While galavanting around Asheville recently, we ended up in the River Arts District, and in search of Sake. We stopped by Blue Kudzu and to our surprise, we had the opportunity to taste the first batch of Sake ever brewed! We added an array of delicious appetizers to the mix, and wow, what a drinking and dining experience. Michael, who is on staff, hosted us and helped make it a night to remember. This spot is a little off the beaten path, but well worth the 5-minute trip from downtown Asheville.
(Foreword by Adrian Etheridge, of ASE Photography)
It was the week before finals and amidst my frenzy to find a job for the summer, I happened across a flyer advertising a communications intern position with a “local interior design firm specializing in collaboration with local artists.” In a fit of excitement, I emailed the contact immediately, crossing my fingers for a job that would combine my skills in photography and social media with my love for interior design – not to mention the added of intensive of working closely with local artists (as art is my passion.)
Beer City USA, to Bee City USA, to Sake City USA! I like how it sounds. Asheville is now setting the stage to make that happen. Great food demands a great drink! Sake is something that we usually only enjoy when we are eating Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese food; but all of that is about to change. Several locations are now open in the Asheville area where Sake is one of the key offerings. Blue Kudzu is leading the way with the fourth micro-sake brewery in the USA. This is BIG!
Since Sake has landed in Asheville North Carolina, businesses are taking advantage of this great opportunity. We stopped by the grand opening party at Blue Kudzu Sake in the River Arts District and enjoyed a night of friends, food, beer, and Sake of course. Asian influence as a whole is spreading in the Asheville and Western North Carolina community as Oriental families are realizing the quality of life we offer and the peaceful diversity this city brings to the table.
Other places in the area that are part of the Asheville Sake Revolution are Ben’s Tune Up in downtown Asheville, and Native Kitchen & Social Pub in Swannanoa, just minutes east of Asheville. And this is just the beginning. I already envision many Asheville area restaurants incorporating select Sake options in their menu; especially once Blue Kudzu starts brewing! Stop by these locations and try some. You will love it. Kanpai!
Eating mussels has not always been my favorite thing to do. I remember when I lived in Brooklyn, I would go to Sheepshead Bay on a seafood excursion and enjoy baby scallops, baked clams and more at Randazzo’s; but never mussels or oysters. Time changed, taste buds wandered a little, and I tried my first plate of mussels ever with a bottle of White Wine at Fiore’s, which is now Strada Italiano. SO GOOOOD! This was about 6 years ago and now I pretty much never miss the opportunity for a delicious dish.
After trying dozens of places in the Asheville area, we now have our preferred locations when we are on the hunt for mussels. Here they are:
1. Strada Italiano – this is the best dish that we have found in the area. Out of the 100 times (at least) that we have ordered mussels here, they have hit a home run just about every time. Once we believe they switched suppliers or chefs because the mussels were twice as big and the broth did not taste the same; but it was back to normal the following week.
2. Bull & Beggar – a new spot in town with a tasty menu and great place right near the Wedge Brewery. Their mussels were delicious and worth the trip to the River Arts District.
3. Bouchon – this has been a mussel hot spot for years. In addition to that, they have All You Can Eat mussels on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
4. Avenue M – they are located on the northside of town and we have experienced some great mussels at this place. When we lived out that way, we stopped by here at least once a month for a dish of mussels.
5. Junction – we had high expectations when ordering, and they were met with a delicious bowl of mussels that we devoured too quickly!
6. Mezzaluna – this restaurant is located in Hendersonville NC, about 15 minutes south of Asheville, and their mussels are so yum!
We are putting together a Community Content Team for the new AskAsheville website and blog that we are launching in a few weeks. A team of 10 is already in place, but we are looking for more people who would like to contribute and share information about a variety of topics. Sections of the new site include News, Women, Beer, Food, Wine, Hotels, Photos, Videos, Business, Events, Music, Entertainment, Neighboring Towns and much more. We are interested in getting a great diversity of contributors that will share Asheville from their “point of view” on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
You may be a Writer or Blogger in the WNC area that would like to post a weekly story to AskAsheville. Maybe you are a Photographer or Videographer in the community that wants to share a photo or some videos each week with a quick description on the blog. You may be a marketer and have a few clients or business connections that you would like to write about on a monthly basis. Or maybe you just like to go out and eat, drink, tour, dance, shop and have a good time; and you want to start documenting the experiences, making them count more, and building a portfolio of your work. You post it… and we distribute it online through our social media audiences which reach so many focused on the Asheville area.
Team meetings (online & offline) and full support will be offered including educational opportunities for you to teach your area of expertise, and learn from other teammates. We are implementing a mentorship and internship program as well, so if there is an area of media that you would like to learn more about or improve on; we can help you with training. We can also assist you with credit and a certificate for the work you complete. This could mean extra-credit for you in College and this will give you more credibility to potential employers and clients.
Building a community takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some of you, some of me, some of all of us. Can you write 200 words per month or per week about something that pertains to Asheville NC? Can you provide one featured photo per week or month with 25 word description? Can you draw a weekly or monthly cartoon? Maybe you want to do an Asheville Short Story series? We’ve got your back! We will feature you on our new website, link to you, promote you and your content, and the whole team will support you. We invite you to apply to be on our Asheville Community Content Team.