Asheville, North Carolina is absolutely teeming with vegetarian restaurants. It’s an oasis within the BBQ-laden south. In fact, it was voted #1 Most Vegetarian-Friendly Small City by GoVeg.com. We had the opportunity to visit on in particular when in the area – Rosetta’s Kitchen.
Walking into Rosetta’s Kitchen, we were immediately greeted by eclectic artwork and mismatched chairs and tables – many of them look handmade.
In the back was a counter where you could place your order and then grab a seat until your name is called. A small airy back porch was rightfully packed with folks enjoying the summer evening so we ate in the main inside part of the restaurant.
Despite the large painting of a slab of meat the ambiance of the restaurant was cozy, rustic, artsy and relaxing. (Which, upon reflection, we realized that the slab of meat portrait could more be a reminder of why we choose vegetarian and vegan food in the first place. There’s got to be a story about why it’s there.)
The menu was immense and it was supplemented by daily specials written on large chalkboard. Items that were not vegan were marked on the menu. Wheat-free items were also marked. From “muchies” (nachos, queso dip) to entrees (pad thai, tempalo wings) there is something for everyone. They note that their “classic meal” is called the Family Favorite – Peanut butter baked tofu, smashed potatoes, gravy, sauteed kale. Sandwiches included baked tofu and avocado, veggie burger and a mediterranean wrap. Other items, sans tofu, included beans and brown rice, sea veggie salad, and more. There were also 34 items on the “add on” menu. Both wine and beer on tap are available. I was truly overwhelmed with what to order.
We finally decided and ordered the grilled portabella, “The Mountain” and the tempeh rueben.
“The Mountain” featured cubes of fried tempeh atop brown rice and kale. The kale was perfectly cooked – tender and flavorful. Homemade tahini BBQ sauce added great bite and spice.
The grilled poratbella was also served with kale as well as potatoes and gravy. It was, in short, a plate of comfort food. The gravy was peppery and thick. The menu notes that the gravy is made with nutritional yeast.
The tempeh rueben was excellent. The thick pieces of marinated tempeh coupled with the herb-walnut sauce makes this sandwich one of the best I’ve ever tasted. The sweet potato fries worked well as a side-dish to this sandwich but some were a little soggy. (This picture is clearly not the best. My apologies.)
At the end of the meal, this homey place asks that you bus your own tables being sure that you recycle glass and plastic bottles.
Unfortunately, we didn’t leave room for desserts. But, they had plenty to choose from including vegan treats.
Rosetta’s Kitchen can be found on Broadway under a purple awning right off of Route 240. If you happen to be heading to, or though, Asheville and need a quick and unfussy vegetarian/vegan meal, stop by Rosetta’s Kitchen. They live up to their motto “feeding the family right”.
Asheville, NC 28801