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The Grit, an all-vegetarian restaurant in Athens, Georgia, is located at 199 Prince Avenue. (In the center of “Normaltown,” right near downtown Athens and next to the Daily Food Co-op.) The more than reasonably priced delicious restaurant is in a building renovated and owned by Michael Stipe of R.E.M., and is easily one of my favorite places to eat in Athens.

The restaurant is not very large, but quaint and comfortable with a variety of local artists’ artwork displayed on the walls each week. They offer a number of different vegetable dishes, with specials each week and a decent selections of Vegan meals as well. Believe me, even those who are not vegetarian will enjoy the food here.

The Grit’s most popular dish is probably the Golden Bowl, which consists of a combination of fried tofu chunks with soy sauce and nutritional yeast over brown rice- it is delectible. (A former boyfriend of mine and I were constantly trying to fry tofu and season it to get the same taste as The Grit’s, but usually failed miserably.)

Other items on the menu include garlic mash potatoes with yeast gravy (yum), chickpeas and eggplant over brown rice, tofu-stuffed enchiladas, succotash, an array of soups and salads, and plenty more. They also have homemade desserts which includes cakes, pies and cheesecakes galore. (I have a weakness for the cheesecake.) Also note, this place has a fantastic Sunday brunch- but if you plan on going know the place gets completely packed relatively early. For brunch they have biscuits to die for and blueberry pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, cranberry walnut pancakes and plenty more.

The Grit is quite popular; a number of celebrities have dined there and say they love it, including Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Ian MacKaye of Fugazi and actor Spalding Gray.

If you visit Athens, try to make this a dinner stop.

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