Imagine had an anniversary party buffet dinner tonight, and for $15, you got access to an all-you-can-eat buffet, two glasses of wine, and a slice of Stephanie's amazing chocolate caramel cake. The party started at 6, but I knew it'd be packed so I arrived at 5:20 to secure a table for myself, Shay, Simon, and Jennifer. We were close to the front of the buffet line, and I got a little serving of everything!
There was spinach-artichoke dip and tortilla chips, alfredo pasta with broccoli, mini turkey club sandwiches, BBQ meatballs, hot wings and ranch, BBQ seitan sliders, a mini taco bar, mini chicken and waffles, turkey pinwheels, and our friend Don's homemade vegan tamales. He made several flavors, but I got the black bean and mushroom tamale, and it was just spectacular.
SO MUCH FOOD! And yes, I cleaned my plate. Here's a close-up of my chicken and waffle.
And the turkey club.
Here's Shay and I before digging in.
And Simon and Jennifer, who'd just returned from a weekend camping trip and were grateful to not have to cook dinner after unpacking.
It's a good thing we arrived early because the place was packed! People were fixing plates and then standing outside the door to eat because they had no place to sit.
We were pretty well first in line for the buffet. I ALWAYS have to be in the beginning of a buffet line or I get incredible anxiety about some dish running out before I make my way to the front. Here are some buffet shots before people dug in — the spinach dip and pasta.
Turkey clubs. These were so cute!
Vegan hot wings. Not pictured — the bowl of Kristie's amazing homemade vegan ranch for dipping.
And the mini taco bar with black beans, guac, Tofutti sour cream, salsa, tomato, lettuce, and hard and soft shells! I went with the soft flour tortilla.
For my two glasses of wine, I opted for a merlot and a red table wine blend. Two-buck chuck, y'all! We don't even have a Trader Joe's here, but they'd stocked up on that good stuff. Nothing beats economy wine and vegan junk food. Winning.
But that's not all! It's not a party without cake! Stephanie — Imagine's awesome baker/my awesome friend — baked a special chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and caramel glaze. I was pretty full after my savory buffet plate, but this cake put me over the edge.
Now, it's nearly 10 p.m., and I'm still so stuffed. I'm about to call it a night and sleep off all this food! But I'm so grateful for Imagine. When they first opened in 2011, they were the city's only vegan restaurant. Now we have several, but Imagine holds the number-one place in my heart, always and forever. I've made so many friends there. I've eaten my most memorable meals there. And owners Kristie and Adam do soooooo much to spread the message of veganism. They're truly ethical vegans, and I'm incredibly blessed to have them and Imagine in my life.