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I’ve shared my love for Asheville, North Carolina in several blog posts before.

I ♥ Asheville

I ♥ Asheville

And each time I go, I’m exposed to even more of the vegan wonders it has to offer, and I get starry-eyed all over again!

Today I’m going to share the delicious vegan food I ate AND the shopping I did over the weekend.

After seeing all this, you’ll probably fall in love with Asheville too.

My husband and I went to visit my grandparents and celebrate my birthday.

And the celebration started the moment we walked into my sweet grandparents’ house.

My thoughtful Grammy had gotten beautiful vegan cupcakes from Greenlife Grocery for us!

A chocolate cupcake and a vanilla cupcake with a raspberry center!

A chocolate cupcake and a vanilla cupcake with a raspberry center!

For dinner that night, we visited Greenlife’s deli case and picked out a smorgasbord of scrumptious vegan dishes, which we enjoyed while listening to my Grammy and Zaydie’s stories of growing up in NYC in the 40’s:

Lentil soup, Gardein Mandarin "Chik'n," vegan potato salad, broccoli salad, garlicky kale, and a fresh, sweet tomato.

Lentil soup, Gardein Mandarin “Chik’n,” vegan potato salad, broccoli salad, garlicky kale, and a fresh, sweet tomato.

The next day, my mom and sister Hannah joined us, and off we went to brunch to my favorite restaurant in Asheville (and maybe all the world), Plant!

Just look at what all we had:

Seitan and Waffles with caramelized onions · ancho chili-maple redux · watercress & creamy Caesar · candied walnuts

Seitan and Waffles with caramelized onions · ancho chili-maple redux · watercress & creamy Caesar · candied walnuts

Smoked Portobello Sandwich with arugula • vegan mozzarella • grilled vegetables • tomato aioli • Annie’s ciabatta…with sautéed chard and candied walnuts

Smoked Portobello Sandwich with arugula • vegan mozzarella • grilled vegetables • tomato aioli • Annie’s ciabatta…with sautéed chard and candied walnuts

Tofu Fritatta en Croute with pastry crust • onions, mushrooms, tomato & rapini • sauce romesco  •  salad of local lettuces and hemp dressing

Tofu Fritatta en Croute with pastry crust • onions, mushrooms, tomato & rapini • sauce romesco • salad of local lettuces and hemp dressing

And the incredible Cinnamon Roll with warm almond glaze, pecans, and a strawberry!

And the incredible Cinnamon Roll with warm almond glaze, pecans, and a strawberry!

We took care of that!

We took care of that!

Here’s my mom and me outside their building (which I blow kisses to every time we drive by!):

Plant me and momWant to know some other great veg spots in Asheville? There are lots!

And more, listed on HappyCow.net.

Fueled by our filling, plant-based brunch, we were ready to go shopping! And my Grammy is an expert shopper.

First stop: Minx. A fabulous little boutique on North Lexington Ave. with unique and affordable finds.

I found this gorgeous number that looks and feels like silk, but is polyester with a cute patent leather belt – all vegan!

photo(5)

This dress is great for twirling!

Then, it was off to local Tops For Shoes, where I’ve been going to get shoes since I was little.

They had a surprising number of non-leather shoes, so I had lots to choose from! They even had vegan Toms!

I picked out these adorable turquoise Circus by Sam Edelman sandals of “all man made materials:”

photo(3)…and these fabulous peep-toe Poetic License flats made of “Fabric Upper, Balance All Man-Made Materials,” which I wore last night.

photo(6)After all that shopping and a little downtime (which may or may not have included several episodes of My Cat from Hell – that cat behaviorist is a genius!), it was time to go to Rezaz for dinner, one of my grandparents’ favorite restaurants.

We started with a Reza Mezze, a delightful platter of hummus, muhamara and olives with pita. And I got a lavender martini!

Rezaz Meza

It usually comes with babganouj too, but it’s not vegan, so we got a double-serving of muhamara!

Next, I split the salad special with my mom. It was watermelon with greens in a balsamic sauce:

Rezaz watermelon saladHanes started with the hearty lentil soup with mint oil:

Rezaz lentil soupThen came the vegan plate, not on the menu, but available on request. Lots of upscale restaurants can do this; call ahead to ask! At Rezaz, you can either say certain things you want on your vegan plate or trust the chef to do an amazing job, which he did!

Rezaz vegan plate

The vegan plate included flavorful fingerling potatoes, lentil salad, broccoli, Israeli cous cous, citrusy Brussels sprouts, and greens with fresh dill. Delightful!

The next day, after breakfast of bagels with vegan cream cheese and coffee with soy creamer, it was time to go.

The weekend, full of vegan food and shopping and stories, ended all too soon. But my starry-eyes will see you again soon, Asheville!

To Family and Food!

Sarah

P.S. Know of vegan or veg places in Asheville that I missed? Please share them in the comments so I can give them a try next time!

P.P.S. One year ago today, Hanes and I were on a plane bound for Italy! I was about to eat the best pizza of my LIFE and experience the freshness and magnificence that is vegan food in Italy. Check out my posts all about it:

Mama Mia, What Do You Eat? (Vegan in Italy)

Vegan in Italy, Part II

Vegan in Italy, Gran Finale (or Part III)

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