Before the wee one cometh, my husband and I decided to take a little vacation. We’re within driving distance to Asheville, North Carolina, and it has been on my radar for a while now for its unique culture and fabulous food. Since this is a food blog and all, I wanted to share some of the awesome food we enjoyed! You can expect some copycat recipes in the coming weeks!
What we ate: We split the Bombay Chili Cheese Fries and the Sloppy Jai.
Review: YUM. This little place gets busy, and with good reason. The food is inventive and totally fun. We’re not into a ton of heat with our food (especially being pregnant and all), so I was nervous about that, but the food was super flavorful without excess heat/spice.
What we ate: Lunch – Pimento Grilled Cheese, Broccoli Cheddar Hushpuppies, and Cuban Pork Sandwich. Breakfast: Strawberry Pancakes and Black Bean and Cheddar Omelet.
Review: I was excited to try this place after reading reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor, but…I have to say that it wasn’t one of our favorites. I’m not sure if we just ordered the wrong things and the food certainly wasn’t bad, but with all of the fabulous places to eat in Asheville, we could have skipped this one! The grilled cheese was quite greasy, but had decent flavor. The hushpuppies were a bit disappointing. The strawberry pancakes were very good!
What we ate: Dinner – Bacon, Eggs, and Goat Cheese Grits; Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup. Breakfast: Sweet Potato Pancake; Eggs Betty. Banana Pudding for dessert.
Review: This place was always busy when we stopped by, but we never had to wait too long. I understand why it is popular! The food is really great. My husband loved his grilled cheese sandwich, and the goat cheese grits had a subtle, yummy flavor. The sweet potato pancake was HUGE and very good, especially with the spiced nuts on top! Plus, they give you huge, fluffy, gorgeous biscuits before your meal, which are like heaven in your mouth.
What we ate: Blueberry Chipotle Ribs, Mac & Cheese, Jalapeno Cheese Grits, Cornbread, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Corn Pudding.
Review: Hands down, the BEST food we had in Asheville – better than the more expensive places we visited! The Blueberry Chipotle ribs were sweet and quite spicy; I had to drink a lot of water during that meal! The best part? The corn pudding. It was the perfect texture – super moist without being mushy, quite sweet, with some spice from different types of peppers. It was amazing. I wish we had come here more than once!
What we ate: Cal’s Money Buffalo Crepe, Levi’s Country Club Crepe, Reese’s Cup Crepe
Review: A fun place for a light meal! These aren’t really traditional crepes, they are more like a paninis with a very thin, crunchy bread (the sweet crepes are soft, the savory ones are crunchy). A nice, quick lunch option.
What we ate: Carrot Cake and Chai Ice Cream
Review: AWESOME. My chai ice cream was totally heavenly! I’m craving it right now.
What we ate: This is a tapas restaurant, so we wanted to try lots of things! We got:
- Pan Con Tomate (bread with tomato spread)
- Patatas Bravas (crispy fried potatoes with special sauce)
- Barenjenas la Taberna (fried eggplant with rosemary and honey)
- Canelones de Carne (pasta filled with tons of meat with bechemel sauce and machengo cheese)
- Pincho Moruno (lamb skewers)
- Espuma de Chocolate (chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet and hazelnut praline)
Review: A very fun experience! Honestly though, we ordered too much! Our least favorite dish was the pan con tomate. The potato dish was super yummy and the lamb skewers were AMAZING. I also enjoyed the dessert very much – the mousse felt like it dissolved in your mouth! The service was also top notch here.
What we ate: The Parisian Panini with Parisian Chips; The Italiano Panini with Americana Chips
Review: This is a fun place for a light lunch or dinner. The paninis were quite good with interesting ingredients and the chips were super fun! Chips are made to order, so you will have to wait, but fresh potato chips are worth it!
What we ate: Carrot Hot Cakes and Huevos Rancheros with a side of bacon.
Review: We had trouble parking here…with good reason! We didn’t visit this little gem until our last day, and I wished we had gone there sooner (it was out of the way of our hotel). It is very casual, but it was our best breakfast! The carrot hot cakes had a cardamom cream cheese topping that was to die for and my husband loved his huevos rancheros! The bacon was also special – a little spicy, but with a sweet glaze. YUM!
Oh, and here’s a little bonus…
On our way home, we stopped by Henry River Mill in North Carolina, which is where they filmed a lot of District 12 from The Hunger Games movie. It is technically closed to the public, but I was able to get a shot of Mellark’s Bakery from the side of the road. I wish we could have walked around for a while, but again, I’m not into the whole trespassing thing. I think Peeta and Katniss would approve.