We caught the wanderlust bug and decided to take an impromptu trip to Atlanta to, of all things, go grocery shopping. A colleague of mine sold me on the idea: there’s no food tax over there, and Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market alone is worth the drive! The selection is vast, and the prices are almost unbelievable. For instance, I got 1 lb of pink Himalayan sea salt for $1.00. I saw the same size for over $7 at my local grocery store. Kent found halloumi cheese (found in only a couple of places for no less than $10 over here) for just $6.
They don’t allow you to take pictures inside, but just take my word for it–I mean, the place offers 10 varieties of pumpkin alone, not to mention the bakery, cheese selection, bulk grains, and wines.
After we worked up an appetite at the grocery store, we drifted over to our favorite R. Thomas Deluxe Grille, which was closed due to fire on our last Atlanta trip, so we were excited to be
able to finally return. Their 4-paged in-house menu offers something for everyone, including raw options. They’re open 24/7 and serve breakfast anytime–this is the perfect after-party stop for veggie-friendly fare!
This time I ate a dish fittingly called The Southern Vegetarian: a bowl of collard greens, cubes of butternut squash, a millet corn casserole, and smashed potatoes, with a shiitake mushroom gravy. Also on the dish were mild-flavored lolla rossa greens and a garlic chili flax dressing. The flavors were great, and really earthy–it was almost as if the greens were snatched out the earth and plopped on my plate. I really enjoyed it.
K got his go-to fave: the Sloppy Veggie Joe, which is only slightly spicy and stuffed into a tortilla. On the side was a cinnamon sweet potato mash and slaw.
The sloppy joe meat was not as sweet as some can be, but smoky with an after-spice of cayenne. Kent’s not really big on slaw usually, but he ate it with relish (*ahem*) (and so did I).
We also got some Nori Veggie Kraut Rolls raw cultured veggies, quinoa and garlic chili flax dressing, and I got the Dancing Queen juice–perfectly sweet and crisp, with a light and refreshing froth on top.
The ambiance is strange but cool—going to the restroom was certainly an experience, as I traveled through the kitchen to get there—I didn’t think I was in the right place.
What we spent on two entrees, an appetizer, and a fresh brewed juice (not including tip): $41.75
Next morning, we had breakfast at Go Vegetarian–a small, maybe easily-overlooked diner in Decatur. It’s located in what was that morning an otherwise pretty empty shopping center, but patrons kept filing in until it was full to capacity. We were greeted by warm breakfast smells of powdered sugar and the searing sounds of throwing down in the kitchen as well as bright, pleasant faces. The cafe had a fun, local feel, so we figured we were in for a treat.
After a few disappointments–being told they were out of chicken and waffles as well as biscuits and bacon–we finally settled on Salmon with Vegan cheese for me and the Steak Omelet for Kenton.
Both dishes were very tasty. My salmon wasn’t fishy enough to be distinctive as salmonesque, but it had a pleasant mouth feel–crispy and tender without the stringyness that sometimes accompanies faux meats–and a great flavor. It could have easily been a delicious steak cutlet. The tofu scramble was on point–it had a chorizo flavor and Kent kept tryin to eat it off my plate. The grits were buttery, and even though vegan cheese doesn’t really melt, when I mixed it in it didn’t have the off-putting texture vegan cheese sometimes has. The multi-grain toast was vegan-buttered to perfection.
What we later learned is that they didn’t have the dishes we ordered initially because November 12 was the Atlanta Veg Fest! We couldn’t believe we were IN TOWN during the time of the festival and didn’t hear about it until it was over! We actually wouldn’t have even known such a festival existed were it not for the owner’s apologies and explanations about their missing menu items. So, we’re already planning our Atlanta trip around the next fest.
All-in-all, the food was great, and the service was impressive considering their small staff and the fact that they were only just recovering from a major food fest. Our dishes did take awhile, but they were working with minimal staff; there was only one cook when we first came in (hence the long wait), and one super competent waitress who waited on basically the whole restaurant until one of the owners came from the back.
The decor is simple, and at first I was thrown off by all the bridge imagery on the walls, but it makes sense for a place trying to act as a transition from meateatery to vegetarianism.
We’ll definitely go again!
What we spent on two delish breakfasts: $25.