The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Asheville Dining’ Category

Our Asheville B&B’s Favorite Coffee Joints

August 21st, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

If you’re visiting our Asheville Inn this summer, you don’t want to miss some of the many great places to grab a cup of gourmet coffee or a hot fresh bagel and take in the local sights and sounds. Here’s our Top 5 Picks for Best Coffee hang-outs in Asheville.

 Izzy’s Coffee Deniz coffee
www.Izzyscoffeeden.com
74 N Lexington Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

Izzy’s in downtown Asheville is a true hipster coffee shop (although they call it a “den”). The brick walls and the dark interior certainly lend themselves to it feeling more like a den. It has a distinctively moody vibe and always smells amazing when you walk in the door. No matter whether you order an Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Breve or a Homemade Chai, true coffee lovers won’t leave disappointed. In addition to serving superb coffee, Izzy’s has excellent live music, interesting art and lots of other libations too like handcrafted-beers, lemonade and Mimosas.

Fire Storm Café & Books
www.firestorm.coop
48 Commerce St
Asheville, NC 28801

Named as Asheville’s “ultimate Counter Culture cafe” by Asheville Magazine, Fire Storm is more than just a coffee shop and bookstore. It’s a worker owned cooperative that also hosts workshops, film screenings and fund raisers. In addition to getting your caffeine fix, you can also nosh on tasty bagels and gluten free desserts, as well as a wide selection of black, white, green and herbal teas. Having a sweet tooth? Don’t miss Storm’s signature Coconut Cream Breve paired with a brownie topped with Madagascar vanilla ice cream. All we can say is “welcome to a slice of heaven!”

Clingman Café River Arts District
www.clingmancafeasheville.com
242 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

This pleasing coffee shop in the heart of the River Arts Districit is one of Asheville’s original coffee houses. The pretty space is filled with natural light, tall ceilings, and all sorts of pottery items from the studio next door. Proudly serving organic coffee and espresso, the Clingman Café may just be the only coffee shop where you can grab a gourmet sandwich and watch the trains go by. If you’re trying to eat light, try the apple, cranberry and arugula salad. Yummy! There’s also a pleasant outdoor patio area with market umbrellas – a nice shady spot to whittle away the afternoon with a gourmet bagel sandwich, a bowl of Granola, or an egg and sausage sandwich…all equally good. If you’re shopping in the River District, be sure to stop in.

High Five Coffee Bar
www.highfivecoffee.com
190 Broadway St
Asheville, NC 28801latte art

Formerly known as the Dripolator, this local favorite specializes in handcrafted espresso and coffee drinks. Known for its cool and uber talented Coffee Culture trained barista staff, the High Five serves an amazing espresso. This is the place for true coffee snobs. Try the Ethiopian or a simple but artfully served latte, sure to please the eye as well as the palette. Just a little tip, try a flavored coffee. High Five makes their own flavored syrups in house to avoid the use of corn syrup. Talk about dedicated to flavor! The location can be a bit hard to find…it’s on the North end of town, right after you pass under 240, located right behind Greenlife Grocery.

Battle Cat Coffee Bar
www.battlecatcoffeebar.com/
341 Haywood Rdbattlecat
Asheville, NC 28806

This hip, but laid back coffee shop in West Asheville is known for its Counter Culture coffee, breakfast tacos and cozy front porch. Grab one of their many specialty coffees like the Café Miel, made with espresso, honey and cinnamon or a Thai Iced Coffee and soak in the vibe. The place is pure West Asheville in all its glory! By most standards, they’ve got some pretty amazing grub too which makes it a great place to just chill and hang out with friends in an unpretentious environment…picnic tables and all.

 

Need more tips on great places to visit while in Asheville? Ask the innkeepers at Pinecrest Inn, one of Asheville’s best kept Bed & Breakfast secrets! While here enjoy a cup of our own fresh brewed coffee on the sun porch or meander out for a morning walk in our peaceful one acre English gardens. Call today for Inn reservations 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for more information.

 

 

Farm to Table Fresh Foods Abound at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast and Around Town

June 24th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

full sun farm

Full Sun Farm at the Tailgate Market

Asheville is renowned not only for its culinary diversity and wide selection of independent restaurants, but also for its strong farm to table dining reputation. “Eat Local” isn’t just a slogan in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it’s a way of life.

The area’s rich farm lands contribute a remarkable variety of produce, meat, fish (Trout) and dairy to the local food movement. Food critics and amateur foodies alike, agree they can taste the difference between farm fresh and frozen. There are many advantages of farm to table with the most obvious being the financial benefit to local farmers and growers. Not to mention that local chefs have endless opportunities to create seasonal inspired dishes made with ingredients harvested at their peak. Another great advantage is the freshness of the foods and the abundance of organic and free-range foods available. The area’s strong farm to table movement symbolizes fresh, healthy, and fiscally responsible living – now that’s a win, win in our culinary book.

blueberry slump

Blueberry Slump Cake

Asheville restaurants offering farm to table prepared dishes include Posana, Limones, Table, Seven Sows, Carmels, Blue Ridge Dining Room, Strada, City Bakery, Corner Kitchen, Grovewood Café, Marketplace, Plant, Sazerac, Tupelo Honey, Zambra and many others.

Asheville’s farm to table movement isn’t just for restaurants only. Our Asheville Bed & Breakfast frequents local markets weekly to pick the freshest ingredients for our breakfast dishes, including produce, fruit, bread and local made cheeses. Last week we served blueberry waffles using local blueberries and fresh strawberries with a riccota, yogurt orange sauce - both from Full Sun farm. I also prepared a blueberry slump on Sunday. Yummy!  Hurry over to Asheville, you still have time to get some! Blueberries will be available for several more weeks.

So if you’re looking for free-range or hormone-free meats, local fruits and vegetables, seafood from the Carolina coast, or local made cheeses, look no farther than any of the dozens of markets in and around Asheville. The Montford Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Markets are a short five minute walk from our Asheville Inn.

Hungry for a farm fresh breakfast? We’re waiting for you! Plan a visit to Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville this summer and enjoy recipes made with local grown ingredients. Visit www.pinecrestbb.com for more information or call 888-811-3053 for Inn reservations.

Asheville’s Newest Brewhouse

April 16th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

wicked weed1Asheville’s Wicked Weed Brewery

The Wicked Weed Brewery has been on our list for some time – we’ve been hearing a lot of good things, but just had not been able to find the time to make our way over.

This is not your ordinary brewery.

Their mission is to craft big flavor, hop-forward beers that push their creative boundaries. They believe in the wildness of beer, its’ nonconformist attitude and its’ ability to resist being tamed.

They also offer a respectable wine selection and full bar for those who prefer other adult libations.

Housed at 91 Biltmore Avenue, the building which used to be an auto-repair shop and, later, Asheville Hardware has undergone a complete transformation inside and seems a much better use of space as a brewery. While the large, glass garage doors remain, the interior feels both industrial and luxurious at the same time with its reclaimed, polished wood and exposed brick.

The bars on both floors are made out of a 200-year-old piece of Black Gum that was sourced from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Word has it that two musket balls, likely from the Civil War, are still embedded in the upstairs bar top.

Upstairs holds the restaurant and a full bar with 28 taps, a high-end liquor selection, indoor seating for over 100 people and an expansive, glassed-in kitchen. The roll-up, dining-room windows take up most of the front wall and overlook the Biltmore Avenue patio space just next door to the Orange Peel so you can have a full-experience date nite (without having to travel very far).

Downstairs is where the alchemy equipment is, where the brewing magic happens and the space also includes a Tasting Room. Brewery tours are available.

This is not your ordinary bar fare.

Jason Saunders, formerly of Table and Cucina 24, is a very talented chef and a local native who featureswicked weed2 seasonal fare that highlights high quality local ingredients. The menu is remarkable and creative and not a hot wing or bloomin’ onion to be found. Jason has succeeded in maintaining equal footing for the food — matching the panache of the brewery side of things – which is certainly no small task given the bold and brave offerings coming from downstairs. Saunders brands Wicked’s food offerings as “enlightened pub food.” Check out their menu and just try to keep your mouth from watering. Pay special attention to the Bison Burger with haystack shallots and blue cheese coleslaw or for those seeking a vegetarian option try the Black Bean , pimento cheese, crispy okra and chow-chow burger.

Wicked Weed Brewery, one of the latest breweries to be included on Asheville’s Ale Trail, encourages you to join the rebellion.

April is North Carolina Beer Month. Come explore all the unique offerings in one of America’s best states for craft brewing. Call or email this Asheville Bed and Breakfast to find out about festivals, special events, breweries, restaurants, beer tours and more. Cheers!

Asheville Restaurant Review: Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

April 2nd, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

rest1
As Asheville has emerged as a premier food destination, it’s become more difficult for new venues to find the space to cut out of the market. This makes opening a restaurant even more risky than normal. The competition is fierce out there.

Into the ring comes a brash new contender, Seven Sows, a collaborative effort between chef Adam Bannasch of Zambra, chef Mike Moore of Blind Pig Supper club and Jason Caughman of Pisgah Brewery. Seven Sows celebrates southern cooking and serves dinner and weekend brunches that feature local and heirloom products and a bar that focuses on bourbon.

We ventured out with friends to investigate this new eatery during its opening week. There were several birthdays around the table and I have to say that some members of the party were giddy with anticipation.

Through the doors, we found the décor rustic, nothing fancy – but definitely down home and welcoming. Authentic barn siding here. Tin roof there. A wall painting of a lady holding a ham. Nothing pretentious – you are here to eat, or drink, or both. No hoity-toity here – just good food and drink.

rest3And the menu – what fun! But, I get ahead of myself. Drinks first. It would be safe to say one of the better selections of Bourbon and Rye in the area. Actually, the selection of Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Brandy, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Tequila and Apertif’s are all top of the line. My husband chose the “Larceny” – for its name and he was rewarded by the butterscotch aroma and smooth, smoky flavor that warmed its path. Half of the party selected a bourbon of personal fancy (no easy choice given the list) and the other half chose grapes (of the fermented variety). Both halves were pleased with the selection and their decisions. Being a Bourbon enthusiast my husband could not resist following up the “Larceny” with a signature cocktail, a Buffala Negra (W. L. Weller 12 Yr Bourbon, Fresh Basil, Aged Balsamic, Fever Tree Ginger Ale, Simple Syrup concoction) that shoots up the charts as one of Asheville’s top elixirs.

For appetizers and to get into the theme, we sampled: Shaved Country Ham Board with selections of Benton’s Tennessee Month and Mangalitsa and Colonel Newsom’s Aged Kentucky ham. Pickled vegetable, grilled bread mustards, Texas Pete Mayo, and Sweetgrass Dairy Appalachian Cheese.

And Cone O’ Chicken Cracklins and the Buttermilk Hushpuppy Basket (with hot pimento cheese). We turned our gazes on to the entrees. Not one of our self-described “foodies” was adventurous enough to try the Pig Head Meatloaf with apple chutney, pickled mustard seeds, Southern Appalachia Sorghum, crispy pig ear and grilled bread, but maybe next time and after a few more bourbons.

We did have and enjoy the Mountain Goat with Brunswick Stew (and cornbread). No self-respecting southern kitchen could hang its sign if there were no fried chicken wasn’t coming out of it. No offense Gramma, butrest4 this buttermilk fried chicken with crawfish mac and cheese and giblet and egg gravy — oh my.

And more items you would not expect on a “new Asheville” menu. The Laughing Seed (a very popular vegetarian restaurant here in Asheville) is not laughing at this lineup of southern fare. Beeler’s Farm grilled Duroc Pork Chop, Quail, Foothills Braised Pork Shank and Dry Aged Cab Ribeye to name a few.

Given the birthday celebrations, we ordered one of each of the desserts, sampled and passed them around theres2 table — partaking in Crème Brulèe, Blueberry Buckle, Butterscotch pudding and a sweet Fudge sauce, marshmallow, Cheerwine Syrup treatment that elevated the traditional Train City’s Moon Pie. I was surprised not to see any banana pudding, but not a complaint was heard and none of these particular decadent treats made it around the table twice.

Side Historical Note: The south’s favorite snack food, the Moon Pie originated in 1917. During the 1930’s, the Moon Pie found its place in Southern folklore as part of the “working man’s lunch.” Coal miners and laborers would enjoy the biggest snack on the rack, a Moon Pie and a 10 ounce RC Cola each for a nickel.

This is fine southern cooking treated with creativity and respect. I don’t remember Mama serving up any such fixins.’ A great place to visit before you head out on your dirt track date or go to see a show.

Here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast we’d be happy to secure you a dinner reservation during your visit to this Asheville Inn. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 or visit our website at www.pinecrestbb.com

Winter Holiday in Asheville

January 10th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

Happy New Year ! This year marks our 10 year anniversary as owners of this Asheville Bed and Breakfast. It’s hard to believe how fast time has flown by and here we are starting the New Year off much like last. The weather has been very mild, no snow and quiet. Even though January and February are usually slow months, it’s a great time to visit. The Biltmore Estate is still magnificent and less crowded. You can purchase your 2 day ticket for $35.00 from this Asheville Inn. Guests receive a complimentary audio guide with purchase. Children 16 and younger enjoy free admission.

Asheville’s restaurants are calmer – making reservations unnecessary on most nights and giving you some extra flexibility in your schedule. With temperatures expected to continue to be mild this year, outdoor hiking and activities are abundant. Strolling the streets of Asheville is a more leisurely and relaxed experience.

Here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, our rates are reduced through March 31st. We also allow for one night bookings on the weekend, except certain holidays. This year we are offering an additional 5% savings if you book 2 weekend nights (Fri, Sat, Sun) through March 31st in the Grace, Thomas Wolfe or Wible suites.

Valentine’s day falls on a Thursday this year and we expect that the weekend following Valentine’s day to be busy, so you may want to start your planning your get-away now. We would really enjoy the opportunity to host you during your visit to Asheville. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 for additional information or book online.

Christmas Gift Buying in Asheville, North Carolina.

December 5th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

What a splendid city to find just the right present for Christmas gift giving. Asheville has more than 200 shops, over 30 art galleries, dozens of antique malls and stores. The best part is almost all of these shops, galleries and antique stores are locally owned allowing you the opportunity to find a one-of-a-kind gift.

The North Asheville Tailgate Market at UNCA Asheville will be hosting their 10th Holiday Bazaar on December 8, 15 and 22, 2012 from noon to 4 o’clock. The market will be selling local produce, baked goods, artisian cheeses and a variety of local foods. In addition to the usual finds the Bazaar will feature local artisans crafts, art work, Christmas trees and wreaths. It’s a lovely market and always interesting.

There is also the Biltmore Villages Shops located just outside the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. There you will find over 40 local shops, 10 restaurants and cafes. Stroll the tree lined brick sidewalks, meander through the shops and pop into Chelsea’s Tea room for afternoon tea.

This Asheville Bed and Breakfast we would enjoy the opportunity to assist you in planning an afternoon of shopping, eating and walking. To make holiday reservations at our Asheville Inn, call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for availability.

Exploring the River Arts District, Asheville NC

October 1st, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

This past weekend we explored the up and coming River Arts District. It’s been a while since we ventured down there in the evening and “wow” has it grown. There are several new galleries, restaurants and even an electric bike shop. We met up with our good friends who happen to also own a Montford bed and breakfast just a few doors down from us on Cumberland Avenue. It’s always nice to have an innkeeper friend you can call on at five till 9 in the morning when you realize you are missing one of the key ingredients for your breakfast, like butter or eggs and even 2 slices of bacon. Thanks James and Susan. They have been great friends and a source of support in many ways.

We began our evening at The Magnetic Field – a bar, restaurant and theatre venue. This is a great place to catch dinner and a show. The plan included dinner and the first performance of the evening (at 7:30). On this particular evening, they were featuring “MILF the Musical” and later in the evening “No she didn’t…Good Girls Gone Bad and the Dances that Happen” — probably not a show that has been cleared for family entertainment.

I am usually a wine drinker and rarely venture down cocktail road, but our friends were very excited about a favorite drink that was fortuitously featured on this special evening out and so we all went along for the ride. Our friends first experienced this delicacy while visiting Peru and have rarely seen it on a menu in the homeland. So if you go…even if it’s not on the menu, see if you can order a Pisco Sour Cocktail. You won’t make any friends with the bartender – it is a high maintenance drink –but this concern will melt away after just one and you can restore the relationship with a decent tip. This cocktail was invented in Peru around 1900 and uses Pisco, a Peruvian grape brandy and “it’s to die for!” The brandy itself is a bit stark, but when skillfully mixed with the other ingredients (sugar, egg white, lime juice), it becomes a smooth, frothy refreshment pleasure. Avoiding the risk of damaging a long-established relationship with your favorite bartender, I am going to include the recipe at the bottom of the blog so you can try this at home.

The dinner menu is small but focused on quality and features local and seasonal ingredients. I had local trout that was on a bed of butter beans and sea island peas over a lovely cauliflower puree and surrounded by a brown butter sauce. The portion was the perfect size and just scrumptious. My husband enjoyed the flat iron steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, local shitake mushrooms, sautéed greens and a Cabernet demi-glaze. The meat was very tender and the sauce a perfect accompaniment to the plate. Our friends enjoyed a plate of local cheeses, crab bisque soup (which had a nice little kick) and peel and eat shrimp which were a good size and fresh and tender. The service was also “spot on”.

As can be the case with dinner theater, the dinner component can be quite lacking. This is not the case at The Magnetic Field. This restaurant can stand on its own merit. Everyone had a great meal and great fun at the “theater” portion of the evening.

Next on our list is the Junction (which is located just up the block from Magnetic Field) and is also focused on local and seasonal ingredients. It is rumored they just may have the best burger in town…as self-proclaimed experts on the topic; we’ll be the judge and let you know. For more recommendations on great dinner spots don’t forget to ask your innkeepers at this Asheville bed and breakfast.

Pisco Sour
• 1/4 cup (2 oz.) pisco (grape brandy)
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon pasteurized egg whites
In a blender, whirl 3 ice cubes, Pisco, sugar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites. Whirl until smooth (you’ll no longer hear the ice cracking against the side of the blender) and serve straight up in a martini glass with a dash of aromatic bitters and a wedge of lime.

For more information or to book a room visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053. We look forward to hosting you at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast very soon.

Gluten Free Restaurants in Asheville, NC

August 28th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Kale Salad from Posana

It seems that lately we have been seeing a lot of guests with different dietary needs.  The big one these days is gluten intolerance.  So it’s a good thing they are vacationing in Asheville, because this is just a fabulous place to visit and live if you have any type of dietary challenges.  At our Asheville Inn we embrace these challenges and find ways to insure that all our guests needs are met.  We recently had a lovely lady visit us who was a vegetarian and gluten-free. She authors a gluten free blog and wrote a wonderful article on her site Gluten-Free Cat about her experience at Pinecrest B and B.  She posted lots of pictures of our breakfasts and the desserts I got for her from my friend who is a professional gluten-free baker, Dolci di Maria.

As stated in previous blogs we have vegetarian restaurants, a vegan restaurant, a drive through vegetarian “fast food” place and a gluten-free restaurant.  I send guests to Posana Cafe, the gluten-free restaurant all the time.  In fact it is not unusual for them to go back several times during their visit.  So this  weekend I met up with some friends at Posana to confirm that the food is as good as everyone says it is . I was not disappointed.

Posana Cafe is located located in downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square.   We sat outside on the patio on an unseasonably cool August night. There is probably no better people watching spot than Pack Square.  Posana Cafe has a self described Contemporary American Cusine menu which features local seasonal ingredients. With the emphasis on seasonal the menu naturally changes frequently.   One of the staples of the menu however, is the Kale Salad, which I could have eaten 2 pounds of easily.   The Kale is minced and tossed with pumpkin seeds, currants, lemon and olive oil and outstanding  Three Graces Dairy  manchego cheese.  I love kale but if you don’t,  this salad will surely convert you.  Next up was a roasted beet and peach salad with Three Graces Dairy Feta cheese.  Again….very good.  Lastly we had the gnocchi, which was equally divine.  Sadly we skipped dessert, which some say is their best effort. Our server was very professional and pleasant.

All in all a very good experience that you do not have to be gluten free to enjoy !  For more information on how Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast can accomodate your dietary needs, please call 888-811-3053 or email at innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com.

 

 

Trolley Tours are a Great Way to Experience Asheville

August 8th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Taking you on an adventure this time around, we have a guest blog from my parents (Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast resident innkeepers), who ventured out with some friends of theirs visiting from Indiana.   There isn’t a better way for them to get a good feel for our fair city than to hop aboard a historic trolley tour.

And so, off they went to the Asheville Visitor Center to board the Gray Line Trolley. The Visitors center is 5 blocks from this Asheville Inn. The trolley tours are fully narrated by a professional tour guide, who is well versed in historic tid bits about the city of Asheville. One great thing about taking the trolley is that you get to let someone else hold the wheel – letting the driver worry about traffic and parking and allowing you to enjoy the sights without causing any traffic mishaps.  Plus, the ticket is good for 2 consecutive days and you are allowed to hop off the trolley at any one of the stops and get back on when you feel like it. Every 30 minutes the trolley glides by each stop. The cost is 21.00 per adult and 10.00 for children ages 5 – 11.  They also offer AAA and AARP discounts of 2.00 per ticket. For your convenience we sell the tickets from our Asheville  bed and breakfast .

After departing the Visitor Center, the trolley made its way through the Montford Historic District, which just so happens to be where our Asheville Bed and Breakfast is located.  This District Montford retains more than 600 buildings, most of which were built between 1890 and 1920, and includes a variety of architectural influences reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville during the turn of the 20th century.

Famous Asheville architect (and supervising architect of the Biltmore House) Richard Sharp Smith designed many of the residential homes in Montford. Smith’s architectural leanings contribute to the character of this area.

Montford has always been primarily residential, but also has a history of including several board houses and sanitariums (for the treatment of tuberculosis and other ailments) included in the neighborhood mix.  In recent years, Montford has developed into a bed and breakfast community with numerous inns included in the mix.

Also within the Montford Historic District is Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery,  It is the cemetery where you will find the final resting place for Thomas Wolfe and William Sydney Porter (better known as O. Henry) as well as Confederate General Robert B. Vance and North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance, among other Asheville luminaries.

The large houses that line the streets of this neighborhood reflect a more prosperous time in Asheville.  Montford and Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The district is located an easy walk or bike ride from downtown Asheville.

Unfortunately, it misses passing our inn — also a “Robert Sharp Smith” — by a block. Their trolley cruised by an old home which years ago was a sanitarium. It is where Zelda Fitzgerald, the beautiful debutante flapper from Alabama who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age stories was a patient and where she died in March of 1948.

After leaving Montford, the trolley meandered through the Grove Park neighborhood until it reached the Grove Park Inn. It is here that George Vanderbilt stayed during his first trip to Asheville. My parents and their friends decided to jump off the trolley and check out the Grove Park Inn, more specifically the spectacular view of the mountains from the terrace. The trolley guide informed them it was this terrace where George Vanderbilt looked out and decided he would buy all the land he could see.

Next stop: the Thomas Wolfe House.  Your trolley ticket allows you free admission to the historic home where the writer, Thomas Wolfe lived as a boy. Mr. Wolfe is also buried at the Riverside Cemetery.  Hopping back on board, the trolley headed toward downtown and into Pack Square.  Following the depression, many art deco buildings were constructed and through the years the city has tried to retain the architectural heritage by maintaining and restoring these beautiful structures.  After driving through the square the trolley made its way over to the Haywood Hotel. Everyone was ready to stretch their legs so they hopped off and wandered around downtown for a while. They strolled through the Woolworth building which houses 2 floors of artist galleries and an old fashion soda fountain. They then crossed the street and indulged in some sinfully delicious chocolate at the Chocolate Fetish, a local Chocolatier,some might say “chocolate artists.”

Rejoining their fellow tourists, and a few locals enjoying the tour, the trolley made its way down toward the French Broad River.  The River Arts District is currently experiencing a major resurgence and is quite the happening place these days. Several breweries are moving in and more restaurants are surfacing in this lively center of art, artists, galleries and studios.

The trolley then headed south to Biltmore Village. Biltmore Village was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1890′s as a classic planned community at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. Today the Village is a cottage community of shops, restaurants and art galleries. At this point everyone was getting hungry so they departed the trolley and walked around the Village, which has tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks. They ended up at Chelsea’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and finger sandwiches. They sat outside in the lovely courtyard and despite the warm temperatures they really enjoyed themselves…even the men. As they strolled back to the trolley stop they passed some of the original buildings, such as All Souls Church (now All Souls Cathedral) the church built for the Vanderbilt’s, the old train depot which is now a restaurant, and some of the original estate cottages.

Although you can take the entire tour in about an hour and a half, this little adventure took all of 5 hours.  Crazy kids!

For more information or to book a room visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

Fun Things To Do in Asheville in July

July 13th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

The latter half of July will be a busy time in Asheville.  Next Thursday July 19 the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands begins and goes through the Sunday.  This is not your local Church bizarre/craft show. This craft show features highly accomplished craftspeople from the Appalachian region. Each member is accepted into the Guild through a meticulous process.  Membership is open to artists living in the mountain counties of nine states from Maryland to Alabama. Visitors get to meet with these talented craftspeople, check out and even purchase their work.  This allows the visitor to learn more about their process and the inspiration behind their works.  Traditional and contemporary crafts highlight the fair. The fair includes scheduled demonstrations, individual exhibits, entertainment and local musicians honor traditional and bluegrass mountain music.

The following weekend Asheville swings wide the welcome gates to the city for Bele Chere the largest outdoor street festival in the south. Downtown streets will be closed to motor traffic and jam packed with good music, food and art.  Let’s just hope we get some relief from this heat wave we have been experiencing.  No worries though –there will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy any thirst or cool down.  The festival begins on July 27 and goes for two days with something for everyone.  This year’s musical lineup has changed a bit from years past and appears to be more focused on local and regional  bands, which in my opinion beats resurrecting Cheap trick any day, just sayin’…..no offense to the Cheap Trick fans out there.  Some of the local favorite acts appearing on multiple stages throughout downtown include: Yo’ Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Lucero, David Holt, Larry Keel, Stephanie’s Id and Michael Reno Harrell.  For a complete list of the performers, go to: www.belechere.com.

Asheville is fast becoming a renowned food destination and this year the festival will also highlight many of the local restaurants that have been a force behind the city’s successful farm-to-table and local food approaches.  At the Taste of Asheville, you can sample local creations and meet many of the local chefs responsible for lifting Asheville’s food scene.

As you may have heard, Asheville is also the reigning king of Beer City USA. The local brew scene is HUGE and getting larger with the announcement that New Belgium and Sierra Nevada are adding facilities.  Some of the region’s best craft beers will be represented at this year’s festival – all for your drinking pleasure.  Fun fact: Benjamin Franklin’s oft-misquoted saying that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” has been altered through the years – no doubt by beer drinkers.  There is no doubt that this historical character did imbibe in a frosty lager on occasion, but what did cross old Ben’s lips between sips was actually a tribute to rain which nurtured grape vines to prosper and ultimately become wine.

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

                                                             -Ben Franklin

Regardless of your leaning, you will want to sample some of the regions best craft beer or beverage of your choice while at the festival.  Take in the festivities  while staying at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast. Reserve your room online at www.pinecrestbb.com or call 877-811-3058 to book your room.

 

»