Having been to other fully vegetarian restaurants around Asheville, NC; Louisville, KY; and the famous Vegiterranean of Akron, OH, I developed some high expectations for vegan food. Thus, I think, I carried a prejudice into Veg-O-Rama on my first visit there: I was expecting something more extravagant, or unusual, and what I received was tasty, but modest. I kept telling myself, "They're not doing anything here that I couldn't just as well make for myself at home!" However, on subsequent visits there, I really grew to like the place--the food is nice, if not spectacular; the atmosphere is welcoming. And for a vegetarian restaurant in Tennessee's third largest city, it has done quite well for itself.
Veg-O-Rama is a great place to pop into for a bowl of home-made chili and a sandwich. They have good specials and make their food from wholesome ingredients.
The reason for this post, however, is that I am now making desserts for the restaurant. It's nothing too grand as of yet--the owner and I talked it over and decided that we'll start small and see how people like it--but I feel rather priviliged to be offering baked goods to them. Besides, it feels very good to get paid for something that I love doing. The things I brought there are a dozen Coconut-Lime Cupcakes and a half dozen of PB&J mini pies (Celine's recipe!). I encourage everyone here in Knoxville to visit Veg-O-Rama and support their business, even if you don't end up buying dessert. Since I moved to Knoxville, I have already seen a couple vegetarian-friendly places shut down, and I don't want to see that happen with this one.