Gluten Free Asheville, North Carolina
On a recent trip to Asheville to stay at the historic Grove Park Inn, my daughter and I used Celiac Central’s list of gluten free restaurants for dining out. These restaurants have at least one person on staff that has completed training on safe practices for gluten free food prep. At my daughters’ request we did not ask further questions before ordering items marked GF on their menus. Though she was not glutened in any of the restaurants, if you have any concerns you may want to ask further questions.
Gluten Free Dining in Asheville, North Carolina
After three days in Chapel Hill to check out the UNC grad program, we drove 3 1/2 hours to Asheville and arrived after the lunch hour ready to try the Creperie Bouchon. Thankfully they had a sandwich board on the sidewalk directing us to an interior courtyard behind the buildings. Their address is 62 1/8 Lexington Ave (we wondered what it meant to be located at 1/8–we figured it was like the platform in Harry Potter that would take us to Hogwarts)!
Inside was a warm and inviting little French café. I had a feeling the coffee would be good and ordered a cup–and it was. We had to get a crepe……
and the pommes frites were perfect too. We want to go back again someday.
Asheville was described to us by Chapel Hill locals as a bit bohemian so shopping in some of the shops on Lexington Ave was next up.
There are a number of great little boutiques for womens’ clothing along the street to browse through. Then we went to the hotel, discovered a ghost, walked down to the spa in the grotto (amazing), and soaked up some sun on the hotel terrace. After a lazy afternoon we decided to stay at the hotel for dinner.
We decided to eat our dinner at the hotel in VUE 1913. It was a bit dark so we didn’t take any pictures but their Beef Carpaccio was exceptional. Served with pickled mushrooms, crispy capers, arugula, and a truffle-sherry vinaigrette, it was perfection. The rest of the meal was very good. I understand the restaurants at the Grove Park have gone through a transformation. It takes excellent sourcing and a talented chef to make a Beef Carpaccio this good.
Tupelo Honey Café
The next day we decided to go back to town for more shopping and lunch at Tupelo Honey Café. This place was packed but it didn’t take long to get a table. Again it seemed like a place with good drip coffee and it was. As a Seattle girl you can sense these things! At Tupelo we went for comfort food. We have been on a cauliflower kick lately so we tried the Smashed Cheesy Cauliflower which is chopped fine then blended with cheddar, Havarti, and cream cheese. Yikes! but it was good, how could it not?
I went for a childhood fav of grilled cheese with tomato soup. While the bread was a basic loaf of packaged GF bread I appreciated the fact that gluten free sandwiches were available. The tomato soup was really good too. They have many choices and I think Carmen got an omelet…there are just so many pictures one can take once the food arrives at the table.
We talked to locals for recommendations and many advised us to go to Posana Café for dinner. It was truly one of the exceptional meals dining out for us in a very long time. They don’t promote their dedicated GF kitchen in a big way, they act like a regular restaurant, they just happen to be GF too. This place is the model for the future of what all restaurants should be–at least from our humble celiac family perspective. Fair pricing, excellent service, lovely environment, comfy leather seating, and great food that just happens to be GF and dedicated.
And did I mention the food?
With every bite of the gnocchi……oh my goodness….another bite….oh my goodness…until it was gone!
They called this Lobster “Mac and Cheese” but it’s gnocchi, Maine lobster, chives, and an aged cheddar sauce, every bite was spectacular. I would LOVE to know how to make that gnocchi. I am going to experiment more with my recipe, it may just be a firm hand during assembly.
this marinated tofu dish has it all–good flavor and taste and so healthy…….
Carmen decided to try their burger which was served on a house-made gluten free bun….a true knife and fork burger. Every menu in North Carolina seems to have Pimento Cheese and also Shrimp and Grits. I think once this arrived we forgot to dissect it to get a real sense of the pimento cheese though.
The dessert menu offered some wonderful options too:
We tried the Lemon Olive Oil Cake which was good but I really want to share with them my Lemon Cake recipe to show my gratitude.
The Biltmore Estate
Our next day was spent at the Biltmore Estate. Built in 1895 and opened to the public in 1930 this Vanderbilt Estate is a must-see for any Downton Abbey fan. We had a fantastic day there and I was amazingly impressed with their food!
Plan to take your bike or rent one by the hour there. It’s an 8,000 acre estate that you will want to take time to explore by bike or on foot to work off your lunch. Or explore the estate by horseback m’lady!
More on the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore Estate at my other blog: GreeneandGreeneStyle blog features points of interest for those interested in Craftsman style homes, specifically early 1900s architects Greene & Greene, antiques, etc.
Stable Café at Biltmore Estate
We decided to try the Stable Café, we were intrigued to find out how they turned the house-stable into a restaurant where the tables are set into the horse stalls. Not only did they design a comfortable restaurant but the food was really good. I had visions of a tourist-trap type of restaurant where you pay top dollar for sub-par food but the Stable Café offers quality food at a fair price along with excellent service. And of course sweet tea, a Southern favorite.
The walls are original as are the stalls, I need to pick out some tile grout to go with subway tiles for the house we are building, this looks perfect:
The stables are huge and gorgeous:
Carmen’s choice: Stable Café Sampler—Spice-rubbed Smoked Ribs, Pulled Pork Barbeque, Rotisserie Chicken, Coleslaw, Collard Greens, White Beans with Bacon and Kale, House-made Sweet Pickles
my choice was the Herb Roasted Rotisserie Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables
Omni Grove Park Inn-Edison
Back to the hotel to chill for the evening. We considered going back into town but from the restaurant/bar descriptions and Yelp write-ups I just couldn’t get motivated to go back into town. I felt like we had already hit the top places. My bad if I was wrong but we found a great meal at Edison in the Grove Park and spent the evening in the bar afterwards watching basketball with some CRAZY fans. I know they got a huge head start on us with their cocktails! We sipped ours for hours to keep the bartender company on a somewhat slow Friday night (off season) and we had great seats for the big screen.
The restaurant is named after Thomas Edison, an excerpt from hotel website:
EDISON is located at The Grove Park Inn and harkens back to the frequent visits of inventor Thomas Edison with a rag tag group who called themselves the Vagabonds. The Vagabonds consisted of Edison, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford, all of whom shared a love of camping and the great outdoors. Just after the Inn first opened in 1913, the threesome began a summer tradition of stopping at The Grove Park Inn on their way to car camp in the Smoky Mountains where they would set up camp with all the comforts of their celebrity-style homes.
The hotel main lobby is filled with Craftsman lighting and antiques, two huge fireplaces with rocking chairs for ghost story sharing (yes the old hotel is haunted), lots of seating, a bar, live music in the evenings, and an outdoor patio for summer dining. see post at GreeneandGreeneStyle
I am now inspired to dine out more in my own hometown of Seattle to discover a few more gluten free gems!