When it comes to vegetarian and vegan cuisine its not too hard to find in Atlanta. However, a short drive will reveal that there is a vast difference between Atlanta and the rest of Georgia and the rest of Georgia isn't too kind to veg*ns. However, there is a little beacon of hope in Georgia's original capitol of Macon. Eden'z vegetarian restaurant (617 Poplar Street, Macon, GA 31201) stands as the only vegan restaurant in middle Georgia. Like many vegan restaurants they advertise themselves as vegetarian so passers by aren't scared off by the unknown. But once you try their food it is undeniable why Eden'z has been in business so long and why there success has recently allowed them to open a new location in the nearby town of Warner Robins.
Eden'z features a daily special for $7.95 that I get every time I go, no matter what the special is I'm never disappointed. The eggplant lasagna and chicken salad sandwich are hands down some of my favorite items that have graced the daily special menu. They recently opened up a lunch buffet as well for $8.95. All you can eat vegan goodness - the world just isn't ready. They also offer a wide array of fruit smoothies, ice cream and 46 different types of fresh healthy juices. If you call ahead they'll even bake you up a loaf of their amazing flax seed bread or zucchini bread.
Recently, Eden'z has also started selling their famous (well it should be famous) Sorrel and Vanilla Sweet Tea. Both are southern sweet and strong. I usually dilute my sorrel with a little bit of water so 16 ounces goes a long way in my house. Today when I stopped in for my bi-monthly visit I saw that they now are selling some of their most popular side dishes to go. In the case today was sautéed spinach, macaroni and cheese and collard greens. If I didn't have an 1 1/2 hour drive home with no cooler I would've bought at least 2 packages of sautéed spinach, it is some of the best spinach I have ever had!
Although I love Eden'z I do have a couple words of caution. Beware of the desserts! I have never, and I mean never, had a dessert from Eden'z that I enjoyed. Twice a month for a year I came in and tried every dessert they had on the menu or on the "specials" board hoping for something spectacular but ending up with a dense and inedible block instead. I'm not sure what they use to make their desserts at Eden'z but the cakes are far from light and fluffy (although the icing is always good) and the muffins have a stiff texture to them. Additionally, Eden'z used to have vegan Jamaican beef, chicken and spinach patties that were worth selling your first born for. When I inquired about them I was told they came from a lady in Conyers, GA. Unfortunately, one day the Jamaican patties went away. Every time I came into the restaurant hoping for vegan patties I was sent away with my daily special but no Jamaican patty. Finally they started showing up on the menu again, but they were obviously no longer coming from my Jamaican patty princess in Conyers. The dough on these new patties is anything but authentic. It's spongy and way too sweet, if you've ever had a real Jamaican patty then you would cry at the disservice that has been paid to them at Eden'z. The filling is great but the filling is only a small part of what makes Jamaican patties so good. I've given up on trying desserts and Jamaican patties at Eden'z for good.
But other than those two missteps Eden'z is a vegan oasis in middle Georgia. Now I know you probably would never have a good reason to be in Macon, unless you lived nearby, but just in case you happen to be driving from Atlanta to Savannah (or vice versa) one day you should take a quick detour to stop by Eden'z and fill your soul with amazing food! If you're in a hurry they accept call in orders 478-745-3336