Asheville, Marvelous meals, North Carolina

Asheville is for foodies

Another thing that I love about Asheville is that it is a Slow Food city. Its restaurants, for the most part, take supporting the local farmers and food artisans seriously. I ate at a variety of places in Asheville, including a bowl of Cheerios at the Days Inn, where Juanita loudly groused, “You don’t like how I do my job? Hey, I’m 80 years old. I’m outta here!” and the poor girl from the front desk kept saying, “Nobody’s upset with you, Juanita.”

So that was a real world experience that I enjoyed. And I was reminded that I really do love Cheerios.

On Saturday, I lunched at the White Duck Taco Shop in the River Arts District. I wish that I had taken a photo of my duck taco and watermelon side, but I was too busy scarfing that bad boy down. I recommend it, and there was a long line at the counter, so obviously it is popular for good reason.

On Saturday night we picked Cúrate, a Spanish tapas restaurant near Pack Square on Biltmore Avenue. It was a delicious, beautiful, and unusual experience for us. We sat at the bar and watched the chefs bustle through their orders. Next time I will definitely try their ham, which is their specialty. And cheese. I love manchego cheese.

pimientos de padron

“peppers from smoking j’s farm served with bonito flakes “unos pican y unos no” translation “some are spicy and some are not,” will you take the challenge?”

Sandy liked these better than I did although I did like them, and they were right about the surprise factor in hotness. It’s just that I was diggin’ the eggplant:

berenjenas la taberna

“fried eggplant drizzled in wild mountain apiaries honey, garnished with rosemary”

I never considered putting honey and rosemary on fried eggplant. Mmmmm.

The big hit was the

pincho moruno

“lamb skewers marinated in moorish spices”

When we were outside trying to decide on a restaurant, a woman walking out recommended this dish with gusto. It made up our mind and she was right. Even those pickles were good and I am not a pickle person. Although I do occasionally get pickled.

vieiras con pimiento del piquilla maestro julian

“seared scallops with roasted red pepper sauce”

Wow. Yes, these were delectable. They also cost $6 per scallop. A seafood vendor recently told me the government controls the price of scallops. I don’t know whether that is true, but this price makes me think that maybe he was correct.

The next day, we had brunch at Solace, also in downtown Asheville. I don’t know, is 2 p.m. still considered brunch, or is it lupper/linner? Sandy had a pastrami sandwish, and I had antelope and polenta and most refreshingly, mimosas.

It was a fun, partly rainy day of shopping. We went to the Folk Art Center (future post) and I bought cotton flake mill end cones and other supplies at Earth Guild. We hit the Himalayan Import store where I picked up a patchwork bag and a game store where Sandy loaded up on his passion and, of course, a used book store and Malaprops, Asheville’s awesome independent bookstore. We ate dinner with my niece at Eddie Spaghetti’s, a little Italian place on the outskirts of Asheville.

Gosh, I love Asheville. I really, really, really do.

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