Mellow, Asheville!

The last time I was in this town, I was fifteen years old playing basketball at a Christmas tournament. We never ventured outside the gym, had pre-planned meals, and our ONE outing was the Biltmore house. Which is spectacular, but it didn’t make the cut for this vacay.

Yesterday was a day of driving. Nothing much to report besides sore bottoms and the guilt from using McDonald’s bathrooms, but never purchasing food. Girl, I am on Weight Watchers and I’ve splurged enough. McD’s is not on my road trip plan. However, today we did splurge a little with an awesome walking/eating tour of Downtown Asheville.

We had a quasi-lazy morning with no alarm clocks to wake us up. It was a steamy day, but we managed to squeeze in a nearly five-mile walk along the French Broad River in Carrier Park. We drug Matilda along. My mom’s overweight dog who has slept the day away after the excursion this morning. As I type this blog, she is snoring on a large green velvet sofa. I promise she is alive and breathing in the photo.

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After getting showered, I realized I read the tickets wrong, so we were 15-minutes late for our tour of Asheville. We had an awesome guide, Anne. She was chill and completely understood. We started our tour in a cool cafe/used-book store called the Battery Park Book Exchange. Anne explained the history, served up some bubbly, and two appetizers of local pimento cheese dip and smoked trout dip. Both excellent and a perfect start. (No pictures, I was even tardier as I tried to find a parking spot. Asheville is a kicking place!)

Our first stop was Baba Nahm, an awesome middle eastern spot, where all the ingredients are locally sourced and pitas are made daily! The loose translation of the name is father provider or caregiver. The owner has deep childhood memories of family meals prepared by his mother but provided by his dad. We had a mini-falafel pita with amazing carrot relish! It was fresh and perfectly balanced with hints of mint.

Then we walked to Zambra, a local’s favorite Anne told us. It is a tapas hot spot with small little romantic cushioned caves to dine in. We drank their winter sangria. Mom wants to make this for our next holiday throw down. It was tasty. And the food was a pulled pork and pomegranate spring roll with avocado orange puree. I did try it…a very small bite. BUT I CAN’T…there is something with the stringy-ness of pork. I ate the avocado. Delicious. I passed the remainder of my egg roll to my mom.

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We then moseyed to the Blind Pig for a potato pancake chorizo meatball sampler with a Cheer wine cocktail. I gave the meatball a chance, but passed the meat mom’s way and inhaled the fried potato cake!!! If you don’t know me that well….I don’t really like meat. I sometimes eat chicken, turkey, and fish. I don’t care for red meat or pork. I was a vegetarian for most of high school and undergrad. BUT with that being said, I still LOVE food and this TOUR WAS THE BOMB DOT COM! We looked at every menu at each restaurant, and even though I don’t do pork…there were plenty of options. I saw sooo many tasty treats that I would have loved to experience on another vacay to Asheville.

Our final entree spot was an Italian spot, Strada. We had an awesome red wine and a GRILLED ravioli with cherry tomato sauce, aged balsamic vinegar, and arugula. It was remarkable. The chard grill marks. The sweetness of the balsamic. The pepper-y arugula. I could have lived in this dish! SO GOOD! During service hours at Strada, the appetizer is served with two and the entree is served with three ravioli. They were nearly the size of my palm. If and when you are in Asheville stop here for one or maybe two meals 🙂

The sweet treat at the end was provided by Asheville Chocolate. They supply the Biltmore with all of their tasty treats. I tried to secure tickets for my mom and me for the chocolate wine tour of the Biltmore, but they were sold out! Glad we were able to sample the finest chocolate with a dark chocolate truffle and then two amazing gelatos: cookies-n-cream and mint chocolate chip. A perfect end to a fun afternoon.

If you are traveling to Asheville sign up for an awesome walking food tour. Anne said they work with over 30 restaurants in the area, so no two walks are the same!

We are chilling and I have ideas of an ice cream float for a late night snack. My overall step count today is 12,821. So I think the Asheville eating tour didn’t bust my diet!

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One comment

  1. LInda · June 18, 2018

    Stop it! My mouth is watering!

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