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!