Pizza Pura, Asheville NC

In the previous chapter, I mentioned that, by chance, we visited both of the two restaurants in Asheville owned by Laura Reuss and her husband Ben Mixson for supper before we left. I picked White Duck and asked Marie to pick another, and we never looked at the other’s choice beyond the names and were pleasantly surprised to find the two restaurants were sisters. Before the night was over, we’d be more than just pleasantly surprised. Continue reading “Pizza Pura, Asheville NC”

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White Duck Taco Shop, Asheville NC

We had a nice and long Baby Mercy Break after sharing an order of nachos in the early afternoon in downtown Asheville. We did lots of shopping at some favorite stores and, crucially, let him rampage and read at the Pack Memorial Library. The staff was completely wonderful, and let us stretch and relax and have books brought to us. Have to say, our son seems to suffer from sensory overload in libraries. At home, he patiently follows along with most books and immediately asks to hear them again. Whether we’re at home or in another library, however, he can’t go much more than four pages before rushing away to find another book to start anew. Continue reading “White Duck Taco Shop, Asheville NC”

Shopping for Chocolate in Asheville

This is Marie contributing an article about chocolates from two Asheville establishments: Chocolate Fetish and French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

Readers of our blog have encountered Chocolate Fetish before, as I’ve gushed about how wonderful they are for years now. They are a family-run business whose owners, Sue and Bill Foley, have been winning prizes for their chocolate for years. The business had been around since the 80s but the Foleys purchased it in 2002. Their focus is on making their blend of chocolate (from six sources) into truffles and candies that range from chocolate covered marshmallows (a weakness of mine) through sea salt caramels (another weakness) to their much-esteemed line of truffles. We have been going there for years and love their products. In strawberry season you absolutely MUST get one of their chocolate covered strawberries. Continue reading “Shopping for Chocolate in Asheville”

Panic on the Streets of Asheville – part two

There is a lot of history in Asheville. It’s more than the beautiful mountains; when you get into the city, the shadows of Vanderbilt and Fitzgerald loom large. The buildings are old and beautiful; you can see tasteful art deco designs on so many places. However, almost all of the businesses that inhabit these buildings are much, much newer. In 2011, The Three Brothers closed after a 52-year run. That seems to have been the city’s oldest locally-owned restaurant. Now, the oldest is Little Pigs, one of a handful of survivors from the 1960s-era Little Pigs of America chain, and it’s certainly due to be visited one day soon. The second-oldest in the city is Mediterranean Restaurant, which opened in 1969. Continue reading “Panic on the Streets of Asheville – part two”

Panic on the Streets of Asheville – part one

We have visited Asheville several times before. We have come up during the chaos and craziness of the Bele Chere Festival three times, and we’ve come to town when the city wasn’t being turned upside down by it. So we were a little surprised to see the downtown area almost as packed with people in November as it is during the last weekend of July. It turned out that we were in town at the same time that Widespread Panic was playing a two-night stand at the civic center downtown. There are street musicians all over the place in Asheville all the time anyway, but this time the whole city was singing with guitars and saxophones and dulcimers and washtub basses. Continue reading “Panic on the Streets of Asheville – part one”

Ammons Drive-In and Dairy Bar, Waynesville NC

We agreed that it had been a disagreeably long time since we visited Asheville, and so began scheduling a trip. Earlier this month, we drove back to western North Carolina to spend a day in this beautiful country and the city that we really, really love. This time, we took a much different path getting there. Continue reading “Ammons Drive-In and Dairy Bar, Waynesville NC”

Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC

For the next brewery in my small and slow “learning a little about beer” project, I wanted to try something from Asheville, a place sometimes called “Beer City” and home to something like a dozen brewpubs and breweries, and a place we are long overdue to return. I went with Highland Brewing because I remembered really enjoying their Oatmeal Porter. I first had that when I paid my first of a couple of visits to Decatur’s Brick Store Pub and I’ve had it a couple of times at other places. If I had a top five beer list, Highland Oatmeal Porter would be on it. Continue reading “Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC”