Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vegan Eats in Atlanta (and Birmingham!)

I spent last weekend in Atlanta for the second annual Atlanta VegFest, and I blogged all about the awesome demos (Isa! Betty Goes Vegan!), vendors (cupcakes! vegan meats!), and more in my last post. But tonight, I'm going to share pics of some of the food I ate on the way to Atlanta and the first night I was there. Tomorrow, I have more pics from Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch in the ATL.

Since I live in Memphis, the best way to get to Atlanta by car is through Birmingham, Alabama. Last year, when I went to Atlanta VegFest, my mama and I found a Taco Bell in Birmingham for quick vegan Cantina Bowl salads. But this time, my friend vegan Cassi was with me, and she recently did a guest post on this blog about vegan options in Birmingham. So she knew just the place to go for lunch when we passed through on Friday — Golden Temple Cafe. 

Omg, I loved this place! It's just the kind of restaurant I like. No frills, hippie-owned, laidback, sandwiches and soups, bean bowls and nachos, vegan cheese options. There was a sign in the window that said the place was celebrating 40 years! Anyway, I ordered the UAB Special (UAB stands for University of Alabama) of a Grilled Vegan Cheese and the soup of the day, which was Split Pea Soup.

Their portions are HUGE! I took much of this hearty soup, which was chock full of onions and greens, to go. The grilled cheese was made with Daiya mozzarella.

Attached to the restaurant is the Golden Temple store. And we just had to look around before hitting the road. I've been looking for the perfect Kwan Yin statue (Goddess of Mercy and Compassion) for some time as she's my fave goddess of the moment. And look what I found! A whole shelf of Kwan Yins! I ended up buying that little purple one.

We got back on the road and hit Atlanta right around 5 p.m. We checked into the sweet-ass hotel that my publisher put me up in, and then we met up with Thomas and Rhiannon from the Book Publishing Company for dinner. We settled on the all-vegetarian, mostly vegan Cafe Sunflower in Sandy Springs.

Last year, when I went to ATL VegFest, my mama and I ate at the other Sunflower location in Buckhead. This was one was just as lovely (except this one didn't sell booze ... bummer). Thomas ordered Spring Rolls for the table.

And then we were all given these tasty salads with white beans, bulgur, and sesame-soy dressing. Nothing beats cooked grains on a salad! I'm gonna start doing that at home.

And these melt-in-your-mouth soft, fresh rolls with Earth Balance!

For my main course, I went with the Sweet and Sour Soy Chicken — fried bits of vegan chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce with pineapples, broccoli, peppers, onions, and water chesnuts over brown rice. It really hit the spot. I had been craving Chinese food.

I didn't have room for dessert, sadly. But someone sitting at the next table over ordered cake, and it looked amazing.

Well, that's all for tonight. Come back tomorrow for more Atlanta eats!


Sunshine said...

Ahh! I'm homesick now. That sweet and sour soy chicken from Cafe Sunflower was my favorite!

Adriana Robles said...

So mouthwatering! I love when you get large proportions of food, and everything you posted looks great! I should have eaten before reading this. hahah


Sheridan said...

I really hope I can come with on one of these excursions in the future! Looks so awesome!!