Monday, September 15, 2014

Tale of Two Tables- Plant- Native Kitchen- T Stands four Tuesday

Celebration of my birth! continues and I was treated to two meals out this past week.
DD and I are both very vegetarian(see Phood Philosophy) and thrilled to have a vegan restaurant in Asheville.
Plant.
Even a steak house has at least one Veggie option in Asheville and still, its enjoyable to have options and at Plant everything on the menu is an option!
I like that the menu lists the dishes without feeling the need to categorize i.e., salads, starters, etc.
No one likes to be typed!
We shared the massaged kale with smoky tofu
and
Oyster Mushroom Apricot Adobo with poblano stuffed tamale · sautéed spinach, olives, and chili  · cilantro mojo  · pickled onion and sour cream.



The kale was just the right chewiness and the dressing a perfect blend of sweet, salty and tart. The candies dried orange slices were a tasty surprise, and I am just getting ready to enjoy winter squash, of which there were a few bites.
We could have passed on the tofu add on, and didn't as I love smoked and it was made in house.
I ate it all, and it was delicious, excellent texture for tofu and no lingering smokey aftertaste.

The mushroom dish has fried pieces of, as far as I know oyster mushrooms. I like to order fried when I go out, as I don't fry at home and enjoy the crunch and taste. These fit the bill for crunch, and the breading(?) was good, tho it could have been anything inside, or nothing!
I love tamales and this one had a good pronounced corn flavor; could have had a bit more poblano.
The greens added color and texture to the plate and were delicious.
Ditto the pickled onions and  cream.
Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive and set up our table for sharing, without being asked.

Dessert.
Again let me say how exciting it is to have  choices!

Brownie -cherries & cacao ·  walnuts ∙ chocolate sauce ∙ mint julep ice cream
Yummy for sure, tho there were some hard spots on the brownies that were very hard to chew and rough on the inside of my mouth. The brownie was very rich and moist and I had to take some of it home for later.
The ice cream is coconut based and not too coconutty, so you could take the mint and cookie flavors.
Cheesecake- pecan crust- blueberries- beet swirl ice cream
The cake was excellent, creamy, flavorful and not too heavy.
The ice cream was swirled with yellow and red beet and it tasted like beet; a bit off putting, and we ate it all!
I see they have changed the ice-cream on the current menu.
We ate outside, and as much as I enjoyed our meal, the ambience could be improved. Walking into the dining room, the planters need a green hand, and the flowers on the service bar were limp.
Some well placed plantings and/or screens would enhance the view, or they could park some luxury cars out front!
I also find the chairs uncomfortable and the food is worth it!

Native Kitchen
Native is in Swannanoa and deserves a visit if you haven't  eaten, drunk or come for the music yet.
Their are many choices for vegetarians and the kitchen does their best to keep things separate.
 There is a new chef and I forgot to ask if they fry their animal and veggies separately, so if that matters to you be sure to ask.

Lunch on a week day found myself and a friend on a lovely patio with well tended plantings and shade cloth.
I didn't get a photo, as it started to rain! just as we finished eating.
Must have are the popcorn brussels sprouts.
Just get them!
The black bean burger had me covered with ketchup , mustard and mayo on the side and a crisp lettuce leaf and slice of summer tomato.
The bun was ok if you like white bread.
The fries were a bit of a disappointment.
They used to serve thick, steak cut fries that were golden and crispy on the outside and fluffy with no extra grease on the inside and perfectly seasoned.
These were a bit limp and greasy, especially after the perfection of the brussels sprouts.

Note- both restaurants use the same plates!
My friend throughly enjoyed her roasted veggie sandwich and cleaned her plate including the potato salad side.
She let me have the last sprout as it was my birthday!
Both plates came with a very good pickle- extra points for that!

The chairs are uncomfortable here too, and  the table is a funny height for me.

Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive here as well, which brings me to a short rant.
Both restaurants were very empty.
Service was excellent and we left generous tips, and that still won't pay a living wage to the servers, making $3 or so an hour plus tips.
There must be a better way.
If you have any thoughts on this, leave me a comment.

One of my photos has a glass of water which links us to
T Stands for Tuesday.
Do stop by to see what others are eating and drinking around the world.
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18 comments:

  1. HI Robyn!!!! Well this could have been a professional review! Very well done. :) I have family in Asheville though i live in CA.He was a fireman there until he retired several years ago.. All the food looks yummy and it sounds like you had a fabulous time! Happy T day! Hugs! deb

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  2. Oh Robyn, I need to move where you live. There was ONE restaurant in Wichita that served vegetarian food, but now there is NONE. You can get dishes with chicken and fish (which we both know are NOT vegetarian), and a few Italian places that have cheese dishes. But that's the limit. And although some places tout they use only vegetable oil, they still fry their fries and fish in the same fryer, I'm sure.

    Now I'm super hungry after seeing all the lovely choices you had. The first time I had tofu, I hated it. It had a really bad taste, and I avoided it for years. Then I visited a friend who fried it for brunch. He told me the problem I had was whatever it was cooked with had gotten absorbed into the tofu. The tofu he fixed was simply scrumptious. The only place I can buy tofu now is at the Asian Market I often frequent.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful meals with us. They may not appeal to all, but they certainly do to me. Now, since you made me so hungry, I'm off to chop some veggies and snow peas for an Asian salad.

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  3. Your boirthday meal looks sumptuous and I hope you had a lovely day all told. I ave never heard of popcorn brussels but would definitely give them a whirl! :D Happy T day :D

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  4. Ok I am off to Ashville sometime very soon! Belated Happy Birthday!

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  5. A veggie, but would cheerfully eat at a veggie restaurant...and yours look fab, how nice to be spoiled for choice. Am fascinated by the lack of ambience...they could paint the wall a light colour, throw some cushions about and voila! Is it like Body shop's continuing philosophy that if it's made of good stuff and planet friendly, it has to look grungy and unattractive in terms of packaging? !!

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  6. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do love veggie dishes; and your choices look great. Minimum wage is too low as it is, and I can't imagine why it's even lower for servers. Tips were intended to be a bonus for servers, not a subsidy for restaurant owners. You are right that there must be a better way.

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  7. Hello and Happy T Day! How nice that you had two meals out for your birthday, YAY!! The first place I would have to just go straight for those desserts ad I usually don' say it but they look so good. The second place looks good too I don't like those kind of chairs either, should be more cozy and make you want to sit and stay. I love white dishes like that!
    Thanks for sharing and have a good day.

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  8. a happy belated birthday to you! It looks like you enjoyed a really wonderful vegetarian smorgasbord of delectable foods. I know I'd enjoy any one of those dishes(well, except the sweets). I make popcorn brussels sprouts and could eat them like candy-so yummy! Thanks for sharing and a happy T day to you.

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  9. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE brussel sprouts! How many people really say that. I'm almost freakish about how much I love them. And my edamame too! But, anyway, I think the name "Plant"for a vegetarian place is genius for a name! Happy T-day!

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  10. Yummy Yum Yum...I so enjoy an all veggie menu.
    I saw a t-shirt the other day that says it all "I don't eat anything that poops" LOL
    I had always said I don't eat anything with a face
    Hope you keep celebrating your beautiful life!
    Happy T Day
    oxo

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  11. Well, I am a meat eat through and through, but I would definitely eat any and all that you have pictured. Looks soooooo yummy!

    HAPPY T-DAY

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  12. Not a great meat eater - the choices here look fab! Love Brussels sprouts but have never heard of popcorn style sounds like my idea of Heaven!! Don't like the look of those chairs though-where are the cushions?

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  13. Looks like you enjoyed two good meals for your birthday! Those Brussels sprouts look good! Thanks for making me hungry today!
    :)

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  14. Enjoyed your description and pictures of your dining experiences. Popcorn Burssels sprouts are a new one for me, I'll have to look those up.

    Darla

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  15. I'm a vegetarian, too, but being housebound I have no clue what's available in the Fargo/Moorhead area. These dishes all look so interesting--wow! What a nice birthday! I wish these places had more business because you want them to stay around. Happy T-Day! :)

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  16. Well Happy Birthday! Yummy looking plates...esp the cheesecake!

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  17. Happy T-Day! Wow the photos of the food made me hungry. I am not vegetarian I do enjoy the food (including tofu) and they looked really good. Birthday wishes to you.

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  18. well the food at the first restaurant looked absolutely fabulous, but the outdoor 'dining area' looked a bit like eating in a dark cave! and have to admit that a restaurant that has Brussels sprouts on the menu is non-existent where I live. I try to eat healthy and hear that Kale is a super food. omg the desserts! gorgeous & tempting...thanks for sharing1

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