When you choose to follow a vegan lifestyle you get accustomed to being the “minority” in the group, especially when you dine out. With the exception of certain cities that are really vegan friendly, there will be limited options on most menus. I’ve grown accustomed to it, so I’ve learned to do one of two things – eat before I go to the restaurant or order a bunch of side items when I get there.
On those occasions that I encounter a menu that does have authentic vegan options, it will typically be about three or four options if I’m lucky. Atlanta is a fairly vegan friendly city. I can easily find something to eat on the buffet at Whole Foods or Sevenanda. I even occasionally visit Soul Vegetarian or Life Grocery Cafe. Life Grocery offers raw vegan foods. But for the most part, Atlanta doesn’t have a ton of “vegan restaurants.”
Well, last weekend I had the pleasure of dining at one of Atlanta’s vegan restaurants, so I feel compelled to write about it. A friend of mine, who is also a vegan, and I went to Cafe Sunflower in Buckhead. We were like two kids in a candy store. The menu was incredible! They offer so much delicious food even a non-vegan would enjoy it. We were so amazed by the offerings that we couldn’t believe they were vegan. We had to keep asking, “is this vegan?” I know the waitress was sick of us repeatedly asking that.
It has been so long since I could just go to a restaurant and have so much vegan food. From the appetizer to dessert we were in vegan heaven. For appetizers we had ceviche, spicy tomato lentil soup and wild mushroom soup. For our entrees we had fried avocado tacos, and vegan vegetable quiche. And for dessert some sort of caramel cake. I only had a couple of bites of dessert, but it was rich enough to satisfy the desire for it without overindulging.
We were so giddy after lunch. We both wished we could have that experience everyday. Maybe if we had that experience everyday we wouldn’t appreciate it as much. I’m fortunate to have several close friends who eat like I do, so when we’re in our circle we are good. It’s when we are outside our circles we feel like the odd man out. All I know is for that moment in time it felt great to be “normal.”