Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Road - Asheville, NC

The title of this post really does it no justice, but I just couldn't come up with anything to reflect how awesome eating in Asheville was . . . too awesome, actually! There are several restaurants specializing in vegan or vegetarian food, but almost all that we looked at seem to offer at least one or two veggie options.

"Local" and "organic" are also huge in Asheville, with almost restaurant ad announcing all the items sourced from the Appalachian region. Organic, non-GMO, unpasteurized local tempeh is on the menu almost everywhere thanks to Smiling Hara Tempeh, and Buchi has had kombucha on tap in local restaurants and grocery stores since 2008.

The kids and I sampled the kombucha at Green Sage, and I finally tasted the famous "fire kombucha" at Earth Fare on our way out of town.

We got into town a bit earlier than expected on Sunday and headed straight for the Laughing Seed. We'd enjoyed lunch there on our previous visit, and dinner was equally as delicious.

Next up to try was The Green Sage - not a vegetarian place but one that could veganize almost anything on the menu. We enjoyed both breakfast and lunch here and really loved the atmosphere! The Green Sage strives to be as eco-friendly as possible, with a "green philosophy" that encompasses the menu, the building and the business. Solar panels on the roof provide all the building's hot water, and a recycling/compost station reduces waste for the landfill and their all-natural menu uses local, organic foods as much as possible.

Our final "can't miss" stop was Firestorm Cafe, an independent bookstore with an employee-owned, all vegan cafe. My apologies for the lack of food pictures - we were REALLY hungry when we got there! Little Sprout enjoyed the tomato-lentil soup, Big Sprout had a PB&J, I had the tempeh gyro and Jim had a maple-glazed tofu panini with veggies. And then there was dessert . . . yum! Firestorm served vegan ice cream from Ultimate Ice Cream, a local, independent ice cream shop.

Fortunately, Asheville offers almost as many opportunities to stay active as it does to eat tasty food! Yoga is huge, and I was so tempted to sneak off to a class. Instead, we spent one day trekking around the Biltmore, another on the ski slopes and our final day hiking off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville definitely agreed with us all . . . we just left yesterday, and I'm already thinking about a return visit . . .

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