The Laughing Seed Café

Location:

40 Wall Street 

Asheville, NC 28801

The Laughing Seed Café

Atmosphere:

Cute, casual, and classy, The Laughing Seed Café is the perfect spot to grab lunch or have a nice night out.  The staff is super friendly and I was greeted as soon as I walked in.  A nature inspired color scheme and plenty of natural light instantly makes you relax and feel at home. 

  
Food:
As always, it took me awhile to decide what to order.  The menu includes vegan, vegetarian, raw, and/or gluten-free options.  To start, I ordered the Jalapeño-Onion Fries ($6.00). Super crispy and well-done, these fries were exactly what fries should be. Served up with creamy and slightly spicy Chipotle Ranch dip, these were pretty addicting.  As far as the jalapeño peppers and onions go… Well there were a few in there, but based on the name, I expected them to be a bigger component of the app, but I’m glad they weren’t.  These were perfect as they were. 

  
For my meal, I order the Asian Fusion Salad, and what I ended up getting was a massive mountain of vegan deliciousness. A slightly sweet peanut sauce covered udon noodles, carrots, onions, sprouts, broccoli, radish, cabbage, which was all topped with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  This thing was so fresh and flavorful it was well worth the $13.00 they charged for it.  I ate some there, and actually got two more meals out of it when I took it home.  

  
Dig it or Ditch it?

Dig it! The creative menu and fresh ingredients makes this the place to be in downtown Asheville. With so many options, I will be back for sure!  If you go, let me know what you try! 

Hell’s Kitchen

Location:

124 Granby Street

Norfolk, VA 23510

Hknorfolk.com
Atmosphere:

Did you grow up in the 90’s or early ’00’s? If so, this place is totally your grungy little cup of tea.  Blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, and Bush… This place is a definite throwback. Dimly lit, red walls, and black and white furniture really drives home the theme and motif of Hell’s Kitchen. I mean, they even had this Donnie Darko painting in the wall!

Food:

Ok, now on to the important stuff.  This place had their own vegan section on the menu… Always a good sign.  You can check it out on the website linked above, but this is what these Hell’s Kitchen cooks had to offer:


Told you it was dimly lit! I ordered the Ficken Quesadilla and Buffalo Ficken Wrap, for $10 a pop.

The Ficken Quesadilla pictured below was exactly what I wanted. Hot, with melted cheese (I suspect it was Daiya), with a good amount of grilled “Ficken”, red and green peppers and onions, all grilled up in a fresh, chewy yet crispy wrap. Each ingredient played well with each other… The medium spice salsa paired wonderfully with the cool tomatoes and creamy Daiya. The Ficken added substance and flavor, for a wonderfully well-rounded, kick ass quesadilla.



Next up was the Buffalo Ficken Wrap. Now let me preface this by saying my spice detecting tastebuds are hyperactive… Meaning that when faced with spice, I’m a wuss. But hey, I was at a place called Hell’s Kitchen, so I had to try it.

The wrap came in the same tortilla as the quesadilla, which was fine with me since it was a great chewy texture and strong enough to hold the wrap together.  The Ficken itself was covered in Buffalo sauce… A medium slow burning spice that set my tongue and lips up in flames (get it? Flames? Hell’s Kitchen?). The wrap had a decent amount of Ficken, along with tomato, lettuce, and onions but the veggies did very little to cool things down. I’m going to be honest, I only ate half of this in the actual restaurant (my mouth couldn’t take it). I would have loved some vegan bleu cheese or ranch dressing with this.. It would bring it from an “B” to an “A+”.



The “cut fries” stole the show… I mean look at those beauties! Light, crispy, and full of flavor… I’d come back for these!!

DIG IT or DITCH IT?

Dig it!!! There’s definitely some grunge rock treasure here! The dim lights, throwback alt rock, and flavorful, fresh, food makes this place perfect for just hanging out. I’ll be back with some vegan bleu cheese dressing!