Archive for the ‘Asheville’ Category

Macaroons at West Village Market

Monday, January 16th, 2012
Macaroon from West Village Market

Macaroon from West Village Market

I’ve been eating very healthfully for many weeks so today I decided to indulge in a treat. But only one, so it had to be good. A gluten-free, vegan macaroon at West Village Market caught my eye a couple of days ago, and that was what I wanted today.

I’m very happy with my choice. It’s a large, coconut chocolate chip macaroon that was freshly made somewhere nearby. In other words, not in a package or full of preservatives. Very soft. Very filling.

For a small, neighborhood grocery store, West Village Market does a pretty good job keeping their store stocked with exciting vegan (and gluten-free) options.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Vegan Gluten-Free Food Truck

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Veggie Love (from

Veggie Love (photo from

Veggie Love, Asheville’s own vegan and gluten-free food truck, has been around since this past summer. I finally managed to try them out today, when they were parked a few blocks from my house. For such a small city, Asheville always surprises me with all of its vegan resources. I’ve lived in bigger cities that didn’t have this much to offer vegans.

I was tickled to see, painted on the truck, “gluten-free”. I asked if all the food is gluten-free. She was quite definitive. “Yes, everything is always gluten-free, now and forever.” So great. There were also some raw food options as well. They even sell coconut water, which is my latest addiction.

I ordered miso soup with seaweed and a Dosarita, which was just like a south Indian dosa, as far as I could tell.

It’s no 5-star restaurant and the options are limited (it is just a little food truck, after all), but everything I ate was good and healthy too. Definitely a great place to go if you need a quick bite to eat and they’re parked nearby. I’m happy to report that there was a line for food, so hopefully they means they are doing well and will be around for a long while.

Go to their website,, to find out where they’re parked.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Vegan Pie in Downtown Asheville

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
Blueberry Pie from A Piece of the Pie

Blueberry Pie from A Piece of the Pie

First, let me say that I love pie. Sometimes, when people ask me what my favorite food is, I just say “pie”. Because it almost doesn’t matter what kind of pie – although I do have my favorites.

Before I ever had a chance to post about the amazing vegan cupcakes at Bake It Pretty on Wall St., it closed down. They sure were delicious cupcakes. I hadn’t finished crying over that loss, when a new little business opened up in its place – A Piece of the Pie. And just like Bake It Pretty, they have a daily selection of vegan options!

I stopped in yesterday to give their vegan pie a try. I had a choice of apple, cherry, or blueberry. I ordered the blueberry, which was still a little bit warm from being just baked earlier in the day. (They will also heat your pie up in the toaster oven if you like.)

If I’d had the sort of childhood where fresh baked pies were laying in the windowsill, I feel certain that this pie would have brought me back to those days. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the filling was a mountain of blueberries without too much goopiness mixed in. It was sweet, but not too sweet.

Eating all that gluten and sugar made me feel like I might pass out, but it was totally worth it. If you like pie, give A Piece of the Pie a try. Located at 54 Wall St. in downtown Asheville.

No gluten-free options, and none of the cookies or ice cream was vegan when I was there. Just the pie.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

New vegan restaurant – Plant – Now open and exceptionally good

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Cannoli at Plant

Cannoli at Plant

We’ve been waiting for months for Asheville’s only 100% vegan restaurant, Plant, to open and it’s finally here. And wow is it ever good. The menu is full of old favorites that vegans never get anymore, like onion rings and cannoli(!!!) but with all kinds of unique creations like the black pepper tofu and peppercorn crusted seitan. Every dish looks like a work of art and every bite is a perfect blend of interesting flavors. As far as I’m concerned, the chef at Plant is a genius.

There is even a raw dish on the menu – Enchiladas with summer vegetables, annatto cashew cheese, and cacao mole. It was filling without being completely overwhelmed by nuts (which many raw dishes tend to be).

There was a raw dessert last night too, key lime pie, but I’ll have to try that another time because there was no way I was going to miss the cannoli. One of my favorite treats as a kid in NY state, I thought I’d never have one again. The filling was slightly less firm than I remember, but the taste was right on.

One of my friends, who is a regular meat-eater, ordered the “berger” and truffle fries, which he ate and enjoyed for the most part. The problem though was the texture of the burger – it was very stretchy, like pizza cheese, and freaked him out quite a bit. Seeing as how I long for the stretch of pizza cheese, I actually enjoyed that, but it did seem odd. The flavor was amazing even so, and the corn-crusted onions (aka onion rings) that came with it, were better than I remember onion rings ever being.

Berger and truffle fries at Plant

Berger and truffle fries at Plant

There are a number of gluten-free options at Plant but my biggest complaint is that they were not labeled on the menu. I hope that can be remedied soon.

I really can’t say enough good things about Plant. It was some of the best food I’ve had in a long time, the owners were welcoming and attentive, and I left there feeling perfectly full without feeling weighed down. All the food is fresh and made from scratch. It’s my new favorite.


[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Local vegan donuts in Asheville

Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Cinnamon-Sugar Donut from Firestorm

Cinnamon-Sugar Donut from Firestorm

Having locally made donuts is a mark of a vegan-friendly city. Firestorm Cafe & Books is now regularly selling various types of vegan donut, usually with at least 2 flavors available on any given day. Moving here from Seattle, home of Mighty-O Donuts, I am quite spoiled when it comes to vegan donuts, but Firestorm has created something pretty impressive.

I tried the chocolate glazed and the cinnamon-sugar donuts. I had planned on only having the chocolate glazed, but it was so surprisingly tasty that I couldn’t stop myself from trying the other. Vegans can definitely get their donut fix here and be very satisfied.

Chocolate Glazed Donut from Firestorm

Chocolate Glazed Donut from Firestorm

Donuts come to $1.87 with tax. They are a little smaller than a standard donut – more like the size of those packaged ones you find in health food stores, only these don’t taste like they’ve been sitting on a shelf for 6 months.

I highly recommend you run out an try one. They do not have a gluten-free donut option at this time. Being sensitive to gluten, I did feel like total crap for a few hours after eating these, but it was worth it.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Asheville VegFest This Sunday!

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 12pm – 7pm in downtown Asheville on Battery Park Ave. View details on the Asheville VegFest website.

Asheville’s first ever VegFest is a FREE street festival featuring amazing vegan food, entertainment, kids’ activities, beer, education, and more.

Here’s a nice write-up in the Mountain Xpress:

Asheville’s first all-vegetarian food festival, the Asheville Vegfest, takes over Battery Park Avenue on Sunday, Aug. 7, from noon until 7 p.m. The free festival is presented by The Asheville Vegetarians and Goat Mountain Sanctuary, two local nonprofit, volunteer-based organizations. The festival will feature vegan and vegetarian food, speakers, live entertainment and kids’ events, including The Vegetable Circus, a group that uses Big Top-style arts to teach children fun ways to grow up healthy.
Vendors will include such familiar faces as Firestorm Cafe and Books, Rosetta’s Kitchen, Laughing Seed and Chai Pani. Beer will be available from Highland Brewing Company. Avery’s Hot Dogs will be there too, vending their Tofurky veggie dogs.

Other food vendors:
Pachamama’s Meals
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe
Great Eastern Sun
Green Light Cafe
MacDaddy’s Lemonade
Swallow Soup

It seems that Asheville’s first all-vegetarian festival is a great place to debut a number of other firsts. Veggie Love, a local caterer that’s opening Asheville’s first all-vegan, entirely gluten-free food truck in September, will be there. Asheville’s first all-veggie drive-through (opened earlier this year on Merrimon), Vegheads Drive Thru, will have a booth as well. Asheville’s first vegan restaurant, Plant (to be opened on Merrimon later this year), will also be represented. And did you know that there was a local publication that advocates an all-veggie philosophy? Asheville Magazine does not promote any meat products, say publishers. Representatives from the magazine will be there as well.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Asheville Gets a 100% Vegan Restaurant: Plant!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Asheville will finally have its own 100% vegan restaurant. Not bad for a tiny little city in the mountains. Plant, opening this summer at 165 Merrimon Ave. will feature flavorful vegan dishes by former Laughing Seed chef, Jason Sellers.

From the Mountain Xpress (click here for the full story):

“We will serve flavor-sophisticated, multiculturally influenced food, using techniques that we like the best to intensify flavors based on what’s available to us at the best time,” he says.


Plant’s menu will be kept small enough to enable great attention to detail, he says, with fresh vegetables in the spotlight.

The restaurant also will have a char-grill. “Smoke and flame is something that’s really important to me, especially with vegan food,” says Sellers, who expects to include menu items like smoked potatoes and other dishes with “over-the-top” flavors. The chef will nod to his Italian heritage with seitan marsala and polenta dishes. He will also make his coconut-milk ice cream and other desserts, as well as pizzas and baked goods.

“I think we’ll just really surprise people with increasing the level of vegan food and offering what they may not have expected,” says Armstrong, who admits to a healthy addiction to Sellers’ ice cream.

“The menu is a hit list of all of our favorite flavors,” adds Sellers. “Our goal is lots of grilled and sautéed and cook-to-order vegan food.”

Weekend brunches will feature pancakes and yeasted Belgian waffles. “We want to take vegan brunch to a whole new level,” Sellers says.

Sounds great to me. If the food is good, I will eat at Plant all the time. I can’t wait to try their weekend brunch. Laughing Seed brunch just hasn’t been the same since they took the vegan omelet off the menu. * hint hint, Plant *

In the meantime, you can still support Asheville’s only *almost* vegan restaurant, Firestorm Cafe & Books. Their entire food menu is 100% vegan, but they do sell milk-based coffee drinks.

Update: The chef from Plant tells me that they already have some gluten-free options planned and he is working on ways to expand the gluten-free selection even further. Sounds like there may be some raw options as well, and….possibly….maybe….a vegan omelet in my future!

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Asheville VegFest this August

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Click to view the flyer

There is no shortage of festivals in Asheville, celebrating music, art, health, the environment, and/or just the wonderfully freaky nature of Asheville. Now, for the first time, we’ll be having our very own VegFest, celebrating all things vegan and animal-friendly.

Putting something this big together takes a lot of work and of course some money. Here’s the email (slightly abridged) that went out through The Asheville Vegetarians about this event:

As you know, The Asheville Vegetarians and Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary are planning the first ever Asheville VegFest (Sunday, August 7th).  WE NEED YOUR HELP!! We’ll be sending out a volunteer form soon but in the meantime, please note that our current estimates indicate that the festival is going to cost us nearly 7K (permits, insurance, porta potties, security, marketing materials, advertising and on and on…..). We are hopeful that rental fees from vendors and donations from sponsors will cover much of this but we do expect a shortfall. To that end we have applied for a  grant and are in contact with other organizations to whom we will apply for grant money. WE do need YOUR donations though! ….

For any donation above $20, you will receive a vegdiscount card which is good for a year of many discounts around town at various restaurants, service providers, retailers et cetera.

Asheville Vegfest  is a great opportunity to “vegucate” and “vegutain” folks near and wide  so please consider participating in any way you can but .. if you have some extra funds, they’ll go a long way in helping us pull this off!

All donations are tax deductible., checks should be written out to Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary and sent to:

Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary
1601 Newfound Rd
Leicester 28748

Alternatively, you can donate via paypal via the Goat Mountain website: Please specify that donations are for Vegfest (donors to VegFest will receive a vegdiscount card but not a Tshirt from Goat Mountain– separate donations earmarked for Goat Mountain of $17 or more will  get you one of their cool T-Shirts).

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Delicious juices and smoothies at “The Farmacy”

Saturday, March 19th, 2011
The Farmacy Juice and Tonic Bar

The Farmacy Juice and Tonic Bar

It’s hard for most of us to get too excited about a juice and smoothie bar, but maybe that’s because most of them aren’t as satisfying and exciting as they could be.

The Farmacy Juice and Tonic Bar, in West Asheville, is appropriate for vegans, raw foodists, those who are gluten-intolerant, or any health-conscious person who also wants to enjoy their meal. They offer juices, smoothies, “super smoothie meal replacements”, raw soup, tonics, and shots. Their smoothies feature such exciting ingredients as chia seeds, coconut yoghurt, cacao, mesquite, spirulina, lavendar, and all the fresh fruits and veggies you’d expect. They also have something I’ve only been able to read about but have always wanted to try: Rejuvelac, as made famous by Dr. Anne Wigmore of the Hippocrates Institute.

Judy and Carl, who operate The Farmacy, do things differently than most places. For instance, you get a coconut water chaser with your wheatgrass shot. And they’ll first bring you a taste of your smoothie so you can ask for changes before they pour it. They are also wonderful, positive, interesting people who enjoy getting to know their customers.

Prices are extremely reasonable and we’ve never been unhappy with our order. Give them a try any Wednesday through Saturday, inside the West Village Market at 771 Haywood Rd. in West Asheville.

Other than bee pollan and honey, there is nothing on the menu that vegans need to look out for.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]

Vegan Breve – Best fancy coffee drink in Asheville

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Firestorm Cafe

Once a week or so, I go out for a fancy coffee drink. For a while, it was a soy latte, or almond milk latte if it was available.*

During a visit to Firestorm Cafe in Asheville, I ordered a latte and the girl taking my order suggested I try a “vegan breve”. She explained that a regular breve is made with half-and-half. The VEGAN breve at Firestorm is made with almond milk and coconut creme. Of course I agreed to try that instead and it was the most delicious coffee drink ever, by far.

I like the breve so much that I started drinking them 3 or 4 times a week. I’ve had to consciously limit myself to only one per week. “Breve Friday” I call it.

As far as I know, Firestorm is the only place in town that serves vegan breves. You have 2 options. Their “Coconut Creme Breve” is listed on their menu. It’s what I described above but also has syrups in it for flavor. I hate syrups in my food, so I specifically ask for a vegan breve without the syrups. Or I should say, I used to ask for that. Now I just tell them “I’ll have the usual.”

* Note: Those who have known me for a long time, know that I used to really eschew coffee in all forms, so this may seem like an odd statement.  What can I say – life takes weird turns sometimes.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [Ma.gnolia] [MySpace] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]