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Friday, December 21, 2012

Things to eat in Asheville, NC

So I recently went to Asheville with my boyfriend for a brief but fun vacation. I just wanted to give everyone who is possibly considering a road trip or vacation spot an idea of what Asheville is all about!


Asheville is a very artsy and homey city that actually reminded me a lot of Ireland. There are pubs downtown surrounded by one of a kind art galleries and art shops. It's great for holiday shopping because a lot of the shop products are unique and handmade! :)

So here goes-- everything we ate during the trip and if it is worth your time!

First and foremost... unless you visit somewhere with a private parking lot for guests, parking will be tough downtown. Weekdays are better but be prepared to parallel park and bring lots of quarters! If you don't mind parking for a flat rate, you can do that as well. Weekends are free parking after 6PM-- but practically impossible to find because everyone is out shopping and eating.

Let's start with things to eat!

Jerusalem Garden Cafe

There was a Groupon deal available during our visit so I went ahead and read some decent reviews on this place and thought why not. Without a Groupon, I would say it's a bit pricey for the quality and quantity of food. It is located in downtown Asheville-- a fairly small and Middle Eastern/Mediterranean place. You can sit at tables in the front or on the floor in the back!



They have live music and a belly dancer that start performing at 7PM (not sure if that's everyday or just the weekends). Now, we tried a lamb special at $26 and a vegetarian vegetable dish in marsala sauce that came with couscous for $11 (I added chicken to it for $5). The food was just okay... the lamb was soft and great but the Syrian flavoring was somewhat sour-- possibly an acquired taste. BUT the service was great! 

Tupelo Honey Cafe

This place had some good reviews but we kept reading about a super long wait. We ended up checking this place place out downtown at an off hour and they were still busy, but we only waited a couple minutes to be seated. Despite some of the negative reviews we read, we thoroughly enjoyed this place.





They serve freshly baked biscuits with homemade honey that fill you up before the meal! They were big pieces of soft and savory bread! The service was pretty good even if it was busy and the portions are fair as well. I tried the chicken BLT burger and my boyfriend tried their meatloaf and macaroni. The great thing about the food in Asheville is that it is mainly hormone free meat and a lot of home-made jams. sauces, etc. It's worth paying extra for some healthy food!

Early Girl Eatery

Ahhh. This was hands down one of the best meals of the trip. Early Girl was unique and delicious. They had great reviews even though some said they left hungry. The portion sizes are closer to normal than the huge portions that restaurants often serve. They have daily specials and amazingly unique sides to choose from! We tried their special ($16)-- almond encrusted wreckfish with their broccoli and bacon salad and cabbage and walnut sides.


Although the mashed potatoes were a typical side, the fried apples were pretty good with the chicken and gravy dish they offered. Their Meat & Two options lets you choose one protein and two vegetables with a biscuit so my bf tried the Pan-fried Free Range Chicken ($15) with herb cream gravy. He liked the gravy and free range chicken tastes so much better than just chicken. :D We had a sweet server, even though they were fairly busy and enjoyed this meal so much!

Luella's Bar-B-Que

Luella's BBQ was homey with live music, fun decor, and good service but the food was just okay. We both ordered the plate options with two sides that came with hush puppies. I got fried okra and fries with my chopped BBQ pulled pork. My bf tried their St. Louis pork ribs and the hashbrown casserole. They also have special sides available! Both our meals were $8-10.


Although this place had some great reviews, it didn't wow us. None of the meat is really flavored and they don't give you selections like BBQ or peppered like some other places do. They just have a special sauce they make on the side already at the table. The sauce definitely makes it better! Make sure to order some greens as sides, otherwise your dish will resemble ours.

Pomodoros Greek & Italian Cafe

This Italian restaurant is about 20 minutes away from Asheville. We originally headed there for a Christmas light show that turned out to be more of a neighborhood thing so we didn't think it was worth it. We ate here though! :D Both of us aren't much for Italian food but this place was pretty good, pricey, but good! We had a sweet server who had a great sense of humor. We went for an early dinner so the place was pretty empty but really beautiful.You are served warm fresh bread first like most Italian places.


Pomodoros offers an authentic Mediterranean experience in the heart of Western North Carolina. They are ranked number 1 on trip advisor for restaurants in Arden, NC as well.


I tried the Bistecca Gorgonzola ( $18.95) - a center cut 10 oz sirloin steak rubbed with cracked pepper, then grilled to order and topped with gorgonzola cheese, served with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and a chianti demi-glace. I took off the cheese since I'm lactose-intolerant. It was really good. Even the potatoes were crunchy and savory but soft on the inside!


My bf tried the Solomos Me Lemoni ($17.65) - grilled wild Alaskan salmon encrusted with fresh herbs, served with sauteed spinach and creamy parmesan risotto, then drizzled with a lemon-herb beurre blanc. It was a little tough even at medium but still good. The cream is thicker than you think so to-going this plate would leave it soggy by the way!

They are pricey-- most meals are $17-$25. They have make your own pizza options and a nice selection of alcoholic beverages as well.  We overall enjoyed this place! :)

Yup! That's everything! We only stayed a couple nights but the food ranged from okay to really unique and flavorful! Don't miss out on Early Girl Eatery if you stop by! It was our FAVORITE! 

Cheers,
Dana


4 comments:

  1. Whoa, those meals look super tasty. I like that this town has actual shops that carry handmade OOAK items. I wish we had that here...maybe we do and I just haven't found them, yet. Great post!

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  4. Nope! Sorry all I know is stuff like trip advisor unfortunately. :( It's no where near a discussion board format though. Good luck with that!

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