Nine Mile West

Location:  

Nine Mile West

751 Haywood Road

Asheville, North Carolina 28806

Atmosphere: This vegetarian/vegan spot is right in the middle of trendy, casual West Asheville, and serves up “Caribbean inspired pasta dishes, rice dishes, a handful of traditional pasta dishes, daily specials, and an array of locally made desserts.” As with most Asheville restaurants, they offer locally made microbrews and seasonal wines as well.  This place is super laid back and casual, with Bob Marley providing the sound track for your meal.

Food: Check out their large menu of Caribbean meals here

I ordered the “Jamaican Me Crazy” meal with jerk tofu. The red curry/coconut sauce gave the dish a sweet and smoky flavor which was lightened up with veggies, including; red peppers, roasted tomatoes, red cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, and green onion. The jerk tofu added protein and heartiness, and the fluffy basmati rice soaked up all of the flavors perfectly. 2 big pieces of their wonderful, overly-garlicked (I may have made that word up, but it works) “Natty Bread” rounded out the healthy, filling, and flavorful lunch.


DIG it or DITCH it?

DIG IT! Check this place out if you like Carribean flavors, laid back vibes, and locally made spirits.  There are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and raw options… So there’s something for everyone. One Love! ❤️

THE BLOCK off biltmore

Location:  

THE BLOCK off biltmore

39 S. Market Street

Asheville, NC

Atmosphere:  The BLOCK off bilmore (TBob, for short), is unlike any other establishment I have been to.  It’s described as an “eco-vegan, social justice, solidarity bar”, with all vegan alcohol and food.  All of the beverages, food items, and spirits are locally made, which supports smaller businesses in the community.  TBob has only been open for about 5 months, but has already become known for its community-based events, Open Mic Night, and delicious cocktails.

Food:  TBob hires local food artists to prepare and sell 100% plant-based foods on a nightly basis.  This not only supports local cooks/chefs, it exposes customers to a variety of freshly made, creative dishes and snacks.  Locally made gourmet potato chips, pretzels, and dark chocolate truffles are also available, in addition to absolutely fabulous coffee, served in small or large french presses.  The food options are always different, which is part of the fun of stopping by!   I’ve had many meals at TBob, including chana masala, mofungo, tempeh scramble with home fries, falafel, rosemary tofu and small plates/apps.  I’ve had incredible desserts including the best cupcakes I have ever had!

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Dig it or Ditch it?  DIG IT!  What’s better than a 100% vegan establishment that supports local businesses and the community?  I like the fact that the food is made with care from local food artists, and it is always spectacular!  If you’re in Asheville, stop by TBob for live music or a community based event, and order a plate of creative vegan food!

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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!

Tower 7 Baja Mex

Location:

4 N. Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Website
Atmosphere:  I decided to use my Labor Day weekend to check out Wrightsville Beach, a little beach town next to Wilmington, North Carolina.  This spot seemed to be the place to be… It featured a huge bar lined with a million different hot sauces with a friendly beach bum vibe.  The menu had several vegan options including a veggie bowl salad, fresh Guac, and tofu burritos. 

Food: Well, I’m never the girl that turns down guacamole, so I got a large order for $7.95. It was super smooth, and had very subtle onion/cilantro flavor… It pretty much tasted like straight avocado (no complaints here!).  I tend to like my guacamole on the chunkier side with big pieces of onions and tomatoes, but I liked this! It was light and delicious with the salty, house-made tortilla chips. 

  
Also pictured above is the salsa (free), which was surprisingly spicy. 

Next up, after a heated internal debate between the veggie bowl salad and tofu burrito, I finally decided on the burrito ($10).  I was expecting a Chipotle clone, with seasoned tofu crumbles, rice, beans, and a mountain of guacamole on top.  What I got actually surprised me.  A foot long burrito filled with lightly seasoned strips of tofu, black beans, rice and veggies was a pleasant surprise.   It was light, fresh, flavorful, and pretty damn good. And I didn’t feel like I ate an entire village or felt compelled to contemplate the meaning of life after I finished it, like I do every time I eat Chipotle.

   
 

Dig it or Ditch It? 

Dig it! The laid back attitude, friendly service, and delicious, fresh ingredients makes this place an awesome vacation spot.  Next time I visit, I’ll get some food to go for a picnic on the beach. Try this place out, and get a few margaritas for me!