The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Farm-to-Table Meals’ Category

Asheville’s South Slope Beer and BBQ

September 28th, 2015 by Stacy Shelley

Buxton Hall Elliott Moss Buxton HallMore and more we find ourselves, along with a growing number of other locals and tourists, heading just a little south of downtown these days.  Gone are the days when this faded automotive and industrial part of the city, with its long idled warehouses, empty buildings and fenced off lots sat idle – now giving way to breweries, restaurants, shops, living spaces and even a donut shop.

Those looking for a multi-stop walking brew tour will find, tucked in between a four block area south of downtown, a cluster of six breweries (with more being planned).  This area, known as the South Slope, is establishing itself with in the region’s (perhaps the nation’s) craft beer capital as Asheville’s “Brewery District.”

Leading the charge for this transition,  was Green Man Brewery which opened over a decade ago at 27 Buxton Avenue.  The brewery — one of the oldest in Asheville — opened in 1997 and moved from the popular Jack of the Wood downtown pub to the South Slope in 2003.

Other breweries have now found their way to the neighborhood, including Asheville Brewing Company, which expanded and took over an old Cadillac dealership at the top of Coxe Avenue; Hi-Wire Brewing next door; and then Burial Beer, Twin Leaf, Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funkatorium Tasting Room, and Thirsty Monk craft beer bar at the top of the slope.

If you want to get an early start, Vortex Doughnuts has opened a delicious spot with very unique twists on the sugary delight. They hand-make yeast and cake doughnuts throughout the morning with fresh, high-quality ingredients and top them with creative glazes, toppings and fillings.

Buxton Hall Barbecue restaurant is now open on Banks Avenue nestled between Catawba Brewery and Vortex  — in a former skating rink — created by Chef Elliott Moss, former chef of The Admiral in West Asheville.   This whole hog experience was our reason for sliding down to the slope on this Saturday night.  Word of mouth was that this was the real deal and we could not wait to check out Moss’s new venture.

True to form, we found Elliott in the middle of the bustling kitchen – working the fires and tending the hogs.  You can easily see that this is truly a labor of love for him and honors his upbringing in the south.  Moss not only brings to Buxton his honest-to-goodness southern cooking, but his experience as chef at the Admiral and two other widely-regarded pop-ups at MG Road: Punk Wok and the Thunderbird.

Walking into Buxton, the smell of, well…cooked pig is thick in the air and the recent results of fire and sow coming close together are featured center stage – splayed out on the main table in the kitchen.   There is also very little separation between diners and those putting your meal together.  The open kitchen allows you to see where your meal is coming from – fully exposing patrons to the hustle and bustle, the smoke and the fire.  The sounds and smells of cooking are an important part of this dining experience.

The breaking down of the barrier between kitchen and dining space may seem like a recent trend made famous by “in the field” dinners.  As is the case in most homes; however, the desire to be close to the action – the sounds, the smells, the process of cooking, has always drawn people into the kitchen.  That tradition is what drives the open-kitchen concept at Buxton Hall.

Besides the whole-hog barbecue, Buxton features dishes like chicken bog, a “humble, working-class, stick-to-your-bones” rice and chicken dish.  An homage to being raised in rural South Carolina, Moss’ cuisine centers on the simple, slow-cooked comfort foods of both the roadside barbecue stands and the country buffets.  It’s a testament to a time when down-home Southern food was made with fresh, local ingredients rather than boxed or corporately sourced components.

Our dining experience at Buxton Hall was unbelievable. The family made a wholehearted attempt to sample almost everything on the menu.  Highlights were the buttermilk-breaded fried chicken sandwich and the pulled pork sandwich – which were reasonably priced and neither created for light eaters.  The ribs were perfectly done and will give the other famous Asheville rib joint a run for their money.  Our entire table strongly recommends the Farm and Sparrow hushpuppies.  They were simply amazing – especially when smeared with the house made pimento spread.  To slake your thirst, top notch cocktails, good wine and local brews are available from the bar.

Yes Asheville, the South Slope has an anchor restaurant to sustain you on your walking brew tour.

In between the restaurant and the donut shop, and very convenient if you need to whet your whistle while waiting for a table at Buxton, is Catawba Brewing.  This recently opened brewery has a great open space with two bars and a courtyard. They have 24 taps at the front bar and another six at the back bar.

Another sweet spot that should not be ignored is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge Factory which has operated in the South Slope area since 2010.

Put on some comfortable shoes and do some urban exploring of your own.  Keep an eye out for even more breweries and restaurants.  As quickly as this section of part of Asheville is changing, several more establishments have probably opened up in the time it took us to write and post this blog. For more information call the Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast at 828-281-4275.

Fabulous Meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro

April 7th, 2014 by Stacy Shelley

ambrozia_1We have kept very busy this winter checking out new restaurants and bars and circling back around with a few of our well-established, tried and true local favorites. I have to say we have savored some stellar food and sipped more than a few delectable cocktails over the last several weekends.

This past weekend we had a fabulous meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro, as did a good number of our guests of the Inn.  Sipping coffee on Sunday morning and chatting about the previous night’s experiences, everyone agreed that the food was remarkable, delicious and the chef very talented.

Ambrozia Bar and Bistro opened its doors earlier this year and is located in the fine dining desert of Asheville: a.k.a. North Asheville. The chef, Sam Etheridge recently relocated to Asheville from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His intention was to reincarnate his previous award winning restaurant in New Mexico and add a southern twist. I think it’s important to mention that several folks from his restaurant in N.M. decided to follow in his footsteps and also relocated to Asheville. Together, they have created a great venue.

Oftentimes, new restaurants are plagued with service issues and it takes some time before they gain a steady service footing.  We experienced excellent service; the staff was friendly and the attention to the customer’s needs received high marks.  There was a real sense of fluid motion and thoughtful customer service that usually comes only with a seasoned restaurant.

The focus is farm to table with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The bar is wine focused and extensive but not ambrozia_2overly pricey. We enjoyed a lovely, reasonably priced Tempranillo. The wine was so delicious; we are now eagerly searching local purveyor’s inventory to purchase some bottles for enjoyment at home.  The menu includes snacks, platters, small plates and suppers.

We started off with the Beet salad – rosemary infused goat cheese, orange, watercress and vanilla-bean vinaigrette.  Hands down the best beet salad I have ever had. It was so creatively presented.  The Brussel sprouts -Benton’s bacon, Texas Pete Cha, compressed apples and preserved lemon crème fraiche were so delicious we had to order another plate after scarfing the first down.  The Sea scallop carbonara with fresh fettuccini, Benton’s bacon, English pea puree, parmesan foam and a 63 degree egg was out of this world.  The scallops were perfectly prepared.  Again, the creativity and the presentation were executed fabulously.  The Steak frite was a flat iron with smoked fries and a house steak sauce with gorgonzola aiollo and brussel sprout slaw.  The steak was prepared perfectly and the sauce delicious.

Several guests have told me that the Dirty burger which includes seared foie gras and fried egg and truffle fries is out of this world. Also, the NC Ahi Tuna 3 ways has been highly recommended by reputable sources who have also enjoyed their trip to Ambrozia.

We were all impressed with the presentation, taste and delivery of all our meals. Ambrozia is definitely a must visit and a great addition to the vibrant food scene in Asheville.

Find more great restaurant reviews at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast Blog. For reservation information, visit or call 888-811-3053.


Artisan Cheese-making in Western North Carolina

July 15th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

WNC cheese trailWe recently made a goat cheese and chive breakfast scramble for our Asheville Bed & Breakfast guests. It made me think about how lucky we are to have so many artisan cheese makers right in our own WNC backyard. As it turns out, the time-honored craft of artisan cheese making has experienced a revival the past few years, especially throughout North Carolina. Our state boasts over 40 cheese producers, with about 30-35 of those being artisanal in nature. Artisanal cheese-makers own their own goats or cows and process their cheeses on small, sustainable family farms or local creameries.

Many N.C. cheeses are produced without the use of additives, growth hormones, preservatives or other unnatural ingredients, and are some of the most prized in the nation.  In 2011, Looking Glass Creamery in Fairview was one of only six Artisan Cheese-makers across the country to be featured in Williams Sonoma catalog. Three of their signature cheeses Early Bird, Ellington, and Chocolate Lab were showcased. Ellington is named after the famed art deco architect who designed many of Asheville’s unique buildings. The famed cheese won the Taste Test Awards by Cooking Light in 2011 and brought home second place at the American Cheese Society Conference and Competition last August.

The artisan cheese movement has taken such a strong hold, there is now an official cheese trail (wine lovers eat your heart out!)  The WNC Cheese Trail gives cheese connoisseurs a chance to tour the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, while sampling some of the finest local cheeses fresh from the farm. Sample cheeses from local favorites like Round Mountain Creamery, Heritage Homestead, Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, Looking Glass Creamery and more. Whether you prefer Blue, Chevre, Gouda, Brie or something more exotic, the tour will give you the chance to taste a wide variety from soft-ripened pasteurized varieties to hard, aged raw milk cheeses. The distinctive flavor of handcrafted cheese results from the high quality and pure nature of the milk being used and the variety of grasses and herbs used to feed cows and goats. For more information, visit

Now that we’ve got you all geared up for some yummy local WNC cheese, we’ll share one of our favorite Bed & Breakfast recipes with you.

Goat Cheese & Chive Scramble (serves 6)

3 tbsp. stick of butter

18 eggs whisked

2 tbsp. half and half

Good quality goat cheese (to taste)

Half a bunch of chives chopped

Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat and melt butter.  Mix eggs and half and half together and pour into pan. Turn heat down to medium low and cook eggs slowly. Gently push eggs around in pan and keep a close eye on them. When almost set turn off heat and add goat cheese and chives.

For more tasty breakfast ideas or to book a reservation, visit our Asheville Inn at



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 for more information or call 888-811-3053 for Inn reservations.

Asheville Restaurant Review: Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

April 2nd, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

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

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 or call 888-811-3053. We look forward to hosting you at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast very soon.

Oven Roasted Tomato Frittata at this Asheville Inn

August 30th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

It’s that time of year again when my garden and our local tailgates are overwhelmed with tomatoes.  These last few weeks we have had a glorious production of cherokee purple, sun gold cherry and plum tomatoes. Since we have been eating them in salads, as a salad, in fresh tomato sauce and any number of other ways, I decided to experiment with oven roasting them. I drizzled approximately 2 Tbsp of olive oil onto a rimmed baking pan. I then tossed in some fresh thyme and oregano. I halved a variety of tomatoes in similar size and placed them on the baking pan in a single layer.  I roasted them in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. They just need to be soft and wilty.  I placed them in mason jars and refrigerated. They will keep this way for about a week and can be frozen.

Tomatoes prepared this way are divine! The best way to devour these sweet and lovely treats is on good crusty bread. My husband likes his bread grilled with a little olive oil. Crumble on some good goat cheese, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a piece of heaven.

Unfortunately, this is not really breakfast fare and I was determined to use these tomatoes in a dish  at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  My own favorite breakfast always includes eggs and tomatoes so a frittata seemed the best way to highlight the intense flavor of these tomatoes. Of course good local crusty bread could also be served with this meal.  If you can’t roast your own, your local specialty grocer should have them and if necessary you could substitute sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. You will need a deep 10 inch oven safe saute pan. I prefer cast iron but any oven ready pan will do.

I decided to create an oven roasted tomato, smoked mozzarella and basil frittata. I served this to guests (guinea pigs) last week who could not stop raving about how good it tasted or how pretty the plate looked. So this morning I decided to make it again and take pictures as I prepared it. I also took pictures of the guests but promised not to show them. One guest suggested I take a picture of his empty plate as he scarfed down the last bite….thus the last photo.  My thoughts were that I’d write a blog and include the recipe with photos.  As I loaded the pictures onto my computer I realized I could turn the photos into a video.  Please understand if you watch the video …it has no sound and was published and edited by an amateur.

The great thing about frittatas is they are easy and quick to make. More importantly you can put almost anything in them.  I used smoked mozzarella because I thought it would marry well with the tomatoes and it melts incredibly well.  It has that gooey effect and does not completely disappear. Another good cheese would be goat cheese.  We have the most amazing local cheese farms in and around Asheville. I am particularly fond of Three Graces Dairy and Spinning Spider Creamery.  Next I am going to make a frittata with chives and goat cheese, from one of these farms.  My kids want me to make a ham and swiss without the tomatoes ….we’ll see.

I could eat tomatoes everyday this time of year.  To me the saddest part of summer ending is the end of fresh tomatoes from my garden. Please come visit our Asheville Inn and let us feed you well. For more information call 888-811-3053 or visit

Oven Roasted Tomato, Smoke Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Frittata

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ Tbsp unsalted butter

1/3 cup roughly chopped roasted tomatoes in oil

2 shallots sliced thin or small yellow onion

½ cup cubed smoked mozzarella

7 eggs beaten

¾ cup milk

Handful fresh basil chopped

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat oil and butter.  Add shallots and sauté until soft and golden.  Mix egg, milk, basil and pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Pour egg mixture over shallots. Sprinkle in cheese and tomatoes.  Cook over medium for approximately 5 minutes or until sides look set. Put in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until firm. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.

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’… 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:

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 or call 877-811-3058 to book your room.


WNC Chef’s Challenge

May 29th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

The WNC Chefs Challenge competitions are underway  Tuesday nights at Pack’s Tavern  in downtown Asheville. The Asheville area’s coolest culinary competition is back going strong.  Fourteen of the areas top chefs square off in weekly match-ups that determine who triumphs as  Best Chef in WNC.

At each challenge,  the two chef teams prepare  six dishes – three from each team.  Earlier in the day the chefs are given a   “secret ingredient” that has to be featured in each culinary creation.  The diners are not told which team prepared each dish and score the dishes using the same guidelines as a professional food critic. At the end of the evening the scores are tallied and the winning team moves on to the next round.

The last two teams standing  will face off during the finale at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting on August 23, 2012.

Want to judge for yourself ?  Call Pack’s Tavern at 225-6944 to reserve your space. Tickets are $49 per person and do not include beverages, tax or gratuity. For additional information speak with Stacy at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast.

Asheville, NC is a Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Vegan Diner’s Dream

February 28th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Asheville, North Carolina continues to live up to it’s title of Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City.  Asheville is a vegetarian, gluten free and vegan diner’s dream. Starting in downtown Asheville and heading north along a 2 mile stretch of road, locals affectionately refer to as the Merrimon Shuffle, you will find two exclusively vegetarian restaurants; the Laughing Seed and  Rosetta’s, Posana, a gluten free restaurant, Plant, a vegan restaurant and VegHeads, a vegetarian drive thru. Only in Asheville.  Along the way you will also go by Greenlife  Grocery store which features everything from “simple vegetarian to “raw” cuisine in a mostly local food approach. And this is just the Merrimon Shuffle. You will find many more  food co-ops, grocers and other restaurants that fulfill the needs of any dining desires.

Asheville has built itself into quite the vegetarian-friendly city, and continues to add more animal-free  dining options.  The Laughing Seed, a perennial favorite  and well-known to visitors and locals alike calls itself a global fusion vegetarian restaurant and offers an eclectic vegetarian menu.  This Asheville tradition also serves organic, seasonal, farm-to-table, vegetarian cuisine with an international flair.

Global fusion is very much alive at the Laughing Seed.  Right now, you can experience the deep, slow cooked tastes of Thailand as well as the simple, but intensely satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Sunflower seed pesto and cashew nut ricotta form a deliciously satisfying filling for their raw Spinach Pesto Manicotti.  Their sushi offering changes nightly, along with their pasta special and authentic Indian thali plate.  And nothing says “comfort food” more that their classic Harmony Bowl, Tempeh Reuben, or Tico Burrito

The new kid on the block, Plant, another farm-to-table  concept brought to Asheville by the partnership of Jason Sellars (the former chef at The Laughing Seed) and Leslie Armstrong and and Alan Berger (former owners of the best independent video store in the city — Rosebud.  Plant has only been open a short time, but is already drawing a sophisticated crowd who appreciates the quality of the food, prepared from fresh local ingredients. The farm-to-table concept is strong in Asheville and continues to grow, benefiting our local farmers and the restaurant clientele.

Plant, also a completely vegan restaurant, describes itself as “A restaurant with roots; sophisticated scratch-made food from the earth.” Nothing is served that is an animal or a by-product of any animal. This can be quite unnerving to the uninitiated, but trust us — your taste buds will revel in the new experience.  Our favorites were the Mushroom Risotto, the smoked Portabello and the truffle fries (of course).  We do hear that the Reuben and the Peppercorn encrusted Seitan are out of this world.

As a locally-owned independent business, Plant is committed to a deep concern for the environment, our individual and collective health, and ethical and compassionate lifestyles.  Success for them means that their guests feel rewarded for choosing the compassionate and exciting dining experience that Plant offers.

If you are looking for an epicurean adventure that is sure not to disappoint — shuffle up to 165 Merrimon Avenue (a short trip from this Asheville Inn.

Here at Pinecrest Inn Bed and Breakfast we strive to accommodate our guests special dietary requests. We source local and support our area farms and grocers. We also promote the restaurants that use the same approach.  For more information visit us at or contact our Asheville Bed & Breakfast for reservations 888-811-3053.