In a charming and cozy corner of Asheville, NC, lies a plant-based treat, the Laughing Seed Cafe.
It is tucked into a spot of beautiful Wall Street, across from artistically designed steps swelling with Asheville spirit.
A short five minute walk up the paint-streaked steps and up the street to the right sits a small community garden, a butterfly and bumble-bee heaven. After our meal, we strolled to the garden, admiring the flowers bursting out of their pots, buzzing with so much life.
The Laughing Seed lies on a quaint street with indoor and outdoor seating. Because Asheville is small and sweetly compact, many locations are easily accessible on foot, making it a quintessential town to wander about, making stops at unique restaurants like this one to re-fuel.
Asheville is coated with marvelous murals on walls of buildings and covering the insides, and The Laughing Seed is no exception.
Directly across from the dining area inside, covering an entire wall, a canvas splashed with wildlife and elements of nature lies before you, making for a creative and colorful dining experience.
The food follows the same colorful theme, as the menu is packed with some of your favorite international foods made with a vegan twist.
From the spicy, saucy Buffalo Tacos, consisting of a bed of lettuce filling a soft shell taco, spicy and super creamy buffalo sauce, drenching cauliflower; which mimics the flavor of buffalo chicken, to the Avocado BLT, where the bacon is actually seared tempeh, seated on toasted ciabatta bread that’s infused with garlic aioli.
My eyes immediately darted to the Buffalo Tacos when I first glanced at the menu. I learned after a very fulfilling, happy-tummy meal that I picked perfectly.
Of the dishes we ordered: Reuben, Buffalo Tacos, and Avocado BLT, the collective favorite was the Buffalo Tacos.
The Buffalo Tacos making first place was tough though, as all the options were exploding with flavor, creativity, and nutrition. The power trio.
Coming in at a close second was the Avocado BLT. I used to be a huge fan of bacon, and was completely blown away by this restaurant’s rendition of the classic sandwich. The tempeh was perfect, honestly my favorite tempeh I’ve tasted. The flavor was similar to bacon, but better. It tasted powerful with protein but was gentle to the stomach because it was pure plant proteins without the unnecessary fatty grease of traditional bacon. The tempeh was crispy on the outside and filled with a smoky flavor which is a dream come true for an ex-bacon lover like me.
The Reuben, a creamy and cheesy sandwich with a choice of either sweet potato pastrami or tempeh, was different from anything I’ve had before. The original dish is vegetarian, but if you substitute the Swiss cheese with cashew cheese it’s 100% vegan! When we ordered, our protein pick was the sweet potato pastrami, but if I were to have a do-over on the order, I’d pick tempeh. I can see the texture adding a better touch to the sandwich, as the sweet potato made everything feel too soft. The only other reason I didn’t absolutely adore this one is because I’ve never been the biggest fan of cheese. The cashew cheese was a large component of this dish, and it was slightly too overpowering for me. The flavor of the sandwich overall was smoky, more than the Avocado BLT, credits to the smoked onions, sweet potato flavor, and thousand island dressing.
The Laughing Seed is definitely a go-to for vegans and the most voracious meat lovers alike. The menu would make anyone fall in love with a vegan lifestyle. It sure made me buzz with inspiration, as I saw the diversity in the usage of a single vegetable. This restaurant was able to transform simple, down-to-earth ingredients into pure mouth-watering magic.