Stop number 2! Asheville, North Carolina.
What a beautiful city Asheville, North Carolina is. After a first few bumpy days on the road it was nice to settle into the Crown Royal Plaza Hotel and Resort and straiten up. (I would definitely stay here if you were in town. They weren’t expensive and their customer service really went above and beyond. We really needed a week in this city to see, eat, and experience everything we could. We tried to pack as much as we could include experiencing the tastes from the local restaurants, musical talented city dwellers, and unique storefronts.
Good Morning Sunshine. It’s time to explore!
We started off with some delicious coffee from High Five Coffee Bar. They had such a cool vibe and really helped our morning start off great. You can read more about our experience at High Five Coffee Bar here.
Next, we met up with John & Nicole Mashie and their daughter down at The Veteran’s Healing Farm. I met Nicole back in 2014 after attending the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veteran’s Families back when both of our businesses were just starting. It was amazing to see how their farm has grown and hear all the wonderful plans for the future. You can read more about them and our visit to The Veteran’s Healing Farm here.
(Photo above by High Five Coffee Bar)
That seems like a lot for a morning already, so we picked up a few things from a gas station and went back to the hotel to rest.
Unfortunately, the night before we weren’t able to find a safe dairy free place for Niah to eat. (Niah is our son and has a dairy sensitivity). We ordered Bojangles for dinner and they are normally safe for peanut and tree nut allergies, but not very good for dairy sensitivities.
We were able to find an awesome local Italian restaurant called Strada Italiano for dinner the next night.
They were beyond accommodating for my peanut/nut allergy as well as for Niah’s dairy sensitivity. They took the time to double check everything, but weren’t able to guarantee the bread didn’t have any potential allergens in it. Niah was pleasantly surprised to find some delicious pasta and a grilled piece of chicken, along with a cucumber from my salad. He must have been hungry from not eating very well these last few days.
We started off with some garlic knots and Anthony and Niah ate the bread (that I wasn’t able to eat). They did mention the bread was vegan, which was great to hear (no dairy! yay). Anthony and I shared RIGATONI AL FORNO DI CARNI from their Spaghetteria menu. It was a baked pasta plate perfect for two. It had veal, pork, and beef meat sauce over noodles topped with cheese.
Allergy Friendly Spoon Rating
On our Allergy Friendly Spoon Rating, Strada Italiano receives 4/5 spoons. It is important to know where all your ingredients come from and the unknowing of the breads ingredients that were served wasn’t what I wanted to hear. On the positive side they really stepped up and helped accommodate Niah’s meal for no dairy. If you have a dairy allergy, this is a great place. I wouldn’t recommend this place for gluten or fish allergies unfortunately.
After the rain had cleared and dinner was finished we kept exploring down town Asheville near Pack Square.
(There was a lot of Pokémon hunting…if you’re into that sort of thing.) As you walked the streets you heard aspiring musicians and rappers performing, saw a kid on a unicycle, and went into some pretty eclectic shops.
One shop in particular was a skate shop called, Push. This place was Niah’s “candy shop”. He’s been practicing his skateboarding lately and even carries around a small one with him normally. They guy behind the counter made his day when he let him look at his skateboard. Niah even let him play with the little skateboard and thought it was amazing when he started doing finger skateboarding tricks. Since he has been so into skateboarding we picked him up a movie (with appropriate language) to watch on the rest of the car trip cross-country.
All night, since we left that skate shop, he was jumping down the streets of Asheville. Can you guess what he was doing? Trying to do skateboard trick. (if your not saying awwe how adorable I don’t know what else to say to you! It was too cute!)
Niah got one more special surprise when we got back to the hotel. After 2 days of watching kids out the window playing in the swimming pool dad finally took him for a quick swim.
Just when we thought things were getting better we hit one more hiccup.
Niah woke up with a swollen forehead and eyes after getting 3 mosquito bites above his forehead (this happened a few days ago and after 2 days it really had swollen bad)! After a REALLY quick trip to the ER (when does that ever happen? Normally it’s like hours later) they said the swelling would go away in a few days and to keep up doses of Benadryl. He’s such a trooper and is still enjoying our trip.
We had one last stop on the way out…
On our way out we had plans to stop at Biscuit Heads but decided to just get it to-go on our way to our next stop, stop number 3. I didn’t have any expectations and it was a highly recommended place to go for breakfast by our hotel.
Allergy Friendly Spoon Rating
They have no nuts or peanuts at their restaurant, but they said they couldn’t guarantee things they got from outside their restaurant didn’t or might not contain a potential allergen. I felt the most comfortable out of all the places we ate a meal at as far as food allergies go (for peanut/nut specifically). I would say 4.5/5 Spoons on our Allergy Friendly test.
While they were nut friendly they didn’t have many dairy free options. Also, they had a jam section where they had all sorts of unique jams and jellies and spreads for your biscuit. To me this is a hazard zone for cross contamination if you’re looking to avoid food allergies. They did, however, have a gluten free biscuit available, which is a win if you’re able to be around gluten and, just not eat it. I would highly recommend checking them out if you’re in the area. The people were great, food was delicious, and oh…the coffee was amazing!! Check them out here!
Now that you have made it to the bottom, thanks for coming along on our journey! Are you ready for stop number 3? Stay tuned.
If you’ve ever been to Asheville, NC please share your favorite allergy friendly spots. Also, feel free to share non-food related favorite places. We would love to hear about your journey.
Get On The List
Brittany Atkinson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
We understand you can shop anywhere and appreciate your business. Thanks!
The Allergic Foodie here! Right now you can probably find me in my test kitchen (i.e. my house) or traveling to a local coffee shop where they're serving me awe-inspiring coffee (sorry, I would share but). I'm kind of a coffee junkie. Yes, I'm a food-allergy overcomer, Mompreneur, and military spouse and I love pushing boundaries especially in the kitchen. So hold on to your taste buds and let's get to cooking!