The Noodle Shop

Location:

The Noodle Shop

3 S. Pack Square

Asheville, NC 28801

*No website, but there is info on Yelp 

Atmosphere:

The Noodle Shop is a cozy spot situated across from The Asheville Art Museum, in the oh-so-hip(ster) downtown area.  With plenty of outdoor seating, it’s the perfect place to people watch, if you’re into that sort of thing.  The servers are friendly and the place is as chill-y as the the temperature. (That was really lame. I apologize.)

Food:

The Noodle Shop features Asian fusion dishes with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on both the lunch and dinner menus. 

I ordered the Crispy Tofu ($6) for my appetizer.  The portion was a decent size, and was served quickly.  A light, flaky, and fried coating covered soft and juicy tofu.  The chili sauce was very sweet, and I did not detect any heat or spice what-so-ever. I also wish they had put more sauce on it, or served it in a ramekin for dipping.

  
 
For my entreé, I order the Stir-fried Noodles with rice noodles and added tofu.  The dish was $8.50, and they charged $5 for the tofu.  This dish was comprised of thin rice noodles, carrots, yellow onion, bean sprouts, green beans, and tofu.  The flavor was predominantly soy sauce.  Ok… The only thing you could taste was salty soy sauce and unmarinated tofu. The noodles were cooked nicely, as were the vegetables, but unfortunately their flavors were overpowered. (Photo was edited for brightness. I sat outside and it wasn’t very sunny.)

  

Dig it or Ditch it?

I wanted to dig this place because of its awesome location, but unfortunately this is a “Ditch It” for me.  The Stir-fried Noodles seriously lacked in the flavor department and seemed to be what I imagine drinking a soy sauce packet would taste like.   Since a pack of tofu costs around $3, I thought charging $5 for the tofu was a little steep, especially since there wasn’t that much of it in the dish.  I sound extremely cheap, but hey, it’s the truth. There were other vegan options on the menu, and this place has good reviews on Yelp, so perhaps I just didn’t order the right thing.  With so many other great restaurants around, I don’t think I’ll be visiting The Noodle Shop anytime soon, but I will return in the future and try something else. As always, props go out to any and all places that offer plant-based and cruelty-free options.  Let me know if you’ve been here and how you liked it!

Green Sage Café

Location:

Green Sage Cafe

5 Broadway St

Asheville, NC

(828) 252-4450

GreenSageCafe.com


Atmosphere:

Hellooooooo Asheville! I’ve officially relocated from Virginia Beach to Asheville, North Carolina! Instead of ocean views, now I am surround by mountains, and I’m so excited to try out all of the vegan food Asheville has to offer. 

Right in the heart of downtown Asheville, Green Sage Café offers up tons of vegan friendly breakfast and lunch options. With its active coffee shop scene, people of all ages visit to order a hearty meal, chill out with a nice cup of espresso, or do some work on their laptops. This spot is self -proclaimed as “Asheville’s Healthy Restaurant” and their mission is “to make nourishing food for our community using sustainable practices”. With the use of organic, non-GMO foods, and a separate waste bin for recycling and composting, this place lives up to its name. 

Food:

I ordered the Pura Vida Bowl with herbed tofu scramble in place of the eggs $8.50. This bowl was filled with brown rice, black beans, tofu scramble, fresh avocado salsa, grilled sweet potatoes, red onion, and sautéed kale.  This bowl had so many flavors and textures that played together beautifully. The fresh veggies added crunch to the beans and rice, and the tofu scramble added a savory herb flavor.  The grilled sweet potatoes were sweet and delicious. 

  

To drink, I ordered a large Pumpkin Spice latté with almond milk for $4.85. Coconut and soy milk were other non-dairy options. 3 shots of espresso in a huge mug would have been good enough for me (coffee addicts unite!!), but this was sweet and foamy, with a smooth pumpkin flavor. After moving from Virginia Beach the day before, this was a much needed pick-me-up.

  
Dig it or Ditch it?

DIG IT! 

Eco-conscious, laid back, fair priced, fresh and healthy vegan options? Umm, YES please! Asheville is lucky enough to have 3 Green Sage Café locations, and I predict that I will be visiting all of them frequently. Let me know if you give this place a try!