East Atlanta Village has a new vegetarian restaurant, Cenci, and it’s really good! Yeah, when locals heard they were putting in another one, we were skeptical, (The first one was okay, but their decor was lacking, and it just wasn’t great enough to make you forego an Earl burger), but not half as skeptical as I was when I heard that they had vegetarian barbecue spareribs that actually taste a) good and b)like real ribs. Suuuure they do. . . .

You hear something like that, and then you just have to check it out. I admit that my husband is the brave one who ordered the ribs. I stuck with a veggie plate – Really good. Still-slightly-crisp sauteed green beans, good fried okra, (although not as good as The Earl’s, which tastes almost like fried okra from my childhood,) and garlic mashed potatoes with yummy gravy. The kids had macaroni and cheese. They have a vegan, no cheese mac and cheese, too. We did not try it, because it is against our religion, which is a devout cheese idolatry sect.

And then there were the ribs: They didn’t look quite like ribs, but then I didn’t expect them to. I also didn’t expect them to taste almost exactly like bbq ribs. I have no idea how they did that, but it is amazing. I mean, not as amazing as pulling the meat off a bone with your bare hands and teeth, but a fantastic feat of flavor.

Decor is oddly very similar to East Atlanta Thai and Sushi, and someone mentioned that it was annoying that all vegetarian restaurants play world music all the time (although Creative Loafing’s reviewer listened to “cool jazz” the night he ate there), like I can’t be vegetarian and listen to Album 88 or whatever. They could lose the incense, too, in my opinion.

Service was a little slow, but they had just opened, and I overheard the waitress say it was only her second day. It also kind of annoyed me that she touched my straw when re-pouring my water (ick), but again, that is just a new waitress for you. Places work out the kinks in those first few weeks.

All in all, the food was great and affordable ($35 for a family of four), and the staff was friendly. Cenci is nice addition to my little corner of the world.

Cenci, 1259 Glenwood Avenue, East Atlanta (404-627-0533)

Other new and upcoming additions to East Atlanta Village: My Sister’s Room and The Glenwood. It’s nice to see those storefronts filling back up.

4 Comments so far

  1. Gretchen (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    Me and the husband tried this place out over the weekend. Not bad. The fake ribs were the best thing we had. The veggie spring rolls were very good and husband said that the veggie burger was decent also.

    The big problem — someone let way loose with the white pepper. My mashed potatoes were damn near uneatable because of the nasty over peppered gravy.

    Definitely better than the last veggie place. Need to work the kinks out and it actually might be good – which would be a change in EAV restaurants.

  2. Annie (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

    I agree the kinks need to worked out. I disagree about the EAV restaurants – i think some are really good. The ones that are seem to stick around, the ones that aren’t are being weeded out.

  3. Gretchen (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    La Casita has good margaritas and some of the food is good too. Other than that there is nothing memorable about EAV dining.

  4. Gretchen (unregistered) on June 18th, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

    La Casita has good margaritas and some of the food is good too.

    I get pizza from Grant Central often enough that they know how to cook it “well done” when I request it.

    Was it Wisteria (?) — that was memorable. One of the best meals I’ve had in Atlanta.

    But EAV dining now? I don’t think so.

    Honestly in a town this size how come we have so may mediocre (and often expensive) restaurants?

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