My coworkers have been amazing during my transition into veganism. When they hear of my journey, they often are interested in going out to lunch to some pretty awesome places that I wouldn't have found without their suggestions or help. I've discovered so many vegan dishes and restaurants by word of mouth, and it's been fun to try out new places.
When my fellow coworker suggested Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant in Austin, Texas, I was thrilled. I've never tasted anything worldly, only the traditional offerings in Texas. After checking out their website, it was obvious that they had some vegan options (although they are labeled as "vegetarian" in the menu). I can't say with 100% certainty that it was absent of all animal products, as one dish tasted buttery (but that may be because I've never ever tasted Ethiopian food before).
Regardless, we headed over during our lunch break and ordered the buffet for $9.99. There were several dishes to choose from, including collard greens, lentils and eggplant. Of course it's not easy to describe tastes through words, but I will say that everything was deliciously spiced. I've never tasted something like this before—spicy dishes and mild alike all flavored with ginger, unlisted spices and a "special Ethiopian seasoning". I can only guess all the spices, but they created a beautiful symphony with the food.
I highly suggest checking out Ethiopian food if you have a restaurant near you. I am lucky to live in such a diverse city with many options out there for dining on exquisite cuisine. You'll be surprised by the spices and you'll be making another trip before you know it.