Cafe Sunflower and Harmony and Why I Can’t Keep Wearing Leggings All The Time.

As it turns out, leggings are the best thing and the worst thing that has ever been invented. They are comfy and adorable and appropriate pants during the winter when you haven’t exercised and yet keep eating like you are. They also are atrocious and hideous and are a fail-safe for when your pants don’t fit because you haven’t been exercising and yet eat like you are. It’s a love-hate relationship, much like shaving your legs or paying your car insurance.  But there comes a time in every woman’s life when she must put the leggings down and begin exercising again, eat salads and avoid that extra  gallon spoonful of ice cream. That time was definitely not two Sundays ago. I almost needed a wheelbarrow to get me home.

It started with Cafe Sunflower‘s new brunch menu and my friends Holly and Daniel. I could blame it all on them, but to be honest, we all had a part in this downfall. It was a tremendously BEAUTIFUL day, sunny and breezy and about 65 degrees. I was in a new tank top and my $10 Forever 21 jeans (no leggings!) and was feeling cute as a button and ready for Spring to have sprung. Cafe Sunflower enticed us with their delicious brunch offerings and we just couldn’t say no. Peep the menu:

Cafe Sunflower Brunch!

Cafe Sunflower Brunch!

Because we all are disgusting foodies, we ordered WAY too much food (and yet ate it all). I ordered the Tofu Benedict because my momma didn’t raise no dummy. I also ordered a side of the mac n cheese. Daniel had the Chicken and Waffles and a side of the biscuit and gravy. Holly had the Breakfast Skillet. With black coffees all around, we stopped talking and started eating.

Tofu Benedict

Tofu Benedict

Biscuit and Gravy // Chicken and Waffles

Biscuit and Gravy // Chicken and Waffles

Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast Skillet

All of the foods.

All of the foods.

Sigh. I wish you were there (all of you). I wish you could have tried this food on this beautiful day. I wish for many things. Mainly that I had that food in front of me at any given moment. I cannot properly relay how delicious it all was, how fresh it tasted, and how the flavors melded together. I can only say that you all must go and eat like your life depended on you.

We think we are very funny people.

We think we are very funny people.

Immediately after leaving Cafe Sunflower, we headed to Harmony to once again eat. Because we just had a FULL meal, we decided to just get “a little bit of food”. Harmony is my all-time favorite restaurant in Atlanta and I can eat there any time and all the time. We also talked to Cafe Sunflower and Harmony about hosting us for PlantBasedATL meet ups, so we weren’t completely insane. Here’s what we ate at Harmony:

Carrots & Daikon munchie.

Carrots & Daikon munchie.

Steamed green dumplings.

Steamed green dumplings.

Hot and Sour Soup.

Hot and Sour Soup.

Chinese pizza, Wonton Soup

Chinese pizza, Wonton Soup

Fish and Black Bean Sauce.

Fish and Black Bean Sauce.

I also got the Fish and Black Bean Sauce to go and ate it for dinner. The fish was my absolute favorite thing at Harmony until I ate there last Friday and discovered the Sesame Chicken and my life will never be the same:

XHKLSDLDFAOUSDAHSDAJHJWKHEUIYD.

XHKLSDLDFAOUSDAHSDAJHJWKHEUIYD.

OH HOLY NIGHT. So much deliciousness and fried goodness in my mouth. When will it end, world? When will us vegans be forced to eat only salads and be anemic and weak and sad, lost people? The world is an entirely unjust place when us vegans only have 4,578,987,232,097 options.

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PlantBasedATL’s First Book Club Meeting: Or, To Eat is Human, To Nerd Out is Divine.

We did it! We had our first Book Club meeting! I suppose the biggest surprise of all is that people not only came to the meeting but also read the book. A roaring success all around! We were thrice blessed on Saturday with location and sunshine and food and people (I realize that is more than three things…but I couldn’t figure out how to make four plural. I even Googled it.) and it was awesome.

We couldn’t very well have a Book Club meeting without food, so we went INSANE (per usual) and had way too much. Holly and I snagged a vegan pizza from Whole Foods, some chicken fried tofu (behind the scenes secret: I made Holly retrieve it from my backseat so that I could eat some on our way to the Book Club. IT HAD JUST COME OUT OF THE FRYER, PEOPLE. I had to.), faux crab cakes, and we set that out for munchies while the real magic happened. Chef Billy, also known as Daniel’s Brazilian husband, was busy whipping up a MAGNIFICENT vegan feast for all of us to enjoy. More on that later.

#veganpizzaboner

#veganpizzaboner

Pizza, chicken fried tofu, crab cakes, etc.

Pizza, chicken fried tofu, crab cakes, etc.

We chose “Green is the New Red” by Will Potter as our first book to read. Will did an excellent job of simultaneously frightening me and empowering me. This book delved deep into the world of Animal Rights Activism and the frightening ways that activists can be labeled as terrorists. It is simply unfair the way the world works sometimes, and yet, I find comfort in the simple fact that I am not alone in my way of thinking. We all felt moved by Will’s book and troubled by what we are up against. I firmly believe that if any one of my friends or family skip meat for one meal that my activism is working.

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We talked and drank wine, thought about the book and what it taught us. We were honored to have Kayla Worden, owner of Full Circle Farm Sanctuary, be in attendance at the meeting and speak about her history of activism. I don’t think any of us have the right to be frightened by bumps in the night now that we’ve heard about Kayla getting arrested in China. I mean, seriously…I was sweating profusely while listening to her stories and her absolute fearlessness while protesting. She is a force to be reckoned with, I assure you. Our friend Scout also shared her story of recent activism and brushes with the law. It was so powerful to hear from those that have been on the front lines in the Animal Rights Activism world.

Chef Billy cooked the entire time we gabbed about the book. Billy is not a vegan but cooks vegan at home with Daniel, and we reaped the benefits on Saturday night. He made:

Tofu bacon.

Tofu bacon.

Roasted sweet potatoes.

Roasted sweet potatoes.

HOLY SHIT.

HOLY SHIT.

Tofu with chickpeas and veggies.

Tofu with chickpeas and veggies.

Baked veggies and quinoa.

Baked veggies and quinoa.

Pad Thai.

Pad Thai.

Delicious peas and beans.

Delicious peas and beans.

Wild rice and peas.

Wild rice and peas.

A round of applause for Chef Billy!

A round of applause for Chef Billy!

Can you tell that it was indeed a magical night? We had amazing conversations, we ate delicious food, we laughed into the night and made plans for our next book and meeting. I am thankful for these amazing people and their love of food, because now I feel less alone in the world!

Krista!

Krista!

Kayla Worden!

Kayla Worden!

Daniel, Adriano, Michelle!

Daniel, Adriano, Michelle!

Kristine and Amy!

Kristine and Amy!

The Book Club Crew

The Book Club Crew

Laughing into the night...

Laughing into the night…