7/5/12

Let Asheville Sweep You Off Your Feet: Asheville NC Part 3: Deep Love and Companionship. In Other Words, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Beer & Moonshine

Today comes the last installment of my trip to Asheville, NC. You can read part 1 {First Date} and part 2 {Thrill, Infatuation & Romance} if you haven't done so yet. But no worries: there will be no quiz at the end. I just want to make sure you learn about places, experiences and food I've enjoyed.

And just so that you are not confused, a little reminder: I came up with an idea for how to summarize my Asheville trip: I'll write about it as a progression of a romantic relationship. The first date; the thrill, infatuation and romance; and finally the deep love and companionship.

This was my second time to Tupelo Honey Cafe. On my first trip to Asheville, I had lunch there before flying back to DC and loved sitting at the bar, checking out the other eaters and fell in love with Tupelo Honey Cafe's fried pickles.

Tupelo Honey Cafe is the perfect place for your weekend brunch, once you force yourself to get out of bed. You can come there with your now significant other and eventually bring your kids there. It's a loud, colorful and gimmick-free restaurant. What you get is solid food, friendly service, and a full stomach. You can also buy their cookbook in hopes of recreating some of your favorite dishes at home.

As this was a media trip, the trip was paid for by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, we got a taste of at least 12 different dishes and shared the table with Chef Brian. I don't know how I could possibly choose my favorite!

I was impressed by the sweet potato pancakes because that's not what I would normally order. They were light, fluffy and not overly sweet. Also, the Not Your Mama's Meatloaf was surprisingly light despite the fact that it had bacon in it and came with a side of mac-n-cheese. But not to worry: there was grilled asparagus to garnish the plate.

And then there was Brian's Shrimp and Grits. Ooh la la! These were not your ordinary grits: they were loaded with goat cheese and topped with a spicy red pepper sauce. Divine.


Needless to say, we could not finish all of our food. I'm looking forward to revisiting Tupelo Honey Cafe by making the recipes from its book in my own kitchen.


While in Asheville we got a chance to meet business owners who are passionate about their businesses, communities and families. Two such people were Oscar Wong, the owner of Highland Brewing Company, and Troy Ball, the owner of Troy & Sons Distillery.

Asheville is famous for its beer, and not being a huge beer lover, I was a bit nervous. The sweet smell of brewing beer, however, completely and utterly intoxicated me as soon as I stepped into the Highland Brewing Company. Is that what falling in love feels like?




"What's in a beer?

Our beers are just like us, a wee bit different. Few of our beers fall into categories, so we don't have the most medals or the biggest brag book. But we believe each beer is excellent. We believe each beer has a personality - and personalities like ours don't always fit in categories. My favorite was the Razor Wit Belgian Wheat or "white" ale. It was light, refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.

We got to tour the plant and learn about how the beer is made. Below are a few of the fun photographs I snapped.

 



Across the hallway from the Highland Brewing Company is the Troy & Sons Distillers. That's where we met Troy, who is a beautiful woman with a passion for moonshine. Who would have ever guessed? In fact, her face is the face of the company and graces all of their advertisement. Troy and her husband started the business after receiving one too many bad samples of moonshine as housewarming gifts when they moved to Asheville, and the business has grown and received great press from not only industry insiders but also quite a few celebrities.



Troy and her husband, Charlie, gave a bottle of moonshine to each of us and I can't wait for mine to be shipped to me {was too scared takingn it on the plane with me.} You can learn more about their story and their other contributors here.  Although I'm not planning on drinking the moonshine straight up, it will be great mixed into drinks. Thank you, guys!!!


Of course I did not cover every single restaurant I visited and every single artisan I met on the trip: these are just some of the most memorable highlights. I'm guessing I'll be back to Asheville for more of its beauty, generosity and community spirit soon. Maybe by that time their salsa scene will even grow ;)

I hope you've enjoyed these travel posts!

2 comments:

DeliciousDish said...

I want the shrimp and grits! Yum!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Tupelo Honey Cafe is one of my favorites - especially those giant pancakes!