The Traveling Vegetarian visits Asheville

Nashville based foodie Yvonne Smith has what may be the perfect job: She writes and hosts her own show, The Traveling Vegetarian on which she jets around the country sampling veggie-friendly cuisine.

One of her frequent stops is Asheville, where she’s shot footage of The Laughing Seed and Rosetta’s Kitchen. In light of N.Y.-based food critic Laura Leslie’s recent snub of Rosetta’s peanut butter tofu, it’s worth checking out Smith’s upbeat and glowing report.

Most recently, Smith dropped by Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company where she sampled vegetarian and vegan offerings from the menu. Beyond a food review (and we all know Asheville Pizza makes some yummy pies), she also toured the kitchen, revealing neat facts: APC uses separate grills and utensils for vegetarian and non-vegetarian orders, and all the beer is totally vegan. Click here to watch the video.

— Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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35 thoughts on “The Traveling Vegetarian visits Asheville

  1. Nam Vet

    Where’s the meat? Buried with the rest of the animal’s carcass. :) Yes, finally a real foodie reviews Asheville’s veggie cuisine without the haughty arrogance of a NYC vegan “critic”. If the NYCer is a critic, that means she cannot cook, according to the axiom. Only whine, which we all know is a chief attribute of our yankee NYC northern “visitors”.

  2. I’m not a vegetarian, but I always eat Asheville Pizza’s Shear Delight veggie pie–pesto, portobello shrooms, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. Delice!

  3. Kent

    Hey Pants:

    Which franks are you talking about, the smokehouse dogs or the wieners? I’ve got a friend in Buffalo that might be convinced to smuggle some down in her luggage.

    And what’s wrong with hog anus? I’m a big fan of scrapple.

  4. manechevitz

    Well, Ms. Smith clearly “loves tofu” so how can Rosetta’s or any vegetarian restaurant go wrong…still, Rosetta’s chintzes on vegetables and the tofu is…well, soybean curd. Meanwhile, “comfort food” seems to be an accurate euphamism here for low vitamin content and get fat right quick…Ms. Smith seems particularily taken with fatty, starchy foods–yep, that’s Rosetta’s–there’s a goodly profit margin to be made by witholding vegetables and substituting lots of filler and starch instead in their various guises. Well, at least the greens are healthy–but again, the actual vegetables are of limited quantity…I give Ms. Smith’s review a thumb’s down for lacking a truly discerning palate and accurate observation. But at least the atmosphere at Rosetta’s is nice, right? And we can make believe we are actually eating healthy…unless you absolutely have to have your dose of starch or expense, skip Laughing Seed or Rosetta’s, Sunny Point is where it’s at and runs circles around these two self-styled bastions.

  5. Alli Marshall

    My favorite vegetarian food, locally, is the black bean burrito at Mamacitas. It’s quick comfort food, but it’s also healthy, fresh and inexpensive. I also like the vegetarian options at Ed Boudreaux’s, especially the grilled veggie salad.

  6. Nam Vet

    Agreed Alli. I love the veggie burritos at Mamacitas. And I do like the food at Rosetta’s,despite the funky atmosphere.

  7. Manechevitz

    Kudos on Mamacitas! LOTS of veggies (even some hidden from view–like sliced red peppers)! The various salsas are quite delicious too.

  8. Bearz

    Rosetta’s has delicious & amazing food, especially for those times one doesn’t feel like cooking!~

  9. Alli Marshall

    Another quick & cheap veggie meal I’ve discoverd: Frank’s Roman Pizza on Tunnel Rd. makes these awesome stombolis. I’m not so crazy about the white flour dough, but for about $7 you can get a stromboli stuffed with all kinds of veggies (spinach, mushrooms, art hearts, broccoli, etc.) — enough to feed two adults easily! Skip the salads, they’re uninspired, and spend that money to pack extra veggies into the stromboli. So delicious on a cold day.

  10. xvelouria

    I might be willing to consider Ed Boudreaux’s veggie options if I didn’t know that I’d be surrounded by the stench of barbecued corpse upon entering.

    However, I am a fan of Rosetta’s for late night vegan nachos or a lunchtime sandwich, and definitely Laughing Seed (especially Sunday brunch!!!)… when I have a few extra bucks to spare, anyway. ; )

  11. Nam Vet

    And for the lacto-vegetarians, I must say Frank’s Roman Pizza make a wonderful plain cheese pizza. My favorite in all of Asheville. I’m lacto-vegetarian myself because I cannot imagine going through life without ice cream, yogurt or cheese. :) And that is one of the reasons I do not eat cow meat. They give us such wonderful dairy products. Killing them is the height of ingratitude.

  12. xvelouria

    Funny, I’m vegan and I eat ice cream and yogurt all the time (soy). Cheese, not so much… I was a big cheese addict until I learned about veal and its inextricable ties to the dairy industry. Gross and tragic.

    For pizza, I haven’t found anything better than Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co, where I can get an awesome (cheeseless) pizza with pineapple and broccoli (when they don’t skimp on the toppings, anyway…) to go with a tasty beer.

  13. Nam Vet

    Well xvelouria, to each their own. But there is NO suffering of the cow in gathering their milk. Period. If you are vegan, finding food that is in your dogma group is difficult, at best. Being a lacto vegetarina , it is easy for me to find something within my belief system. To each their own I guess. But I like cow milk ice cream and cow milk yogurt (Brown Cow with cream on top) best. Soy is OK, but an unnecessary step, in my opinion. Cow milk products are complete proteins and make being vegetarian easy. I bow to the cows for giving us their life-sustaining milk. Thank you moo moos.

  14. xvelouria

    Um. “..there is NO suffering of the cow in gathering their milk.” You know, you’re right. The mother cow probably doesn’t mind when her child is taken from her so we can take her milk. Her male calf probably doesn’t mind being locked away in darkness to be killed and sold as veal after just a few months of a pathetic excuse for an existence. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad to be forcibly impregnated every twelve months so that I could constantly give my milk, meant for my calves, to another species that, huh, doesn’t even need it.

    No, even if all of this does cause suffering (duh) it doesn’t really matter because it makes our lives easier, right? God forbid we had to put a little effort into our diets.

    http://www.mercyforanimals.org/dairy_and_veal.asp

  15. Nam Vet

    Honey, you probably grew up in Newark or New York City and know nothing about farms. I grew up on a farm here in North Carolina. I have personally milked cows. My father and I loved our cows, and they loved us. There was NO PAIN involved. usually just contented “moos” at being shown attentionfrom their caretakers. “Veal”, baby cows, have nothing to do with normal milk operations, in the real world.. Go after the yuppie slugs who eat the veal, not the honest organic farmers who milk their cows and sell the life-affirming dairy products to Greenlife and Earthfare. By the way, do you completely eschew animal products? Do you have leather shoes, belts, purses? Or? Just wondering. Make sure you walk your own talk before climbing up on your high horse. :)

  16. curmudgeon

    Nam Vet, I believe in free speech, but I’m getting tired of your self-righteous tone. Your opinion is not enhanced by putting down those who disagree with you.

    Now, think about this: Cows do not give milk spontaneously. They only give milk when they have calves. The calves are 50% male and 50% female. The females can be added to the dairy herd; what do suppose happens to the males? In this way, the dairy and meat industries are inextricably linked.

    By the way, I am also an ovo/lacto vegetarian, but I acknowledge the hypocrisy of my position. And I try not to get sanctimonious with others.

  17. Nam Vet

    Curmudgeon, criticism taken. Sorry if I sound self-righteous. I’m not that way in person. Here we vent, right? That’s what the site is for. I do lack some patience with some of the vegans who think milking cows is somehow cruel and painful for them. It IS NOT. By the way, I don’t go out of my way to eat eggs, never liked them. If they are in a cookie or pancake, I will eat it. But I don’t like fried eggs or omelets. Although I have no problem with you doing it.

    The point I made with the vegan person was made because I know a lot of vegans who eschew dairy, yet wear leather. Perhaps they are just not paying enough attention. If the animal does not suffer or is not killed, no problem with me to eat dairy. Wearing their skins after they are killed, leather products, to me is supporting the food-animal-slaughter business. I am very much oppposed to killing cows, pigs, sheep and other warm blooded mammals for our “eating pleasure”. But I bow to the cows for feeding us such wonderful products. They deserve to live.

    For me the 2 reasons I am vegetarian are these: I will not eat what I will not kill myself and will not support slaughter houses to do it for me; vegetarian lifestyle is much HEALTHIER than the traditional American diet of red meat consumption. I am an animal lover. That extends beyond my pet dogs and cats. I love to go to cow pastures,get out of the car, and look at them. They look back peacefully with those beautiful large eyes. It is a nice connection. Try it if you haven’t done it before.

  18. xvelouria

    All right, in acknowledgement of the fact that we’ve totally threadjacked this comment section, I’ll just end with this.

    No, I don’t wear or use leather anything, save for one belt that I’ve been waiting to fall apart before replacing it. I went vegan at the beginning of this year and have been gradually replacing all my leather, wool, and one fur coat that I had. But nice try. And if you know any vegans who knowingly wear leather and say it’s okay…well, you might want to burst their bubble, because that’s completely not vegan.

    So you think most farmers (organic or not) just let the baby male calves drink their fill of their mother and then just go on to live the rest of their lives roaming the pastures? Huh. They’re not killed for their meat sooner or later? And how about the momma cows after they’re not able to give birth/milk anymore? I guess farms really must be like what they show in the movies, huh?

    It seems you’re completely ignoring my (and curmudgeon’s) point that the male calves are taken away from their mothers and killed so that we can take the milk.

  19. Nam Vet

    xvelouria I apologize for assuming you wear leather. I commend you in this area for attempting to comply. And I support you in your vegan lifestyle. But you may want to take the next step with your leather belt. Throw it away and buy a non-animal product belt.

    I grew up on a farm here in WNC. We milked our cows by hand every morning. There not only was not suffering, but the cows appeared to enjoy the contact with their caretakers. Plenty of contented mooing. We did not kill male calves. We raised them then sold them as studs for making more cows, a lucritive business for farmers. There was enough mother’s milk for us and the calves.

    I personally only buy organic dairy products. Your assumption that these local and nationally certified farmers kill their male calves for yuppie meat eater veal consumption is not supported with FACT. It also does not make logical sense that someone who goes to the trouble to be organic and allow their cows to pasture graze, would murder their male calves for carnivores to consume.

    You made the statement that male calves are murdered and sold as “veal”. Prove it. Your assertion may be true of some of the large corporate-style dairy farms who are not organic and warehouse their cows. But don’t assume ALL farmers do this. As stated above, it defies logic that organic farmers would take part in this practice of killing male calves. In summation, milking of cows for human dairy consumption is not painful or cruel for the animal. The Hindus in India are strictly opposed to animal cruelty, and meat consumption. Yet for eons they have been lacto-vegetarians. They revere the cow for giving them life-affirming food. I concur with them.

  20. I too grew up on a dairy farm here in the WNC mountains. Our cows were pampered! They lived better than we did because they were our bread and butter (quite literally in the latter instance).

    Vegans are way wrong on much of the things they espouse. For hundreds of thousands of years, mankind has been eating meat. It is incredibly arrogant for a few people today sudden start telling us, all of history aside, that we’ve been wrong all that time.

    The appropriate term is… well… “bull.”

  21. Yes, Ralph and for all this time man has essentially been barbaric, aggressive and waring. All a personality trait that comes from eatng animal flesh.

    So if you are going to eat, why not include human flesh as well? Save land and don’t pollute, simply eat the dead.

    I am mostly a vegetarian by the way…

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