Small Bites

DIne To Be Kind: This year’s edition of “Dine to be Kind” is the “most important one yet,” according to the local animal-welfare organization that sponsors the annual dining-out fundraiser. “With the current state of our economy, many families are struggling and their pets are often the silent victims,” Animal Compassion Network Executive Director Eileen Bouressa says in a release.

Last year’s “Dine to be Kind” event generated $15,000 for the group’s programs, including spay/neuter assistance, pet-food assistance and adoption services. This year’s goal is $20,000.

“We have never before seen such a demand on our lifesaving programs,” Bouressa says.

Nearly 50 area restaurants have pledged to donate 10 percent of their sales on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to the effort. A list of participating restaurants is available at www.animalcompassionnetwork.org. For more information, call 674-9722.

Old Europe Has Closed, At Least For Now: Old Europe, the coffee shop and eatery on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, has closed, along with the adjoining night club, Z Lounge.

Co-owner Zoltan Vetro, who employed 21 people at the café and lounge, says that he plans to reopen Old Europe in a few months, and is searching for a new location, perhaps downtown. “I’m waiting at least a couple of months because of because of the economics,” he said, referencing the troubled economy. “It’s not looking good out there.”

Old Europe has been open since 1994, and moved to the Lexington Avenue location, where it also opened Z Lounge, in 2006.

Short Street Cakes: In an event perhaps more Bourbon Street than Short Street, West Asheville’s newest cakery is celebrating its opening day with a Mardi Gras bonanza. Short Street Cakes, which specializes in all-natural, Southern-style baked goods, plans to debut its new retail operation at 225 Haywood Road on Sunday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduled festivities include free beads, live music and a cake raffle. According to a press release, baker/owner Jodi Rhoden is also making a Mardi Gras Queen Cake-flavored creation to mark the occasion. For more information, call 505-4822.

Feel Good Foods: The catering company Feel Good Foods, which for more than a decade has hawked organic grilled cheese and curried tofu at festivals, has set up permanent shop at Haywood Road Market. The in-store café, which opened just after Christmas, offers a lengthy menu of breakfast plates, soups and sandwiches, including a pineapple-ginger tempeh melt and a local-pesto wrap. “They’d been doing wraps for us, but now they’re doing made-to-order,” says Greg Mosser, operations manager for the West Asheville co-op. The café is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. “People are finding it,” Mosser says of the new venture. “Not terribly quickly, but definitely some people are finding it.” To learn more, call 225-4445.

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