B. and I just got back from an excursion to Western North Carolina, more specifically Asheville and Black Mountain. The excuse I told everyone (aside from the fact I was on fall break) was that we were 'leafing' -- which is apparently what people do around here when the foliage starts changing, head to the mountains, because that's where it is most beautiful. But secretly, I was pumped to visit this hippie-hipster mountain town because I knew I'd find some vegan reuben action.
I didn't quite account for how much vegan reuben action I would find. Seriously, this place rivals Portland for restaurants with vegan options. Tempeh in particular reigns supreme -- it seemed like every restaurant or pub had some kind of tempeh (or sometimes less frequently, tofu) sandwich. This, in the land of pulled pork bbq, where just a few miles out of town, the waitstaff at a side of the road restaurant can't comprehend the concept of someone not eating both meat and dairy.
I had my sights set on the Laughing Seed Cafe from the get-go, as it seems to be the place in town to go for good vegetarian eats. But we got sidetracked by Rosetta's Kitchen. And I really could spend two weeks there solely writing reviews for this blog. For example, I walked by this restaurant on Broadway.
Who would have guessed, but they advertised a Smoked Tempeh Reuben. Then, at Jack of the Woods, the Irish pub below The Laughing Seed, B. pointed out that they, too, served a tempeh reuben. Then, upon returning to Chapel Hill, a friend who had lived in Asheville admitted that her favorite tempeh reuben in town was served at the Dripelator, a cafe that we had actually had coffee at our first morning in town, and hadn't even thought to look at the menu. I don't know what's going on here, but this place has tempeh fever. You'd almost think you were in Eugene, not the American South.
I have to catch up with school work, but expect a couple Asheville Vegan Reuben reviews in the near future.