I find myself in Stockbridge, GA at least four times a month and was thrilled when I heard there was a vegetarian restaurant in (what I consider) the middle of nowhere. I have to admit I was less than thrilled when I made four attempts, on a very hungry belly, to eat at Sid’s Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant only for it to be closed during regular business hours. I looked online to see if the restaurant was still open and, indeed, it was but I found a myriad of complaints mirroring my experience – the hours they are open are simply unpredictable.
Finally, on a whim, I decided to try Sid’s Gourmet one last time and miraculously they were open. I was greeted by a friendly smiling gentleman, who turned out to be Sid. He was happy to walk me through the vegan options on the menu. Unfortunately none of the “chicken” items are vegan but most of the “fish” and half of the “beef” items are. I’m not too wild about vegan fish and beef substitutes but I thought I’d give it a try – after all that is my job as the Vegan Guinea Pig! I had the option of blackened fish, crab cakes, fried shrimp, baked salmon, meatballs or vegan lasagna. I decided the crab cakes would be a good barometer of what this restaurant has to offer so I went with crab cakes with peas n’ rice and plantains on the side. Thankfully most of the side items are vegan.
Then the waiting game began. From the time my order was taken to the time I put the first bite of crab cake in my mouth it took over 20 minutes. I was in the middle of a workday and was hoping to be in and out within 30 minutes at the very most. However, one bite of the crab cake and it was all worth it. I was also thrilled that the crab cakes were homemade which completely made up for the time. I’m actually surprised they were able to whip up such delicious crab cakes from scratch, cook them and have them on the plate within 20 minutes. I know this sounds like a strange thing to be thrilled about but often times when you order mock meat they’re just may-wah or match meats cooked to order which is great but I could do the same thing at home. My excitement grew when I found out that the Sorrell (one of my favorite drinks in the world!) was made with agave nectar and not honey. A lot of vegetarian and even vegan restaurants will make their sorrel with honey which is bummer for me especially when agave nectar is such an easy substitute. I literally squealed for joy when I found out they used agave nectar which brought a couple odd looks but when I have ever been one to worry about a couple odd looks?
Despite the unpredictable hours and a bit of wait time I will be back at Sid’s the next time I’m in Stockbridge. Sid was so warm and inviting you couldn’t help but want to sit down and chat with him all day. It was almost like meeting a long-lost relative. If you’re in Stockbridge on the weekends keep in mind that Sid’s Gourmet closes before sunset on Friday and is closed on Saturdays.
My Delicious Crab Cakes, Peas n' Rice and Plantains