One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Best Whole Food's On Earth (or at least in Georgia)


There are at least ½ dozen Whole Food’s or Harry’s Market in the Atlanta area. But only one of them stands as the pantheon of vegan accessibility and that’s the Whole Food’s on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, GA. Not only do they have the cheapest tofu in town but last year they expanded their hot bar section to include an extended vegan hot bar with at least 6 vegan entrée’s available at all times on the bar and 1 to 2 vegan entrees available at the deli counter for their Blue Plate special. 90% of the vegetables, legumes, and grains are also vegan friendly making it easy for you to grab a quick hot lunch with just about any type of vegan goodness you can imagine. 

The deli has my all time favorite deli item, mock chicken salad. This stuff is so good that it wasn’t a vegan who told me about it first but several of my omni friends. They ranted and raved about it so much that I had to try it. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. When I’m in a rush from time to time they have mock chicken salad sandwiches available pre-made across from the hot-bar which come in handy as a grab and go lunch. Even though the pre-made sandwiches are pricey, usually about $6. 

Vegan Pizza with Daiya
The Whole Food’s on Ponce has vegan pizza made with Daiya but this is the one item I do not trust. I’ve tried this pizza three times and each time I’ve had less than favorable GI symptoms afterward. Leading me to believe that there’s a hint of dairy in there somewhere, not likely intentionally put there but through cross-contamination since it is warmed in the same oven as dairy-laden pizza and it might be possible that the servers are cutting multiple pizzas with the same pizza cutter. Pizza is the only dish I have had this issue with, so for now I’m steering clear. I prefer my pizza without any type of cheese at all so getting a big plain pizza with tons of veggies on it is all I need. 

They’ve also just opened a new taco bar with fantastic vegan options like seitan asada and a full salsa bar with every type of salsa you can imagine and a few flavor vegan slaws.I’m a sucker for a good taco and couldn’t resist gettingtwo big tacos each with a different salsa brimming over with guacamole, cilantro and roasted corn. 

Next to the deli is the bakery with a bevy of homemade vegan breads fresh out the oven. I love Whole Food’s bread not only because it’s vegan and fresh but because it’s cheaper than mass-produced breads and has simple ingredients which yield amazing flavor, my favorite is the rosemary sourdough. A couple steps down from fresh-baked breads are trays and trays of vegan cookies (usually located on the first two shelves). From time to time they will also have vegan muffins (which I love) and vegan cupcakes (which I strongly dislike).  

BBQ Tofu, Vegan Mac & Cheese, Fresh Garden Salad
Over the last year I’ve run across a couple hot bar combination's so good I had to document them. Some of my personal favorites are the BBQ Tofu, fried plantains and Kahlou green beans; Fried chik’n tofu, spicy collard greens and vegan macaroni and cheese; panang curry tofu, brown rice and Thai salad and my favorite light dessert is their vegan mousse (on the salad bar) topped with granola. They have also recently added Daiya cheese to their salad bar. Eat up!

6 comments:

  1. I have been to this location plenty of times, but didnt know all these options existed. I am vegetarian, but interested in going vegan. I have a lot to learn as I have not been eating nearly enough- rarely eating breakfast, then gorging on junk once I get to work:( I hope to incorporate tons of fruits and veggies! Thanks for the posts!

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  2. The Whole Foods in Duluth has great vegan selections too. It's a treat to have lunch after we shop.

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  3. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाDecember 18, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Yea, there is a pretty good selection of vegan items at the WF near me, which is nice.

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  4. That whole foods and the one on briarcliff are my favorites! I go to the one on PDL every Thursday for lunch. I wasn't aware of their deli items or taco bar!! I'll have to try that next time :-) Thanks for the heads up on the pizza too!

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  5. I agree with you about how great this Whole Foods is. Me and my husband love going to Whole Foods across the nation and when his mother was visiting from California, we drove all the way from Alabama to take her here. Although she and my husband are vegetarian, once she saw all of the choices this store had to offer, she was hooked too! They're definitely one of best Whole Foods in the South for vegans.

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  6. Hi Alicia,
    This is my store and I had no idea they had so many wonderful vegan options. It will be a month being vegan for me, so I am now shopping at Whole Foods more and am loving it. Thanks for all the fun options. Love the blog and yummy recipes!

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