A few weeks ago, I reported here that my favorite home-away-from-home, Imagine Vegan Cafe, was moving to a new location. After a much-deserved family vacation to Asheville, owners Adam and Kristie Jeffrey have re-opened Imagine Vegan Cafe in its new, way cuter location!
OMG! Don't you just want to eat that up? It's so cute it kinda hurts. Before, Imagine was located in a shopfront in a row of identical shops. The dining area was all in one big giant room. But now, Imagine is in a house! There are three small dining areas inside three rooms in the house. Another room serves as the counter area, where you order and pay. And best of all, they have a big dessert cooler at the counter, so they can now sell cold pies and cheesecakes!! Oh, and let's not forget the front porch patio dining areas.
Since I spend at least one night a week here, I'm so pleased that the place is super-adorbs. Ambiance is almost everything! Of course, the food has to be amazing too. And it's stellar as always, but there are some new menu items designed to please a wider audience.
Imagine specializes in vegan comfort food (pizzas, philly cheesesteaks, country fried steak, cheese sticks, milkshakes, etc.). But apparently, there are SOME vegans who actually prefer to eat healthier stuff, like veggies, when they dine out. Ha! I kid, I kid. But for real, they had gotten requests to add more veggie-based options to the menu and some more gluten-free items as well. Thankfully, they've kept all the faux meats that I like while adding the new stuff.
Tonight, I wanted to try one of the new healthier items. I ordered the Southern Staple (collards, brown rice, black beans, and a garlic aioli):
This was so good! That garlic aioli was just pure magic, my friends. Other new dishes include: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Fresh Veggies, Tony's Nachos (chips with cheese and jalapenos, named for regular customer and nacho lover, Tony), Spinach Salad (with strawberries and walnuts), Entree Salad (big version of their side garden salad), Wraps (hummus, portabella, or vegan chicken), the Big Smack (vegan Big Mac!), BLT with Avocado, Portabella Sandwich, Fajitas (steak, chicken, or portabella), Veggie Stir-fry (you can add chicken or steak if you want). Also, you can now get nooch as a pizza topping. There are also a few new sides — Grits, Garlic Toast, and Garlic Kale.
My friend Cassi was mega-excited about the kale! She ate most of this dish before I snapped the picture.
Also, since they have the dessert display cooler, Imagine is now selling cheesecakes, cold pies, and other refrigerated desserts, like lemon bars, in addition to the usual cupcakes, layer cakes, cookie sandwiches, and brownies. My friend Stephanie of Swell Baked Goods makes fresh desserts every Wednesday.
I ordered a slice of the Mocha Cheesecake. So good! A chocolate graham-style crust, a layer of rich, smooth mocha cheesecake, and a layer of solid chocolate shell.
Paul ordered a slice of the Key Lime Pie to enjoy on his birthday this coming Friday. He has to keep his hands off this for two days! Yes, it will be next to impossible:
Imagine Vegan Cafe is now located at 2299 Young Avenue. Click here for their full menu.