Monday, May 17, 2010
2140 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA www.cafesunflower.com
On Friday I was in the mood for something different for lunch, so I decided to try Cafe Sunflower, a vegetarian restaurant on Peachtree. There's a second location in Sandy Springs.
What's on the menu? Much of what you'd expect. Lots of salads, of course, some soups, tofu prepared multiple ways. There are also some vegan options for those so inclined. However, there are a few interesting items: orzo eggplant lasagna ($12), Jamaica limbo plantains with black bean dip ($7), and a baked garden loaf - "herb mashed potatoes in a miso mushroom gravy and organic mixed greens tossed in Thai curry vinaigrette" ($12). I'd like to try the latter.
Another interesting item was included in my lunch entree, the avocado sandwich. This is "Soysage, cheddar cheese, avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato and caper cream on whole wheat pita." Soysage? I was a little afraid to ask, but still willing to try it. It's soy sausage. No, it doesn't taste like pork sausage, but it does taste pretty good and the texture is the same. A good comparison is turkey bacon - it's clearly a different animal (literally in this case), but it's okay as long as you know in advance that you won't be getting the real deal.
The sandwich itself was very good. I crave meat, and the Soysage sort of tricked my mouth into thinking I was eating it. There was lots and lots of sliced, fresh avocado and a very thick (think 1") pita. The red onion and caper cream gave it zing.
There were also a couple of choices that sounded unappealing, such as the soy nuggets appetizer ($7 for 8 nuggets). The nuggets are mock chicken with barbecue and honey mustard sauces. Mock chicken? In a carnivore's opinion, chicken is the most benign of animals, a meat that can be shaped into unoffensive tenders or patties and flavored to taste like just about anything under the sun. Do vegetarians really miss chicken, of all animals, enough to mock it with soy? But I digress.
My coworker Valerie said that she sometimes wants to try vegetarian restaurants but that some of the ones around town look "sketchy". Rest assured, Cafe Sunflower isn't sketchy. It's high end. As a matter of fact, it's a little too high end for me. It's difficult getting lunch for less than $10, plus tip. The sandwiches are all between $9-$12, and there's only one appetizer for less than $6.
The dinner menu is very similar to the lunch menu, just more expensive.
Verdict: Pretty good, but a little pricey.