Of course in Asheville, you have plenty of Mexican food choices from Papas & Beer to Mamas & Beer, but this is one that does not have a person affiliated with it, only a nacho. Nachos & Beer has been our go-to spot lately for Mexican food. If you don’t know where it is, you head toward Fairview on Charlotte Hwy and it is right across from Ingles. The dishes, atmosphere and service are all great. We stopped by there for dinner the other day, and Isabella took good care of us.
They always have drink specials, so I decided to flashback to my earlier days and order a Long Island Iced Tea.
Then dinner came out and we got the Sizzling Enchiladas, and a specialty taco plate that had steak, mushrooms, and lots more! Everything was so delish. You can Watch The Enchiladas Sizzle Here!
I thought I knew what Chinese food was my whole life. I mean I grew up in New York City and there was a little Chinese food takeout spot every couple of blocks. It was great because we could grab a pint of Pork Fried Rice, just like we did a Slice of Pizza, and be on our way. But Chinese cuisine, not so much.
Then just a few years ago my whole perspective changed when I realized that all I knew was Americanized Chinese Food. We took a tour of China and visited so many wonderful cities. What amazing history and culture, and on top of that… an array of authentic Chinese food that I have never tasted before. We ate everywhere from little private huts in the woods, to extravagant penthouse restaurants that were second to none. I knew I was about to eat good when I walked into a room with a giant rotating table top and ice sculptures layered with fine seafood. The best wine served along with it as well.
Now that food and a similar experience has come to Asheville North Carolina. Red Ginger Dim Sum has just opened this week downtown, right near Pritchard Park. We did not know what to expect when we entered, but everything was first class. The waitress even warned us that it was their third day, and the place, as well as her, were new to the scene; and to please forgive them if things seem a little less than perfect. She presented the menu to us, had us scratch out four items that they had run out of, and we began to order immediately. After traveling and tasting China, we knew exactly what our mouths were yearning for. So here is what we feasted on:
Tacos are taking over Asheville North Carolina. It all started out years ago when a few burrito and taco shops opened. Then a couple of food trucks came on the scene with some tasty tacos. After that, several restaurants started offering craft cuisine style tacos as entrees. Then White Duck came and sort of perfected the taco as we knew it. Ever since then, tacos have been a hot commodity in Asheville.
Now a new taco shop has arisen in West Asheville, and on the Sweet Slope of all places, by the name of Taco Billy. At first we thought “no big deal, just another taco shop,” but boy were we wrong! This place is amazing, and please do not take our word for it. I dare you to go here and even try prove us wrong. Impossible. It’s that good. After a few bites, we knew our standard was raised when it came to gourmet tacos. And they serve amazing breakfast tacos ALL DAY! I had the “Mama’s Favorite” and it was the best I have ever had.
We decided to take a few photos before trying them, because they were so pretty; and just in case they were good, we planned on sharing them with you. Well, not sharing in the way of you actually tasting them… you will have to get your own for that. But please allow us to introduce you to the 4 tacos that we met today:
Mama’s Favorite – Sausage, Egg, Spinach, Sweet Potato, and Goat Cheese on a Plantain Tortilla.
Kirb Service – Beef Medallions, Onions and Peppers stewed in an Ancho Chili Sauce, served with Jack Cheese on a Flour Tortilla.
Support Group – Cumin Sweet Potatoes, Pecan and Black Bean Hummus, Roasted Pepitas, Avocado, Spinach, and Coconut Crema on a Plantain Tortilla (Vegan).
Morita – Chili Stewed Pork and Potatoes, Tangy Slaw, Cilantro, and Jalapeno Crema on a Flour Tortilla.
Check out the Taco Billy Website to see the rest of their delicious menu, hours of operation and more info.
The Noodle Shop in downtown Asheville is one of those few places in the area that serves real Chinese cuisine. And believe me, we have been to them all at one time or another. The restaurant is small, tight and cozy; reminding me of the little hole-in-the-wall Chinese food takeout spots in New York City that I used to frequent. But this one is packed out with tables.
We started with some organic Sake and an order of Shaomai, and then jumped into a couple of entrees… a sizzling plate that consisted of hard noodles on the bottom and chicken, shrimp, scallops and vegetables on top. The other dish was a bowl of wonton noodle soup. If you are downtown Asheville and looking for authentic Chinese food, this is definitely the place. We love this spot and will be back soon.
Just this month we started the Tour De Asheville. This is a monthly event where our inside media team and some guests get together to go cruising around WNC in the private van, eating, drinking, meeting folks, taking photos, taking videos, interviewing business owners, chefs and more. Kind of like a reality show, but no show, just us. So exciting. All of us have heard and experienced Asheville in one form or another, but the half has not been told. We are going after that other half!
Our first stop was to the event room at Moment’s Cafe in Swannanoa where we met up with Chef Anne of Anne’s Custom Catering. We got to try so many great foods, coffees, and also interview Anne and her husband Joseph as a group. We learned about how they got started, the many styles of food she has mastered, and how her catering company is now growing by leaps and bounds; with even a brand new website being developed as you read this!
The next stop was Barley’s Taproom & Pizza in Downtown Asheville. Now there are many brewery stops that you can go to in Asheville, but we wanted a wide variety of craft brews from all around the USA to taste, making this the perfect spot. We talked to Jimi, who is one of, if not the pillar that craft beer in Asheville was formed on. As a matter of fact, the great Highland Brewing started out in the basement of this building, and then eventually outgrew it. A must stop if you are brew touring in Asheville North Carolina.
Then we shot over to The Hop West ice cream shop to try a few samples and talk to Ashley, one of the owners. The brownie delight with cold mountain ice cream was incredible. Then that peppermint stick ice cream was so delish! Ashley talked to us about how The Hop Ice Cream got started and their growth including The Hop West opening, and then The Hop Ice Creamery. Who ever knew that ice cream could build so much community? But this is the case every day with The Hop, and ever since Greg and Ashley took it over.
The last stop? Post 70 Indulgence Bar in East Asheville, and this place was WOW!! Talk about amazing craft cocktails, small plates of cuisine, and desserts that will leave you satisfied yet craving more. The building was packed inside and out with an oyster roast just ending, plus a dining room and bar full of folks having a great time. Emilios was delivering the food to our table while Courtney was shaking and serving cocktails. I saw her double fisting the shakers several times throughout the evening. We will be back. Like every week!
Asheville Premier Transportation supplied the van for the Tour De Asheville and did such an amazing job. We are planning on going on one of her private beer and food tours real soon as Dana’s company is expanding as well. In the meantime, if you are in the Asheville, Hendersonville, or WNC area and want to host us when we are out on your end of town, contact us and let us know. We just may drop in with our media team to paparazzi you and your business. Thank you to all of the businesses that hosted us this time!