The Instagram community amazes me. While frolicing thought Austin, reccomendations came pouring in. There are a few particular Instagrammers whose recommendations I always heed to, such as Alex Estrada (of Silver Snakes). Thanks to Alex, I hopped a bus up Guadalupe St and entered Wheatsvile Food Co-Op just in time to duck out of a passing downpour. The goal: Popcorn Tofu.
I entered the Co-Op with only those two words to guide me. After meandering through aisles, past generously stocked grab-and-go cases and a hot self-serve bar, I spotted the words at the Deli Counter.
The Deli offered two types: Popcorn Tofu and Buffalo Popcorn Tofu. Since it is impossible for me not to order vegan buffalo anything, I got a half and half pile of both. KFC’s Popcorn Chicken wasn’t a thing that people regularly ordered back when I was an omnivore, so I’ve never tried the popular original. Still, on its own merits, this is good stuff!
The tofu is frozen, thawed and pressed removed as much water as possible resulting in a denser/drier interior than most maybe use to. The chunks are coated in a wet (instead of the 2-3 step wet/dry process of dredging for a fried cutlet) seasoned cornmeal batter and deep fried for a firm bite of subtlety spiced favors.
Eating this big paper tray of relatively dry tofu may seem monotonous… and it was. But still delicious and totally worth going out of your way to try. I only wish my Instagram friends had told me before gorging myself on Mt. St. Tofu that the best way to consume Wheatsville’s Popcorn Tofu is inside of a Po Boy. Or at least with a side or their vegan Blue Cheez or Cashew-Tamari dressings which I had no idea was an option until I was far far away from Austin. Ahhhhh! Next time!
Wheatsville Food Co-Op
3101 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705