Tag Archives: Toy Joy

Six Good Reasons to Love a Vegan

I am not a vegan. I have flirted with the idea and I know a lot of hardcore meaters who used to be vegan, but the decision to cut out meat products entirely from one’s lifestyle should be a personal decision on it’s own.

My main motivation to go vegan would be the health benefits. All that really means is cutting out the opportunities to eat stuff that makes me fat like ice cream, grilled cheese, donuts, and cake balls. However, I’ve read a lot about vitamin and mineral deficiencies in poorly planned vegan diets, which sounds not so healthy.

So, because I am not a very good meal planner and I have a serious affection for cheese and eggs, I continue to eat animal products and wear leather while loving every second of it. Continue reading

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Filed under Austin, Food

Dairy-Free and Delicious: Vegan Peanut Butter Soft Serve from Toy Joy

I have alluded to this stuff in several of my previous blog posts. If you’ve lived in Austin for awhile and still haven’t been to Toy Joy on the Drag, then you should start planning a weekend trip. This place is probably the grandest and wildest toy store for children and adults (minus “adult” toys). It’s like the mother ship of toy stores with everything from vintage robots to rubber snakes to Playmobile to Uglydolls. But it’s more than just toys: they sell unique and interesting journals, books, mugs, band aids, fake moustaches, and home decor; it’s beautiful. They even offer free gift-wrapping services with the coolest and most awesome wrapping paper so that you always know when a gift has come from Toy Joy.

As if indulging yourself in the world of toys wasn’t enough, Toy Joy opened its own version of Candy Land next door. The candy/coffee shop used to be Dhaba Joy, which was solely a coffee shop and vegan bakery that also served vegan soft serve made out of oatscreme. It was pretty flavorless and they only served classic chocolate and vanilla.

Before I had a chance to go back for a second tasting, the Dhaba Joy had completely changed and Toy Joy took over by covering the walls, ceilings, and floors with more toys and candy. No more baked goodies, but the soft serve options are even better. They always serve vanilla, but the second flavor changes every week. Last week it was strawberry and this week, peanut butter. Yummo. They also post the flavor of the week on their Web site. Continue reading

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Filed under Austin, Food

Austin’s Bubble Tea Goodness

Sometimes I like to splurge and try new things. Not “splurge” like buying that leopard print dress with a fur collar, or “new things” like eating fried alligator legs. I mean doing something that I am already somewhat familiar with, but each experience is always different. This is how I feel about bubble tea, a beverage consisting  of milk, various tea flavors, and boba balls or “pearls” made of tapioca and carrageenan powder.

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has quickly spread all over the globe. We have several establishments in Austin that make the original Taiwanese black tea with large pearls, condensed milk, and honey. This drink is usually served hot, and many variations and iced versions evolved from it. Now we see drinks made from all kinds of teas, fruit flavors, syrups, and pulps. The possibilities are kind of endless and if you are new to the bubble tea realm, a bubble bar menu can be quite intimidating. Most menus come in the form of a small binder full of pages and pages of tea concoctions with ingredients that I have never heard of. I usually ask the barista about the most popular flavors and choose from there, just to dwindle it down.

Some bubble bars in Austin:

Tapioca House on Guadalupe Street is probably one of the most popular locations because it’s across from the UT campus and they have everything a student could possibly want: drinks, good food, late hours, and frequent buyer punch cards. I ordered a basic cookies and cream flavored bubble tea from Tapioca House one visit during college and it was delicious.

I also visited Momoko on West Campus infrequently because I lived in some disgusting student apartments across the street. Momoko was like a cute little getaway when I wanted bubble tea or to look at some cute anime gizmos or Sanrio gadgets. I was always happy with their bubble tea, and I also loved that they share the building with one of my favorite sushi places with the best lunch specials in town, Sushi Niichi.

Toy Joy Bubble Tea with Foamy Milk at the Top

Toy Joy Bubble Tea with Foamy Milk at the Top

So, during my failed shopping trip to Toy Joy this weekend I got the urge for some bubble tea, and, to my surprise, I found out that Toy Joy’s vegan soft serve and espresso bar in the back also happens to serve bubble tea! Rather than perusing through the list of specialty drinks, I ordered one of the basic combinations: the Honeysuckle with jasmine and almond milk. I was so excited for my bubble tea that I forgot to order it without the pearls. I can’t really stand the chewy black balls. They remind me of fish eggs or bad gum. But I had to endure them this time, and my bubble tea experience would have been perfect if they hadn’t keep trying to make their way up the straw and into my mouth. I’ll remember next time.

Pearls. Yuck.

Pearls. Yuck. Tea. Yum.

Tapioca House
1906 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 482-9880

Momoko
705 W 24th St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 469-0086

Toy Joy
2900 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 320-0090

Sushi Niichi
705 W 24th St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 469-0499

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Filed under Austin, Food