Going back to my favorite mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, this particular trip would mark two firsts. One was returning as a much smaller person having lost over 75lbs, and two, was visiting as a vegan. When I lived in Hendersonville in 2008, I was an omnivore who honestly wasn’t very healthy. I tended to reach for the chips and fattening fast food during that time. My favorite fast food stop was Jack in the Box. Those tacos got my mouth watering every time. Now, I can’t fathom eating even close to the ways of my past.
Entering the city limits of the Land in the Sky, I looked forward to getting a taste of some of the best eats Asheville has to offer. My friends in town are all vegan, so I knew I could count on them in my search. By the time I was leaving a week later, I am happy to report that I enjoyed many great meals in Asheville.
The Green Sage. Already, I was a huge fan of Green Sage. It’s my favorite coffeehouse in town and I was more than anxious to get a cup of Joe there my first full day in Asheville. On Saturday, my friend Jess and I had lunch at the Cafe after our morning of Thomas Wolfe fun. I ordered the Herb Tofu Scramble with sweet potato fries and toast. The scramble was excellent. I was more than impressed with it. Not to mention the sweet potato fries, they are amazing. And, of course, the coffee is still tops in my book. I ended up going back to the Green Sage two more times during my visit. Once to get the scramble again, and a third time to try something different, the Black Bean Veggie Burger. That is also very delicious.
Asheville Pizza & Brewery Co. I couldn’t wait to see a movie at the Merrimon location and get a taste of their soy cheese pizza. As it turned out, I was able to experience it twice. Once at the simply dining and bar location on Coxe Avenue with my friends Jess and Leah on Saturday night. That was my first taste of the AVL Pizza Co. soy pizza and I really enjoyed it. Then, on Monday evening, I took in a movie with other friends and again had the pizza. The second time around was definitely better. I’m not sure if that had to do with the location or that I was seeing a movie while enjoying a couple of slices…either way, I have to say that both experiences were great and yummy. (Note: The soy cheese that AVL Pizza uses does contain casein)
Lucky Otter. My friend Jess took me to the Lucky Otter on Sunday for lunch. At first glance, the place isn’t anything to get excited about. It just looks like a simple food joint that serves burgers, fries and what have you. Once I tasted the food, the atmosphere didn’t matter. I had the Tofu BBQ Burrito which was very good. The thing is huge. By the time I finished it, I felt as though I wouldn’t be able to eat for a long time. I look forward to again eating there and trying something different.
Firestorm Cafe. All of my friends couldn’t stop raving about Firestorm, so I knew I had to check it out. I ended up entering from the back where you take the stairs to the entrance. As soon as I got inside, I liked the place. It’s a cafe and small bookstore which also features performances by local musicians as well as karaoke. I could instantly see myself going there on a regular basis once I’m living in Asheville again just to write and soak up the atmosphere. Glancing at the menu, I honestly wasn’t sure what to try. The two guys working behind the counter were very helpful and helped me choose the Maple BBQ Panini. It was simply amazing. I enjoyed every bite of the sandwich. It’s definitely a selection I’d get again in the future. Though, my next visit will more than likely be to try the Ginger Sesame Wrap. I heard great things about that one as well.
Digable Pizza. My final evening in Asheville included a movie and a pizza night in with two of my friends. We ordered a large rice cheese pizza for delivery from Digable Pizza. This was definitely awesome pizza. I dare to say it might be better than the Pizza Co’s soy pie. It’s most surely a close call. I was very impressed with how much it resembled regular “cow’s milk” cheese. Will most surely be getting pizza from them again many times in the future. (Note: I have been informed that Digable’s rice cheese also contains casein)
Of course, there are many other food choices in Asheville that I missed. Once I am back in town permanently, I will be trying each and every one of them, I’m sure. And I’m sure most, if not all of them will impress me as much as the places I did check out during my July vacation did.