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Aug 2, 2009 06:02 PM

Asheville vegan friendly

We are looking to move to the Asheville area and will be visiting over the next few months. I am familiar with Laughing Seed and Rosetta's Kitchen. On one of the trips we will be with extended family and would like to expand beyond our venue to "vegan friendly." Not high end, but nice fairly casual that has vegan options. Would love any and all feedback about this topic since it looks like we may be moving to the area.

I am quite interested in hearing more about Veg-in-out. I read about them before our visit this weekend and passed by their new place on Tunnel Road.

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  1. Gail Doherty, co-author of Down To Earth cookbook was the chef in charge of the vegan grab-and-go items at Earth Fare grocery's Westgate location last time I checked. If she is still there you will be in for a treat! They do have a cafe there, with many veg and some vegan options. You can also purchase salads and such from the deli or grab-and-go and eat them in the cafe.

    Not the greatest atmosphere, but she is a creative, solid vegan chef!

    BTW, my handle refers to a traditional regional fare, not to a single focus in dining!

    2 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Gail is no longer the vegan chef there. I understand she has returned to NJ. Her recipes went with her...

      I have no idea who is now doing the job or how the vegan items are at this point.

      1. re: meatn3

        meatn3, Thanks for giving this thread a "bump." We spent five long weekends in Asheville over the past few months and found Greenlife an ideal breakfast stop and place to stock the hotel fridge with healthy salads. We hit Laughing Seed almost every visit and enjoy the Noodle Shop, Rosetta's Kitchen, Papa's and Beer and Early Girl. A friend highly recommended Noi's Thai Kitchen and we were not disappointed. The server guaranteed they would make a vegan dish without fish sauce.

        On our "must try" list is Tupelo Honey, Green Sage, The Admiral, Nine Mile, One West to name a few. I drove by Veg-in-out on our last visit and plan on checking that out when we finally move to Asheville.

    2. A few years ago, a friend was a regular weekly customer of Veg-in-out and she was really pleased with it and their service. I tasted some of the meals they sent her and they were very good and well-seasoned.

      They have a new place on Tunnel Road? Where on Tunnel Road? I thought they were still out in Woodfin.

      1. All of the great Asheville restaurants I can think of offer at least one vegetarian option and I am sure they would be more than happy to accomodate vegan requests. I think that is a fairly common request here. Both Tupelo Honey and Early Girl downtown denote Vegan options on their menu with a "V" (I think).

        The Earth Fare in the Westgate plaza has a pretty big selection of vegan grab-and-go meals and their hot bar has several option. I love their salad/hot bar. Greenlife has a new section in their prepared foods case called "Living Foods" that offers vegan/raw options for take-out.

        7 Replies
        1. re: miss piggy

          You mentioned Early Girl and Turpelo Honey
          I have eaten at Turpelo but not Early Girl
          The menu at Early Girl is much more varied and reasonably priced(on their Website)
          How do they compare?

          1. re: mustardgirl

            I personally like Early Girl better. Very good, locally-sourced food and not as much of a tourist trap as Tupelo.

            1. re: mustardgirl

              IMO Tupelo Honey is better in food, service & atmosphere. There is a reason there is usually a line to get in!

              Early Girl gets very noisy due to the bank of windows. I have consistently been served by people who clearly couldn't care less. When that attitude leaves me with out syrup for pancakes, cream for coffee, utensils to eat, it kinda annoys me.

              1. re: meatn3

                I do not agree with rave reviews of EG for breakfast - I don't think it is worth the wait. But I think their lunch is pretty darn good. I usually get the veggie plate (choose 4 sides) or the black bean/sweet potato cakes with sides. The cakes are awesome, and their mac and cheese is not to be missed. Tupelo Honey never fails to disappoint but the wait bugs me and I hate the way I always smell like a fryer when i get out of there...chalk it up to that open kitchen. IMO, they are both very good...we just don't get to either much because of the long waits. I actually think they can both be a tad pricey, too.

                1. re: miss piggy

                  I think you'll find this town is very vegan friendly. Earth Fare and Greenlife has many selections. As mentioned earlier, many restaurants hove vegan offerings in Asheville,

            2. re: miss piggy

              Miss Piggy, I stocked the hotel fridge with the "living foods" the last time I was in town...along with some other deli items such as vegan potato salad...everything was great!

              1. re: Windsor

                Yeah, I love EF and Greenlife - their prepared foods are top quality. Try the peanut butter tofu salad if you can get it at Greenlife...awesome! They don't have it all the time, though.

                Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents on some that you mentioned experience with Green Sage was not great (poor service, bland food, would not go back) and Nine Mile is just OK. Definitely try the Admiral and Tupelo Honey (great black bean burger there) and note that West First Pizza (which is what I think you are referring to as "West One") is in Hendersonville, a nice little town south of Asheville worth a visit.

            3. My husband and I are strict vegetarians (lacto); We have enjoyed many good vegetarian meals at The Noodle Shop; Early Girl; Chai Pani (new Indian restaurant); Nine Mile; Pappas and Beer to name a few. We also enjoy visiting a small town named Black Mountain (15 mins East of Asheville) which has quite a few restaurants, and include some vegetarian choices

              3 Replies
              1. re: lassy

                I can't wait to try the Admiral, Tupelo Honey, Chai Pani and Nine Mile and West First Pizza! Have had several good meals at the Noodle Shop (our preference over Doc Chey), Early Girl and Pappas and Beer and Laughing Seed. I finally made it to the Laughing Seed brunch and had the roasted asparagus served over roasted root vegetables, tempeh and polenta...out of this world good!

                In the past few weeks we enjoyed the lunch buffet at Kathmandu. The staff was very friendly and helped point us to the vegan dishes. Everything we tried was wonderful and those we didn't try looked divine. We had lunch at the India Garden a few days ago and also enjoyed. Friends took us to a Thai restaurant near the Arden area recently (name may have been Tamarind) in a small strip mall. Our meal was wonderful and ranks as our current favorite Thai place in WNC...still have to try the gas station take out of Sweeten Creek Rd as I have heard great things about that!

                I recently read about a new vegetarian friendly cafe opening up. The owners closed their place in Black Mountain a few years ago and have been catering. They have a new site in Asheville expected to open soon. I will try to get the specifics! I am pretty sure it was the same folks had the food stand at the WNC Green Building Consortium last Fall.

                Nine Mile
                233 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

                Tupelo Honey Cafe
                12 College St, Asheville, NC 28801

                Laughing Seed Cafe
                40 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801

                India Garden Restaurant
                156 S Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

                1. re: Windsor

                  I think you mean Green Light Cafe. i walked past there Saturday and was surprised. I really liked this place when it was in Black Mountain. I look forward to hearing from people who try it.

                  1. re: Windsor

                    Definitely try Little Bee Thai (the one in the Exxon gas station on Sweeten Creek)! It's always great! You do need to allow a 30-45 minute wait after you call it in but the food is worth it.

                2. Firestorm Cafe is all-vegan. Their sandwiches are excellent, and they have great desserts too. It is a very casual coffeehouse. They have recently started offering breakfast items also.

                  Another vegan-friendly option is Mela. Their lunch buffet has many vegan items clearly marked with the letter "V". You will not leave hungry.

                  If you do move to Asheville, check out the monthly vegan potluck held by the Asheville Vegetarians meetup!