Lunch with Lauren ~ Summer Lunches

by Lauren Townsend for The Aha! Connection

Well, we all made it to summer and what’s that saying……”The pool/beach will give it whatever body I give it?” That’s my mentality considering most moms should get a patch for just surviving May. I do tend to eat less and lighter, but still maintain this squishy physique with plenty of empty wine calories. That being said, here are a couple meals around Dunwoody that won’t keep you weighed down.

Vitality Bowls, Superfood Cafe (123 Perimeter Center West, next to Your Pie and Shane’s Rib Shack). It was NO small feat walking past Chipotle, Shane’s Rib Shack AND Your Pie to open the door at Vitality Bowls, but I was dedicated to health on this particular day and with the help of my husband’s resolve, I went in and took 20 minutes to make a decision. There are so many options and in addition to their bowls, there are juices, salads and paninis. I finally landed on the Dragon bowl which is ALL these things: Pitaya, Mango Juice, Coconut Milk, Bananas, Pineapple, Raspberries, Immunity Boost, with Strawberries, Kiwi, Almonds, Goji Berries, Bee Pollen, and Honey on top. So they blend the first seven ingredients together in this cold, thick, sort-of smoothie and then top it with the rest. IT WAS SO GOOD! I loved it! It tasted great and I was full but not like, gross full. The best part was that I didn’t have my usual sweet tooth cravings all day. This is such a great option for a hot day. I know Press Blend Squeeze offers similar bowls that I’m sure they are delicious too.


The Carpaccio di Manzo at Novo Cucina (5592 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd). I get that not everyone loves raw beef, but I do, especially the way NOVO does it. They take an excellent quality beef tenderloin and shave it super thin then top it with parmigiano, fried capers, lemon and olive oil. It’s super light, but filling and perfect for people like me, who need some kind of protein to consider it a meal.

I know it’s not technically Dunwoody, but you know I couldn’t not mention Buford Highway. If you haven’t been to Snackboxe Bistro (6035 Peachtree Rd, Doraville, GA 30360, in the H Mart shopping center),  I’m not really sure what else I can do for you. Snackboxe Bistro is Laotian street food. I get that your knowledge Laos is probably limited to Hank Hill’s neighbor in King of the Hill, but you need to take advantage of this place so close to Dunwoody. If you want a light, filling, DELICIOUS meal, order the Nam Khao to eat there or take with you. Nam Khao is a crispy rice salad with cured pork sausage, chopped peanuts, grated coconut, herbs, lime juice, fish sauce, and other ingredients.

If you just want to make a quick mom meal before travel baseball/swim team/art camp/VBS here are two salads that I eat all summer long. They are super simple and make me so happy.

  1. Watermelon Feta salad. Watermelon, which we keep around all summer long, feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I eat this throughout summertime. You can always fancy it up with basil or mint, balsamic reduction, and cucumbers or arugula, but if you just want to keep it simple, you can.
  2. Zucchini/Squash Zoodle salad. Spiralize a zucchini, squash or both. Add the juice from a large lemon, a tablespoon of Olive Oil, ¼ tsp of kosher salt, and add toasted nuts and parmigiano cheese.