Dirty South Vegan (Atlanta, Day 3)

Dirty South Vegan (Atlanta, Day 3)

IMG_3087Day 3 and another itinerary of food! It all starts at The Cup, which offers a daily vegan cupcake selection. The cafe is amidst a cluster of shops within a city of brand new high rises. Had I not checked their updated cupcake schedule on their blog and had my tummy tempted with Thursday’s delight: Vegan red velvet cupcakes.

DSC_0001This gorgeous little thing was not so much a red velvet; I will call it peach velvet, being here in the ATL. I don’t know that I know what a red velvet cake tastes like, to be honest, having gone vegan well before I knew a thing about baking or desserts beyond Drake’s and Hostess. But this seemed subtle, free of cocoa taste but in a good way. It highlighted the perfect sweetness of the frosting.

DSC_0003Some Yelpers mentioned The Cup’s cakes being a bit dry, but that was not the case at all. The exterior of the cake was a little overcooked and had crunchy-ish skin. But once inside that skin, the cake was moist and springy.

IMG_3086And because I feel like Instagram is made for pictures of cupcakes, here is my favorite shot.

DSC_0007It was time for lunch at Home grown, home of an award-winning vegan Sloppy Joe. This cute breakfast hot spot was bustling with down home folk with a welcoming Southern hospitality. The warm staff treated guests like family. Is that that Southern Hospitality I’ve heard about?

DSC_0006The Sloppy Joe was most certainly sloppy! I ate it with a fork and knife, diving into my steamed collards now and again to cleanse my palate… And then I start again like it was the first bite. The barbecue sauce was sweet, sweet, sweet! I wished I had some saltiness on the plate to balance it out. I wasn’t 100% sure the cornbread was vegan but it would have helped counter the sauce.

DSC_0008In the back of the cafe was the garden, the source of many of their veggies. I took a quick walk through it to bask in the warm, southern sun.

DSC_0015Ok, I waited as long as I could to head to Cafe Sunflower, a high-end yuppie vegetarian eatery with a stellar reputation. I was steering towards down home meals most of my visit but it seemed foolish to pass this place up. My final dinner in Atlanta. Unfortunately the lighting inside the restaurant took away from the pictures below…

DSC_0011Fried green tomatoes! Delectable. This tower of fried goodness sat in a drizzled grid of chive oil and a balsamic reduction, held together by layers of hummus. The chive oil and balsamic was divine, but the hummus took away from the crispiness of the breading. And breading is tough to keep crisp when it surrounds such a moist vegetable fruit.

DSC_0013The entree: Grilled Coconut Polenta Napoleon— artichoke hearts, portabella mushrooms, tofu, mock ham, julienne vegetables with ginger peach coulis. The coulis was so good. I could have had a whole glass of it. It was perfect with the polenta layers. I ate the tall Napoleon in sections as it was tough to cut through. This made it seem like I had two amazing, different dishes.

DSC_0014This veggie-heavy entree was so yummy. I don’t think it need the mock ham at all. In fact, I pushed it aside.

DSC_0018_2I had to get a slice of their Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake to go. Here I was thinking I’d have it for a morning slice.. but no. I dove in as soon as I got back to the hotel. It was probably the best slice of vegan chocolate cake since I had Santosha‘s chocolate cake back in the 1990’s. That says quite a lot!

Thanks, Atlanta, for another delicious day. Tomorrow I head back to New York!