Vegan Atlanta, running, and a Trader Joe’s Run

Yikes! I need to update more often.

Friday’s run: a wonderful slow 3 miles with my favorite big, black, arthritic dog. Shadow used to be able to run upto 15 miles; now, he can easily to 1 or 2, and can do 3-4 if we slow down and stop to sniff the trees. I love taking him, and I think it’s good for his poor old hips, but he is slower than me now, so I don’t take him very often.

Saturday’s run: 10 hilly miles, Mahler 2. it was nice and chilly when I started out – 40 degrees.

Today’s run: none. family walk with both grown-ups, both kids, and both dogs. We’re quite a sight in this small town!

On Saturday we went to Atlanta to visit a dear friend of mine and her family. Now that we both have kids, overnight visits are tricky, so we went out for the day and back, which makes for a long day. We had a great time eating, drinking coffee, walking, talking, playing with the kids, petting her dog, and just generally being together. She is a friend from college, and someone to whom I’ve felt increasingly connected over the years.

If you are in need of yummy vegan eats in Atlanta, there are lots to chose from. My favorite is the Cafe Sunflower, which is technically just vegetarian, but boy is it delicious!  Their desserts are fab.u.lous. Every meal I’ve had there has been incredible, and I have eaten until I am in pain from being so full. I believe they have a cookbook, but it is not one I have. I remember looking at it and thinking it looked a little bit fussy, and that it didn’t have the recipes for my favorite dishes….but it might be a great cookbook.  This restaurant is definitely worth a visit if you are in or near Altanta.

Also good is the vegan Green Sprout,, but I haven’t been there in a while. It is 100% vegan, and I remember really enjoying it when I went.

A lot of folks rave about Soul Vegetarian II; I went there once and really just didn’t care for it. It is soul food (obviously) but instead of being comforting, I found it to be heavy and bland. I’ve also heard that they use honey in their desserts…..bad!

Cosmos Vegan Shoppe has a storefront in Atlanta, and it is worth going to if you’re in town.

Finally, there are lots of places with vegan options – Atlanta, like most cities, caters to a diverse group of people, and it is not hard to find vegan options at many neighborhood places. Oakhurst, a neighborhood in Decatur, is getting a doughnut shop that will carry vegan doughnuts, and also has Saba , which is a restaurant with good vegan options; all the coffee shops seem to have soymilk, etc. etc.

We’ve been to Thinking Man Tavern twice, and have been pleased both times. It has a lot of meat on the menu, but also several vegan options, and several options that can be made vegan. Apparently one of the chefs is or used to be vegan, or so our waiter told us on one trip. If you are in the neighborhood it is worth going to, but I wouldn’t go completely out of my way to go there given how many other great options there are in Atlanta. It has a nice casual atmosphere, and the food is really quite tasty – it’s kind of like bar or diner food, very filling and satisfying but not exactly cutting-edge or adventurous. Still, though, I have enjoyed the meals I’ve had there and would definitely go back. It’s nice to have a neighborhood bar with vegan options. Their potato rounds are simply divine – worth a trip alone!

On the way home, we stopped at Trader Joe’s in Athens, GA. I love Trader Joe’s. I was so dependent on it when we lived in Boston. We had to make a really quick trip yesterday, since both kids were tired and the dogs were at home waiting for us. In addition to boring things like vitamins and body wash, I stocked up on some favorites: the masala burgers (BEST. VEGGIE. BURGERS. EVER. They are Indian-spiced, salty, spicy, slightly (and pleasingly) greasy, with chunks of actual vegetable – no wierd stuff, and not overly processed at all); the vegan potstickers; some of their new vegan Thai prepared entrees; nuts; nut butters; and some flax-tortilla chips. Based on some reviews I’ve seen, I also got some of the pound-and-a-half baking chocolate. Two versions were vegan, so I got one of each. I am going to use them for dipping/coating, when I’m back to making desserts again….when is Lent over, anyways? 🙂

Upcoming recipes: vegan spinach-artichoke dip; soy chorizo and kale; another mac n’ cheese recipe; orange scones; Indian green beans……and MORE!

This week’s fitness goals: Well, once again I did not meet my goals. I ran 4/5 days but only one of those was 4 or more miles, and I did not run today. This week I’m going to do a different type of challenge: run at least 25 miles in the week, total, and start doing abs and hand weights again (gasp! now that’s QUITE the challenge for me!). We’ll see…..


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