• Ginger's Revenge Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Ginger’s Revenge Review: Gluten-Free Sipping

    I’ve heard people view the ways that people’s allergies, dietary preferences, and other restrictions have changed the cuisine landscape depicted as a challenge, the old “what can we possibly serve at dinner that avoids all the allergies while respecting vegan, vegetarian, and other needs?” question.  What I’ve found, instead, is that any kind of constraint on my cooking and eating helps me delve deeper into novelty and discover combinations I’d never try without it. I wouldn’t have discovered some of my now-favorite foods if I didn’t have vegan family members.  Similarly, the desire to choose hangout places that don’t require my gluten-free friends to drink gluten-y beer has helped me…

  • Gallivant Coffee Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Gallivant Coffee and Prelude Provisions Review: Vegan Adventures

    In the middle of a very residential area in Woodfin is a little vegan oasis known as Gallivant Coffee. I went here early on in my move to Asheville, partially because it was so close to my home and partially because the name is just so fun – it sounds like the coffee you get at their shop is going to fuel you for a big adventure. With so many lovely hikes in the area, it only makes sense to have some adventure juice handy.  If you haven’t been, you’re in for a treat – the coffee is selected by the owner himself and roasted in small batches, meaning that…

  • Cats at Play Cafe Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Cats at Play Café Review: Asheville’s First Cat Cafe

    Cat cafes satisfy two of the most basic human needs: coffee and cat cuddles. Originating in Asia, they are now spread worldwide. They are an excellent opportunity to share the love with kitties while having a cozy beverage. They are also purrfect places to bring your computer and work (playful interruptions are guaranteed!). Hanging out with cats has many health benefits: it’s relaxing, lowers your stress and anxiety, and, according to scientific research, cat owners tend to be at a lower risk of suffering heart disease. It’s a fact: the company of cats makes us happier and healthier! Cats are mysterious, fascinating creatures and were considered sacred by many ancient…

  • High Five Coffee Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    High Five Coffee Review: a Local Favorite

    Work as a remote, flexible-schedule worker for long enough while parenting a toddler, and you’re simply going to have favorite coffee shops. While I think most of them want to be known for their flavorful drinks, tasty snacks, and soulful ambiance, many of us simply need somewhere that serves up caffeine while not kicking us out for tapping out a few emails while we sip.  I have reviewed a few places in Asheville that don’t offer public Wi-Fi, and I can’t blame them at all – there is something really lovely about a space that is entirely focused on connection and food and drink.  However, when I can find a…

  • Pleb Urban Winery Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    plēb urban winery Review: Craft That Tells a Story

    We’ve seen what a craft beer scene can do for a city, and at its heart is a tourism rooted in what you cannot get anywhere else. After decades of finding reliable chains for everything from hotels to restaurants, many tourists are now craving the hyper-local, the well-thought-out, and the totally unique. For craft breweries, making their own product on-site gives them this assurance, but it turns out, you can do something similar for wine. The owner and team of plēb urban winery have set out on a frankly audacious mission: in an area that doesn’t have hundreds of years of winemaking history, they are working with all the growers…

  • PennyCup Coffee Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    PennyCup Coffee Review: Location Location Location

    In the “Harry Potter” books, there’s a magical element to the wizard school called the Room of Requirement. If you run down a particular hall while really needing something quite badly, you’ll find yourself face to face with a door that wasn’t there before.  When you open it, the room provides what you need: a broom closet if you need to hide, a training room if you’re trying to defeat a dark wizard’s long-term plot for world domination, etc. I like to think that PennyCup in Asheville is my Coffee Shop of Requirement. It seems to always be located right where I need it. They have a shop located right…

  • Sauna House Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews

    Sauna House Review: ‘Hot, Cold, Relax, Repeat’

    The Sauna House offers one of Asheville’s most relaxing wellness experiences. It’s my go-to place to rest and unwind, and spending a couple of hours there on a Friday night is one of my favorite ways to start the weekend. It’s also an excellent place for a date night, a girls’ night out, or even a mother-and-daughter outing (14+).  The idea of the Sauna House’s contrast therapy is simple and super effective: “hot, cold, relax, repeat.” You can expect 185-200°F in the traditional saunas and 48°F in the plunges. No matter how I feel when entering the bathhouse (it can be intense on a Friday, believe me), I always leave…

  • Asheville Chocolate Restaurant Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Asheville Chocolate Review: Take a Class or Simply Enjoy Dessert

    One of the things I love about Asheville compared to where I used to live is that there is more than one of most everything. There are multiple restaurants for Indian food, Thai food, Mexican food, and even multiple top-notch pizzerias within 5 minutes of my house. Spoiled for choice, we are here!  Nowhere are we more blessed than in the fact that we have multiple high-quality dessert shops here in town, offering everything from ice cream to cake to sweet beverages… and at Asheville Chocolate, you can get all of the above. My journeys around Asheville take me down Broadway frequently, and I’ve often admired the beautiful sculptural details…

  • Melting Pot Social Restaurant Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Melting Pot Social Restaurant Review: Play With Your Food!

    I’ve only been to one original Melting Pot restaurant, as part of a huge group for a bachelorette party. I remember the multiple large containers of cheese and chocolate, the variety of dippers, and the fun and interactivity of the experience.  It was a big, rich meal and a memorable way to celebrate our friend getting married, especially when we all got to laugh about a dipper taking the plunge off someone’s fondue fork into a melted pool of goodness. So when I realized there was a similar but distinct restaurant in Asheville called Melting Pot Social (or MeltSo, for short), I was intrigued – from what I could see…

  • Asheville Salt Cave Review: Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Attractions

    Asheville Salt Cave Review: Relaxing and Invigorating

    It might not seem like not much: entering a room full of salt, laying on a mat on the ground or a reclining lounger, and resting (or even falling asleep!). But the results are so powerful.  I must confess that I’m so used to doing, achieving, and enduring (yes, even when I participate in wellness experiences) that I thought the effortless wellness experience offered by Asheville Salt Cave wasn’t for me. I was wrong! I leave feeling more relaxed, grounded, and invigorated every single time.  The Asheville Salt Cave aims to recreate the microclimate of a salt mine using 30 tons of pure pink salt from Poland, the Dead Sea,…