East Austin food truck puts vegetarian take on soul food

"They were like, huh? How are you gonna do that?"

That's the reaction Andrea Dawson says she got from many people when she told them she was going to be opening up her food truck, Sassy's Vegetarian Soul Food, and that it would be selling exactly what it said in its name: vegetarian soul food.

Dawson says she came up with the idea after she had changed her eating style and was eating mostly vegetarian and vegan. She says she would go to one food truck because he served up greens and black-eyed peas and other things that she enjoyed as part of her new diet.

She says one day she went to the food truck and the owner told her that he was retiring and that he was looking for someone to buy the truck. She posted about it on her Facebook page and a friend replied that they'd be willing to invest and help her buy it. And that's how Sassy's Vegetarian Soul Food came to be.

The food truck has been open about a year and a half now and was first located at 12th and Chicon. Dawson says at first people in the black community were a bit skeptical.

"There was a lot of skepticism about it so a lot of people would come and try it and they were very impressed that the greens were good and flavorful," Dawson says. "They didn't feel like anything was missing."

Dawson says, as with any cooking, it was a bit hit and miss putting the recipes together. She says she has tried to mimic the foods that she grew up eating.

The food truck's best seller, Dawson says, is her take on chicken and waffles called Chicon N Waffles. The "chicken" is made of vita wheat gluten and Dawson mixes up her own spices to mimic the taste and feel of meat.

A later development has been mac and cheese because Dawson says, "I wanted to get it right cuz you can't just be playing around with people's mac and cheese."

Dawson says other items she loves on her menu include the black-eyed peas and the fried cabbage.

The food truck is located at 1403 East 7th Street which is between Revival Coffee and Kammok.

You can check out the full menu here or below.