Asheville Escape

by Jen on December 16, 2012

I’m quite cozy over here. It’s gray and rainy and I’m spending the afternoon hanging out at home with hot tea, a gingerbread candle and Sigur Ros radio on Pandora.

I decided to go to Asheville yesterday. It wasn’t what I needed to do from a productivity standpoint but it’s absolutely what I needed on a personal level. My day included a long drive listening to the Firestarter Sessions, delicious vegetarian food, walking around downtown soaking up the energy of the city and a restorative two-hour yoga practice.

I wanted to try a new restaurant so I settled on plant after some quick research on my phone. The online reviews were excellent and the restaurant is convenient to the downtown area. They specialize in “sophisticated scratch-made” vegetarian and vegan cuisine and use high-quality ingredients, carefully selected ingredients that come from the earth. Of course, local and organic whenever possible (oh how I love the Asheville food scene). I was surprised to find the restaurant very busy at lunch. There was a wait for tables but I was seated immediately at the counter since I was solo.

I ordered a house-made Ginger Aid with lemon, soda, agave and fresh ginger. It was so refreshing. I love anything with fresh ginger.

I started with a bowl of the soup of day which was a pinto bean soup. It was broth based, spiced well and hearty.

There were so many interesting entrees and sandwiches to choose from. I wanted to try so many things on the menu but went with the Thai Tempeh Roll in the end. It featured field greens, carrots, onion avocado and a peanut lime sauce with grilled tempeh. It was supposed to be served on grilled whole wheat lavash but they were out so they subbed a brown rice tortilla instead. It was great this way but I can only imagine the lavash would make it even better. On the side was sauteed collards and garlic.

After lunch I walked around downtown where I met this amazing (and giant) Newfoundland.

Did some shopping on Lexington Avenue. I love Minx and Virtue.

Almost purchased this fabulous shirt.

Wished I had a little one to buy this for. ;)

And of course paid a visit to French Broad Chocolate Lounge where I picked up a box of chocolate truffles, two salted peanut butter cookies (one for me and one for a friend) and a slice of heaven, a.k.a. their carrot cake.

More on my two-hour liquid flow workshop with Simon Park at Asheville Yoga Center in the next post.

I know I post about Asheville a lot but it is one of my favorite places to escape to and it’s an easy drive from Charlotte. I have kind of become an unofficial travel agent/visitor’s guide for Asheville. I get a lot of e-mails about the city, what to do, where to eat, where to stay, hiking, etc. It really is a fantastic place to visit and I encourage everyone to check it out if you have the chance. The energy of the city is incredible and it makes me so happy. There is so much to do from outdoor activities to breweries to live music to their unmatched food scene. Get yourself there!

What is your favorite weekend escape? 

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Beth December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

We frequent Asheville a lot in the summer and I will look forward to trying plant next time we’re there. We love the Laughing Seed, too. Have you ever eaten at Table? A meal I had there last summer may be the best of my whole life.

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2 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

i love laughing seed brunch. i have been to table once a couple of years ago and it was great. would love to go again!

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3 Mary-Heather December 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

omg that giant Newfie. What a face!!

That WWJCD shirt is fantastic. Glad you got a break yesterday – so important to refresh sometimes! :)

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4 lindsay December 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I love Asheville too! We went there for our honeymoon. Of course we went to The Biltmore, but the best was just the vibe of the city. The people are all so friendly and relaxed. I can’t wait to get back. Glad you had a nice weekend!!

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5 pamela December 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Oh I am so happy you went!!! I am in Jacksonville (NC) so Asheville is 8 hours away, but I went with friends for a weekend in October and I LOVED it. I went to Dobra tea too:) Thank you for posting so faithfully and filling us up with your nourishing words. Love to you!!

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6 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

thanks girl! let me know if you ever make it over there again soon. would love to meet up!

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7 She Rocks Fitness December 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

My favorite weekend escape or any kind of escape is Nantucket! It means so much to me and has so many wonderful memories. I’ve actually already thought of the weekends I want to go up there next Spring/Summer. It’s not an easy place to get to, but it is worth it every single time. I want to see a picture of that carrot cake. Glad you had a nice escape!

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8 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

i would LOVE to visit nantucket. i’ve never been there. it sounds great.

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9 Cate December 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

We’re going to Asheville at the end of March and I’m SO excited! I’ve never been to that area of the country at all, and I can’t wait to see Georgia and North Carolina!

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10 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

i’m going to send you all of my recommendations!

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11 Lee December 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm

My favorite weekend escape is also Asheville and we went there last weekend. Too bad we weren’t there at the same time.

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12 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

boo, that would have been fun!

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13 Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy December 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

You are quickly becoming my favorite blogger! Thanks for being so open and honest and just.. real.

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14 Marli December 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Have you ever thought about moving there? I have often thought I would love to call Asheville home.

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15 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

yes, on multiple occasions. i just have such a strong network here so it would be hard to kind of start over.

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16 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } December 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

I keep hearing people rave about Asheville! It’s absolutely one of the places on the top of my list of possible vacations for 2013. I actually spent a decent amount of time last week researching things to do there and the list is never ending! I love that it is so health focused and had a lot of vegetarian friendly restaurants. What time of year would you think it best to visit?

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17 Jen December 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

there is SO much to do there. you would love it. i would say spring (into early june) or fall.

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18 russg December 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

I am happy Jen got to experience a nice weekend break!! A good reason to eat at Plant “Asheville Citizen-Times readers rated Plant as one of the top 5 restaurants and the top 5 places to eat with your dog in North Asheville”.

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19 Laurin December 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

I’m meeting my parents in Asheville over the first weekend of March for the first-annual marathon there! We’re so excited– it sounds like our kind of town! Thanks for sharing all of your favorite spots/things to do– I’ve got a list of stuff to check out while we’re there!

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20 Jen December 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

oh wow – that sounds like an intense marathon. i’ll have to read more about it! let me know if you have any other questions.

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21 Linda December 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Love Asheville! And I love how you went up there for the day! I am so going to do that in January! Very interested in trying Plant! We seem to like many of the same restaurants, Curate, Vivace, etc, so I’m sure I will like Plant!

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22 Jen December 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm

such an easy day trip from charlotte…especially with an audio book for entertainment.

we do have similar restaurant taste!

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23 kat December 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm

this made me so homesick. sigh. we will be there in four days!!!!! home for the holidays. please feel free to direct any questions about asheville that you may not know the answer to my way! i’m always happy to share info about what will always be my home. ♥

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24 Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans December 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I love Asheville! I haven’t been nearly enough since I go to school only 2 hours away! I need to go back soon!

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25 AskAsheville December 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Great post and photos. I am so hungry now!!

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