We arrived at 6:00, after a pretty easy five hour drive from Louisville. We checked in at the Four Points, which is an OK hotel in a great location. We made our way to Asheville Brewing Co for the first of many beer flights. This was the best beer we would have all week, with the jalapeno pale ale being the most interesting.
We then made our way to Lexington Ave Brewery (LAB) where we sampled from their good, but not great beers. Good but not great beers would be the norm for this trip. The beer munchies were starting to hit so we began to negotiate the menu. We settled on a few apps.
Country Fried Chicken(9/10)
Buttermilk fried drumette with collard greens, cast iron cornbread, Coca-Cola braised smoked pork cheeks
Blueberry & Jalapeno Biscuit (8/10)
Goodnight Brother's country ham, LAB pimento cheese, and fried green tomatoes.
LAB Beef Sliders (9/10)
LAB beef sliders, topped with blue cheese, bacon, and truffled frites
We were warned there would be a line at Tulepo Honey Cafe, but it was Fri. morning around 9:00 and we walked right in. The place quickly filled up behind us and we watched as the open kitchen went to work. We knew we were having a late lunch/early dinner at Curate, so we ordered light.
Chicken and Biscuits with maple peppered bacon and local made sausage (8/10)
After breakfast we made the 10 minute drive to the Biltmore. I was really expecting to be blown away by this place and at a $60 ticket price I should have been, but was not. Yes, the house is impressive, the gardens beautiful, but for $60 I wanted more. The $60 doesn't even get you the audio tour, that's $10 more. We made our way through the house in about 50 minutes, with the highlights being the dining hall and indoor swimming pool. After the house tour we spent about an hour wondering around the gardens and conservatory, which are fantastic.
A short 2 mile drive, still within the estate, and we were at the winery. We made quick work of the sampling and said goodbye to the Biltmore.
About a mile from the exit of the Biltmore is the French Broad Brewery. It wasn't the easiest place to find, but a quick phone call and we were guided in by our soon to be beertender. French Broad is a very small brewery, with most of the seating within the brewery, and a few tables outside. A beer flight, pint of Kolsch, and a few bombers for home and we were on our way to Curate.
Curate was great. The service, food, and atmosphere were fantastic, especially loved the huge open kitchen.
Tabla de Embutidos (10/10)
Garlic Shrimp (10/10)
Lamb Skewer (10/10)
Fried Eggplant with Honey and Rosemary (7/10)
A couple of breakfast sandwiches from City Bakery and we were on our way to Chimney Rock. Chimney Rock is worth the 1 hour road trip from downtown Asheville. Chimney Rock is a huge park, full of rock formations, hiking trails, waterfalls, ect., $15 per person entrance fee. We chose to take in the Chimney formation and the 1.5 mile hike to Hickory Nut Falls.
Back in Asheville around 2:00, we were hungry, but had dinner reservations at 5:00, so we walked around in search of a snack. We stumbled across a place called The Bier Garden, and were quite impressed. This place is one of the best sports bars I've seen. Huge televisions, pool tables, darts, arcade games, pub food, and a very impressive beer list make this place a winner.
5:00 rolls around and we head for The Lobster Trap for dinner. The Lobster Trap also houses Oyster Brewing Co, famous for their oyster stout, a beer brewed with oysters. The oyster stout was good, but no signs of oyster were to be found. For food we had the.
Shrimp Steam Bowl (10/10)
Lobster Roll (10/10
Lobster Mac and Cheese (8/10)
After dinner we hit up Jack of the Wood for a beer flight and some live and festive bluegrass, then the basement of The Thirsty Monk which is billed as a Belgium beer bar. We finished the night at City Billiards with a few games of pool and some deep fried bar food.
We started the day with breakfast at the Over Easy Cafe, pretty much the only place open in Asheville on a Sun. at 9:00. The place opens up at 9:00 and we showed up at 9:10 and the place was packed. The only two seats left were at the small bar and we took them. This place is extremely small, with the kitchen being a matchbook. I was very impressed with the quality and quantity of food these two guys were putting out. We decided on the:
Downhome Breakfast (8/10)
Two buttermilk biscuits served with vegetarian herb gravy, two eggs any style, and choice of side (roasted potatoes).
Stuffed French Toast (9/10)
Challah bread stuffed with a cinnamon apple compote. Topped with toasted graham cracker crumbles, cinnamon whipped cream and house made apple chips. Served with real maple syrup and fresh fruit.
After breakfast we strolled around on Broadway and the only shop that was open was called Loft. It is a strange combo store, great for kids, gardeners, and perverts. Think Spencer Gifts, Bunton Seed, and Toy's R Us under one roof.
Asheville is an extremely lazy town on Sundays, nothing seemed to be open and we struggled to figure out where to go or what to do. We headed back to the room, did a little packing, and waited for the town to wake.
We killed time until 2:00 when Wedge Brewery opened. It is a 8-10 minute drive from downtown in a very artsy part of down. It is actually in the basement of a 3 story art studio, sandwiched between a blown glass studio and railroad tracks; very cool area that we wished we could have spent more time in.
A flight of beer and a pint of Wit and we were on our way back to town.
Dinner reservations for the night were at Cucina 24, which turned out to be fantastic and the best meal of the trip.
Shigoku and Beausoliel Oyster w/ Watermelon Granita and Mignonette (10/10)
Charred Octopus w/ Bacon, Potato, Orange, and Chili (10/10)
(One of the best dishes I've ever tasted)
Cherry,Bacon, Arugula, and Smoked Fontina Pizza (9/10)
Grilled Sardine w/ Walnut, Fennel, Olive Oil (9/10)
Chicken Liver Crostini (8/10)
We wrapped up the night and trip with drinks at Bocca and Sazerac. We didn't have time to eat at either, but from seeing and smelling the food coming out of their kitchens I'd recommend them.
Last edited by JustinHammond
on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The idea is to eat well and not die from it-for the simple reason that that would be the end of your eating." - Jim Harrison