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Asheville in July


therese
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My husband and I are headed to Asheville for five nights, Sunday thru Thursday, in July. We've not settled on a place to stay, but are looking at bed & breakfasts in the Montfort neighborhood. We'll have a car and will likely be doing some day trips out into the surrounding area, either hiking or possibly rafting.

So, where to eat? I've eaten at Grove Park Inn (brunch, about two years ago) and was thoroughly underwhelmed. No other experience with Asheville. I live in Atlanta, so pretty demanding when it comes to both upmarket and ethnic, but I'm from this part of the world (mountains of Virgina) and so am familiar with (and like) the local food.

I'm looking for several categories:

1. Upmarket/nosebleed: Looks like Gabrielle's at Richmond Hill Inn fits the bill. Any other options? Any specific comments re Gabrielle's?

2. Downtown/groovy/trendo/funky: whatever's available, possibly walking distance from Montfort, walkable surrounding neighborhood and after dinner entertainment options a plus. Anything from Italian to tapas to vegan to brewpub.

3. Out of town/day trip: places on the way to a hike or waterfall or whatever. Barbecue shack, trout pond/mill, family style, meat and three all fine.

4. Shopping: good sources for local products/produce.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Had good food and drink in Asheville some months ago. Jack of the Wood is a nice little brewpub in what seemed to be a main drag downtown. Also, I caught the Asheville episode of "$40 a Day" on Food TV the other day and Rachel Ray was doing her usual raves about:

* Tupelo Honey Cafe (breakfast)

* Spirits on the River (lunch)

* Picnics (a GIANT piece of pie)

* I don't remember the dinner place.

If you're going to Biltmore Estate, we had an excellent lunch at the bistro (not Deerpark) there after knocking back a few too many free samples at the winery. I'm not sure if you can eat there without paying the $37 to tour the house and grounds, but if you'll be there anyway, I highly recommend it. Everything we ate was excellent. I had some kind of fish on smoked gouda grits and was in heaven.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

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Salsas had very good food which some rather unique combinations of ingredients. Run by the same chef as Zambra so i would expect that place to be good too and plan on checking Zambra out next time im in asheville.

Check out the laughing seed on wall street if you want to try some veggie cuisine.

personally i thought early girl eatery was better than tupulo honey cafe for breakfast but both were good.

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Just to add to your list, check out Barley's Tap Room and Pizzeria, and Rio Burrito, both are right downtown. Have fun, I wish I were you.

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

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No trip to Asheville would be complete without a trip to Chocolate Fetish downtown ... not to be missed truffles of all sorts! :wink:

The Chocolate Fetish truffles are creamy, with a velvety taste and texture. They are referred to as "a moment of pure ecstasy"which may sound like a overstatement until you try one!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Everything sounds great, and thanks to all for the suggestions.

But last night, as husband and I were home going through web sites for B & B's with cushy beds, lovely gardens, and fantastic breakfasts we realized that we already live in a very nice place with a cushy bed, lovely garden, and fantastic breakfast (which we can eat in our jammies, hair uncombed), and since our kids will both be away at camps that week we needn't actually leave town ourselves.

We've tried the "vacation at home" option before with mixed results, but this time we've agreed that neither of us will go to our office or do work of any sort. Hmm, we'll see.

In the interim I need to get busy making reservations, as this means I've got a dining budget of at least $400/day. Oh boy, I can hardly wait...

Can you pee in the ocean?

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we realized that we already live in a very nice place with a cushy bed, lovely garden, and fantastic breakfast (which we can eat in our jammies, hair uncombed), and since our kids will both be away at camps that week

You realize, of course, that you have just advertised on the World Wide Web for a new, incredibly inviting B&B in your home, therese ... :laugh: you do provide afternoon tea? and 'turn down' with a mint upon the pillow each night, no? :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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we realized that we already live in a very nice place with a cushy bed, lovely garden, and fantastic breakfast (which we can eat in our jammies, hair uncombed), and since our kids will both be away at camps that week

You realize, of course, that you have just advertised on the World Wide Web for a new, incredibly inviting B&B in your home, therese ... :laugh: you do provide afternoon tea? and 'turn down' with a mint upon the pillow each night, no? :wink:

Except that most of the time the beguiling prospect of watching me eat breakfast in my jammies is offset by the presence of my kids complaining bitterly that I've once again failed to buy them any trash breakfast cereal.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks so much for this post. Shortly before this thread was started, hub informed me that he needed to go to Asheville for a couple days in July to attend some meetings and wondered if I'd like to come along...to get to a cooler place if for no other reason. I hemmed and hawed, then saw this thread and decided that Yes, indeed, I'd like to go to Asheville and check out some of these places.

We were last there almost 2 years ago (also for meetings), stayed at the huge Grove Park Inn in a not-so-great room, had a not-so-great dinner in the dining room, then had dinner at the strange (to me, anyway) Flying Frog Cafe---French, German, and Indian: what a combination. Anyhow, this trip we had wonderful dinners at Gabrielle's, the Marketplace, and Rezaz; lunches at Early Girl Eatery and Chelsea's Tea Room. We stayed at Richmond Hill Inn (location of Gabrielle's) where breakfast is included, therefore no restaurant visits for breakfast. Just for the info: breakfast is not served at Gabrielle's nor does the Inn have room service; there is a beautiful breakfast room where Inn guests have a choice of 4-5 entrees plus various juices, sides, etc.

At Rezaz (in the vicinity of Biltmore estate): best paella I've ever had, with shrimp, mussels, tasso, heavy on the duck and chorizo; shared app of pitas with various dips/spreads

at Gabrielle's: ordered from prix fixe menu--"molded" vegetable salad incl. croutons, which were a little soggy; lamb chops with polenta and ragout of mushrooms, tomatoes, and sweet peppers; chocolate roulade with malted ice cream and bourbon fudge sauce

at Marketplace (downtown Asheville): salad with local goat cheese, blueberries, focaccia croutons; wild sockeye salmon w/ assortment of local vegetables w/ avocado coulis (I like avocados, but this was a little too bland; another sauce with more oomph would have been better, IMO); peach cobbler w/ vanilla ice cream---hardly exciting but soo good

A word about downtown Asheville: streets go every which way and traffic is congested so once you find a parking space, leave the car there and walk. Very lively downtown, always seems to be lots going on. If you're a "boomer", you'll feel like you're back in the 60's :wink: Many interesting little shops, cafes, art galleries, etc. Wear good walking shoes/sandals.

CBHall

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  • 2 months later...
Any new recommendations?

For B&B’s I’d recommend The Yellow House in Waynesville. http://www.theyellowhouse.com/ It’s centrally located to Asheville, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and the barbecue pits along the main drag in Maggie Valley. My wife and I will be heading into the Asheville area in October for two days, and then up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Boone, NC for a night. The following night we’ll be in Floyd VA for the Friday Night Jamboree and then we’ll end in Front Royal, the top of Skyline Drive for an overnight before we return to Philly on Sunday morning.

This is the third time for us along this route, which we call the Blue Ridge, Bluegrass and Barbecue Tour. I’m a musician and we try to hit jam sessions along the way. The Blue Ridge is really coming on to its own as a culinary destination for us. Cuisine wise I’d call it Down Home Haute in some of the white tablecloth places, but the ones we really like are the formica counter-tops down home cooking. You just can’t imagine the breakfasts.

Generally, we fill up on breakfasts and snack off the roadside stands and farmer’s markets off the parkway. Dinners can run the gamut to Sims Barbecue in Lenoir or the Games Keeper in Boone Blowing Rock (if you’re there, order the Smoked Antipasto it’s a smoked mixed game featuring buffalo flank steak, rabbit tenderloin, venison andouille and Italian boar sausages with Italian accompaniments)

The barbecue that we’ve had in the High country can be hit or miss. It’s not really known for it but every year when we go back there are new joints popping up.

I’ll get back to y’all at the end of October and let you know what we find.

Jim

Edited by marinade (log)

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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The Left Bank on patton ave is a wonderful place serving quality french / continental cusine

If you are in the area of the biltmore dont waste your money on admission to eat at one of their restaurants & even if you are touring the estate just cross the road to biltmore village to The Corner Kitchen fabulous food touching on so many aspects - best find in asheville

The Laughing Seed is the best vegetarian i've found. period. wonderful atmosphere & amazing food

Just downstairs from the laughing seed where they brew their Green Man Ales is Jack of the Wood - just a great all around pub.

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