East Austin vegan Mexican truck Nissi VegMex opened a new physical restaurant in the Wooten neighborhood earlier this spring. The restaurant at 9012 Research Boulevard, Unit C-6 opened on April 29.
The menu is all about vegan Mexican street food, including tacos, burritos, flautas, chalupas, as well as nachos and burgers. The base dishes range from carne asada, picadillo, fajitas, al pastor, chicharron and non-chicken. There are even gluten-free birria tacos served with a side of dipping sauce, as well as bottled salsas.
The toppings are made with a special blend of soybeans created by owners Sergio and Karen Tamez. They make sure to create meaty textures, like pork, beef, and chicken, and use the same plant-based marinades typically used for meats anyway for flavors.
The Tamezes wanted to open a vegan truck because they themselves became vegan in 2016 and it was hard to find familiar plant-based foods. “We tried to eat current vegan food back then and it was something different from what we were used to,” Sergio told Eater. So they cooked their own meals anyway. Then, “we decided we wanted to share what we have with the rest of our community here,” he says. They opened Nissi as a food truck in September 2018 in Kenny Dorham’s Backyard concert hall and food truck space.
The name “Nissi” comes from the Old Testament, which was a nickname for God which means the God who opens the ways “The Tamez, who are Christians, see their truck, as being one of the first vegan Mexican food companies in the city, which has made way for others. “The vegan community can now find a mini-strip of vegan food on East 11th,” says Sergio.
The couple decided to open a physical restaurant because it would. more comfortable for customers and themselves. “We wanted to offer a better service,” explains Sergio.
The East Austin Truck is currently temporarily closed and Sergio is unsure if it will reopen. It depends on the staff and the ability to maintain the quality of the food. They are open to a possible expansion into southeast Austin maybe in five years.