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AshevilleLive's Faves: Best Downtown Eatery


Green Man Porter and Harmony Bowl at Laughing ...
Image by Complicated via Flickr

The votes are in and Asheville has spoken! Your favorite downtown restaurant is Laughing Seed Cafe. This poll was very interesting, because Laughing Seed started out running away with the vote, but it looked at the end like it might be overtaken by Mela Indian Restaurant. The vote broke down like this:

Laughing Seed Cafe: 30%
An exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurant located on Wall Street, the Laughing Seed has been serving up delectable healthy food here in Asheville for as long as I can remember. Most of their menu items come in vegan options, and many even come gluten-free. I have eaten there many times, and their Low Country Rollups are a staple of my diet. I’m no vegetarian, but I can tell you that you don’t have to be to enjoy what Laughing Seed has to offer. In fact, unless you’re paying attention, you probably won’t even notice that there’s no meat on your plate! Not the least expensive restaurant on our list, but certainly among the most delicious, in my own humble opinion.

Mela Indian Restaurant: 26%
Mela’s is one of the places on our list that I have never been to, but judging from the response to the poll, I will be checking it out soon. Since I’ve never been there personally, I can’t really review it, so I’ll just leave this snippet from the New York Times (yes, that New York Times):
“This sumptuous ethnic hideaway blends imported spices with local ingredients. The dark, wood-paneled space of the Indian restaurant draws a mixed crowd with dishes like Chowpatty ragada, potato patties topped with curried chickpeas, tamarind yogurt and mint chutney, and shrimp bhuna, cooked with ginger, tomatoes and green chilies. Wash it down with a Chimay beer, brewed by Belgian Trappist monks, or a glass of Champalou Vouvray. After 10, dining tables are cleared to make way for a salsa club.”

Doc Chey’s Noodle House: 20%
Doc Chey’s serves an outstanding mix of Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indian dishes. If you like it spicy, you’ll love Doc Chey’s, although they have plenty for the more delicate palate as well. Doc Chey’s has been a local favorite since they opened their Asheville location several years ago. They use primarily locally grown ingredients, and the things they do with them will make your mouth water. Many of their dishes are vegetarian or can be prepared that way on request. From their site: “Our approach to food is simple

Asheville City Chickens = Healthy Fresh Local Eggs


Chicken Coops in the city? But of course, where else would we be able to find delicious fresh local eggs in such abundance.

On first thought you may not envision Urban Chickens, however in Asheville it

Fun This Week: Dyeing Easter Eggs



Organic Easter Egg Dye - Asheville NCNo matter what else you have going on, take some time this week to dye a few Easter Eggs.

Thanks to the numerous farmers nearby and the Asheville City Chicken movement, it should be easy to find some inexpensive fresh local eggs.

Keeping with the healthy theme this Easter, here are some great organic Easter Egg coloring recipes:

Crush ingredients and Boil in water for ~5 minutes:
(the longer eggs remain in dye the brighter the colors will be)

Orange: Paprika
Dark Orange: Chili Powder
Yellow: Orange/Lemon Peels, Shredded Carrots, Onion Skins, Cumin, Curry Powder, Turmeric
Blue: Blue Berries, Blackberries, Grape Juice
Green: Try spinach, Kale
Red: Organic Rose Hips Tea or Pomegranate Juice
Brown: Organic Coffee grounds or Used Tea Bags
Pink: Fresh Organic Beets or Cranberries
Lavender: grape juice + lemon juice + red onion skins

For the regular food coloring method, try these Easter Recipes for more exotic coloring. Following each color listed below, add the number of drops of each food coloring to about 2 – 4 ounces of vinegar for dipping:

Lime – 24 yellow, 4 green
Purple – 15 blue, 5 red
Cantaloupe – 24 yellow, 2 red
Jade – 17 green, 3 blue
Plum – 10 red, 4 blue
Spearmint – 12 green, 6 yellow, 2 blue
Raspberry – 14 red, 6 blue
Maize – 24 yellow, 1 red
Watermelon – 25 red, 2 blue
Teal – 15 green, 5 blue
Grape – 17 blue, 3 red
Fuchsia – 18 red, 2 blue
Orange Sunset – 17 yellow, 3 red
Jungle Green – 14 green, 6 yellow

Have fun and snap a few photos of your Easter Egg Masterpiece!
I’d love to see how they turn out.

Buy Organic in Asheville!

Organic Shopping is EASY in Asheville with all our choices. Of course Earth Fare is stocked with organic produce, specialty cheeses, free range meats along with all your herbal supplements, dried and bulk herbs, and homeopathics. Both stores have a huge selection as well as delicious deli food ready to take or dine in. And now with the South Asheville store in Hendersonville Rd. there is another location along with the one in Westgate shopping center in West Asheville.

If you are in the north side, GreenLife has everything you need whether it

Asheville's Free WiFi Hotspots Directory

Recently a link came across my Twitter stream that I cannot help but pass on. All too often, I have found myself in need of a quick free blast of WiFi, not knowing which direction to turn. No longer a problem, thanks to OpenWifiSpots.com

Here you will find a complete listing of ~50 free WiFi hotspots in Asheville NC . They are conveniently divided up by establishment type. For example WiFi is available at these local Bar & Grills: (Ashville Brewing Company & New French Bar), Coffeeshop/Caf

Asheville's Local Food Connection – Part 2

In part 1 of Asheville’s Local Food Connection we mentioned the French Broad Food Co-Op Downtown Market, GreenLife’s Tailgate Market, and the North Asheville Tailgate Market. But wait… There’s More! There are many more places to support your community and connect with the people growing your food.

The Asheville City Market is an initiative by Buncombe County Cooperative Extension and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). This market plans to host 50-100 Vendors selling produce, meats and an array of products in the parking lot of the Asheville Public Works building on South Charlotte St. Sat. 8:00 AM-1:00 PM

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The Riceville Community Tailgate Market for all those in East Asheville that don

Asheville's Local Food Connection

There are so many wonderful tailgate markets in Asheville during season you barely have to go the store. Take your pick or cruise them all and discover your community and connect with the people growing your food and sharing these mountains.

The French Broad Food Coop Downtown Market on Saturday Mornings since 1990 has been voted Asheville