I’m not going to better one of my peers in his description of downtown Asheville’s Green Sage. Asheville Foodie calls this place “part restaurant and part ecological statement”. That’s definitely the case, and I think a guest’s experience here will mirror precisely how they feel about that statement. I think that’s an incredibly neat concept, and the more that I have read about the restaurant’s goal of minimizing their environmental footprint, through solar-powered heating of the water, through waterless urinals and through composting, the more impressed I am. We actually enjoyed very little food here, however, and I look forward to returning and trying some of the interesting things on the menu. I understand that the black bean burger is really something else.
I left my daughter with, I thought, very specific instructions when we parted ways at Bele Chere. I gave her money to buy some bottled water, and I would text her in a couple of hours when I was ready and free to buy her lunch. In the meantime, she was to have fun and find a place where she wanted to eat. She was not free when the call came, as she was “watching a magician.” Marie and I found her enjoying the antics of a motormouthed escape artist street performer called Bobby Maverick, who roped me and another fellow in to chain him up in a straitjacket. I can honestly say that I’ve never chained anybody up in public before this year’s Bele Chere. Fellow earned his tips, I’ll say that, even if he probably did have to spend it all on Powerade to replace what he sweated away.
So I asked my daughter where we were eating and she had no idea. She was having so much fun watching nutballs in straitjackets and dogs jumping into pools and hippies yelling at street preachers and the beautiful Silver Drummer Girl doing her schtick that she completely forgot to look for someplace to have lunch. Every so often, I worry about this kid. I suggested the Green Sage by virtue of it being close by and she gave the menu a once-over, agreeing that it looked promising. Then she didn’t order much of anything.
She was content with a glass of lemonade, a pumpkin muffin and a bowl of cold tomato basil soup. Now, granted, that is an excellent and sensible little meal to enjoy in the middle of a heat wave like this, with the humidity and the pavement making it feel like a hundred and ten. After all, I’m the stubborn nutcase who insisted on a piping hot meal at The Noodle Shop in the middle of last year’s Bele Chere, so I clearly have no idea what the heck I’m doing. But check out this amazing breakfast that the blogger behind Ahimsa photographed a couple of months ago. Even accepting that her boyfriend didn’t enjoy it, that looks so much more interesting than a muffin and a bowl of soup! Or how about a reuben, made with either corned beef or tempeh, with Russian dressing, sauerkraut and Swiss? I hear that’s pretty amazing, too. I mean, locally-sourced corned beef? Doing that correctly takes some effort, which is why most restaurants get corned beef from Boar’s Head or someplace.
Then the terrible truth came out. You know what that rotten daughter of mine did with the money I gave her to keep her hydrated out there in the baking sun? She went straight down Biltmore to the two downtown places that she enjoyed the most from her last visit, in November. She went to City Bakery for a cupcake, and then walked across the street to Double D’s, met the owner, and had herself a great big milkshake to wash that down. She only had the muffin and soup because she knew that I wanted to visit another restaurant and didn’t want to let me down, and then protested that she was too full to move.
Of course, after that, we split up and Marie and I went in search of another meal. About ninety minutes later, we tried to check back in with Little Miss Too Full To Move, and she didn’t have time to chat. She was too busy dancing at some other wild and wonderful Bele Chere event.
(It should also be noted that my daughter took the photograph of the building for the blog, which we’ve not allowed her to do before now. Not a bad little job, is it?)