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
“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.