Saturday, September 01, 2007

No such thing as a free lunch?

I am finally back from my week of training in North Carolina... As we were coming home yesterday, though, I thought we'd never get here--the Atlanta airport was backed up like crazy for the holiday weekend, and our flight home was delayed more than four hours. Eesh!

The week was nice, however. I can't say that it was relaxing because I did actually attend meetings and classes and socials for about 16 hours out of each day. But it was a nice change of pace from the office, and a great chance to get to know some of my new co-workers. And I've always thought that perhaps of all the states I have been to, North Carolina is the most beautiful. Friday's sunrise was a lovely sight.

As far as food went, I cannot complain at all. My meals were very simple but fresh, healthy, and beautifully presented. I did not take pictures of all my meals, but I couldn't resist taking one. This simple veggie plate is a good representation of the sorts of meals the chef created for me:

Today, Bob and I went to R. Thomas Deluxe Grill for brunch. When I went to R. Thomas before, they messed up when they ran my credit card and ended up charging me much more for my meal than they should have. After I called them and talked with them about it, it took them nearly a month to get everything straightened out and issue a refund. At that point, I was pretty hacked off and swore I would never go back to the restaurant. However, the manager sent me a very sincere apology, as well as $40 in gift cards! So if this meal looks a little extravagant, that's why.

We started with the Basil Tofu Lettuce Wraps, with diced veggies and tofu simmered in a curry basil sauce.

Bob enjoyed this gigantic smoothie, the Lemon Mango Slider, with coconut milk, lemon, mango, grapes, and agave. He said it was easily his favorite element of the entire meal.

For his entrée, Bob chose this Raw Veggie Dinner. Starting at the top and going clockwise, you see a collard kale salad, guacamole served with flax crackers and dehydrated sweet potato strips, a broccoli cauliflower medley, and a walnut sunflower loaf with chipotle sauce. In the center is a seaweed salad topped with raw sauerkraut. Everything on his plate was absolutely delicious, but my favorite was the nut loaf and chipotle sauce.

I ordered the Thai Express, a vegetable sautée with tempeh cubes, served over quinoa with a spicy peanut sauce. Very flavorful, and very, very filling. I didn't manage to eat much of this at all before I wimped out and asked for a box. It will make a fantastic lunch tomorrow.

When we discovered the Raw Apple Pie on the dessert menu, we had to try it. It was worth saving some room for.

You may remember when I ranted before about R. Thomas and their claim that all their omni choices are made with organic, free-range, "cruelty-free" meat and dairy products. However, as several of you pointed out, it is probably better for me to be thankful for the things that the restaurant is doing right, such as being committed to fresh, organic, local ingredients, than to be bitter about the fact that they market their meat as humane. R. Thomas really is a good spot to get great, healthy vegan food, and they're truly doing much more for the well-being of farm animals than 99% of the other restaurants in Atlanta... so I am not going to hold a grudge against them. (I'll just make sure I pay in cash from now on!)

It's supposed to storm across the Southeast this holiday weekend. Thank goodness--we surely need the rain and the relief from the heat! Have a safe holiday, and be careful traveling!


VeggieGirl said...

welcome back! wow, your photo of the sunrise in NC is so picturesque! looks like you've had some great meals lately - I'm LOVING the raw plate and smoothie from R. Thomas that Bob enjoyed, as well as the raw pie! yum! looks like those $40 gift cards certainly went to good use :0)

glad to hear that your training went well; hope you have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!!

Anonymous said...

looks great!!

have a great weekend!

Kate said...

Free is my favorite price. Great food choices.

Anonymous said...

That raw apple pie looks really delicious. I am always amazed at the things that can be created raw (although they do usually take a lot of time to make).

Glad you were able to get vegan fare during your training in North Carolina. I was wondering if they'd come through or not.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Sounds like R. Thomas redeemed themselves a bit with such a yummy meal.
It's been storming here the past two nights like crazy...sometimes I love a good lightening storm :-)

aTxVegn said...

Welcome back, Laura! I know you're glad to be home. R. Thomas looks like a fantastic restaurant for vegan fare. I'm glad they enticed you back, although it took them long enough!

Anonymous said...

Your meal at your training event looks great! I am so glad that they were able to make things that you could eat!

Your "free" meal looks fantastic--I am happy that they sent you those gift cards.


bazu said...

Good to have you back! That veggie plate looks perfect to me- I also couldn't complain with food like that around. And your restaurant meal, wow! Good for them for sending you gift cards. I can't peel my eyes away from that raw platter- wow wow wow!

Dr. Melissa West, Lifestyle Coach said...

I love North Carolina too. It is such a beautiful state. I really think I could live there. That meal looks amazing. What a great way to spend a $40 gift card!

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