A Garden of Eden

Ron has been super busy at work and since I tend to be so busy too, we decided last week that we needed to schedule a date.  This afternoon was our chance.  I Googled vegetarian restaurants near Smithfield and happened upon Eden’s Vegetarian Dining and Catering Services.  What a lucky find!

Eden’s is located in the Dupree House at 709 S. 3rd Street, Smithfield, NC.  They specialize in International Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine and have been in business since 2003.

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Chef Alex greeted us and started us off with a special fruit punch that he made.  It had an orange juice base and was exactly what I was craving on this 101 degree day.

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Next came our salads.  Fresh and crisp and the perfect start to our brunch.  The dressing that was on the salad was a very light vinaigrette of some kind and also had an orange juice base.  It complimented the delicious raw veggies perfectly.

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A slice of cornbread was served alongside the salad. Now I can make a mean batch of cornbread but this stuff was amazing.  I’m sure Alex’s was way more healthy then mine that is made with oil and sugar.

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The entrées are served home-style so Ron and I got to sample everything.

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The dish in the back was mock barbeque ribs.  This is made with soy gluten and seasoned with barbeque sauce.This was my very favorite of the entire meal.  Everything was very good but I loved the barbeque the most.  Continuing around clockwise were some awesome sweet potatoes, brown rice and field peas, summer squash / broccoli / carrots and onions, and  lastly the mock chicken Marsala.  Chef Alex asked Ron how hot on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hottest he wanted it.  Ron requested a 7.  This was delicious too.  My second favorite.  It was pleasantly hot but next time I think we’ll ask for a 9.

Here’s what my plate looked like.

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We both had more than enough and were able to bring leftovers of everything except the sweet potatoes home for Lydia.  I know she is going to love it!

For dessert, we had our choice of a pound cake or a vegan pudding cake.  We went with one of each and shared.

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For the vegan dessert, Chef Alex told us that just this morning, he whipped up some tofu with a sweet potato and then blended in some coconut, raw sugar, spices, and nuts.  The pound cake was delicious but nothing could compare to the vegan concoction.  I implored Chef Alex that he just had to write down the recipe immediately so he wouldn’t forget this dish.  He just smiled and smiled and promised that he would.  It was SO good!

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We learned that Chef Alex is a neighbor of ours.  We couldn’t believe it when we realized we live only about 2 miles from each other.  Alex has been a vegetarian for 35 years.  He is originally from the Caribbean but was trained as a chef in New York City.  We didn’t get to meet his wife but we did learn that she was the main motivator for getting Alex into cooking.  She always enjoyed his dishes and encouraged him to pursue his dream.  She serves as #1 taste tester and if it gets her seal of approval, Alex knows he has a winner.

Even though we just popped in today without calling first, we did learn that all parties of 4 or more require reservations.  He also encouraged us to call ahead next time.  This way he can accommodate our personal preferences.  I’m not positive but I don’t believe all things on his menu are always available.

I can’t wait until the next time I get to go to Eden’s and visit my neighbor and now my friend!

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Happy Eating Friends!

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