Several of my friends from school were in town this week, and we all went out for a bite to eat. The restaurant selected is called R. Thomas, yet another veg-friendly place in Atlanta.
You can see from this picture that the decor was exotic--all the seating was on an outdoor patio, and despite the fact that it looked out on Peachtree Street (the main traffic vessel through downtown), it managed to conjure up the feeling of being on some tropical island. Perhaps the coolest thing was that all the light fixtures were decked out with red, blue, and green CFL bulbs!
I could not make up my mind about this place on a number of levels. One thing I really liked was their commitment to fresh, organic ingredients. They have an entire juice menu, for example, and they juice the fruits to order--straight from organic fruits, local whenever possible. They also had extensive vegan and even raw vegan selections on the menu--I ordered raw hummus with grilled vegetables and found it very satisfying.
Here's what bothered me: They touted their beef and chicken as being clean, humane, "happy" meat. Our waiter even said that since all their meat is free range and grass-fed, the restaurant shows great concern for animal welfare even in their omnivorous selections. Maybe I am too intolerant, but it really makes me angry when people say things like that. To me, it would almost be better if restaurants didn't claim that their meat was "cruelty-free" because then they are not misleading people into believing that animals would be well off if we all just started eating organic meat. It's ridiculous. Every time I have the opportunity, I explain to people that terms like "organic" and "free range" are more or less meaningless in the context of large-scale agriculture, and I find it to be such a setback when someone else comes along and claims differently. Which one do you think people are going to believe--the crazy, "extremist" vegan, or the guy who assures them that they can still enjoy their beef?
To the restaurant's credit, they do have an entire wall devoted to pamphlets promoting veganism and Farm Sanctuaries and other organizations that really do concern themselves with the welfare of animals. I don't understand why a place like that would even think it necessary to serve meat; there are about 1,001 steakhouses in Atlanta for people who just absolutely have to have their meat, so why does a restaurant that is obviously concerned with the ethics of eating feel like it should concede and serve meat, when they apparently know enough about the meat industry to promote veganism? It all just seems very deceptive to me.
Sorry, guys--I had to get that out. Please, tell me what you think. Am I just being crazy and touchy?
Anyway... here's what I've been cooking.
After thinking about this dish for quite awhile, I finally decided to make the broiled Japanese eggplant from Fatfree Vegan. It made a very elegant presentation, but it tasted... well, like eggplant. I like eggplant, but not this way--it didn't cook through very well and tasted spongy and bitter. The miso sauce was very good, though; I would make this again, but I would substitute zucchini next time--maybe some of the monster zucchini that some bloggers have been showcasing?
This next meal, however, does not receive a mixed review. I had some portabello caps waiting to be put to good use. I found some Follow Your Heart mozzarella cheese in the freezer. Put them together, and you get the Portabello Bagel Melt from Vive! I used a whole wheat bun in place of the bagel and steamed kale in place of the spinach, both making fine substitutions. The portabellos came out juicy and full of flavor, and the cheese got very satisfyingly melty. This sandwich needed nothing but a small dab of dijon mustard--perfect! Next time, I would love to try this with some roasted red peppers.
That's pretty much it for today. Peace!