Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ya'll Welcome: Suit Don't Fit

Photograph by Zen, Asheville NC

There is a new asheville blogger about, Suit Don't Fit. Check out Salem's latest post: Top Ten Vegetarian Restaurants in Asheville, NC

It’s hard out there for a vegetarian.

I don’t eat vegetarian but my wife does. Often you’ll find us out to dinner, me with a burger in front of me and her with the vegetarian special. Used to be that was all you could find at restaurants. Meat eaters would have the whole menu to choose from and vegetarians could pick either pasta or the vegetarian special.

One time she went through a McDonalds drive through and asked for a Quarter Pounder with no meat. No cheese? said the guy. He’d heard hear correctly, he just couldn’t figure out what she could possibly mean. It took her five minutes to explain that she wanted the bread, the cheese, the pickles, the onions, the ketchup - everything that came on the sandwich, she just didn’t want the meat. Okay, got it, said the guy. She pulled up to the window, paid, drove off, and opened her bag to find only the meat patty in there, nothing else.

Things are a little better these days. People are a little less confused by vegetarians and they have a much better range of options. Here now are some of the best places for vegetarians to eat in Asheville.

1. Rosetta’s Kitchen - very casual hippie type place. The buddha bowl is the best and lives up to its name in terms of size too. And they have nice little homemade desserts in the window.

2. Mela - indian cuisine. The lunch buffet is very affordable and the food is great. Favorites are the raita and the mango chutney.

3. Laughing Seed - vegetarian fine dining. Order the pakoras and get one of their fresh juice drinks with it - I like carrot juice with a little ginger.

4. La Carreta - tex-mex. The vegetarian combo never disappoints and they have very cheap giant mugs of beer.

5. Zambra - spanish tapas and fine wine. The corn chowder is the best I’ve ever tried and also great albondigas.

6. Mellow Mushroom - pizza place with a psychedelic decor. The magical mystery tour pizza has pesto, spinach, mozzarella, feta, portabella mushrooms and a few jalapenos. You gonna like.

7. Apollo Flame - greek bistro. Giant greek salad with tzatziki sauce. You’ll want to keep eating but won’t be able to finish this salad; it never gets any smaller.

8. Salsa’s - caribbean-mexican. Order the nachos - they’ll come in a giant tortilla bowl with three sauces of your choosing - there’s no wrong choice.

9. Jack of the Wood - irish style pub. Their veggie burger is great. And of course they serve the Green Man IPA.

10. Season’s - restaurant at Highland Lake Inn resort, just outside Hendersonville. Okay, so this isn’t technically in Asheville but it’s real close. The fried green tomatoes and their Sunday brunch make the trip worthwhile. And they have their own gardens and even a few goats right there. (Disclosure: this is where we got married. My wife took one look at the place and said - this is where we’re getting married and not only that, we’re gonna move to Asheville so we can live near it.)

So that’s our list. We were a little surprised by how many more vegetarian options Asheville has compared to New York - even though we’ve only lived here a little over a year. I’m sure there’s hidden treasures tucked away, waiting to be discovered. So to everyone out there: what are some of your favorites?

There are some other excellent posts on Suit Don't Fit. Ya'll stop by and say hey, Salem's got something to say!

Any know of any other good vegetarian friendly restaurants?

I like Earth Fare cafeteria and Early Girl Eatery, but my favorite vegetarian dish has got to be at Tupelo Honey: Fried Green Tomatoes over Goat Cheese Grits with a side of Pickled Okra

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