Hi.

My name is Catherine Courtney and I am a Nashville Native with a penchant for culinary creativity and epic travel adventures.  I'll admit... I also have a slight obsession with handbags. 

Nashville to Asheville

Nashville to Asheville

Located just a few a hours outside of Nashville, Asheville, North Carolina needs to be added to everyone's weekend getaway list.  This is easily becoming one of the top foodie destinations in the U.S. and I can easily see why.    With an abundance  craft breweries and ridiculous restaurants, you will not run out of things to do.  I have listed a few of my favorites. Bon Appetit!

Craft Breweries

Wicked Weed Brew Pub

91 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801

http://wickedweedbrewing.com/

Highly recommend this little jewel.  We arrived just as the downstairs was opening.  Great assortment of beers and to be honest, it seems as if they had a larger variety down there than they did upstairs where they served food.  

Loved the fact that they offer half-pints so you can sample a few different beers or pace yourself if you are hitting up multiple breweries during the day. 

 

Asheville Brewing Company

http://www.ashevillebrewing.com/

Asheville Brewing Company has a few locations throughout the city, so you will want to check out their website to see which is closest .  This was our second stop of the day, so the girls and I opted for a sampler.  The servers are great and helping you put together your four pack, so you won't be disappointed. 

 

Burial Beer Co. 

40 Collier Avenue

Asheville NC 28801

http://www.burialbeer.com/

Trying to beat the rain, we just barely made it into Burial Beer Co.  What a great space.. Totally reminded me of something I would find in Nashville.  I mean you know it's a solid establishment when you walk in and see a painting of Magnum P.I.. I was in the mood for something on the darker side, so I opted for the BOLO, which tasted a lot like an Almond Joy.  Clearly, I am not complaining.. It was fantastic. 

Catawba Brewing

http://catawbabrewing.com/#

Similar to Asheville Brewing Company, Catawba has a few locations, too.  Lucky for us, we popped in here after grabbing a mid-afternoon snack at Vortex Doughnuts.  Catawba has lots of open space and some great beers.  Definitely add this one to your list.  I decided to stick with dark beer and opted for the Brown Bear Ale.  It didn't disappoint... especially when paired with an espresso doughnut! 

 

Snacks and Such 

Similar to the craft beer, the food options are endless.  I am not talking about your run of the mill hot dog vendor, even those are ridiculous, I'm talking about places with delicious food and boundless ingenuity.  These places are making Asheville a foodie destination. 

 

Vortex Doughnuts

32 Banks Avenue, Suite 106
Asheville, NC 28801

http://vortexdoughnuts.com/

This darling little doughnut shop is nestled in between Catawba Brewery and Buxton Hall BBQ.  It's the perfect snack to grab when you are headed over to the brewery waiting for Buxton Hall to open... think of it as your warm up snack and if you are really needing a pick me up, they have amazing coffee/espresso drinks. After consuming all that tasty beer, a caffeine pick me up was certainly in order.  Vortex has a great assortment of both cake and yeast doughnuts, of course we got both.  Highly recommend as a mid day snack or even if you want to start your day with a sugar high! 

Buxton Hall BBQ

32 Banks Ave.
South Slope Asheville, N.C.

http://www.buxtonhall.com/

I have to give credit where credit is due.  One of my good friends visited Asheville the weekend before I did and he recommended Buxton Hall BBQ.  Honestly, I didn't think too much about it, until we happened upon it wandering around Asheville.  We noticed that they were closed (they close daily between 3:00-5:30PM) so we decided to grab a doughnut and post up at Catawba until they opened, and boy am I glad we did!  We wandered in and had a seat at the bar, which was the perfect place to post up and watch the bartenders in action.   We had a hard time choosing from all of the southern goodness on the menu, but one thing I made sure we ordered was the Tomato Pie. Damn. Amazing.  I am a Southern girl, but I have yet to have anything that tastes like that.  Elliot Moss does an amazing job combining the whole hog bbq technique with slow southern style cooking.  Between bites, I was able to snap a few pictures.

Local Provisions

77 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

http://www.localprovisionsasheville.com/

Originally published on girlsonfood.net on August 4, 2016.

When one of your girlfriends wants to take a road trip to Asheville, you don’t hesitate, especially after you just finished reading Bill Addison’s article on the best new restaurants in America.  Local Provisions, here I come!

Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, just walking distance from some of the best craft breweries in the city, Local Provisions is serving Southern cuisine with a modern yet memorable flare.  Chef Justin Burdett, who has laid down some southern roots himself at restaurants like Hugh Acheson’s 5&10 and Atlanta’s Miller Union, focuses on the offerings of the season and looks for creative, innovative ways to highlight each individual flavor.  While Burdett has cultivated relationships with local farmers throughout Asheville, he does not consider this restaurant farm to table. His menu changes as rapidly as the ingredients become available. So make sure you don’t have foodie remorse and order that dish when you see it!

So let’s get to the good stuff- the FOOD!  The menu is divided up into five main segments: Taste, Small, Large, Preserved, and Sweet (sad to say, I missed out on this portion of the menu). Since there were three of us, we decided to order a few things from each section to get a real sense of the local flavor and for Chef Justin’s style.

We started out with the Ten Mile Melon and Peppers and Heirloom Tomato, both selections from the TASTE section.  I am a sucker for tomatoes and have been since I was a little girl, so I wanted to see how these compared to what my grandpa grew in his garden.  Both were stunning dishes.  The melon dish was a combination of shishito peppers and a golden watermelon/cantaloupe hybrid offering refreshment and spice simultaneously.

Already wanting more, our server brought out a gorgeous dish of heirloom tomatoes, simply put, a work of art.   The heartiness and intense color of the tomatoes were complimented by the brilliant yellow and orange marigolds that were delicately placed on top.  This one was on the most delicious paradoxes, I’ve ever encountered.

 

Not stopping there, we decided to order a couple of items from the SMALL section.  While it was a tough decision, we came to the consensus and ordered Fried Oysters and Mushroom Toast.  Both were excellent choices.  While I was quite the fan of the oysters, the Mushroom Toast satiated any bit of hunger I had.  A combination of chanterelle and hen of the woods mushrooms, this toast, was covered in omme and had a slight bit of pan sauce drizzling the dish.   Confession-  while my friends were noshing on the oysters, I snuck in extra bites of the Mushroom Toast.  The savory flavors of the mushrooms combined with the rich and creamy texture of the tomme were well balanced by the crispness of the toast; definitely one of the highlights of the meal.

 

 

The girls and I had ordered four dishes and two different items off the preserved menu (Pork Sausage and Kimchi) but we wanted to make sure we had the best of what Local Provisions had to offer.  We had the opportunity to chat with Chef Justin.  What an incredibly interesting and gracious host. Not only did we learn about how he and his wife met in Asheville over a decade ago but learned about his experiences cooking at the Beard House in New York and even some of his favorite things off the Waffle House menu.  Scatter, smothered and covered?  Guess you will have to drop into Local Provisions and ask him yourself!

Making sure that we had not overlooked anything on the menu, he recommended the Seared Scallops and the Goldfinch Fairytale Eggplant.  It was like asking which child he liked better, he couldn’t choose one, so we had both. The summer squash, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers provided the perfect color palate for this dish. Seared with the perfect crust, the scallops were succulent and appetizing.

 

 

They say that good things come in small packages, and the Goldfinch Fairytale Eggplant was no exception.  These tiny fairy tale eggplants are packed full of flavor without the bitterness and seediness of their larger counterparts.  Perhaps that the upside of being small. Chef did an excellent job contrasting the richness of the eggplant with the light botanical essence of the fennel flower.

Asheville is increasingly gaining the attention of tourist and foodies near and far as there is an abundance of local craft breweries and premium dining on every block. Chef Justin Burdett epitomizes the food movement taking place in Asheville.  He carefully procures the finest ingredients from local farmers and creates thoughtful appetizing dishes, making Local Provisions a destination restaurant.

  I just adored Chef Justin so had to snap a pic before I left. 🙂

I just adored Chef Justin so had to snap a pic before I left. 🙂

Rhubarb

7 SW PACK SQ.
ASHEVILLE, NC 28801

http://www.rhubarbasheville.com/

Darling. My friends and I popped in for Brunch before we hit the road back to our respective homes.  The menu was divided into sections:  Snacks &Shares, Breakfast-ish, Lunch-ish and Sides.  We started with the Brown sugar benne popcorn, which I would highly recommend. Think of caramel corn on steroids. Total yum factor ! After perusing the menu, I was completely torn on what to order. Literally, the server had to stop by no less than 3 times before I could figure it out.  I ended up choosing the burger off the Lunch-ish section.  To die for.  It was a combination of ground beef and Benton's Bacon, topped with Pimento Cheese. Seriously, what's not to love about this combination.  Since we were a bit early, we didn't have a chance to partake in any adult libations, but the menu was on point.  Make a reservation and check it out next time you are there!

 

 

French Broad Chocolates

21 Buxton Ave

Asheville, NC 28801

https://frenchbroadchocolates.com/

I had read an article about French Broad when they made their appearance at the Atlanta Food and Wine festival several years ago.  The chocolates looked so amazing, that immediately hopped on the internet and placed an order.  What can I say, they have only gotten better!  There are two options when visiting French Broad.  You can visit the Chocolate Lounge which has endless decadent creations or you can sneak down the hall and purchase some truffles.  The line in the lounge can be quite long and take some time as most of the drinks are made to order, so I recommend checking out the chocolate room if you are looking for a quick fix. 

 

 

Asheville:  You haven't seen the last of me.  There is so much more to explore... Until next time!

 

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