Recently my friend and fellow celiac, Sasha Cagen, travelled to and spent a week in Asheville, North Carolina. She had such a positive gluten free experience here that I had to share her gluten free travel story with you. She spoke to me of this mystical place in the mountains, with a welcoming community and creative spirit. It sounds like a wonderful town. I have travelled to various other parts of beautiful North Carolina, including one of my favourite towns ever, Wilmington, but I’ll be sure not to miss out on the chance to explore Asheville on my next visit to that part of the United States.
Sasha has nothing but high praise for Posana, a 100% gluten free restaurant in Asheville. In her words this place is ‘Heaven on earth for celiacs.’ It’s a fine dining restaurant with a diverse and luscious menu. In checking out their website and menu I can understand Sasha’s enthusiasm. Their menu boasts a huge variety of delicious sounding dishes such as a grilled chicken breast sandwich with apple-cranberry chutney, brie and bacon (how good does this sound?!), ricotta gnocchi and North Carolina shrimp and grits. Yum! The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America has awarded them with the Gluten Free Service Accreditation for their commitment to best practices in gluten free food service. The owner’s wife has celiac disease hence the good awareness of issues such as cross contamination. Strangely the restaurant does not do much to market themselves as being gluten free and safe for celiacs (perhaps they think it would turn non gluten free-ers away?) but luckily for gluten free travellers it is both.
This enchanted spot is situated in an area where street performers and musicians can be found milling around. The food is so delicious, Sasha told me, that she ate here five times during her visit! Lasagna with seared scallops was one of the dishes she tried. This sounds amazing. Posana is clearly somewhere the Gluten Free Traveller must visit.
It’s not only Posana that Asheville, North Carolina, has to offer celiacs. For a small town it has a bunch of good gluten free options and awareness of celiac disease is high. There is a general consciousness in bakeries and restaurants regarding which gluten free products are certified and which are not. Staff in a bakery pointed out to Sasha which of their products were gluten free certified and therefore safe for celiacs and which weren’t.
Laughing Seed Cafe on 40 Wall Street is another eatery with gluten free options at which Sasha enjoyed a meal. She had an in depth conversation with a server at the cafe and felt confident enough that they know what they were doing regarding cross contamination. Gluten free menu items are marked with ‘GF’ and include some tasty sounding dishes such as Indian pakora batter-dipped in spicy chick pea flour, Autumn risotto, Thai curry and tonnes of other amazing sounding gluten free entres.
Tupelo Honey Cafe on College Street is another place in downtown Asheville which features a gluten free menu. They do soups, salads and gluten free sandwiches, main courses and a bunch of tasty sounding breakfast options!
The Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe also does a variety of gluten free options including all-day breakfasts, rice bowls, sandwiches and burritos! Green Sage is high on my list for when I find myself in Asheville.
For preparing a home cooked meal or for gluten free travellers’ looking for an on-the-go snack there are a couple of natural food markets in downtown Asheville which carry a variety of gluten free goodies.
If anyone has further information on where to find delicious gluten free options in Asheville, North Carolina, please let us know. I will definitely me making a point of visiting this town in the near future!