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Shattering Vegan Food Myths at Atlanta's Herban Fix

By Marina I. Jokic

Herban Fix in Atlanta does not see itself simply as just another vegan restaurant. Rather, it considers itself a catalyst behind the healthy-eating movement that has become a major trend in the industry.

Head Chef Wendy Chang says Herban Fix wants to spread its passion for healthful, delicious, vegan food through making delectable meals with simple ingredients. Chang hopes people can realize vegan food's flavorful tastes and health potential, and that it's anything but bland.

Chang had been wanting to open a vegan restaurant for a long time, but only recently did the opportunity present itself to her. Realizing the beneficial health effects of vegan food, Herban Fix's philosophy is not only to provide tasty food to the local community, but also to educate the public at large.

"In the past, I have had many friends and family become sick, whether it is diabetes, cancer. I have witness[ed] so many of them change their diets and now they are no longer sick," says Chang. Choosing a vegan diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits while making sure you are getting all the right nutrients can be the deciding factor in prolonging good health.

"Most people have the perception that vegan food consist of bland salads and wraps. I want people to realize that vegan food can be delicious and flavorful," adds Chang. People are slowly realizing that a heavy emphasis on processed foods, meat, and dairy as well as sugars can take a serious toll on your body by leaving toxins in your system, tiring your organs over time, and causing all kinds of ailments. "I think that vegan cuisine is becoming more popular in recent years because people are starting to realize that what they consume directly affects their bodies," Chang emphasizes.

Herban Fix's Chef Wendy Chang specializes in preparing elegant vegan dishes with Asian flare. The seared Pom Pom mushroom steak with assorted vegetables is perhaps the most well-known Herban Fix dish.

Some of the starter highlights on the lunch menu are coconut soup with vegetables, shallots, and coriander, the spicy tofu soup with enoki, shiitake, and king oyster mushrooms, crispy purple yam cakes, pan seared baozi garnished with picked vegetables, steamed buns with crispy soy duck, and Aburaage stuffed with radish and cucumbers. Entrée favorites include crispy king oyster mushroom glazed with sesame soy, grille eggplant topped with basil and garlic, organic Bibimbap, and truffle wild rice with sautéed assorted mushrooms.

The Asian-inspired Sunday brunch buffet is quite popular, and guests can indulge in various selections such as flan with mixed berries, Asian tapioca dessert, and vegan baked treats to name a few. There are also salads, several main entrees, noodles, and rice.

"When creating new dishes, I think about some of the foods that I used to eat, and think 'how can I make this vegan,' " says Chang. In particular, she tries to introduce fresh and cooked Asian vegetables to people who are not accustomed to them. Inspiring others to try new things, and especially to eat healthfully, is one of Chang's primary motivations in creating her recipes.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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