Welcome to … Veggieville?

Health nut: Creative vegetarian options abound in Asheville, like this whole-grain melange of organic grains with braised fennel, apples and cabernet reduction from the Laughing Seed Café. Photo by Jonathan Welch

Vegetarians in Asheville (or those trying to feed one) have got it relatively easy. In 2006, GoVeg.com named Asheville “America’s best vegetarian-friendly small city.” More recently (this month, in fact), VegNews Magazine featured a large spread on Asheville's "foodtopia," calling Asheville a "mountain oasis" for vegetarians.

"Many chefs, locals and visitors also know this mountain town as 'Veggieville,'" claims the article, insisting that many Ashvilleans will forgo the pork barbecue for the tempeh variety.

While we're not certain we've actually heard anyone call Asheville "Veggieville,” one thing is certain: we've got meat-free down.

Most every restaurant in this town offers more-than-decent meatless alternatives, making it easy to guide tourists when there's an herbivore among the bunch. We even have more than one completely vegan delivery service running food from place to place using alternative fuels.

This week, in a nod to VegNews’ assertion, Xpress takes a look at the meatless culture in Asheville, and (because rarely are we an all-or-nothing publication) we’ll also take a peek at some of the vegetarian dishes to be found in restaurants that offer plenty for the carnivores (an especially helpful guide for those inter-dietary couples among you). You may be surprised by what we discovered.

— Mackensy Lunsford can be reached at food@mountainx.com.


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