Dirty South Vegan (Atlanta, Day 2)

Dirty South Vegan (Atlanta, Day 2)

IMG_3054After sleeping in, I was ready for breakfast at Ria’s Bluebird, a bustling all-day breakfast spot in downtown Atlanta’s Grant Park. I meant to get there sooner but my pitch-black hotel room fooled me into sleeping in past 7 a.m… Gasp! [me = early birdy] The place was packed with hip Atlanta folk basking in the Band of Horses.

I was excited to eat their country-fried tempeh, which interweb sources announced was a vegan option, though it sat on a buttermilk biscuit. It was easy enough to say “hold the biscuit.” Luckily the counter man knew better than interweb sources. The dish was smothered in their non-vegan gravy. This, coupled with the biscuit situation and the plea for “No substitutions!”, was when I began to let go my dreams of eating country-fried tempeh.

IMG_3052So I got their Bionic Breakfast, described as a mountain of skillet potatoes with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, red & poblano peppers, topped with spicy tofu sauce. Delicious, yes, but I was hoping for dirty, fried goodness. After a few bites, my body responded to the freshness and flavor. Spinach! I needed the iron. And I needed the heat. Does Ria’s Bluebird know what’s best for me? Apparently yes.

IMG_3053While I’m kind of on the topic, vegan travel reporting is a huge passion of mine. I try to create posts that I would find helpful if I was looking into a try somewhere and wondered about options. I try to take pretty pictures because that’s what I’d like to see. (Sometimes the pictures are not pretty.) But mostly I try to clear up vegan mysteries. I hope I have helped someone in my gluttonous quest. Just sayin’.

DSC_0007Ok, onward and upward. Well, actually I headed west to Dulce Vegan Bakery, a long-standing bookmark in my elaborate state-divided vegan option file system. Dulce stood alone for a very long time, so a visit was very long in the making. Now, on this beautiful spring day, I needed breakfast dessert before a mini-roadtrip to some area roadside attractions. {Am I the only sweet treater who rationalizes dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?}

DSC_0002I got two cupcakes… because really, I have to. As a vegan reporter I need to taste a chocolate and a vanilla! It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. I sprung for the coconut topped with chocolate (because I love, love, love that combination and hardly ever see it!) and the chocolate with raspberry frosting. Pretty: check!

IMG_3055Delicious: check! The cakes had a real great texture–spring and moist–and a subtle flavor. The frostings were creamy and not overly sweet. This is a sign of an awesome cupcake. Gratuitous sugar is not masking imperfections. They were fresh and lively. I kind of loved them, actually.

PicMonkey Collage.jpgOk, now: rest assured that many, many hours past before I arrived at the kind-of-whole-reason why I came to Atlanta to begin with: Dough Bakery / Gutenfleischers Vegan Meats. They’re all-vegan. They’re a bakery and they’re a vegan meats sandwich shop. I know, right?  And they do brunch on the weekend, which I will sadly miss.

DSC_0057Here’s the deal to avoid being a fumbly overwhelmed fool like I was: The bakery is just that, an all-vegan bakery with some pretty fantastic offerings. More later on that. Gutenfleischers Vegan Meats offers their huge selection of house-made vegan meats deli-sliced into a range of sammy options, from Standard (2 slices of bread, meat and toppings) to the Dagwood–named after (the other) Blondie’s husband, Dagwood Bumstead–which has four bread slices, a ton of vegan meat, tempeh bacon and toppings. I had the Double Decker. I chose Black Forest Ham and Pepper Turkey, two of their meats, and said no to the vegan cheese (Tofutti). Oh yeah, you get to pick your meats from the deli case. (And they have a house-made mayo…)

DSC_0061They had a couple of great bakery items, but I unfortunately missed the moon pies. But check out their little pineapple upside down cakes.

DSC_0065I got the sticky bun for the road… because only having a leftover glazed donut in the hotel fridge is a bit unnerving. Oh, Dough you were certainly worth it!

IMG_3076As I digest a little, I leave you with this picture, a small detail of Dough’s physical space but a telling one.