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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vegan in Asheville Part I

It's official: I am certified in 230 hours of yoga teacher training through Asheville Yoga Center!

I can't even begin to describe what an amazing experience this was. I am so excited about it.

I hope to document my time in teacher training soon, but for now I am going to write about what I ate during those three busy weeks.

Asheville has some of the best restaurants in the Southeast (especially for vegans). People travel far and wide to visit this eclectic city and sample its cuisine.

I'd been to Asheville several times before but never had I gotten a chance to fully explore what it had to offer (until this past trip, that is.)

On my first night in Asheville my mom and I dined at the Laughing Seed.
This is where I ate on one of my past trips to Asheville.

I loved the place the first time I went so I had high hopes for the second.
Needless to say, my expectations were exceeded!

We started our meal with some Buchi fire (unpictured) that the restaurant has on tap.
This kombucha is by far my favorite brand and the fact that it's from tap is awesome. It is local (yay!) and has some serious kick. If you haven't yet tried it, do so ASAP.

I ordered the Dragon Bowl. It was a raw bowl of "rice" and vegetables topped with avocado & a scoop of cashew-beet paté (miso-tahini sauce on the side). My favorite part was the house-made organic kim chee and sauerkraut that came with it.

Man, I love my fermented veggies.

My mom got the Havana Cuban (vegan style). It's a Laughing Seed classic.

The "Lusty Monk" mustard was a little too spicy for her taste but overall she thought the meal was filling and delicious.

I stopped at Earth Fare after dinner to pick up some groceries for my stay.
This Earth Fare's selection was so much more extensive than the Greensboro location.
They even had a whole section of prepared raw foods.

The next restaurant I visited in Asheville was the Green Sage (for one last meal with my parents before they headed home).

I frequented here several times a week for matcha lattes, but I only sat down to eat twice.

The first time I got a Carrot-Ginger juice. Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and absolutely amazing.
 My meal was the Ginger Miso Bowl. It consisted of stir-fried veggies topped with black beans, brown rice, grilled tempeh, and a ginger miso dressing (hence the name.) It was awesome as well.

I'm obsessed with bowls and this place is all about them.

My second visit to Green Sage was in the morning and I was looking for a lighter meal.
I ordered a Red Zinger juice and Citrus Kale Bowl (all raw). It was basically a salad topped with seeds, craisins, and a citrus dressing. Both my juice and bowl were good, but actually a little too light.

I should've gotten the larger size because I was still hungry after my meal.

There is an ice cream shop in Asheville called The Hop that always serves several vegan selections, so I decided I must go.

I ordered three scoops: strawberry, vanilla, and aztec chocolate. The first two were a little bland but the chocolate was good. It had cayenne in it which is always a winner in my book.

But although the ice cream wasn't bad, The Hop still left me with a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended).

Why? Because the service was terrible.

I waited at the counter for about 15 minutes while other large groups came in and were helped before me. I seriously considered leaving (but had really been craving ice cream, so decided to hold out).
Once I was finally helped it became clear to me that my business was not appreciated.

The girl working behind the counter made it evident that she did not care about her customers or her job. Instead of getting angry, I decided to react with kindness. I was as patient and gracious as possible while I waited for change. I even told her (very sweetly) to "have a nice day" as I was leaving and received a blank stare in response.

Unfortunately, I do not plan on going back to The Hop. It's a shame because it was a cute place, but I hate dealing with rude people. I would rather take my money elsewhere.

Like VegHeads- a (mostly) vegan drive-thru!

This was my next stop after The Hop.
Why yes, I did eat my dessert first.

And my dinner was a Baked Falafel Sandwich (on a wheat bun instead of pita). 
It may look simple, but don't be fooled. This little sandwich was exploding with flavor!

Maybe it was the lemon tahini and Veganaise? 

I wish it came with a side but I was still plenty satisfied with what I got.

That's all for this post, but there are more reviews to come. How could there not be after 21 days in a place? I became quite the explorer. So stay tuned for some more restaurant feedback to come!

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