In my last post, we explored breakfast and lunch options on my recent adventure to picturesque Asheville, NC. If you missed it, click here.
In this post, we hit the city’s nightlife, which aside from the multitude of inspiring Vegan food options, is robust, artsy and vibrant.
Our first night in Asheville wasn’t a Happy Cow selection; it was a suggestion from my vegetarian friend, Shannon. She sung the praises of Laughing Seed, so the hubby and I decided to give it go. I’m glad we did. It turned out to be our favorite spot in Asheville and one that I plan to frequent on each visit to the cozy, panoramically captivating city.
The Laughing Seed Café is a Vegetarian restaurant with Vegan options. Live music, colorful and eclectic décor, a friendly staff and a bustling, casual crowd fill the seats of this establishment, which prides itself on serving local, organic, farm-to-table, creative menu items.
We chose their Sloppy Joe Sandwich – tangy, crumbled Tofu barbeque with Southern slaw, tahini mustard, and lettuce on a house bun. It was served with a delicious Black Eye Pea Salad – black-eyed peas, onion, red peppers, and parsley in a spicy molasses vinaigrette. This was by far our favorite meal of the entire trip.
Next, we ordered the Eggplant Parmesan – breaded eggplant with Vegan ricotta, sunflower seed pest, artichoke-cremini ragu and Daiya mozzarella faux-cheese served on a bed of arugula.
Plant promises to serve “sophisticated, scratch-made” food with “multicultural influence.” They try to source local vendors and create their dishes from organic, seasonal produce. They’re philosophy is to remain environmentally responsible, compassionate towards all living creatures, give back to their community, and promote health and longevity through cuisine.
We decided to be proactive and make reservations. I’m glad we did. This place is so popular, even with a reservation we had to wait 20 minutes. And although the inhospitable hostess was a misrepresentation of the overall philosophy of the restaurant, the food and our friendly waitress more than made up for the hostess’ shortcomings. It exceled beyond my expectations the moment I took the first bite. Again, it was hard to choose.
We chose the Seitan Chile Con Queso – a Tamale Gordo with grilled farm squash and cilantro mojo with pickled jalapeño and onion. I haven’t the faintest idea what mojo or Gordo is, but the meal was simply delish.
Next was the Applewood Smoked Porto’House – Chard and garlic, seared polenta, fennel salad, grape tomatoes, and steak sauce. This was another winner. Beautifully plated and equally flavorsome.
Plant had probably one of the best Vegan desserts I had ever had. The infamous Blondie included cranberry compote, candied pecans, caramel, and salted pecan Vegan ice cream. I practically fork-whipped my husband over the last few bites. We were both smitten.
Overall, the EP4L’s 1st Road Trip was a success! I didn’t feel like I’d missed out while dining out and as an added bonus, I came home without the added pounds. I never felt overstuffed on this trip, yet I always felt satisfied. When I was a meat-eater, I’d always come home to a few extra pounds after a vacation. I’d feel uncomfortable, bloated, and constipated. This trip was a complete 180.
I can’t wait to get back to Asheville. It is definitely worth the trip. I have a feeling I’ve only scratched the surface of what the quaint city has to offer for plant-based, healthy tourists. It gives me hope that travelling as a Vegan can be seamless and not at all intimidating. Not once did I have to order the run-of-the-mill, bland salad or blah French fries. I look forward to my next adventure.
If you’ve visited Asheville and want to share your plant-based dining experience, please spread the love by submitting a comment. I’d love to pay your untapped treasure a visit on my next trip there and share with others.