Vegan Eats, in Savannah, GA

August 18, 2010 in Travel & Culture, Vegan/Vegetarian by Tara

At Ruan's Thai Cuisine, showing off the Mango with Sticky Rice Dessert.

I just got back from a mini trip down to Savannah, GA with my folks, Uncle and 3 Cousins. We were 7 deep in 2 cars. The ride down from NC was really quick and it continued to rain on and off all day. Despite the weather, I was still amped to find my way back to this Historic destination.

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Being a Vegan/Raw Foodist, I find it kind of fun and challenging at times, when traveling. A concern is always, “What and where am I going to eat?”. I’ll usually take a glance at the Happy Cow website and recently came across Veg Guide. Happy Cow doesn’t always list all the options, so I do a google search as well.

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And so began my journey – on where to eat in the heart of this Historic, Old Southern, Paula Deen eatin’, Soul food town.

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I stumbled across quite a few vegan/vegetarian options. However in really really looking for what I want (which is organic, raw, vegan, gluten free, sugar free foods), I had no fulfilling luck. I did not prepare any food for this trip, so I had to make the best of it. I decided to settle (oh lawd) for the closest I could get and enjoy myself, as opposed to going off on myself for eating such things. I guess you could say that old motto of, “It’s ok, you’re on vacation.”, played in my head. I’m not much for that saying, to be honest. I prefer to view it as, “I’m allowing myself the opportunity to indulge without exaggeration and excess. I will enjoy myself and be content with my choices.”.

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Gravesite at the Bonaventure Cememtery.

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When you are on vacation as a vegan and your choices are null, it can almost feel like you are not on vacation. I mean part of the whole adventure is eating some fine new food, right? Well, maybe not always. Yet, I still like to eat a delicious, healthy, satisfying meal. I guess you could say I have a romance with food. I like it to be alive, attractive, aromatically awakening and bursting with energy! Must be why I like juicing so much.

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Our first meal was at The Distillery. A bar atmosphere with about 100 beers on tap. Since I don’t drink alcohol, that was not the focus of this visit. I figured they had a lot of lunch choices for my family. As for me, I ended up having their spicy vegan style Black Bean Burger with sweet potato fries. The burger was enveloped by their locally baked, all natural, certified organic, Artisian bread. The burger and fries were quite tasty and very very filling. I felt like an anchor when I was done. Since being on a mostly raw diet, that heavy feeling will happen when eating cooked food.

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Massaman Curry with Vegetables at Ruan's Thai Cuisine.

After a stroll with subtle bursts of thunder, through the famous Bonaventure Cemetery, we made our way to Ruan’s Thai Cuisine for dinner. An elegant atmosphere at a very reasonable price. I ordered the Coconut Curry Soup with Tofu to start. For the Entree I had the Massaman Curry with Vegetables and an adorable stack of rice in the shape of a heart. I love hearts! Half of that dish went in a to-go box. And finally for dessert (which I felt I had no room for), I swam in a dish of cut up mango and sticky rice made with coconut milk. I avoided the powdered sugar on the plate and offered my cherries to one of my cousins. I also ordered Jasmine tea and lemon water.

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The next day, aka our last day we packed ourselves with a busy schedule. To start the day I accompanied my family to IHOP, where I ordered nothing. I wasn’t brave enough to order the fruit cup from there. I munched on a Lara Bar to hold me off till we got back into town. Totally craving my freshly made morning juice, I found a place called Brighter Days Natural Foods. They are conveniently located next to Sentient Bean, another vegan friendly establishment. Unfortunately they did not make a multi green juice. So I opted to combine what they had, which was – celery, carrots and beets. It sure did hit the spot! They had some vegan options for sandwiches with wheat bread. Even though I am not a fan of wheat (gluten) I gave one a whirl. I tried the hummus, cucumber & avocado sandwich with sprouts and tomatoes. I also splurged on a raw vegan peanut cookie. Luckily my stomach decided to agree with the wheat and sugar.

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Adorned with food, I was confident about taking our journey on the Historic Savannah Trolley Tour. We got off at a few stops to shop and walk around. We went by the Paula Deen’s Store, Savannah Bee Company (I’m still undecided about how I feel about honey), a Vintage Clothing store, and finally made our way to River Street where we went into the candy shop, River Street Sweets. It smelled good in there, aside from when I went by the ice cream. That’s just my vegan nose talking. I’m sure others would think it smelled heavenly. I decided to wait outside and admired the Savannah River while enjoying a little rest. It was a hot one, that day. And luckily the weather cleared up so we could take this enlivening walk around town.

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Sitting outside of River Street Sweets with my cousin, resting and admiring the River.

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Outside of Uncle Bubba's. There were lots of cute stray cats and tiny little crabs out there.

Our final destination was Uncle Bubba’s; Paula Deen’s restaurant with her brother (I’m assuming that would be Bubba). I called the previous day to inquire about their menu. For the first time, upon my asking a restaurant to accommodate me, they REFUSED! I asked them if they could simply just sauté some vegetables and put them on top a bed of rice. The hostess said they couldn’t and that everything was pre-made. Their red rice has meat in it and all their vegetables have butter, bacon or ham in them. The next day I spoke with a more chipper hostess, though she was trying to be helpful, she gave me the wrong information. Luckily when I asked both of them if I could bring food in from the outside, they said that was fine. My family loved every bite of their meals, so for all you carnivores out there, this is definitely a place to go. For all the vegan/vegetarians….make a pit stop and order some To-Go food, if you go with a carnivorous crowd. Otherwise don’t even bother going.  Bring a bottle of water too, their water tasted like a rusty pipe. Sorry Bubba, it’s true. Get an Alkalizing water machine.

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I enjoyed Savannah once again and will definitely visit more vegan friendly restaurants next time I go. I also have to return to go on one of the nightly Haunted Savannah Tours! Halloween is creeping up on us….

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I now feel the desire to cleanse once again. This time I feel a juice cleanse coming on. MmMmmMhmmm.

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Beauty From Love: “I am thankful knowing there is always food on my plate.

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Taking one bite at a time,

Tara :)

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