Beyond the Deafening Silence

Ending one of the longest hiatuses of BitterSweet‘s nine year history, completely unplanned and unannounced, allow me to state the obvious by saying that it’s difficult to know exactly where to begin. Posts that ramble on about how much the writer regrets being away, how ashamed they are of their negligence and obvious deficiencies as a blogger irritate me to no end, so let’s skip all that needless bellyaching, shall we? Traveling around the country, learning from each new day, eating nearly everything in sight, I have no remorse for living life offline for a few brilliant weeks.

Austin has truly welcomed me with open arms, hosting the third and sadly final Vida Vegan Conference in the last days of May. It was an incredible honor to have spoken not once, but twice, in this crowning gem of VVC’s illustrious legacy. The experience was so overwhelming, in the best way possible, that I have a feeling I’ll still be digesting it for quite a while to come.

Nopalito and Tofu Scramble Tacos from The Golden Spike Rail Cart

Seared Radicchio with Blistered Tomatoes, Green Lentils, Crisp Rice Cakes, and Peach-Balsamic Sauce from Bistro Vonish

Veganized “Donna Summer” (three biscuits, white pepper gravy, tofu scramble, meatless sausage and vegan cheese from Biscuits and Groovy

Speaking of digesting, the vegan food scene out here in the middle of Texas has wildly exceeded all expectations, and I’ve only just scratched the surface on the endless options that litter the urban landscape. Everywhere you turn, tiny trucks and carts sprout from the sidewalks, overflowing into open parking lots, peddling cruelty-free cooking with all the flare of any traditional restaurant. The street food culture is deeply rooted here, largely unencumbered by the laws that rein in all stripes of innovators in most big cities, creating a genuinely open playing field for any food-obsessed dreamers with initiative. Air conditioning is non-existent in the summer heat, rough wooden picnic tables replace white linen tablecloths, and I couldn’t be happier to scrape the pretentious veneer off of fine dining.

Life moves at a different pace around here. It’s far from the maddening crowds, yet always right in the heart of the action. Easily hitting the mid-90’s even in these early days of June, the heat and humidity simply prevent anyone from rushing around too fast. No, you might as well take your time, crawl slowly from one shady spot to the next, chatting and slurping down ice water wherever the two might be found. Austin has effortlessly become another place I’d like to call home, which is a good thing since I’m sticking around for another few weeks to take in the sights, sounds, and flavors all around.

There’s still much for us to catch up on, from recipes and reviews to more travel tidbits from San Francisco, but as I’ve learned from unhurried clip of the daily routine out west; all in good time, my friends.

15 thoughts on “Beyond the Deafening Silence

  1. Glad to see you back. I think it is important to take time off. Blogging can be a full time job. I have to go to Austin. My daughter is thinking of moving there so maybe a road trip. All the best to you and thanks for sharing your travels.

  2. The son-and-heirs lovely partner Kelsey is from Texas. Never appologise for being A.W.O.L. from your blog. Life is best lived “out there” in the real world. Too may people are chained to social media these days and living half lives in the process. Get out there girl and do your thang and never EVER appologise :)

  3. You take time out when you need, you know we’ll be here when you get back! Loving the look of the biscuits and gravy in particular. It’s a real shame there’s not going to be another Vida Vegan Con. I never got to go, but I enjoyed reading all the posts from the comfort of home

    1. Long story short, VVC is just a massive undertaking that became impossible for the founders to balance with their normal, everyday lives. I completely understand that decision and am glad that they’re doing this for the sake of their own sanity, (they’ve certainly worked like hell to bring it together all these years,) but I can’t help but feel sad to see it come to an end.

  4. Glad you’re back and it was great attending one of your sessions at Vida Vegan Con. I really enjoyed Austin too, the vegan options were amazing!

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