Asheville Cider at Urban Orchard on Haywood Rd

Urban Orchard Cider Company Asheville

We had not really gotten on the cider wagon. Living in Asheville nowadays, you gravitate to craft beer for the most part. And rightly so. After Beer City USA happened, the craft drinking scene in our community was embedded in our hearts and souls, which led to our mouths and down our throats. Along with that, comes their cousin cider! After reading a recent article about the Top 25 Restaurants in Asheville, and seeing how Urban Orchard Cider Company made this list; we had to go again. Not only that, but when the Asheville Foodie page on Facebook tagged the restaurants on Facebook congratulating them, they were one of the few who responded. Social media counts, so that’s a few more clout points to them in our book!

The cider was delicious, perfect for the Sunday brunch meal that we had which was an Artichoke Dip plate and a Reuben Sandwich. Everything was so good. We sat in the open window seats and enjoyed the fresh air. If you have not been to Urban Orchard Cider Company, they are located on Haywood Rd East in west Asheville on what some call Asheville’s Sweet Slope. Other eateries in walking distance of this spot are The Hop Ice Creamery, Short Street Cakes, HOLE Doughnuts, and the new Taco Billy.

Also, remember that the NC Cider Fest 2015 is coming up on November 7, 2015 in Asheville. That event is going to be tremendous!!

Who’s Your Daddy? King Daddy Is!

asheville waffle

West Asheville is a hotbed in Western North Carolina. And with foodie places like this, it will only continue to grow. King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles has become the breakfast place to be for many of us. Whether we are stopping by with a group, all with laptops and tablets in tow, having a meal with the family, or stopping by alone for a quick bite; this place is so good! Check out this waffle above. I told them I wanted everything on it.

capuchina king daddys asheville

The Mardis Building is where King Daddy’s sits. And Capuchina works there! Love that girl. Ask about her signature cocktails.

waffle asheville chicken

So many waffle selections and ways to do it. Here is a pork cracklin waffle (or something like that) with chicken pot pie on top!

asheville breakfast king daddys

Here is what I had for breakfast the other day. Scramble eggs, mac & cheese, fruit, and a waffle with strawberries.

asheville waffle bananas

We also ate a waffle with bananas, walnuts, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream!

asheville lunch brunch king daddys

The also have some more great brunchy and lunchy plates for you to choose from. If you are in Asheville, or coming to the area, make a stop in west Asheville, and make sure you eat at King Daddy’s!

Eating My Way Through Asheville

The Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village

Lobster Tacos in Sweet Potato Shells on Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Jicama Slaw and Chimichurri

As a college student, I have to eat on a budget. Well, I have to do pretty much everything on a budget. So, as I was trying to plan an epic Christmas present for my wonderful boyfriend, I realized that the college version of “epic” may just have to be a candy bar and socks. Luckily (or not so much), my boyfriend was in the same situation! After thinking about it for a while, we decided that rather than trying to spend too much money on items that the other may or may not even like, we would just go on a memorable date that we would both enjoy.

Well, I love food. I mean, I really love food. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy living in Asheville; I love trying new foods. Rather than just picking one restaurant out of the hundreds in the city, we decided to try five all in one night. As I said, I wanted to do something epic, and “epic” now meant that I would probably have to be rolled out of the last restaurant.

When planning the date, I wanted to hit some of Asheville’s best names, so naturally I turned to Ask Asheville and planned the adventure. Finally I narrowed my list down to the best diner, taco, sushi, tapas, and desert places in town.

My boyfriend, Jeremy, and I both run track for UNCA, and we headed out on our food excursion right after a workout, voraciously hungry. Our first stop was the Corner Kitchen, voted Diners’ Choice at, located in a quaint old house in the Biltmore Village. Since we didn’t know how much food we were going to eat throughout the whole evening, we decided to just go with one appetizer and, being the seafood fans we are, we went with the lobster tacos. And it was a great choice! The only problem I had with the dish was that I didn’t have 5 more plates of it. The lobster was buttery, melting in my mouth, and the savory slaw brought a little sweetness to the heat of the tacos’ sauce. That one plate assured me that I will have to go back to try the rest of the menu.

White Duck Taco in the River Arts District

Molé Roasted Duck with cranberries, apples, and lettuce

I’ve lived in Asheville for a few years now, and I thought I really knew my way around the city. Apparently, I was wrong. So, rather than driving straight to White Duck Taco – one of Asheville’s best taco eateries – I showed Jeremy all around the dark and quiet night version of the River Arts District. On purpose, obviously, we weren’t lost. But, we got there eventually. And the drive was worth it. I had never made my way to the little restaurant, but as soon as I saw the colorful chalkboard menu I knew I would be coming back multiple times. I love duck, and I love tacos, so the combination of the spicy duck combined with the sweetness of the fruit all wrapped in a tortilla was like a love song in my mouth. I was right about coming back to eat there, by the way. We came back a solid two days later.


Smoked Salmon Sashimi

My knowledge of downtown also is not quite as extensive as I thought, but after a couple wrong turns we made it to Wasabi, voted 2013 Best Sushi of WNC. As I said, I love trying new foods, and sushi is something that I have never really enjoyed before, so I wanted to try one more time. I love sashimi, so I got the smoked salmon so that I’d at least have something I would like.

Wasabi Downtown

Spicy salmon inside, peppered white tuna, avocado, crunchies, tobiko, scallions, and wasabi sauce

 Naturally, we got the most expensive roll on the menu, but it was well worth it. The salty, crunchy, meaty tastes swirling over my taste buds as I shoved the entire too-large piece of sushi into my mouth each time changed my view on the delicacy. Oh, and did I mention that I actually at the dish with chop sticks? This was probably my biggest accomplishment of the night. 

Social Lounge and Tapas Downtown

Hot popcorn tossed with shaved asiago and drizzled with white truffle oil

Social Lounge and Tapas is located, luckily, precisely two buildings down from Wasabi on the same street, so we made it there in great time, despite already being full. In need of some snacks, we went for the gourmet popcorn and gorged on the entire buttery plate while chatting and watching a football game.

Strada Downtown

Golden Crisp Calamari, Onions, Anahiem Peppers and Lemon served with Zesty Plum Tomato Sauce

Apparently, seafood was the theme of the evening, so we got fried calimari also, off of Strada’s menu at the bar. It is hard to go wrong with fried bits of sea creature dipped in a sweet marinara sauce, and this dish did not disappoint.

Old Europe Downtown

Creamy Coconut Cake

For our last stop of the night, we opted to go to our favorite dessert place over trying something new. Old Europe has been our spot since that awkward “friends” time before dating, and there are always at least ten desserts that I want to cram on my plate every time we go. One of my goals has been to eat every treat in the glass case, so I tried the creamy coconut cake as this is one of my favorite desserts and I haven’t tried Old Europe’s version yet. The moist cake layered with sweet and creamy coconut icing melted in my mouth so fast that I had to get another dessert.

Old Europe

Chocolate Bourbon Chestnut Cake

As full as I was, I took my Chocolate Bourbon Chestnut Cake home and thoroughly enjoyed it the night before classes started while I mourned the end of break.

An evening spent with my wonderful boyfriend eating Asheville’s finest food and touring the city is a date I will not soon forget. I do believe this will have to be a new Christmas tradition!


ASE Photography

Hunting for Mussels in Asheville North Carolina

asheville mussels strada italiano

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. 

bull and beggar asheville restaurant mussels

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!