Thirsty Monk: Babies really don’t belong in bars—unless it’s a Tuesday at the Thirsty Monk. The downtown-Asheville pub has launched a Babies ‘n’ Beer happy hour for parents and their very-underage offspring. “I thought it would be fun to start a baby-friendly happy hour at the Monk for newish parents to meet each other and their babies,” writes Monk owner Barry Bialik, father of a six-month old. The group plans to meet every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Pinthouse. In other Monk news, the pub also recently announced plans to significantly expand its menu: Mayo-slathered frites and mussels will be on offer come fall. (Probably not a favorite infant food, but an unbeatable match for the Monk’s dozen-plus Belgian ales on tap.) For more, call 254-5450.
Laaff: The greasy crochet of fry that’s synonymous with festival eats won’t be on the menu at the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival next weekend—co-founder Michael Mooney has put the kibosh on elephant ears. “I had one applicant wanting to sell funnel cakes, and I declined,” he says. “It was too mainstream.” The event is instead taking the local route, featuring vendors selling bohemian-leaning “food and beer made right here in Asheville,” Mooney says.
Anything and everything corporate is banned from the festival, which means even the bottled water comes from a local source. “We don’t allow any sodas,” Mooney says. Eight food vendors stationed at two food courts will offer crepes, curries and yerba mate to hungry festival-goers. In addition to festival-oriented mobile outfits like “Satay A Go Go,” the vendor line-up includes local eateries Barley’s Taproom, Rosetta’s Kitchen, French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Ultimate Ice Cream. “Half of my vendors are vegetarian,” Mooney adds with undisguised pride.
Healthy Buncombe: Healthy breakfasts get all the press, but a healthy lunch is an equally critical component of a balanced diet. That’s why the folks at Healthy Buncombe are sponsoring a true brown-bag seminar this Monday, Sept. 8, exploring what should—and shouldn’t—go in your lunchbox. The event, led by Marjorie Vestal, begins at 12:15 p.m. at Pritchard Park. To learn more, visit www.healthybuncombe.org.
Earth Fare: Although there’s no scientific evidence showing that a gluten-free diet lessens the symptoms of autism—“most of the research published so far has been woefully lacking,” the New England Center for Children’s director, William Ahearn, wrote in a much-quoted paper—the treatment has been enthusiastically embraced by online-support communities. Now, both locations of the organic grocery Earth Fare are sponsoring an autism awareness event on Saturday, Sept. 13, featuring wheat-free Mexican plates for $5 and free samples of gluten-free foods. The Autism Society of North Carolina will receive 5 percent of the day’s store sales. For more information on the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 210-0100 (Westgate) or 253-7656 (south Asheville).