Asheville Day One
I thought I would kick off the first trip post with the most recent trip I took, a weekend in Asheville, NC! I'm actually going to be splitting this into two posts because it ended up being so much longer than I had anticipated.
This is not the first time I’ve been to Asheville. My dad actually lives a couple hours away near Charlotte, so I’ve been around West NC quite a bit. In January, Andrew and I went for a weekend with some friends and nearly froze to death. A fun fact about Andrew is that he is a self-described terrible packer. He claims he doesn’t understand how temperatures will feel. We might need to get that checked out.
Anyway, it was so incredibly cold, but we still drank lots of good craft beer and ate lots of delicious food. We also saw the Biltmore Estate, which felt very Downton-Abbey-esque.
This trip, we were meeting up with some friends again. I love revisiting places I’ve already been because it feels like the pressure is off. I already have a little familiarity with the place and I have an idea of what is fun to do there. Asheville also reminds me of Birmingham in a lot of ways. There are a bunch of breweries and tasty food. On the whole, none of it is super pricey. If you like the mountains, adorable restaurants, and unique shops, you really can’t go wrong.
Day 1: 10/19
Lunch at Chai Pani - We first visited here on our January trip to Asheville. It was the first time I had ever had Indian food, and I found out I had been missing out! Last trip, I got the butter chicken. It did not disappoint. It was also a big enough portion for several meals, so I definitely recommend splitting it. This trip, I went with the Chicken Tikka sandwich. Chicken Tikka Masala with onion and basmati rice wrapped in warm naan bread. Heaven.
Battery Park Book Exchange - This is an adorable bookstore and champagne bar. Going in feels like you’ve stepped back in time to a personal library in the mansion of a reclusive millionaire. It will warm any book lover’s heart. Among the stacks, there are a couple of bars. One serves coffee and some sweet treats. The other is the champagne bar, which serves several varieties of champagne, wine, and beer. Everyone should experience perusing books with a glass of red wine in hand at least once.
Wicked Weed Funkatorium - After the book store, we made a rainy trek to another favorite, Wicked Weed’s sour-exclusive location, the Funkatorium. I have loved sours since I learned what they were a few years ago, but this place really knows how to perfect them. My favorite is the Malice.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts - Andrew and I were feeling like we needed a midday pick-me-up, so we scouted out out a coffee shop. I had seen the double decker bus in Asheville, but I hadn’t ever been inside. The bottom of the bus is a cafe, and there is some seating on the second story. I had a cafe au lait and Andrew got a cappuccino. We split a very tasty chocolate chip cookie, my absolute favorite. Combined with the rainy, cloudy day, I felt like I could have been in London.
One World Brewing - After our caffeine boost, we were ready for more delicious beer! Andrew did a search for one close by that we hadn’t been to, and found One World. This was a very cool, underground spot. It was definitely on the smaller side of the breweries in Asheville and had more of a bar-feel, but I liked that it almost felt like a secret. I had the Crispy Boy Kolsch. It was a solid choice.
Dinner at Tupelo Honey - To wrap up the day, we met up with my dad and my stepmom, Nancy, for dinner at Tupelo Honey. On previous Asheville trips, I’ve always noticed that there is a huge line outside of this place. I found out they also have a few other locations in the south, but none anywhere near Birmingham, so I thought we would give it a try. I made reservations for 7 p.m., and we were seated right on time. The menu had so many things that I wanted to try. I would call the overall vibe as traditional southern with a hipster-esque twist. Dad and I both got the bourbon-glazed meatloaf. It was made with both beef and chorizo. The chorizo gave it a perfect kick of spice. I hadn’t had meatloaf in so long, so it really hit the spot. Sweet, spicy, savory goodness. I paired mine with mashed potatoes and green beans. I feel like you can’t have meatloaf without mashed potatoes. It’s just insane.
Andrew got a harvest veggie quinoa bowl. He is vegetarian, so he usually makes much better choices than me at restaurants. It was a beautiful assortment of fall veggies. Nancy had a vegetable plate. For those who are unaware, veggie plates in the South can mean anything from all actual vegetables to a pile of macaroni and cheese and potatoes. Nancy had a good mix.
All in all, it was a packed, but fun, rainy day in Asheville. Our second day involved a lot more just outside the city, so check back soon to read about the rest of the trip!
Also, for people who have been to Asheville before, what are your favorites? I am sure I'll be back, so I need to know!