gluten free eats in asheville

just one of the many, many reasons i love my husband is where he was born.  asheville, north carolina.  seriously one of my most favorite cities in the entire state.  i have been there several times without him and completely fell in love with the town.  and by town, i mean the restaurants.  for a novice, self proclaimed foodie and celiac disease girl, asheville has everything i could dream of.  tons of local restaurants that cater to those with food allergies.  back to the husband.  often when we travel that way to visit family, there is never enough time to go downtown.  our own planning fault.  we typically go up, stay out of the city because we are cheap and eat at the cracker barrel right off i40 due to convenience.  this trip, i took charge.  we decided to make a vacation out of it and splurge.  our christmas gift to each other.

we stayed right downtown at hotel indigo.  a brand new hotel that i highly recommend.  my favorite part of staying downtown {in any city that we travel} is that you can walk everywhere.  the hotel ended up being the perfect half mile to our {now} favorite restaurants.  not bad walking a mile just to get to and from.  plus, walking downtown doesn’t feel like “exercise.”  with all the people watching and window shopping, before you know it you are at your destination.

our first stop was my favorite restaurant in all of north carolina.  salsa’s.  i will gladly drive 4 hours to and back to grab dinner.  {i am a little obsessed!}  this complete hole in the wall restaurant has flavors that are beyond amazing.  it is super small and there is almost alway a wait.  inside it is cramped and loud with only about 20-30 tables packed together.  it is worth it.  the chef, hector, can make almost any dish gluten free.  simply delicious.

our next stop, although completely stuffed from dinner at salsa’s, was the french broad chocolate lounge.  the husband is a chocolate fiend and i knew this would be the perfect spot.  we grabbed a slice of chocolate cake for him and a gluten free slice of eggnog cheesecake for me to take back to the hotel.  and since it was super cold, we decided we needed to share a cup of “liquid truffle” for the walk back.  basically, a really thick hot chocolate that was beyond perfection.

the next day, before heading to grandma’s house, we waited in line at the tupelo honey cafe.  we had both been here before and the husband loved it.  i wasn’t all that impressed because their gluten free menu was pretty scarce.  well, that was a couple years ago and boy was i surprised to see such a large gluten free menu!  i was thrilled to order a cup of tomato soup and gluten free grilled cheese sandwich.  i can’t remember the last time i had a grilled cheese.  simple foods that can easily be made gluten-free at home that are now available to order out.  the husband just laughed at my excitement to order a grilled cheese.

our final day was spent trying a new restaurant, posana.  i was hesitant because i really wanted to go back to salsa’s for one more meal.  i didn’t want to risk my last meal in asheville on an unknown restaurant when my favorite one was right down the street calling my name.  but this restaurant offered what no other restaurant did, a completely 100% gluten free menu.  seriously.  every single item.  the chef’s wife was diagnosed with celiac and together they created a delicious menu that is 100% gluten free and enjoyable for those without the food allergy.  i learned how funny living with this disease for five years is, even looking at the menu, i instinctively skipped over the pasta selections and the sandwiches.  i have been trained to not even look at those sections in restaurants because those foods are off limits.  i had to remind myself {with the help from our waiter} that i could have absolutely anything i wanted.  i was like a kid in a candy store.  we ordered focaccia bread with homemade pimento cheese spread for our appetizer.  even my gluten eating husband said the bread was delicious.  we then did something we have never been able to do for five years, share our meals.  i ordered a burger {gluten free bun} and he ordered a fried green tomato sandwich {gluten free, obviously}.  we split our meals in half and shared along with our side of sweet potato fries.  i was in complete food bliss.

and before leaving, the husband insisted on one more stop at the chocolate lounge.  he “needed” just one more slice of chocolate cake.

needless to say, the husband fell in love with asheville in a whole new way.  it was a wonderful short vacation and it is nice to be reminded that we don’t have to travel all that far to feel miles away from home.

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