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! 

The Green Cat Juice Bar and Market

Location:

3801 Pacific Ave.

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

website

Atmosphere: Go put on a pair of (vegan) Birkenstocks, download The Doors Greatest Hits from iTunes, and roll up a fat… lettuce wrap on your way to the oceanfront.  This small restaurant/shop channels the hungry souls of Hendrix and Joplin, all while serving you a $9 smoothie.  The front end of the store sells vegan leather bags, jewelry, stationary, and other souvenirs. The restaurant’s menu is all vegan and organic, making ordering a simple task… or so I thought.  With a multitude of smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads, oatmeal options, and soups to choose from, I appreciated the friendly suggestions from the counter girl.  This place has windows throughout, so there’s  no shortage of sunshine… which adds to the overall relaxing and cheerful vibes.  There is patio section, with even more sunlight, and a small green house (What exactly are you growing in there, huh?)

Food:

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After deliberating  for quite some time, I decided on the “Sippin’ on Zen” smoothie, for $9.00 (no, that is not a typo), and the “No Chicken” Salad for $12.00. The smoothie was thick, flavorful, and an absolute treat.   Bananas, strawberries, almond milk, and agave made it sweet and fresh, while almond butter gave it a rich, smooth texture and taste.

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The salad was interesting. It was everything that you would find in a traditional chicken salad… like onion, tomato, celery, pepper, carrots, broccoli, and it even had raisins… only with no chicken. I was expecting a meat alternative to be in it, and I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of throwing sweet fruit into mixtures of savory ingredients. However,  the mix of the sweet raisins and savory vegetables in a creamy cashew dill dressing was actually pretty pleasant.  It was crunchy, tangy, and sweet… not at all what I expected, but shockingly good.

DIG IT OR DITCH IT?

For the hippy vibes, the fresh all vegan menu, and the overall groovy atmosphere of this place, I’ll say that there is vegan treasure here! I DIG IT! While this place is expensive, it wouldn’t be a daily (or even weekly) stop on my list… but for a fun, healthy spot to hit up while vacationing or hanging on the beach, this place is perfect.  Dab on some patchouli, dig out that tie dye t-shirt you made in 4th grade summer camp, and get your little hippie butt to The Green Cat and let me know what you liked best!

Fruitive

Location:

1624 Laskin Rd

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Fruitive.com
Atmosphere:

Located in a strip mall, this little spot is really cute! Wooden everything, fancy chandeliers, books cases, and even a reading nook… What an awesome place to come chill!


There’s a very relaxed vibe here with friendly and fast service.

Food:

I ordered the Southwest Salad and the Coconut Colada Smoothie. The salad is not on their website’s menu, but I promise I ordered one!

Let me start out by stating the obvious. There are different types of vegans. There are those that enjoy the grassy taste of green juices and things like that, and then there are those that eat Oreos, and pizza, and fried tofu (cough, cough).

The food here caters to the more health conscious vegan. The ingredients are fresh and go through very few alterations, leaving the flavors as natural as possible. It’s light, refreshing, and tastes healthy.

The salad included; romaine, corn, black beans, red peppers, a small amount of avocado, cucumber, tomato, vegan ranch dressing and a large portion of spicy hummus. Again this salad tasted fresh, natural, and healthy. The ranch dressing went pretty much undetected, but the hummus offered a lot in the flavor department (pepper, cilantro). The salad was very dry, and I think they really skimped on the dressing. (Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???????!!!!!)


The smoothie tasted primarily of bananas. In fact, it tasted exactly like a banana smoothie I made awhile back. I sensed a very light coconut flavor, but damn it, when I order a Piña Colada, I want the full, coconuts-are-kicking-you-in-the-mouth-flavor-go-put-on-a-hula-skirt, type of taste…. You know what I mean???

DIG IT or DITCH IT?

This is a cute place with simple, natural, and healthy food. It is pricey (this meal cost about $20). I was disappointed that they did not have the dessert items, like the raspberry cheesecake, that were shown on their website. The flavors were a little lackluster to me, but again, for raw food, it was pretty decent. I’ll say DIG IT for now, since I’d like to try another smoothie, but there are definitely many cheaper smoothie places to go to instead.