Sunday, June 19, 2011

Earth Fare in Raleigh offers vegan buffet choices ...why can't all buffets serve food like this?

As I've said in the past, every meal doesn't have to hit a home run but has to cross a line.  Raleigh proper was about 25 minutes away so one of our options was a super cool market called Earth Fare.  (I know they must hate this but I'm going to say it's somewhere between a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods).  They have a pretty extensive salad bar with a few vegan options like soy nugget salad, (mixed soy nuggets with veganaise and parsley) and a hot selection of both meats and vegan dishes.  The chef came over when I asked which cold dishes were vegan and he pointed each one out and rattled off the ingredients for me.  (Awesome-ness).

I don't know why all buffets can't just put the word VEGAN on stuff so we don't have to ask 20 questions.  Sure they might have soy patties but many are made with milk and eggs.  Then again having a few of the chefs 20 feet away is resource enough.

My hat's off to Earth Fare.  Although they have plenty of meat dishes for sale in the deli and buffet the ingredients are all clearly listed and some even do have the word "VEGAN" when there is a fake meat involved.  

And now without further ado, Vegan Food Porn.

A little bit of this a little bit of that ... and a hugh salad.

Eat your colors!
From the bottom clockwise: Black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, corn and black bean salad, 1 lonely vegan dumpling,  vegan sausages and veggies and finally soy nuggets with veganaise and parsley.

Mixed greens, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and sprouts with a touch of olive oil and splash of vinegar.

There's that word we've been waiting for!  It's not the dish that's marked as vegan though, just the ingredient.

I know it's in the south but look ma, no bacon!!!

If only they put a "V" for vegan it would be a cinch.  

In the deli counter 4 kinds of soy nuggets from Soy Delight.  From front to back plain, in veganaise (like a chikn salad), Pacific Rim with Agave (similar to a teriyaki), and buffalo wings.
On another day I had a salad with one of the vegan dishes and some asparagus.  Everything was fresh and delicious.  The spices were bold where they should have been and mild where appropriate.

Mostly raw lunch.

You can read all the ingredients or just ask a chef but it's vegan.
I frequently overlook the salad bars that are out there as a source for hot vegan dishes.  I know there are always vegan options at Whole Foods, some more than others as I found out recently on a trip to Los Angeles where the vegan options were limited to a tofu dish in the Woodland Hills store.  What's up with that?  I'm going to keep an eye out from now on to see if vegan options pop up where least expected.

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