4 Asheville Tacos You Most Definitely Need To Meet & Eat

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:

Taco Billy Asheville - Mama's Favorite

Mama’s Favorite – Sausage, Egg, Spinach, Sweet Potato, and Goat Cheese on a Plantain Tortilla.

Taco Billy Asheville - Kirb Service

Kirb Service – Beef Medallions, Onions and Peppers stewed in an Ancho Chili Sauce, served with Jack Cheese on a Flour Tortilla.

Taco Billy Asheville - Support Group

Support Group – Cumin Sweet Potatoes, Pecan and Black Bean Hummus, Roasted Pepitas, Avocado, Spinach, and Coconut Crema on a Plantain Tortilla (Vegan).

Taco Billy Asheville - Morita

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 Parkway Bistro

Parkway Bistro Asheville

When we recently put out a request for some places to eat in south Asheville, several people were talking so good about The Parkway Bistro, that we had to go try it for ourselves. So while we were out at meetings on that end of town, we stopped by there and grabbed a chicken salad sandwich with some macaroni salad. It was absolutely delicious! The waitress talked me into keeping the Hot Pepper Relish on it and yum. Plus the mac salad was the best I have had in a a long time. For some of you that do not know, Frank’s Deli was like the #1 sandwich shop in Asheville and they were located where Beehive Coffee Bar now is on Sweeten Creek. Then they expanded to Hendersonville Rd, that spot with the bad parking, where the new and popular Bean Vegan Cuisine now is. Frank’s Deli shut down operations soon after, went silent and underground, then took over this new spot right behind Starbucks on Hendersonville Rd where Woody’s Pizza used to be. And it is a kind of difficult spot to see, but they are up on the hill across from Carolina Day School, in the same shopping center as the Fresh Market, Liberty Bicycles, and Diamond Brand. And yes, it is worth the stop!

Grabbing a bite to eat at Mayfel’s in downtown Asheville

Mayfels Restaurant Downtown Asheville

Since we live in Asheville, we find ourselves complaining sometimes that there is no place to eat. Of course we live in a land of plentiful eateries, but after living here for awhile, we are always on the lookout for new places to try. And that is sometimes a gamble. When you visit a new restaurant, you never know what to expect. Even some places that evolve to great restaurants are rough around the edges when they first open. You can wait a few months for the TripAdvisor and Facebook ratings to accumulate before trying them, or you can give them a try and experience it yourself, making your own determination.

Mayfel’s has become one our our sure-shots in the downtown Asheville area, right across the street from Pritchard Park and the Drum Circle. When we want to know that we are going to have a good meal and experience, we can count on them. We stopped by there recently to have some dinner after listening to the buskers outside. One of the plates was Grilled Shrimp, and the other was the Jambalaya with a boneless chicken breast on top. So delish! If you find yourself in downtown Asheville; Mayfel’s is a fine spot for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner.

The Eastside of West Asheville

b and b pharmacy west asheville

Asheville has many cultures and personalities. In other words, Biltmore Village folk do not act like River Arts District people. And folks from north Asheville do not act like folks from south Asheville. You can enter the suburb communities in any direction from downtown, and visit a different vibe and theme somewhat. On the eastside of west Asheville, another sub-community is getting established on their own. B&B Pharmacy welcomes as you enter. If you know the area, I-240 separates east west Asheville from west west Asheville. In addition to the walkability factor, this area has a lot to offer. I recently took a walk on this part of Haywood Rd with my daughter.

west asheville highway

The West Asheville highway intersection.

mardis building west asheville

The Mardis Building is home to King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles, Second Gear, and Rhetorical Factory.

king daddy's west asheville

Love me some King Daddy’s!

haywood road west asheville

You can walk to several great shops in the area. The Rhetorical Factory features recycled clothing, and Second Gear sells outdoor gear for hiking, rafting, running, sports and more. Then you have Asheville BookWorks inside the Universal Motors Building, along with more shopping spots.

whist west asheville

We stopped by Whist and found some great items including this “I Love Asheville” cup, and a book on human anatomy that is a must for mankind.

the circle and flora west asheville

The Circle offers glass, fashion and art. Flora is flower design studio and florist.

west asheville haywood rd

From custom glass and repair shops, to custom screenprinting at Image 420, and you can even get a tattoo at Hot Stuff! Of course there is the vintage Gas-Up store on this corner. Lots of development planned for this end of the community, which then connects to Asheville’s Sweet Slope featuring Short Street Cakes, Hole Doughnuts and The Hop Ice Creamery; before heading down to Clingman Ave and the River Arts District.

west asheville restaurants

The Admiral serves delicious cuisine spot that everyone loves. Walk is also a great place to grab lunch and dinner. Battle Cat Coffeehouse is a funky and hipstery coffee shop on Haywood Rd. Tip: park your Benz a few blocks away and walk here.

harvest records west asheville

Harvest Records on the eastside of west Asheville is music heaven!

west asheville bike riding

Haywood Road is also bikable. And Carrier Park is right down the street!

west asheville graffiti

Art, graffiti and creativity line the streets. When coming over to west Asheville, talk a walk on the eastside!

Small Town, Big Voice: Ten Reasons to Adore Candler Town

Candler, North Carolina, or Candler Town as locals refer to it, isn’t shown on most maps, remains an unincorporated town, and provides but a fraction of the population of the greater Asheville Metro area. One highway runs down the middle of the seemingly small patch of dirt once known as Harkins, and this is a place people often think is only on the way to another. However, there are many hidden jewels starting to unearth themselves. Candler is a small package full of delicious things everyone should know about, and here are the ten reasons why:

It’s a great place to PLAY! The Buncombe County Sports Complex is nestled right in the heart of Candler Town!  This gorgeous park, with Blue Ridge Mountain views, features a host of soccer fields, a bocce ball court, a sandy beach volleyball court, a playground, and a beautiful walking and biking trail.  It’s a great place to take advantage of pristine picnic sheds and spend a day in nature with the fam!  Also don’t forget to check out the awesome community garden and orchard on site!

It’s a place of budding  new businesses! Candler is home to many small businesses, and is a “mom and pop” capitol of sorts.  The latest to crop up? A two-mama shop, owned by Brooke Rickman and Charity Grindstaff, called  Blue Ridge Chicks.  These lovely ladies with a stock full of “vintage treasures and creative beauties,” bring a whole new world of shabby chic apparel and décor to the Asheville area via their amazing trunk shows.  The ladies tell AskAsheville, “we are two soulful southern chicks, born and raised smack dab in the middle of the blue ridge mountains of WNC.  We are artists, designers, dreamers and followers of Christ.”  Make sure to visit these innovative ladies at http://www.blueridgechicks.com to become part of their journey that brings folk-art-esque designs into the 21st century.

The Blue Ridge Chicks, Charity and Brooke!

The Blue Ridge Chicks, Charity and Brooke!

 It’s a place with roots!

Candler makes new businesses, but keeps the old!  Any Candler native loves the town favorite, Miami Restaurant.  The place, like the little town itself, may not look like a whole lot at first glance, but has tons to offer!  Though the restaurant has been around for decades on end, and was once a part of the now abandoned Miami hotel, Zack and Georgia Papazahariou have owned and operated it for thirty years.  Patrons of the restaurant are guaranteed to see Georgia herself mixing up her famous potato salad whenever they pop their heads around the corner of her friendly kitchen.  Donna Brooks, a  Candler grandmother known to many simply as “Nanny,” says about Miami, “[It’s] local people, local gossip, wonderful Greek spaghetti. Never had a dull moment.”

The Miami Restaurant.  Sweet and simple.

The Miami Restaurant. Sweet and simple. Just try the  tea!

 The Farm!

The Farm, located just off Justice Ridge Road, only 10 minutes from Asheville is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in town.  Just behind a beautifully restored Victorian Farmhouse rests the “barn,”  where memories are made every weekend.  The feeling of going back to a simpler time, where entire communities gathered hovers over this place, but with an unparalleled level of elegance lingering close by.  For pictures and testimonials visit http://www.thefarmevents.com

 Biltmore Lake!

Biltmore Lake is one of the nicest and most family-friendly communities in Buncombe County.  It is an upper-scale community, but because of the arts & crafts inspired lake houses, the neighborhood maintains a certain quaintness.  The tree-lined streets, walking trails, 62 acre lake with beach areas, and recreation facilities are the cherry on top of the gorgeous houses that are perfect for porch-sitting!  Everyone who lives in the lakeside mini-community knows they are home at last.  Biltmore Lake is indeed a gem in Candler.  Visit http://www.biltmorelake.com for more info!

 Pisgah View Ranch!

This dude ranch, known as the best dude ranch this side of the Mississippi, is located serenely at the foot of Mount Pisgah.  Not only is it a great place to spend the day horseback riding up winding mountain trails, but to also spend the night.  The old farmhouse now serves as a bed and breakfast with cozy rooms and home-cooked meals.  Moreover, the tennis court, pool, and Pioneer Museum ensures something to do for all! http://www.pisgahviewranch.net

 Musicians Galore!

Everyone knows on any given night it’s possible to spot Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Artimus Pyle at the Smoky Park Applebees’s.  However, the town holds even further-reaching musical roots. Candler folks are no strangers to a little pickin’ on the porch.  On many of those porches where fingers are bloodied from six-strings  and singing voices are perfectly raspy from moonshine, dreams are born.  Bands such as blue-grass crooners, Sons of Ralph, hail from the tiny town, along with local country singer, Jody Medford.  Medford has performed on stage with names such as Dolly Parton, Don Williams, and Wayne Newton.  He was recently added to CMT’s artists, with a video produced by Lonestar’s, Keech Rainwater.  The community is anxiously awaiting the release of Medford’s new album, produced by the highly revered band, Alabama’s guitarist, Kimo Forrest, with whom he’ll be touring with this summer!  Medford says, “being an Enka- Candler native, I never dreamed these kind of doors would open musically for me; and I’m so proud to be from this area, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Jody Medford in his element!

Jody Medford in his element!

Historic Enka

Enka doesn’t exist anymore, except within the arms of Candler.  No one even has a physical address of Enka, NC anymore, yet it is an enormous part of history in Candler.  Enka is an acronym for four Dutch words that the once thriving ENKA plant was named for.  Many citizens moved to this area just to work at “the plant.”  In 1929, Enka Village, an adorable collection of brick homes, still standing on the tree-decorated streets was built to provide a community for plant workers.  The neighborhood is still a playground for laughing children and backyard barbecues.  It’s a great place to live, steeped in history, and has a great view of the old Enka Plant clock tower that has become an unofficial symbol of the community.  Jack Lovingood, who grew up in Enka Village says, “the clock tower has been an icon in the community my entire life, and seeing it standing there brings a certain level of comfort and nostalgia.”

Clock Tower at about a mile distance...it's everywhere!

Clock Tower at about a mile distance…it’s everywhere!

 Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway!

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest single-planned road in the country, winding through 469 miles of national parks, scenic overlooks, and vacation opportunities; and guess what else?  Perfect access from Candler, NC.  Candler is the perfect little town to stop off in for a goodnight’s sleep on a Blue Ridge road trip!

 Asheville Hot Air Balloons!

Candler is the home to the only business that has the ability to fly tourists and locals alike across this portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  By stopping off in Candler, a person may just experience the thrill of a lifetime soaring overtop the trees watching the birth of a Carolina dawn.  Stay tuned with askasheville.com as we take the journey as a team next Saturday, May 10th.  We can’t wait to share our experiences, pictures, and good times with everyone on Candler’s most exciting attraction!  Also visit http://www.ashevillehotairballoons.com