When we arrived, we checked into the most adorable Bed and Breakfast, The Lion & the Rose, and decided our first destination would be the place I had been dreaming about since we planned our vacation... Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria!
What's so special about this place, you ask? They have soy cheese pizza on their menu! ON their menu! Not like you have to ask and they do it special, or I have to order a regular pie without the cheese and then sprinkle my own fake cheese on it. Nope, none of that. I ordered it up, and it came piping hot and gooey. It was fantastic. Joe and I decided to pretend we were training for a marathon and ordered a large pizza that would have been better suited for twice as many people, but you can never be sad about pizza leftovers! We chose the whole wheat crust that was really tasty - firm outside, chewy inside (just how I like my men... wait, what?) with fresh spinach. yum. check it out:
It did not disappoint. I will say, however, mystery of the evening.. where in the world did they find vegan cheese that melts?! I love the Follow Your Heart brand that touts on their label "It melts!" It doesn't really. Let's be honest people.
The next day we went to the Biltmore Estate, which was really amazing and huge and gothically beautiful, but not so vegan, so for lunch we strolled downtown until we found just the right place to eat. We ended up at this Latin American restaurant called Chorizo, and I got a vegan burrito that would put Chipotle to shame. (sorry, mom.) This thing was so flavorful. Unfortunately I was so hungry I starting chowing down before I remembered to take a picture, but just trust me, it looked as good as it tasted. It was full of black beans, and rice and tofu. I tell ya, people who can prepare tofu properly can make you forget what you're eating. Oh, and of course, there was guac on the side. Would I have it any other way?
On to the next day, and I promise a picture this time! We went to Chimney Rock, and after a long day of hiking, I was so ready for our next stop. This was another place I had been pining for - Laughing Seed Cafe. I would maybe move to Asheville just get a meal here every day. ha! ok, not quite, but it really exceeded my expectations. All vegetarian cuisine, many vegan or the option to be made vegan, and even gluten free choices. They are all about organic, farm to table food, and I was just in heaven. It was also cute in there! We sat by a window and got to people watch while we ate, which I enjoyed :) I mean, I enjoy every opportunity to be creepy and unnoticed. Doesn't everyone? I got an awesome sammie called Tempecado... tempeh & avocado... two of my faves! Joe ordered a ginormous tofu stuffed tortilla that he thoroughly enjoyed. Here's my sandwich!
Now, no trip to a vegan foodie wonderland would be complete without dessert! Sadly, I didn't take any pictures. rar! We took a coconut cream tart home with us from Laughing Seed, and it was really amazing. I plan on scouring the veg-web for a similar recipe, and then I'll share MY version. The other dessert we picked up was on our way out of town. We picked up a couple cupcakes from a bookstore/coffee shop, made by Take the Cake! I chose the vegan vanilla with chocolate frosting, and it was fan-freaking-tastic. I felt like Stephanie Plum with my own personal birthday cake. It was delicious. It was swoony. It was something I shouldn't have eaten in the car because I almost drove us off the road. ha!
So I know what you're thinking.. you're like, "Hey, you stayed at a B&B! What about the breakfast?" Well, this was awesome. The Lion & the Rose happily accepted my dietary restrictions and served me up a special vegan brekkie each morning, and each one was really delish! I will say my favorite was the cornmeal and soymilk waffles with sauteed apples and pomegranate syrup. Yup, you read that right. I would have taken pictures, but we ate breakfast with the other vacationers, and I do have some moments of social paranoia where I don't want to be perceived as weird as I *really* am.
All in all, the trip was a lot of fun, and it was refreshing to have so many uncompromising food choices in the city. It was a great reminder how awesome it is be vegan, and how freaking delicious it can be. It's also so great to see such a thriving city with such a big vegetarian and organic population... if only more cities could be like this!
and if only more pups could be like this! Check out Joe and Cedric, the resident pooch at the B&B.