Asheville, North Carolina continues to live up to it’s title of Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City. Asheville is a vegetarian, gluten free and vegan diner’s dream. Starting in downtown Asheville and heading north along a 2 mile stretch of road, locals affectionately refer to as the Merrimon Shuffle, you will find two exclusively vegetarian restaurants; the Laughing Seed and Rosetta’s, Posana, a gluten free restaurant, Plant, a vegan restaurant and VegHeads, a vegetarian drive thru. Only in Asheville. Along the way you will also go by Greenlife Grocery store which features everything from “simple vegetarian to “raw” cuisine in a mostly local food approach. And this is just the Merrimon Shuffle. You will find many more food co-ops, grocers and other restaurants that fulfill the needs of any dining desires.
Asheville has built itself into quite the vegetarian-friendly city, and continues to add more animal-free dining options. The Laughing Seed, a perennial favorite and well-known to visitors and locals alike calls itself a global fusion vegetarian restaurant and offers an eclectic vegetarian menu. This Asheville tradition also serves organic, seasonal, farm-to-table, vegetarian cuisine with an international flair.
Global fusion is very much alive at the Laughing Seed. Right now, you can experience the deep, slow cooked tastes of Thailand as well as the simple, but intensely satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Sunflower seed pesto and cashew nut ricotta form a deliciously satisfying filling for their raw Spinach Pesto Manicotti. Their sushi offering changes nightly, along with their pasta special and authentic Indian thali plate. And nothing says “comfort food” more that their classic Harmony Bowl, Tempeh Reuben, or Tico Burrito
The new kid on the block, Plant, another farm-to-table concept brought to Asheville by the partnership of Jason Sellars (the former chef at The Laughing Seed) and Leslie Armstrong and and Alan Berger (former owners of the best independent video store in the city — Rosebud. Plant has only been open a short time, but is already drawing a sophisticated crowd who appreciates the quality of the food, prepared from fresh local ingredients. The farm-to-table concept is strong in Asheville and continues to grow, benefiting our local farmers and the restaurant clientele.
Plant, also a completely vegan restaurant, describes itself as “A restaurant with roots; sophisticated scratch-made food from the earth.” Nothing is served that is an animal or a by-product of any animal. This can be quite unnerving to the uninitiated, but trust us — your taste buds will revel in the new experience. Our favorites were the Mushroom Risotto, the smoked Portabello and the truffle fries (of course). We do hear that the Reuben and the Peppercorn encrusted Seitan are out of this world.
As a locally-owned independent business, Plant is committed to a deep concern for the environment, our individual and collective health, and ethical and compassionate lifestyles. Success for them means that their guests feel rewarded for choosing the compassionate and exciting dining experience that Plant offers.
If you are looking for an epicurean adventure that is sure not to disappoint — shuffle up to 165 Merrimon Avenue (a short trip from this Asheville Inn.
Here at Pinecrest Inn Bed and Breakfast we strive to accommodate our guests special dietary requests. We source local and support our area farms and grocers. We also promote the restaurants that use the same approach. For more information visit us at www.pinecrestbb.com or contact our Asheville Bed & Breakfast for reservations 888-811-3053.