Vegetarian


Rich and diabetic friendly, this was a welcome addition to my day.

Cafe Sunflower
5975 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 256-1675

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It’s pretty and it’s serene. The World Peace Cafe is a vegetarian haven more or less across the street from Whole Foods, on the north side of Hammond near the intersection of Roswell Road. I came in the area for lunch one day, while craving Chinese. But Canton Cooks was closed, and this place seemed appealing.

Their menu doesn’t immediately let on to the vegetarian nature of the foods, as they mention peace burgers and all. But you’ll eventually get it. I had a grilled vegetable sandwich, as my luck with those is good. They tend to have plenty of umami, and tend to be filling.

The tea is quite good, but it has fruit overtones, which for me means sugars. I had one glass and switched to water.

Staff was casual and pleasant. The restaurant is built on the side of a hill and is two stories tall. If you drive onto the road behind the eatery, you’ll be parking on the upstairs side. You’ll need to go down the stairs to the lower side of the building to order. Once you do, they give you a flag and you sit until food is delivered to you.

Had to finish the book!

 

Verdict: Serene pretty eatery with good vegetarian sandwiches. Highly recommended.

World Peace Cafe
20 Hammond Drive, #302
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 256-2100

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It’s good; it may be very good. It’s Kosher. It’s overwhelmingly vegetarian. OU for U is a shop found in an ‘L’ shaped strip mall on the southeast corner of Hammond and Peachtree-Dunwoody, a location I drive by often. In my mind I had this place located far closer to Hammond at Roswell, so I just kept driving past. That’s not a mistake I’ll be making any more.

The salads are large and filling. The sandwiches are big, hearty, served on a hard crusted bread that I found delightful. The roasted vegetables, the fillings in their “club” sandwich were fine: cheese, mushrooms and eggplant providing plenty of umami. I’m looking forward to a day when they haven’t run out of filling for their “roasted vegetable” sandwich.

It’s not much to look at from the outside, but the lack of pretense and the flavor make it a keeper.

I’m really happy I finally located this place!

OU for U Cafe
1155 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 396-5533

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MGR Palace is one of a number of restaurants in a mall near Wall Mart on Rock Bridge Road that include Cici’s Pizza. The eatery is roughly across the street from the Metro Diner. I’ve been here a couple times, and in general I’ve liked the food. It is, however, the kind of cuisine that leaves me fighting for words to describe it. What doesn’t help is that just down 78 in Decatur is the Udipi Cafe, also vegetarian and Indian, and though similar, they have very different cuisines. I’ve been to both, and entrees at one I like I can’t find at the other.

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If a rule of thumb at Udipi might be “it’s hard to go wrong with chickpeas”, then a rule of thumb at MGR Palace is “it’s hard to go wrong with potatoes”.  It’s very hard, however, to remember the names of the dishes. Thankfully, MGR Palace has the equivalent of a combination plate called a thali. So this day I ordered a thali and that’s what I’ll be describing. It’s a good looking plate of food, with or without the naan (flatbread).

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Along the bottom of the plate are three vegetable curries. The left side has a chutney (pickles), a yellow fruity dessert and above it, yogurt with some vegetables. Along the top are two different kinds of rice. The right side has two soups, a soup called a sambar being the upper of the two. The sambar is a little spicy.

What can I say? I liked and ate pretty much all of it. I thought the curries were excellent, the dessert was a pleasant suprise. The rice I mixed in with other foods or ate plain, and I like the sambar a little better as a soup because of the spice. The food is not especially hot but it is nicely spiced. The naan was about as close to butterless perfection as can be. I tore it into pieces, dipped it into the yogurt and the soups, or used it as a wrap for chutneys or curries.

The clientele here is largely Indian, with the occasional collection of curious Americans. Staff, in my experience, is friendly and helpful.

Before leaving, I ordered samosas to go. A samosa is roughly akin to an empanada, a stuffed pastry, and MGR Palace’s samosas are really good. I’ve also had MGR Palace’s dosai, a kind of crepe, and they are quite good as well. Finally, MGR Palace is inexpensive. The thali is one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, and it cost 12 dollars. Most entrees are under 10 dollars.

Verdict: Surprisingly good Indian food outside 285. Very affordable, and very highly recommended.

Madras Sri Ganesh Ram Palace
1825 Rockbridge Rd
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(770) 413-1415

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Notes: Meredith Ford Goldman has an excellent review of this restaurant.

Cafe Sunflower is a pretty vegetarian restaurant in the strip mall on the southwest corner of Hammond and Roswell Road, near one of the last intersections on Roswell before reaching the 285 loop from the north. We went there recently for lunch, a coworker and I, in part because I’m eating a lot of vegetarian foods for lunch, and in part as a change of pace.

It’s pretty inside. I wish I could say more, but all I remember are the nice tables and solid wooden chairs, the kind that just seem to fit. The staff seemed largely Asian and was quite efficient.  Service overall was good.

We had soft drinks. I had their stir fried vegetables with tofu, my partner had their special, a stuffed pepper, full of quinoa. Of the two dishes, the stuffed pepper was quite spectacular looking, a mountain of quinoa with a slight brown cast to it. I asked him what he thought of his dish, on a scale of 1 to 5, and he rated his a “5”. He had never had quinoa before, and he liked it a lot. I liked my dish, full of vegetables and lego sized chunks of tofu. I was confused by the rice, both short grain in size but chewy as brown rice is. Looking at the menu after the fact, it must have been a short grain brown rice. I’m more used to long grain brown rice.

Verdict: All in all, I liked it. I almost had their three bean chili, and someday I’m coming back to try that one. It looks good, and I assume any vegetarian or vegan, or just someone like me, can find what they want at Cafe Sunflower.

Cafe Sunflower
5975 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 256-1675

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