Upstanding Citizen

Sundays are made for…

  • Sleeping in
  • Day drinking
  • Eggy things like scrambles and omelettes

AKA, brunch!

May I recommend Citizen Eatery for all your weekend revelry needs? It’s a solid choice any day of the week, but the breakfast-centric menu is especially well-suited for that sweet spot right on the cusp of the new week. It’s the best thing to wake up to, whether you’re getting out of bed in the AM or PM.

While it’s hard to beat a classic tofu scramble, the Chorizo Omelet has raised the bar for the entire eggless category. Lightly spiced meatless chorizo and cheddar shreds are tucked into a soft blanket of JUST egg for a truly artistic presentation, and perfect bite every time. Don’t forget the avocado, garlic aioli, and salsa verde on top, lending bright, fresh flavor and richness all the way through.

Beyond the staples, you can’t leave without getting the Southern Style Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, drizzled with smoky espresso BBQ sauce that honestly should be sold by the gallon. The crisp battered crust gives way to meaty, umami mushrooms in an unreal experience that overloads the senses. Just make sure everyone orders their own plate because they’re impossible to share.

For that elusive balance between healthy and hearty, the Paleo Bowl has never done me wrong. It’s got a little bit of everything that I crave, from roasted beets to grilled Brussels sprouts, and don’t forget the toasted pecan pieces on top. If you want my advice, ask for pesto instead of tahini sauce for vibrant, summery flavor in every bite.

Start or finish the week strong with the Power Bowl. This is no mere salad, piled high with enough goodies to crunch and munch all afternoon. You’ve got quinoa, avocado, kale, toasted chickpeas, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, roasted red peppers, and grape tomatoes, all in one bountiful bowl. This is whole foods, plant-based, healthy eating done right.

Truly a spot with something for everyone, gluten-free alternatives are as abundant as they are creative. Pecan Pesto Noodles come with either wheatless pasta or soft strands of zucchini noodles. In a world where zoodles are becoming increasingly rare, I deeply appreciate this vegetable-forward approach for a lighter option.

Come on down for happy hour, Monday through Friday, 4 to 6pm, when you can score great deals on snacks, cocktails, and mocktails. Surrounded by warm, friendly smiles, enjoying the bright sunshine radiating through the floor-to-ceiling windows, it feels like it could be Sunday everyday.

Citizen Eatery
5011 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78756

Closing Time, 2021

Saying goodbye is never easy, even if it’s a temporary parting of ways. Considering how often we practice, you’d think it gets easier, but the grief is still the same.

Today, as the sun sets for the final time in 2021, I’d like to honor the restaurants we’ve lost in Austin, Texas this year, as is annual tradition. It’s been another turbulent 12 months that has tested the will, spirit, and patience of everyone, especially those in the service industry. Those “essential workers” that kept food on our tables sometimes ended up with empty plates themselves. Before we look ahead towards better days, we must look back to honor their memory, and not let their demise befall others still with us, hanging on by a thread.

Barrio Verde did not go gentle into that good night, fighting to overcome the devastating winter storm that ravaged businesses across the state. Surviving without power or water is hard enough as an individual, but for a business with perishable assets in limbo, revenue literally rotted on site. Though out of commission indefinitely, this won’t be their last stand. New ideas are in the works as we speak, so hopefully 2022 will see the return of those marvelous elotes and so much more.

Bruja’s Brew announced a temporarily closure during spring break, but never reopened again. The trailer is gone, but the booch lives on, now pouring at a select few restaurants and bars around town. Word is that it may one day be available in cans, but nothing will compare to the magic of getting an icy glass on a hot day, edible glitter sparkling in the sun.

Lo Pan’s Kitchen made a big splash onto the scene as the only 100% vegan source for Chinese American takeout staples. Sadly, they burned out just as fast. After two moves in just five months, the woks came off the fire for the last time. Rumor has it that the trailer has been repurposed as another Plow Burger outpost up north in Denton, TX. Occasionally, you can still catch a few of these comfort food classics as specials on the Brunch Bird menu, though like the source itself, they’re always gone in a flash.

Mission Street Burrito stepped up to the plate in a town known for tacos, delivering tortilla torpedoes as big as your head and nacho boxes that seemed to be bottomless. No one else could wrap up a mega meal like this, loaded with all the plant-based meats and cheeses you could crave. Disappearing in mid-June, social media accounts claim that the trailer is hibernating, but at this point, there are no signs the beast will ever awaken.

The Abundant Vegan was with us so briefly that it seemed almost like a waking dream. They weren’t even established long enough to set up an official website of their own. Serving traditional Mexican plates on East Caesar Chavez for less than a month, all that’s left now is a vacant trailer and a litany of unanswered questions.

Bone-a-fide Vegan isn’t totally gone, per say, but pivoted in September to become Theano Vegan, switching from southern BBQ to Greek delicacies. As a radical departure from their original menu, their soulful smoky pulled jackfruit and plant-based brisket will surely be missed.

Even though these poor souls have turned out the lights and locked up for the last time, tomorrow is a new day. New, brave chefs are stepping up to the plate, even in the midst of such uncertainty and unrest. An incredible number of fresh faces have clocked in already, launching new eateries all throughout the pandemic, despite the odds. To a brighter, better, and more delicious future, cheers to you. Let’s make the new year a time for all of us to thrive, together.