Press

Southern Living

Dishing with Andie MacDowell /July 2011
“Where: Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, NC. “It’s like a greasy diner without the grease,” says Andie. On her plate:…eggs over easy, grits and vegetarian biscuits with gravy.”

Southern Living

Best Breakfasts in North Carolina / March 2010
“This beloved Wall Street institution serves a wide variety of breakfasts all day, drawing from local produce. Co-founders and owners Julie and John Stehling (vegetarian and pork lover respectively) value the other’s veggies or pork, so tasty tofu and delectable local sausage live in harmony on the menu. You’ll find grit cakes topped with tomato , spinach, poached eggs, tomato gravy and avocado for the non-meat crowd. Bacon, country ham, or local sausage are also readily available here. DON’T MISS: Vegan Tofu Scramble, Local Sausage and Sweet Potato Scramble”

Bon Appetit

Early Girl Eatery/ Asheville, NC / January 2009
Who says southern food is just for carnivores? Here, diners can order eggs with bacon, local sausage, country ham – or tempeh. This old-school-meets-New-Age vibe runs throughout the menu, where there’s a Vegan Tofu Scramble and Shrimp and Grits. The delicious hybrid is a reflection of owners John and Julie Stehling. He comes from a long line of southern cooks; she’s all about wellness. Best of The Year “Top of the Morning: More Breakfast Spots We Love”

Bon Appetit

Feature / February 2009
Is a satisfying pork-free southern breakfast possible? We’ll let the biscuit with vegetarian herb-cream gravy and the vegan tofu scramble at this hip Asheville spot answer that question. There’s no letdown at dinner, with sweet potato-black bean cakes, tempeh Reuben, and, for meat lovers, local lamb shanks. “Modern Vegetarian”

New York Times

Feature / September 2007
“Grab a hearty but healthy breakfast at the Early Girl Eatery, a friendly haunt of hip Ashevillians for the past six years that culls its ingredients from local farmers. Try the sausage and sweet potato scramble, a delicious mix of eggs, sausage, shiitake mushrooms, spices and sweet potatoes.”

New York Times

Feature / September 2002
“Freshness is the appeal of Early Girl Eatery…named for a tomato popular with gardeners. The long list of vegetables may include baked lima beans and squash casserole. Entrees like roast chicken with herb gravy are straightforward and flavorful. The uncluttered dining room is decorated with jars of home-canned vegetables and plants hanging in the windows. Dinner for two with wine is about $50.”

National Geographic Traveler

Feature / September 2007
“Well before “locavore” became a buzz word, John and Julie Stehling looked to local sources to supply their Asheville, NC restaurant, the Early Girl Eatery. They wanted to support farmers making the transition from tobacco to food. Named for a cool-climate tomato, Early Girl is one of a growing number of innovative restaurants in town showcasing the bounty of today’s Appalachia and drawing visitors to their tables.”

USA Today

Feature / May 2007
“For the ethically picky, Early Girl Eatery, Asheville, NC”

Southern Living

Feature / March 2003
“Morning at its best — start with breakfast at Early Girl Eatery. They serve lunch and dinner too, but I had to try a lazy Saturday morning feast. I skipped the tofu scramble. (You’ll see a lot of tofu on menus in this town). But the stack of buttermilk pancakes with double-cut bacon on the side wonderfully satisfied my a.m. appetite. The stone-ground grits they serve are milled nearby and come with a generous pat of butter. Biscuits arrive at the table with that soothing flavor of home — without you making the effort or mess in your own kitchen. John and Julie Stehling own this place, and John’s brother runs the slightly similar Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina — another favorite we’ve shared with you in the past.

Gourmet

Feature / October 2003
“Coining a restaurant name and marrying it with a logo that captures the prevailing gestalt is no small task. John and Julie Stehling, owners of the two-year-old Early Girl Eatery, in Asheville, North Carolina, wanted something that would herald their commitment to fresh-from-the-farm vegetables. Pattypan Squash was fey; Better Boy was in-your face. Early Girl, a reference to an early-maturing tomato, was a last-minute choice. Emblazoned with a pop-art logo that has a retro naivete, Early Girl T-shirts are now snapped up by visiting and local fans alike.”

Organic Style

Feature /January/February 2004
Like the hybrid tomato for which it is named, this restaurant was a quick bloomer. Thanks to careful groundwork, success hit soon after John and Julie Stehling opened their casual, organic-driven restaurant in downtown Asheville in October 2001. “When we moved here, we spent three months driving around, meeting farmers, and joining everything we could think of to get in the loop,” says John, the executive chef, who made partnerships with more than a dozen area growers for the menu and local artists for the funky, festive decor.
Turning Point
“I worked as a cook at a dance festival in western Massachusetts — there were a lot of macrobiotic people and international performers from Cambodia and the rest of the world. I was exposed to different eating habits, and it raised my awareness.”
Signature Dish
“Spinach potato cakes — they’re almost like latkes. We take cooked potatoes and run them through the ricer; add local cheese, organic eggs, cooked fresh spinach, lemon zest; and top it with a seasonal tomato gravy.”
Source He is Proudest Of
“We work with the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, which is trying to shift farmers from tobacco to organic-produce crops.”