The Charlotte Observer calls Asheville a “gastronomically sublime alt-universe”

The Charlotte Observer visited the Laughing Seed, Jack of the Wood and the Thirsty Monk, among other area eateries and business. Here’s what they had to say:

“Asheville ( is a funky, cultured, gastronomically sublime alt-universe whose laid-back vibe filters through the mountains that ring it and infuses smaller arts-and-crafts havens nearby, like Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Weaverville.

Here’s where to get a satisfying taste:

River Arts District: As downtown Asheville gentrified over the past 15 years, artists found themselves priced out of their loft studios – and many relocated to this warehouse district a little to the west, above the French Broad River. Artists and artisans here work in media that range from painting to pottery, fiber to photography – the works. More than 100 artists now have studios here. Studio strolls take place every June and November. (

Downtown dining: There’s quite an array of fantastic restaurants, including locovore-oriented Tupelo Honey (, Mela Indian Restaurant (, “French comfort food” at Bouchon French Bistro ( and Zambra (, a nifty Iberian tapas-and-wine place tucked away on Walnut Street.”

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