I have a new favorite restaurant. In the South. Of course my favorite Northern restaurant is Pure Food and Wine, a 100% raw restaurant in New York City. But I’ve found a Southern restaurant that has given me a taste of Pure Food and Wine without the grittiness and the price tag of the Big City.
Every other time we’ve been to Asheville, we’ve dined at Posana Cafe more than once. In fact, we’ve driven to Asheville with the sole objective of eating as many meals at Posana as possible in 36 hours.
But since we now eat almost exclusively vegetarian, it is more challenging to find gluten-free meals that are also meatless when dining out. We enjoyed the few vegetarian options at Posana Cafe this trip. But our selection was limited, so we decided to give some other restaurants a try.
And I’m glad we did. Otherwise, we never would have tried Laughing Seed Cafe, a global fusion vegetarian restaurant.
Thankfully, we came on a night when dining alfresco was refreshing instead of stifling. Laughing Seed Cafe has a quaint little front porch for catching a refreshing mountain breeze.
We had the opportunity to dine at Laughing Seed Cafe twice in one weekend, and we still only sampled a small portion of the gluten-free options.
Laughing Seed Cafe has some incredible drinks including some creative cocktails, beer (Green’s Dubbel Dark Ale is all natural and gluten free), and wine. But they also have smoothies, teas, fresh juices, and tonics for those looking for healthier options. While I enjoyed a nice white wine one evening, the other night I was attracted to a tonic called The Superhero.
I would have paid much closer attention to the ingredients listed on the menu if I had known that they don’t have these drinks on their online menu. Just trust me that it was a healthy, delicious combination of herbs mixed with seltzer and a splash of agave nectar. Refreshing.
The Indian Pakoras are naturally gluten-free vegetable fritters batter-dipped in spiced chickpea flour and served with Punjabi chutney and organic yogurt. I’m not typically a fan of fried food, but these were really tasty.
My favorite appetizer was the Miyabizushi, literally translated as “decorative” sushi. These little bites of flavor made my taste buds sing for joy.
We also sampled the Local Cheese Plate which features a selection of artisanal regional cheeses, fig chutney, and fresh strawberries. Normally served with house-made bulgar oat bread, they brought us organic blue chips to make it gluten free.
I only a have a few entrees to share as the Husband ordered gluteny food! Can you believe it? He normally orders gluten free so we can share our meals. But there were just too may amazing options to chose from. I don’t blame him for enjoying the entire menu.
But I’m only going to share the gluten-free entrees with you.
One evening I enjoyed the Harmony Bowl complete with organic brown rice, organic black beans, grilled organic tofu, steamed vegetables, and their self-proclaimed “addictive” sesame ginger sauce. This warm, comforting dish made my tummy happy for sure, but the sesame ginger sauce was more than addictive. I’m just not sure that I can live without it.
But my favorite entree was a raw dish. I had such a hard time deciding which raw entree to order as all four options were naturally gluten free, and they all looked amazing.
But I finally settled on the Spinach-Pesto Manicotti.
Not only was it a feast for the eyes, it was the best raw meal I’ve had south of the Mason-Dixon line. The cashew ricotta was ridiculously decadent and creamy while the sunflower-spinach pesto added an Italian flavor that made you forget you were eating zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Pasta? Who cares about pasta when vegetables taste this good? The chunky sun-dried tomato marinara sauce and marinated olives brightened the dish so that every bite was perfectly balanced.
There was no way I was saving room for dessert with such incredible appetizers and entrees. Yes, two nights in a row I forgot to save room. But for those of you with more self control than I do, you’ll be happy to know that there are three gluten-free dessert options on the menu.
- Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Coconut Cookie
- Raw Dessert Sampler – fudge-date brownies and coconut-mint macaroons, served with fruit
- Coconut Cream Tart - coconut cream, slivered almonds and a crispy oat crust
Maybe next time.
Laughing Seed Cafe gets two paws up from the Gluten-Free Cat for local, organic, vegetarian, gluten-free food that will blow your mind!
- Have you been to Laughing Seed Cafe?
- What is your favorite gluten-free, vegetarian restaurant?
- Do you save room for dessert when dining out?