Check Out the Delicious Plant Based Dishes to Try on a VV Spot Food Tour

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Have you ever thought of trying a plant-based diet? Well, Kidding Around’s Melanie hadn’t until she met the ladies of VV Spot. They showed her that eating meat-free isn’t all tofu and green drinks, and they would probably have you giving it a second look too! 

I’ll be honest, thinking about changing to a plant-based diet for my children and I would probably have garnered an automatic NO, previous to this experience. Over the summer I had a friend switch to a vegan diet for bathing suit season, which garnered occasional teasing from me (in a loving sisterly fashion of course). Fast forward a few months and the VV Spot tour has me looking for ways to change my family’s diet too.

Abandoning your carnivorous ways can be intimidating. When Kidding Around was invited on the VV Spot Food tour, I saw restaurants listed that I’d heard good things about and accepted the invitation. Never expecting to come away contemplating a change for my family. I know I keep repeating that, but that’s just because of how surprised I was at how I felt about it at the end of our tour. 

Background of VV Spot Food Tour

DeAndra Reasonover-Winjobi is the CEO and Founder of VV Spot. She has a Master’s Degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. She also works for a non-profit organization in the Upstate who’s main focus is keeping kids safe! She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to health and families and I can’t think of a better person to guide a family into a lifestyle change like this.

Karen Moss, received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Georgia and completed her dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She has been a registered dietitian nutritionist since 2010 and helped overhaul the nutrition program for a local hospital.

Together, these two women provide a genuine knowledge of the diet and lifestyle they promote. They aren’t just vegan foodies, and that should give families confidence in what they learn on the tour.

The Star Of The Show – The Food

VV Spot offers multiple tours, the one we were invited to focus on the West Village Area of Greenville.

Quinoa, spirulina, legumes, chia…..Most of that would garner a turned-up nose from a child. Right? If they even knew what you meant when you said it to them.

What if you were talking about a vegan diet to your children, and talking about pizza, nachos, tacos, and frozen treats? They’d listen, wouldn’t they? It certainly got my attention! Especially the taco part. The tour I participated in took us to four different West Village eateries. It also included a stop somewhere we could feast our eyes, while we worked off the first half of the tour!

Coastal Crust Pizza

Our tour started at Coastal Crust, with a beautiful salad and a vegan breadboard, with marinated olives and the stecca bread from Swamp Rabbit Cafe. Next, we were presented with a beautiful brick oven pizza topped with fresh veggies and vegan cheese. I honestly didn’t miss the dairy type cheese at all. Coastal Crust also offers gluten-free crust and traditional meat and cheese toppings for patrons.

Kuka Juice

Next on our tour was a stop at this cute little juice cafe. We enjoyed the vegan version of their Pendleton Sandwich and the All Hail Caesar salad. All of it was delicious! The Pendleton is made on local bread from Great Harvest and filled with falafel, cucumber, hummus, and spinach. It comes with feta, but ask for it to be left off and viola, it’s vegan. The All Hail Caesar salad was really good, and I should mention I’m not normally a huge kale fan. The base of the salad was kale, romaine, and HEMP! What? Yes, I said Hemp. I can’t even tell you the reader what it tasted like, because I didn’t even realize I was eating anything out of the ordinary! I only just now, glancing at a menu to make sure I had the ingredients right, noticed.

That’s the thing I want to stress about everything I tried on this tour. The food wasn’t just good, taking into account that it was vegan. It was just GOOD FOOD.

Kuka Juice

Feasting The Eyes 

With full bellies, we walked a few blocks to the Greenville Center for Creative Arts. The center also offers all sorts of opportunities for kids and adults to be creative! We got to enjoy a beautiful art exhibit and get a mini-history lesson about the mill’s history. I hadn’t toured a mill before and the original flooring still shows the heel marks from where the supervisors stood! It was all so interesting, I could have stayed all day, but tacos were next on the itinerary!

Neo Burrito

Unfortunately, The Asheville-based Neo Burrito didn’t reopen after it’s temporary closure at the beginning of COVID-19.

Ok. this was going to be the true test for me. Anyone who regularly follows Kidding Around and our adventures know I’m the self-proclaimed taco expert. Was this plant-based diet, vegan thing going to pass the “Taco Test”?

It did, with flying colors in fact. I opted for the nachos instead of the tacos that afternoon, but that’s basically just a deconstructed taco, right? Not only was my plate of nachos delicious, but it was also huge, then they told me it was only a HALF order of nachos. If the fact that a small family could eat for a week from a whole order of nachos wasn’t enough of a reason to run there right now, I’ve got another. Kids eat free on Tuesday! To make my nachos vegan, I had to leave off the sour cream and the cheese. There were so many other topping options, I really didn’t miss it.

Neo Burrito

Carols’ Ice Cream – Closed February 2020

I was excited about the last stop on the tour for a bunch of reasons. First, I’m lactose intolerant and usually enjoying a frozen dairy treat results in misery later for me. Secondly, this ice cream place is unique to the Upstate. Your frozen treat is made to order right in front of you! Utilizing the magic of liquid nitrogen, they pour some ingredients into a mixer and a few minutes later you are enjoying a custom made frozen treat. For the vegan patron, a coconut milk base is used and then your choice of add-ins. I enjoyed a coconut strawberry treat, and I didn’t have to worry about feeling sick afterward.

While we were there, the seasonal special was an apple cider sorbet. Locally sourced apple cider is turned into some of the best sorbet you’ll ever have. If you are a fan of the apple cider slushies at the orchards, this is like that on steroids!

Carols’ have board games to play and is just a cool place to sit back and watch the chemistry show that happens every time an order is placed,

Baby Steps

I left the tour that day, excited to learn more and to share with my 8-year-old son the things I’d learned. Kids are amazing, I had no idea he’d be as excited as I was to learn about eating a plant-based diet! He quickly pointed out all the plant-based meals we already enjoy as a family! I hadn’t even realized we were already doing this until he pointed it out.

There are so many reasons to make a change in your diet. Regardless of why it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Bacon is awesome, but so was everything we had on the tour. I don’t plan on becoming 100% vegan anytime soon, but just like a lot of things in life, those first few steps make the difference.

Learning More

VV Spot offers several different tours and events on a monthly basis, and they can be viewed on their website.

Tours sell out quickly, so if you see a one that looks interesting book it right away.

My best piece of advice for the tour is to pace yourself. Don’t forget you have several meals on the itinerary and eat a bunch at the first stop. It will be tempting, but trust me.

The tour is kid-friendly, and children 5 and under are free with a paying adult.

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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