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A Happy Place

I’m home from Asheville where I spent the last three days eating, drinking, hiking, yogaing, wandering and eating some more. It was a beautiful weekend with temperatures in the 70s during the day and the 50s at night. Asheville is one of my favorite places to visit and when I’m there I always feel content and totally relaxed. I love the bohemian vibe of the city, the electric mix of people, the focus on local shopping and food and the abundance of options for outdoor activities, from hiking to playing corn hole outside of a great local brewery. I know that I have written many posts about visits to Asheville and I hope that they inspire you to take a trip to this special place if you have the opportunity.

Here’s a glimpse into my incredible weekend.

{dinner at curate}

Artichoke “chips” with savory yogurt dipping sauce.

Kumato tomato salad with Spanish Bonita tuna, black olives and greens.

Mild pork sausage with white beans. So good. Maybe the best tapas of the night.

Pinquilla peppers stuffed with Cana de Cabra cheese.

Traditional meat canelones with béchamel sauce.

{dessert at french broad chocolate lounge}

I dream about this carrot cake.

{hiking mt. pisgah}

The beginning. (Target was the top of the mountain behind me.)

The end. Panoramic views at the top.

{lunch at the pisgah inn on the blue ridge parkway}

Mountain views from the dining room.

Lunch salad with greens, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, cheese, sunflower seeds, sugared pecans, tomatoes, olives, dried cranberries, onions (picked off!) and a mix of honey mustard and balsamic vinaigrette. Homemade herb yeast rolls and butter on the side.

{scenes from downtown}

The most dog friendly city.

Musicians everywhere.

Community-centric. Local, organic, sustainable.

And random, random acts along the sidewalks.

{dinner at chai pani}

Appetizer sent out from the kitchen (you know that you love a restaurant when you live out of town and they still recognize you when you come in!).

Fried green tomato pakora.

Paneer uttapan.

Chicken thali with basmati rice, daal, raita, roti, kachumber, papadum and dessert.

{yoga at asheville yoga center}

I took a bhakti vinyasa class this morning and it was such a nice change of pace. The bhakti style of yoga focuses more on the spiritual connection with whatever your higher power is. Classes often feature chanting, pranayama (breathing exercises) and more free-form movement. We started out with kirtan (call and response singing/chanting) with a mantra our teacher gave us for our class – om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. After that we moved through a vinyasa flow where we built on to the sequence as we went. It was cool because the teacher gave us time to perform sequences on our own and add in poses that we needed from our practice. I love the class and wish I could take classes like this more often.

{brunch at laughing seed}

Laughing Seed Cafe is a vegetarian institution in Asheville and I’ve somehow never made it there until this weekend. Tofu benedictine – classic eggs benedict twisted: scratch-made biscuit, grilled organic tofu, grilled tomato, sautéed spinach and seitan sausage over grits with herb oil and béarnaise. Amazing.

{ice cream at kilwins}

Salted caramel.

Happy girl. Happy weekend.

{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Katrina June 3, 2012, 7:08 pm

    man oh man you had a delicious weekend. all the food looks amazing!! your blog entry makes me want to visit

  • Krystina (Krystina Yogini) June 3, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Asheville reminds me of my college town (Northampton, MA) and I miss it so much! It’s so free-spirited, open and eclectic. I have a feeling I would love Asheville, too.

  • Amy June 3, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Wow, looks like you had a great and relaxing weekend! Lots of good food, too.

    Now, I want to go to Asheville!

    I love the capri pants you are wearing…they look so comfy.

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate June 3, 2012, 7:14 pm

    That carrot cake looks amazing!

  • Lee June 3, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I love Asheville. When we last went, last Fall I think, we also went to Lexington Avenue Brewery and Laughing Seed.

  • Sarah June 3, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Looks like a great weekend!! I’m going in September and will be referring back to your posts to plan!

    • Jen June 3, 2012, 7:38 pm

      i have many of them! email me with questions! 🙂

  • Win June 3, 2012, 7:52 pm

    I was there the past 10 days for Asheville Beer Week–didn’t want to leave!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:22 am

      so sad we didn’t run into each other! LOVE that city.

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit June 3, 2012, 7:57 pm

    love this post and all the delicious eats…and KILWINS! There’s one in Blowing Rock where my fam has a mountain house and I will still get Kilwins ice cream in the middle of December I don’t care 🙂

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:21 am

      i love blowing rock. and it is ALWAYS ice cream season! 🙂

  • Christina June 3, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Do you remember Hannah Allerdice from the sorority? You should look her up on FB…Pretty sure she teaches Yoga full time in DC and this post totally reminded me of her…pretty sure y’all would have a ton in common!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:19 am

      i don’t remember her but i will look her up!

  • pamela June 3, 2012, 8:09 pm

    I’m moving to Jacksonville North Carolina from DC in a few days … my husband will be in charge of a big construction project and I have a job teaching yoga on base. I have been very nervous as Jacksonville is SO different from DC … I have an amazing yoga scene here and not so much in Jacksonville … but I am looking forward to teaching yoga to Marines and to a vacay in Asheville in September. I LOVE this post and sent it to my best friend who is going with me to Asheville. SO glad you had fun and are loving life. You deserve this break, my friend!!! xoxo

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:18 am

      that is so cool that you are going to be teaching yoga to marines but yes, it will be a change of pace. do you have a pretty strong home practice? i know it’s not the same but hopefully it will get you through. you must take a yoga class while you’re in asheville! have a great week!

      • pamela June 4, 2012, 7:27 pm

        Thank goodness for home practice. Yes, I LOVE it!!! Your blog actually motivated me to do it. I remember the photo of you with your heater:)

  • She Rocks Fitness June 3, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Beautiful photos, food, and scenery! Looks like a awesome weekend…I’m craving ice cream. I cannot remember the last time I went out to get ice cream in a cone. I think it’s time! HA! Have a wonderful start to the new week. 🙂

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:16 am

      i know, while i was eating it i thought to myself, “i never eat ice cream cones anymore, always froyo.” it was so worth it. delicious!

  • Novella June 3, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Wow! These posts are getting me so excited…me and my partner are doing a random road trip down through the eastern states in July (we live in Ontario!) and I can’t wait to see North Carolina! I’ve only been to a few places in the states!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:15 am

      let me know if you have any questions! sounds like a great road trip! 🙂

  • sana June 3, 2012, 8:25 pm

    SO MUCH GOOOD FOOOD 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • What an incredible weekend! All that food looks amazing, and so much fun with the yoga!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:15 am

      yes, the yoga was such a special experience! still on a high from it today! 🙂

  • Linda June 3, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Love, love, love Curate….and Laughing Seed!! The sausage and white beans are amazing!! As well as the Kumato Salad and the Peppers. Laughing Seed is one of my favorite places to go. That said, I have not been to Chai Pani and we love Indian. Been craving a trip to Asheville and your photos make me want to go even more. 🙂

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:14 am

      you MUST try chai pani. everything there is amazing. i’m so glad i finally made it to laughing seed – so good!

  • kat June 3, 2012, 8:34 pm

    So good to run into y’all today! Glad you had a blast here in our little mountain utopia. It’s definitely the best place on earth to live and we love sharing it with special people. 🙂

  • amelia June 3, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Omg everything looks amazing! My hubby and I spent last weekend in Asheville. It was a zoo but so fun! We ate at Early Girl eatery for brunc, (tofu scramble mmmm) then Laughing Seed for a late lunc. Their hemp burger is to die for with jalapeno sweet potato fries! We drowned in two chocolate beverages from French Broad before leaving. With truffles for the trip back to Charleston, if course. 😉

    Glad you had a great time!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:13 am

      so fun you were there last weekend! i ate at early girl for brunch when i was there last fall. we had our name in there yesterday but i decided i wanted to branch out and try laughing seed instead. i definitely want to go back and try their non-brunch food!

  • Laura June 3, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Ahh I am dying to plan a trip to ashville! I am such a foodie & it looks right up my alley! When you visit, do you have any good hotel/ b&b recs or do you usually stay with friends?

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:12 am

      we usually stay in the four points sheraton because you can use starwood points and it’s walking distance to downtown. there are TONS of cute b&bs though.

  • Lea June 3, 2012, 9:24 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try Laughing Seed for the longest time! Too bad every time I go to Asheville I’m with staunch carnivores. The food looks amazing!
    I have to go to Woolworth’s when I go to Asheville, they have a cute little soda fountain/lunch counter with delicious ice cream floats. So good.

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:11 am

      haha – i hear you on trying to get the carnivores to the vegetarian restaurants. luckily, so many restaurants in asheville offer great vegetarian options. that soda fountain is so cute.

  • Morgan June 3, 2012, 10:30 pm

    We went to Asheville a few months ago for a weekend getaway with friends. We ate at Curate-so good! You need to do the Navitat Canopy zip line tour when you go again. It was so fun!

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:10 am

      that sounds fun! i’ve never done anything like that.

  • JaimeFNP June 3, 2012, 11:23 pm

    You must must must go to Plant next time you visit — best vegan restaurant EVER 🙂
    Asheville is one of my favorite places in the whole world <3

    • Jen June 4, 2012, 10:02 am

      thank you for the recommendation. i will check it out!

  • Brittney June 4, 2012, 6:34 am

    I love Asheville too. I need to bookmark some of the restaurants you went to for our next trip! Glad you had a good time!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) June 4, 2012, 9:31 am

    Oh I love Asheville. I’m so glad you had a wonderful weekend and it reminds me I need to make it there again soon. Unfortunately I’m supposed to be there this coming weekend, but plans had to change. For now I’ll just live vicariously through your beautiful pictures!

  • Katie June 4, 2012, 11:17 am

    I now want to visit Asheville! A road trip might be in order.

  • Miriam June 4, 2012, 11:38 am

    I saw that same funky white guy (the painted one, haha). We almost went to curate last weekend but I was too nervous trying to translate the menu. I’ll bookmark this post and order what you got next time I’m there. Wish we had been there the same weekend!

  • Lisa June 4, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Looks like such an incredible city! So glad you had an amazing weekend there! I’ve never been there before, I would love to plan a trip though.

  • Evan June 5, 2012, 7:58 am

    I’m late to comment here, but better late than never!

    This post is one of the many reasons why I love your blog – you appreciate great food AND fitness. Your weekend of eats in Ashville looks amazing, and it’s further convinced me that I’ve got to head down South more often. Love it!

  • Ali @ Around the VeggieTable June 8, 2012, 10:57 am

    My childhood best friend lives in Asheville and we finally got to visit last month for her wedding! We ate out for almost every meal and were so impressed with all the wonderful options. Laughing seed was amazing and we were also completely in love with the reuben at Rosetta’s Kitchen and pretty much everything on the menu at Salsa’s 🙂 We definitely want to go back soon!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:09 am

      i’m so glad you got to visit. it’s such an amazing city and the food options are insane. i still haven’t tried rosetta’s but i’ve heard wonderful things!

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