Small Bites

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

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).


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3 thoughts on “Small Bites

  1. Dionysis

    Keeping it local and banning ‘corporate’ anything is part of the reason that (to me) LAAF is Asheville’s best outdoor festival of them all. And truly, funnel cakes are the epitome and emblem of generic, corporate, boring ‘festivals’ everywhere.

  2. Really your making a connection with funnel cakes and corporate America. Like many street foods its more about how you eat it, share it and savor it.

    These cakes aren’t poured from a greeter at wal-mart. Most street carts are independently owned, the money goes right back to them.

    So relax, eat some street food with some friends. And don’t throw powdered sugar on my parade.

  3. Dionysis

    “Really your making a connection with funnel cakes and corporate America.”

    Nothing was said about a connection to “corporate America.” What was written was that they are emblematic of ‘corporatized’ festivals all over the country. I’ve been to many, many such concerts in many cities, and funnel cakes are as ubiquitous as over-priced beer and long lines.

    Mr. Mooney is right; they are as mainstream as it gets, and he is right in his decision.

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