mood for some bbq and couldn’t pass it up.
And then there’s Moby. I’m sorry, but what’s not to like about this bald dude? First, I’m a fan of his tunes (it might actually be impossible to not love Play). Second, he’s part-owner of teany, probably my favorite cafe in NYC. Third, he throws a vegan bbq at SXSW with 10% of the proceeds going to our friends at Compassion Over Killing. And the icing on the vegan cake? He shows up and spins for nearly an hour, delighting a capacity crowd that was dancing up a storm in the late afternoon sun. Plus, it looks like he’s looking right at me in the pic above, which always make the photographer happy!