Brixx Wood Fired Pizza

Location: Biltmore Park Town Square, 30 Town Square Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28803

Phone: (828) 654-0046

Menu

Atmosphere: Brixx Wood Fired Pizza is a super laid back and casual pizza sports bar. This restaurant is located right in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square.  It’s the perfect place to order an individual pizza before you catch a movie or just to take a shopping break.  The staff is friendly, and there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Food: There are no specifically vegan appetizers, so the waitress suggested that I try the Bruschetta on pita bread, instead of their non-vegan bread option.  Well, I think the picture says it all, but this was AWESOME! Fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, and onion piled on crunchy and chewy pita bread, all topped with cheese (I’m pretty sure it was Daiya) and sweet balsamic vinegar. This was fresh, crunchy, chewy, sweet, creamy, and tangy… what more could you want in an app?

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For an entree, there are plenty of 10″ individual pizzas that can be customized to be vegan.  There is an exclusively vegan dough, and vegan cheese can be added for no charge. I ordered the Margherita pizza, which featured roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and Daiya cheese on a crispy and chewy crust. Basically, this pizza was very similar to the appetizer I had ordered, but since it was so good, I didn’t mind at all. Remember to request the vegan dough and cheeze when you order this bad boy!

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DIG IT or DITCH IT?

DIG IT! The friendly staff, casual atmosphere, and location makes Brixx an excellent place to be! The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and it is always nice to visit a restaurant that has more than salad for us plant-based foodies! Give this place a try!

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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Cogan’s Pizza North

Location:

Cogan’s Pizza North

4311 Colley Ave.

Norfolk, Virginia  23508

Coganspizza.com

Atmosphere:

Upon entering this establishment, I was instantly thrown back to my days of taking shots of tequila in my dorm room and then stumbling to class in flops and an XXXXL t-shirt.

It was the perfect day to eat outside, so we asked to sit on the roof deck. Yup. I was right. College kids! College kids equipped with sunglasses and flannel! But that’s not all, there were little hipster toddlers and somebody even had their gigantic dog. Is that even allowed?  (No, it wasn’t a service dog).

Food:

At first, I thought my eyes were playing an evil trick. I saw vegan chiken or beef Philly subs on the menu!!!  Since I’m originally from Jersey, and have had more than a few Philly cheesesteaks in my pre-vegan and pre-vegetarian days, this was music to my little herbivore ears.  They also had vegan garlic knots, BBQ chiken pizza, and a veggie pizza made with Daiya.

Holy $!&@/!!!

After about 10 minutes of fierce battles in my head over what to order, I finally decided on the chiken philly sub for $8.99 (pictured above). Best decision I’ve made in a long time! The bread… Oh my Jesus, the bread! So soft and fresh, I nearly cried! The chiken had a nice, true-to-the-real-thing texture, and had a slight hint of garlic and white wine flavor. The sautéed peppers and onions gave the sandwich the right amount of “fill” (I don’t want any half-filled, wimpy, insult to my tastebuds, sandwiches). The only thing I did to it was add a little salt and pepper, and this thing was damn near perfect, if you ask me!

DIG IT or DITCH IT?

DIG IT! This one is a vegan treasure for sure! I’ll definitely return to this place to relive my college days of drinking and eating pizza like there’s no tomorrow.  The “beef” Philly sub is next on my hit list! Go, you won’t be sorry!

Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar

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Location:

Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar

301 25th Street

Virginia Beach, VA

757.963.6600

Atmosphere:

This is a quirky little coffee and sandwich spot located in a strip mall.  With outdoor seating, a chill surfer motif, and plenty of seasonal menu items to choose from, it’s no wonder why this seems to be a favorite of local hipsters and tourists. You’ll always know when a certain employee is around because evidently he failed the oh-so-important “indoor voices” challenge in 1st grade, and still seems to struggle to master that lesson.  Nonetheless, there’s free wifi, so just bring your headphones and let some Fleetwood Foxes drown that guy out.

Food:

Almond and soy milk are in the building for coffees and lattés. Woo hoo! I’m always grateful for establishments that cater to my raging coffee addiction. I actually ordered 2 iced lattes, coconut and vanilla for $4 a pop. They were smooth, sweet, flavorful, and strong.  What more could you ask for in an iced latté?

There was only 1 menu item that was specifically labelled as vegan… So I got it for $9. The “Chicken Avocado Panini” was pretty damn good! As you can tell from the picture, they didn’t skimp on the avocado (and you didn’t have to hear them say “Guac is extra, is that OK?”).  I believe the chiken was Gardien. It was cooked perfectly and had a nice grilled flavor. The combo of the fresh avo, tomato, seasoned chiken, and the bakery quality bread, made this a home run for sure.

DIG IT or DITCH IT?

Dig it!  The relaxed, friendly atmosphere, along with awesome coffee and quality ingredients, makes this place a winner.  The waitress let me know that they can veganize just about any of the menu items, so I’m going back for sure! Now put on some sunglasses and practice your best surfer-stoner accent, and head on over! Order a coffee for me, dude!

Zeke’s Beans N Bowls

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Location:

Zeke’s Beans N Bowls

616 Norfolk Ave.

Virginia Beach, VA

757-963-5155

Atmosphere:

As I pulled up to this place, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find.  Zeke’s outer appearance is what some might call “shabby”.  I was happily surprised when I walked in the door.  Mom was right again, damn it, don’t judge a book by its cover.

For lack of a better term, the style of this place is “surf hipster”.  Mismatched sofas and cushioned chairs, retro stereo equipment that played some sort of dance/electronic songs, books that looked liked they have been kicked around for a decade or so, surf magazines and boards, and random items such as old school badminton rackets.  They even had paintings on the walls for sale, including a yogi meditating in a sunset and a psychedelic storm trooper right next to it.

Food:

Well, there were plenty of vegan options here. From smoothie bowls to salads, and an array of pitas and sandwiches that could sub-out the meat for tofu. Yay!

I ordered a latté and the “North Pole Bowl”, both pictured above. The latté went for $4.00 and the bowl went for $9.00. I ordered the Regular size, but there is also a smaller option.

The latté  had a lotté of cinnamon. Haha, see what I did there?! I did not get much of a coffee flavor, just a mouthful of cinnamon, but I appreciated that it was made with almond milk and had lots of foam. Party in my mouth!

The North Pole Bowl featured an acai smoothie with cinnamon granola, mango, sliced banana, blueberries, almonds, and shredded coconut.  This was exactly what I didn’t know I needed in my life! So fresh, fruity, and flavorful, my vegan heart and tastebuds were singing Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and I’m pretty sure I was dancing a little as I ate this cool, crunchy, and sweet combo.

DIG IT or DITCH IT? 

DIG IT! The relaxed hipster attitude, delicious and fresh ingredients, along with the multitude of vegan options, makes this place a must. I’ll definitely be returning in the future, and also recreating this bowl at home!