Whether you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet as one of your resolutions this year or you’re a longtime vegetarian, you’re likely aware that it isn’t easy finding good options on restaurant menus that aren’t blah or bland—especially OTP. It sometimes seems like an after-thought on many menus. So when I came across a bevvy of vegetarian dishes at one of my favorite lunch spots in downtown Alpharetta—South Main Kitchen—I was pleasantly caught off guard. And as I made my way through various dishes over a few visits, there was an even better surprise: not only is there plenty of variety, but these are killer vegetarian dishes that even your meat-loving friends will enjoy. No more envying your fellow diners’ plates. Eat one of these dishes and you’ll see why.
- Celery Root Soup
Start your meal off with the celery root soup. A pretty, pale green puree with a touch of nuttiness from toasted pecans and a hint of citrus thanks to lemon agrumato (think fragrant olive oil). It’s not too heavy or too light, and pairs well with a salad for a light meal.
- Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
The Kale & Brussels Sprouts salad has been a mainstay on the menu at South Main Kitchen for a while now—and it’s easy to see why. This crowd-pleaser boasts shredded kale and Brussels sprouts as it’s chewy, leafy base, and is topped with tangy feta, sweet golden raisins, little slivers of grapefruit and toasted pecans. The best part, though, is the grapefruit vinaigrette drizzled all over, which gives each bite a delightful brightness and acidity. It’s one of the few salads I actually crave, and hard to resist ordering every time.
- The Vegetable Plate
I know, it sounds boring—a “vegetable plate.” But don’t let the name fool you. (While it’s not technically currently on the lunch menu since it changes seasonally, it will still be available upon request for a limited time.) The vegetable plate is a belly-warming mix of seared mushrooms, carrots and cipollini onions, served atop barley with fennel confit, carrot puree and golden beet chip. If you stop by for brunch, try the vegetable bowl for a satisfying mix of textures and flavors, combining blistered carrot, barley, mushrooms, onion and Brussels sprouts, and topped with radish, a refreshing mint tahini yogurt, parmesan, chives and a sunny egg (for those ovo-vegetarians out there).
- Flatbread with butternut squash
Try the flatbread with butternut squash for a wintry ode to pizza. Swiss chard and baby arugula add greenery, while garlic confit and calabrian chili kick up the spice factor. An airy whipped ricotta gives it a light creaminess, all topped off with parmesan and lemon agrumato. South Main Kitchen, 9 South Main St., Alpharetta. 678-691-4622, southmainkitchen.com.