Saturday morning I headed back to Roanoke, but not before scarfing down a delicious vegan brunch. I dragged my family over to 821 Cafe in the VCU/Fan area. I’d wanted to go to Ipanema’s brunch so so so badly, but they only serve it on Sundays and everyone in my family wanted pancakes and omlettes, so 821 fit the bill. The space was pretty dark, hence the horrid lighting in the photograph, but the food was delish. The coffee while we waited helped too. My brunch consisted of vegan french toast topped with bananas, vegan sausage (I think they make it there), and rosemary potatoes (which I doused in ketchup and Sriracha sauce because that’s how I like it).

The food was perfect for my drive west across the state and, swept up in the beauty of being back in the mountains again, I drove all the way to Roanoke from just outside of Charlottesville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It only added about an hour and fifteen minutes to the drive and was so worth it for the beautiful reds and oranges and yellows that lined the road’s spectacular overlooks. Richmond was nice, the “big city” vegan food options were de-lic-ious, but it’s so good to be back home!