Saturday, June 25, 2011

Going Local in Asheville, NC

Out to dinner in Asheville
I'm a big fan of Portland, OR. It has an independent and artsy energy, beautiful landscapes and a dynamo local food scene. I'd heard that Asheville was a smaller, southern Portland. In many ways it was just that. There is a bold creativity in this community of just over 80,000. In this city there are 9 local breweries (their tourism bureau boasts that 50 local beers can be enjoyed on any given day). That's pretty impressive. There are over 250 independent restaurants in the downtown area. 250?! Isn't that amazing? Walking in the downtown it was one place local place after the next. This truly is a foodtopian society where slow food is king.

Asheville, is as their trademarked slogan boasts "any way you like it". There is a little something for all sorts of folks - retirees, foodies, hipsters, hippies, families, artists, culture...the city's strict code for independent businesses breeds diversity.

View of downtown Asheville

One of many spectacular views at the historic Biltomore Estate

My unforgettable egg dish!
In my few days at Asheville I did get to enjoy a few dining experiences (though not nearly as many as I would have liked) and my favorite has got to be Tupelo Honey Cafe. After a recommendation from a friend on Facebook I went not once, but TWICE. It was that good! I loved my goat cheese grits with pinto beans, cured bacon, eggs and salsa. The biscuits that come with the meal were warm, soft and unforgettable. Coffee was strong and I couldn't stop the refills from coming. I'm not a big fan of going back to restaurants (I like to try new things and of course boast of my adventures) and especially not within such a short period of time, but this place warranted a second visit!

The Inn at Biltmore lunch
Although I didn't get to see the inside of the historic Biltmore Estate (I was there for a conference on family business) I did get to see it's beauty from the outside and visit the beautiful Inn at Biltmore Estate they've created on the property. I had the chance to hear about the Vanderbilt's story first hand from one of the property's owners and how they have carried on the estate's traditions and beauty into the 5th generation as a family business. If you have the opportunity to visit Biltmore and of course the city of Asheville, I would highly recommend it!

Look at the beautiful view that the Biltmore boasts!


  1. Those biscuits sound delicious! I've never seen a croissant sandwich look so elegant ;)

  2. Who knew there was such great cuisine in North Carolina? The egg dish looks glorious, but great pic of you too!

  3. That sandwich does look delish! Biltmore is impressive to see...amazing what they were able to accomplish when they built it....even an indoor pool!