Searching for good vegetarian meals in Charlottesville, Virginia

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In which there are snacks

Carnivorous Husband and I decided to try the new frozen yogurt place on the Downtown Mall the other day. As unappetizing as the name "Sweet Frog" sounds to me, we'd heard that their not-too-sweet plain frozen yogurt should be sampled. But first, lunch.
Marco & Luca is one of our go-to lunch places if we're short on cash. It's not exactly a well-balanced meal, so we plan to eat a more nutritious dinner when we eat there. But it's fast and tasty. I'm not a huge fan of cold noodles, and I don't eat pork dumplings, so I generally get the "vegetable hot bun," a variation of traditional Chinese "bao," a word that also means "purse." The buns are steamed and filled with a mixture of napa cabbage, cellophane noodles and some other veggies. They also come with a sweet and spicy sauce. I do sometimes make these at home, and my father made a comfort-food, pork-filled variety, but Marco & Luca's are good when I have neither the time nor the inclination to make my own.
As for Sweet Frog, the tart yogurt was surprisingly good: I tire of overly-sweet desserts. It is apparently also fat-free and contains live cultures. It was very cold and became slightly icy in texture, probably due to the lack of fat and sugars. But it was good nonetheless, and I didn't feel like I'd swallowed a butterball after eating it or anticipate that my brain wouldn't be functioning for a while. After some dishes of ice cream, I need a lie-down.
I'm not a fan of self-serve bars of any kind, because of the germ factor, and their toppings are in such a case. They have the usual suspects as well as tropical fruits and an oddball topping of soft, opaque squares called "coconut jelly" or something similar. I tried one, and it wasn't my favorite.
The yogurts are in a vault-like dispensary. Everything was very clean: the floors, tables, counters, and dispensers. One spoon had fallen, handle and all, into the strawberries, but it was the place's only flaw. It was also affordable, and I do like that I can choose how much (or little) I want on a given visit. There are no set sizes, and price is determined by weight.

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