a house full of vegans

Saturday instead of having our monthly vegan lunch at a restaurant, we had a potluck at my house. It was filled to the brim with vegans. And food! We had pumpkin waffles, banana oatmeal raisin waffles, tofu scramble, biscuits, greens, tira misu, soy yogurt, fruit and granola, ‘tatoes, and homemade beer. Of course I completely forgot to get my camera out. It was much nicer than being at a restaurant. Hopefully we’ll be doing that again. And I will have to say I’ve never had a party with such a quick and easy clean-up. Vegans rock!

Thanksgiving Week Food

I landed at my mom’s Sunday with a list of dishes to cook for the week and for Thanksgiving. It’s a lot easier when I have a few days before Thanksgiving to prepare rather than flying in Wednesday as I do sometimes. So here’s what I cooked this week:

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone

Hummus from Food For The Vegetarian – Traditional Lebanese Recipes

Italian Marinated Tofu from Vegan With A Vengeance (VWAV)

Chickpea Hijiki Salad from VWAV

For T-Day

Vegetable Pot Pie from The Candle Cafe Cookbook

Orange Glazed Beets from VWAV

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondies from VWAV

Cabbage Apple Strudel from Olive Trees and Honey

Sorry, I’m an idiot and took no pictures. Between these dishes, leftovers and added in veggies like brussels sprouts or broccoli, that was about the perfect amount of food to make. My mom and I shared some of the dishes during the week and other people dug into the strudel, beets, pot pie and blondies on T-Day. I failed to tell people that there was seitan in the pot pie, but no one noticed. Can’t wait to tell them I made them eat wheat gluten. Ha Ha! /Nelson

Harrison Street Coffee Shop

It seems like Richmond has sprouted up a few veggie restaurants since I was in the area, or at least since I bothered to notice. My mom didn’t seem enthusiastic about Panda Veg so I decided to drag her to Harrison Street Coffee Shop instead. It’s basically a coffee shop that also has about a dozen sandwiches. And apparently they do breakfast as well. I think everything is vegetarian and can be made vegan. I had the Tempeh Ruben and my mom had the Black Bean Hummus Wrap. We both enjoyed them. The Ruben was overflowing with sauerkraut and extremely filling. Looked like all of the sandwiches were under $6 and came with a side of potato chips. I also picked up a vegan chocolate chip scone and eyeballed the vegan peanut butter cups, but didn’t get one. I ate the scone later and it reminded me of how the scones come out from…Garden of Vegan, I think. Good, a touch salty.

I loved the atmosphere of the place. Cozy booths downstairs, and kind of a loft area upstairs with seating. Steady traffic in and out for coffee. Seems like a viable combination the veg items plus the coffee. All in all, if I were to start a veg restaurant this seems like a pretty good idea.

Back in the day I used to hang out in that area a bit. The day being 1984-85. The Village has moved out of their really cool space into an okay one across the street. Used to go to the sub shop right there across the street from Harrison Street Coffee Shop. Weird that it took place 20 years ago.

Harrison Street Coffee Shop outside

Harrison Street Coffee Shop outside

Harrison Street Coffee Shop outside

power plant

I’ve been meaning to get out a review of the new vegetarian restaurant, Power Plant, for a while. Now that I’ve been there four times I suppose I should share.

Power Plant is located at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood. That makes it now the closest veggie restaurant to my house. And it can be on the way home from work if I need it to be. Good things. They don’t have their own parking, but I’ve never had trouble parking on the street within a block and usually legally. There’s a pay lot across the street if you feel desperate, but I’m almost 100% against paying for parking in Atlanta. There’s almost always free parking to be had.

My first visit I had the Funky Soul Chicken Sandwich…basically a fried fake chicken sandwich. The menu gives you the choice of cole slaw, potato strips or salad but so far every server has allowed me to substitute their sweet potato fries for the side. During this visit I was told by the server that everything was vegan, even the honey mustard. (today the server said the honey mustard wasn’t vegan) This was a really good sandwich. Nice roll. The chicken was almost too chicken like. It did that kind of stringy thing that animal muscle tissue does. Really freaky. And the sweet potato fries rock.

Next visit I tried the Catch Fish and Chips. The fish sticks weren’t in any way reminiscent of fish except maybe the shape. But they tasted good. Kind of a spongy texture inside with the crispy battered outside. Cole slaw was fine. The chips/steak fries were weird. They weren’t quite cooked long enough so they were a bit too soft. And they had a strange flavor to them. Like they were sprayed with a fishy flavor or something. And I would love to report on the hush puppies, but they were absent.

Third visit I ordered the Greek Veggie Pita. The pita was nice and fresh. Inside was mixed field greens with a little dressing on them, what seemed like fake chicken breast pieces and tomato. It was supposed to be seasoned with rosemary, mint and garlic and have a cucumber sauce. There was definitely no mint and if there was cucumber sauce, it was the bit of dressing on the greens. On the side I had the sweet potato fries again.

Today our vegan lunch group met there for what we hoped would be brunch. But when we got there we found out that they haven’t started brunch yet. Even though it’s on the menu. Everyone at the table seemed to try something different. I had the Chicken and Waffles…two whole grain waffles each with a fried chicken breast on top, onion gravy and four asparagus spears. The chicken was the same kind that is on the Funky Soul Chicken Sandwich. I’d order this again. Someone else had some hot wings without sauce that were pretty good. Same kind of chickeny stuff except drumstick shaped and on a stick. Several people had Thai Rice Wraps that appeared to be good. The Caribbean Salad didn’t sound like it was very Caribbean. There seems to be a running theme of dishes not quite being as described. Another issue we had today is that the food took forever to come out. It wasn’t packed so I think the kitchen staff might have just been having trouble multitasking. I’ve never had that trouble when dining alone so maybe a table of seven was overwhelming.

So I’ll keep giving them chances and trying more dishes. The menu it pretty large and there are definitely a few more things I want to try. Hopefully they will get everything worked out as they get more experience. The waitress today said they were waiting for the new menus to come in so maybe those will be more accurate.