• Vegan Field Report: VegFest 2011: Asheville, NC

    August 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), north carolina

    hey everyone, time for a vegan field report from north carolina! today’s post comes to us from amy to zucchini and she’s reviewing the very first vegfest in asheville. i’m actually pretty jealous of all this delicious looking food—we should start up an LA vegfest, stat!

    Asheville is a unique little city in the hills of western North Carolina. By tourists and locals alike it is often described as a ‘hippie town’ and lives up to the reputation with street performers and buskers on every other corner, a penchant for open-air markets and fairs and at least 4 fully vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants. (In fact Asheville’s only all-vegan restaurant, Plant, opened just a few days ago). So I was pumped when I heard about the first annual VegFest that would be taking place downtown on Sunday, August 7. It was Asheville’s first and mine too!

    I took my omnivore dad with me, just to keep things interesting and get him excited about veggie eats. It was a fun event, with lots of vendors selling food, local restaurants representing, and booths with animal rescue shelters and sanctuaries providing information on their causes. There was a whole kid’s section too with games and activities. After doing a lap and scoping things out it was food time.

    We started off with a tofu dog from Avery’s Hot Dogs A hearty and delicious dog, we went classic with mustard and sauerkraut for $5 With Highland Brewery’s Gaelic Ale.

    Tempeh reuben from Green Light Cafe, $7. Difficult decision over their tempeh tacos with avocado, slaw and cilantro-lime cream sauce but glad we went with the reuben. Wonderful flavors and great bread.

    Chocolate coconut macaroon from Veg-in-Out, a bulk vegan food delivery service. They were also generous with their samples of tofu jambalaya and seitan and broccoli, which were good but the macaroon was the star. It was sweet and cool and somehow dense and light at the same time.

    Strawberry sorbet and vanilla latte almond ice cream from The Hop. The Hop has a store in Asheville with lots of non-dairy ice creams, milkshakes and even ice cream cakes.

    I bought fresh tofu from Twin Oaks Community Foods from Luisa, VA and wish I could have kept eating all day. Veggie Love a raw/vegan chef and caterer was serving up sandwiches and dips. And she’ll be food truckin’ soon!

    Plus these pretzels looked amazing!

    I reckon the success of VegFest can be judged on many factors. I’m sure that most of the 1500 participants, like myself, walked away happy and full. The organizers, the Asheville Vegetarians and the Goat Mountain Sanctuary of Leicester, NC, were certainly happy with the larger than expected crowd that stayed strong even as the afternoon temps reached well into the 90s. Avery’s sold out of tofu dogs twice. And the best part for me? Watching my omni dad polish off his half of the tempeh reuben and declare it “a damn good sandwich”.


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