In honor of Veteran’s Day, Pinecrest Inn Bed and Breakfast is proud to honor our distinguished men and women in the armed services, active or retired with a special offer! On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, all veterans can stay for FREE in one of our select Asheville B&B guest rooms (based on room availability). Bring your spouse or special someone and enjoy our hospitality. Offer valid until November 12, 2014.
It’s that time of year again when throngs of visitors travel to the mountains of Asheville to see the area’s breathtaking fall foliage. As the evenings start to cool off we are seeing the leaves start to change around the Inn. The question we get a lot this time of year is “When is the peak color weekend?” Hard to say, as it varies each year, but peak colors in lower elevations are typically between the third week in October and the first week in November. To play it safe, a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is always a great way to find the best color almost anytime.
For visitors coming in late September or early October, head north and check out some of the higher elevations like Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain areas. Late season visitors coming at the end of October or early November typically catch more color at more southern destinations like Mt. Pisgah, Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, where views are premium.
In addition to hiking our beautiful mountains amidst a flurry of fall color, there are lots of cultural and tasty events you won’t want to miss out on. Here’s a little sampling of the many fun things to do in and around Asheville this fall.
On September 27th the North Carolina Arboretum celebrates Southern Appalachian traditions with Carolina Craft Day from 11 AM until 4 PM. Enjoy the displays by local artists and crafters whose work reflects the heritage of Western North Carolina.
Feeling the need to infuse a little German tradition into your fall festivities? Then don’t miss Oktoberfest on October 11th, in downtown Asheville on Coxe Avenue. It’s a great way to celebrate our local beer scene. Event runs from 1-6 PM. Buying advance tickets is recommended since it typically sells out. And don’t forget folks, this is one of our few adult only festivals.
Headed south to leaf peep? Why not check out Chimney Rock every Friday and Saturday, each weekend from October 10-November 1st for “Beats, Burgers & Brews at the Old Rock.” Enjoy the sounds of bluegrass, Americana, blues and more while sipping a cold regional craft brew or glass of wine along the river.
The Orchard at Altapass is always a fun and beautiful stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 328, roughly 50 miles north of Asheville between Mt. Mitchell and Linville Falls. This 100-year-old apple orchard turned cultural icon, celebrates the people, music, art, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pick apples, take a hay ride or just listen to some live folk music. Check their website for daily and weekend activities and schedules www.altapassorchard.org.
September through November are the busiest months at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast, so plan ahead and call early for reservations 828-281-4275. We are more than happy to assist you with planning the perfect visit or a cozy weekend stay at our historic Asheville Inn. We look forward to seeing you soon.
The earliest quilts that exist from North Carolina are from the 1820’s and originated from the early Scots-Irish settlements of Mecklenburg, Iredell, and Cabarrus counties. These early American quilts were a byproduct of wealth and leisure, and not created out of need or poverty as some may think. By 1860, quilt making in NC had become a highly developed art form, spurred by the availability of fabrics from local textile mills. However, many family quilts from this period were lost or destroyed during the Civil War, which also had a devastating impact on the textile industry here in North Carolina.
Since then, quilting has experienced a revival in the area and is hailed today as a true art form. If you’re interested in viewing some of the many local handmade quilts, plan a visit this month to “All Kinds of Quilts”, a special exhibit featuring the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild. The exhibition will showing through August 19th, 2014 at Handmade in America, located at 125 S Lexington Ave #101, Asheville, Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm. It’s a very special exhibit that sheds light on an age old custom that is once again thriving.
Looking for more great advice on things to do in Asheville? Our helpful Innkeepers are always available to assist in planning your daily itinerary. For room reservations at our award winning Asheville Bed & Breakfast, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 828-281-4275.
The Pinecrest Inn Bed & Breakfast is located in historic Montford. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit.
The NC Arboretum is known for its natural flora and fauna and family friendly trails. Among its many glorious features are landscaped gardens, a bonsai garden, over 400 acres of natural woods and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. Not only do they offer an amazing place to explore the great outdoors, the Arboretum also hosts engaging indoor exhibits throughout the year. If you’re visiting this September you won’t want to miss the upcoming exhibit EXTREME DEEP.
The exhibit highlights the adventure of deep-sea exploration and discovery. EXTREME DEEP depicts the mysteries of the ocean featuring close-up views of deep-sea research submersibles, and shipwrecks, including the Titanic. The interactive display is part art, part hands on science museum. EXTREME DEEP puts the technology of deep-sea exploration in the hands of guests. Fly a remotely operated vehicle over a model of the Titanic’s deck or test our skills at picking up lava rocks from the sea floor.
EXTREME DEEP brings the sea floor to the surface in an amazing display that illustrates the magnificent engineering feats of Mother Nature. The exhibit allows museum visitors the opportunity to walk along a dramatically recreated ocean environment, something that is impossible to do in the real ocean because of the crushing pressure of the water.
While you’re there, have lunch at The Savory Thyme Café featuring natural, local, and organic ingredients. You won’t be disappointed. Try the Moroccan Carrot Salad or the Apricot-Basil Chicken Salad Sandwich. Admission to the Arboretum is just $12 per personal vehicle. The exhibit center is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the arboretum’s website for more details http://www.ncarboretum.org/.
For help booking your itinerary, ask your Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers for assistance. Janna and Stacy are always available to help you plan your day and recommend great places to eat and play! For reservations at our historic Asheville Inn call 828-281-4275.
The Botanical Gardens in Asheville is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, one of the most diverse and temperate ecosystems in the world. The Gardens consist of a ten acre piece of property with over 600 species of plants native to the local region. Tucked among the many conifers, birch and magnolias are more than fifty rare plant species, various types of ferns and wildflowers. The park even gets an occasional visit from bobcats, coyote, bears and red shouldered hawks.
Once you enter the Gardens, you can follow the half-mile trail that crosses a bridge then loops around leading visitors by a stream, through meadows, and over a woodland ridge to a wildflower cove. An authentic “dog trot” cabin and a spring house demonstrate how our ancestors lived, and a lovely gazebo provides shelter in the midst of the Sunshine Meadow. Along the way, you’ll find benches and tables where you can stop with a picnic lunch or just take in a quiet rest. Just don’t forget to leave pets, radios, and sports equipment at home. Things that disturb the parks serene environment are frowned upon. Mid-summer months like July and August are a great time to see some of the mid-season blooming plants like Joe-pye Weed, Blazing-star, Green-headed Coneflower and Goldenrod.
The gardens offers a host of educational opportunities for adults and children, and a peaceful sojourn for others who prefer to just wander the lovely grounds and take in the natural beauty. Sign up for a bird walk or a wild flower walk and take an early morning guided tour through the gardens. Just don’t forget your binoculars! The ABG is open year round from sunrise to sunset for the enjoyment of the community. No admission is charged for entrance, but donations are gladly accepted. The Visitor Center and most of the trails are wheelchair accessible. For more information visit http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/.
Our historic Asheville Bed & Breakfast is a short walk or a couple minutes drive to the Botanical Gardens. We often suggest to our guests who enjoy an early morning run or walk that they head over to the gardens. It’s a lovely way to start your morning. To book reservations at Pinecrest Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 828-281-4275.
Eating in Asheville just got even more remarkable, if that is even possible. Two cases in point: White Duck Taco, a wildly popular venue in the River Arts District, just opened a new downtown location on Biltmore Avenue. Also, Early Girl Eatery owners, John and Julie Stehling, just recently opened King Daddy’s on Haywood Road in West Asheville which pays tribute to the American soul food pairing of chicken and waffles.
White Duck taco is well known for their delicious and creative tacos and may I say…cheap tacos. Their River Arts location is always bustling and you can usually expect a line, but don’t let that deter you. I’m not sure I have ever been there and not had to wait in line, but it does move very quickly and is always worth the wait. The downtown location is larger with more indoor and outdoor seating capacity, has a full bar and comes with the added bonus of being with walking distance of this Asheville Bed and Breakfast.
We visited the downtown location last week and feasted on Korean Beef Bulgogo with avocado puree and kimchi…yum, Steak and Cheese with pico, lettuce and mexican crema, Jerk Chicken with purple slaw and pineapple, Thai Peanut Chicken with tropical salsa, BBQ Pork Carnitas with bbq slaw and beans, and the Fish Taco. What’s hard to believe is that these delectable tacos are only $3.45 a piece. The BBQ Pork Carnitas is always my personal favorite. This is a great lunch spot, especially after eating such a big breakfast at our Asheville Inn. Sample a taco or 2 and wash it down with a seasonal Sangria, fresh lime Margarita or a locally brewed cerveza.
Early Girl Eatery, also a local favorite since opening its doors on Wall Street in 2001, has finally found the perfect spot (on Haywood Road) to fulfill their original vision. As the story goes, they had hoped to open a restaurant on Haywood Rd. in West Asheville back in 2001. For a host of reasons, they ended up downtown (which we are glad about) and tried to serve waffles and fried chicken. Unfortunately the electrical wiring in the downtown location was most uncooperative. Every time they plugged a waffle iron into an electrical outlet something else would shut off…..like the cooler. Since coolers are an essential appliance to the overall function of the restaurant, waffle dreams had to be put on hold.
In 2014 their vision has come full circle in an historic building with all the conveniences of modern electrical wiring. King Daddy’s offers all kinds of waffles; Belgian, Sweet, Pumpkin, Cracklin’ and Vegan/Gluten-free. To fully realize the dream, your light, fluffy waffle can be escorted by Fried, Heirloom, Habanero Sweet Potato, Korean, Grilled and Gluten-Free Fried Chicken. Of course they also have Chicken and Gravy, Biscuits and a bunch of yummy sides, salads and appetizers.
We sampled the Sweet Potato Hush Puppies, which are gluten free and fabulous and the King Daddy Wings with all three sauces (Korean, habanero and sweet NC BBQ). They were really good! We even tried the Fish and Chips, which was one of the best offerings of this fried English dish we have found in the area. They give you a bowl of “chips” a.k.a. French fries as big as your head. We took the kids so they took advantage of what they now hope will be a part of a new family dinner tradition — the Belgian waffles with strawberry, chocolate chips and of course whip cream.
The waffles were light, airy and heavenly. I serve up a mean waffle at the B & B… so my guests tell me, but these were truly delicious. My husband feasted on the Habanero Sweet Potato chicken, which was juicy, spicy and also scrumptious. I had the Warm Sesame Kale Salad with beets and glazed pears. I can’t pass up a good Kale salad. I could live on kale, beets and more kale. Everything we tried was really good, fresh and applying the same approach as the Early Girl Eatery, locally sourced wherever possible. The atmosphere is very cool and casual and a very good use of the space. The service was stellar. My parents went the night after we did, in search of good quality fish and chips and had a very similar experience. I’d put this on the list of where to eat when visiting Asheville, especially if you have any dietary restrictions.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good competition and when it involves my favorite chefs, it’s even more fun to watch! If you’re a true foodie like the Innkeepers at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast, you won’t want to miss Asheville’s top chefs as they battle it out Iron Chef-style battle for the title of Asheville Wine & Food Festival 2014 Best Chef. When you buy a ticket to the event, you get to dine and decide who competes in the final competition at the festival. Competing chefs each offer up three delicious creations prepared around a secret ingredient. A panel of professional chefs, food writers, culinary experts and the audience all vote to determine the winner. Winners proceed to the next level of the competition.
Now is the time to reserve your tickets. Visit http://ashevillewineandfood.com/asheville-scene-chefs-challenge for more information. The July 1st event is being held at Pack’s Tavern Century Room in downtown Asheville and the Chef’s challenge continues every Tuesday evening through August 12th. The final showdown of the top 4 chefs will take place at the Grand Tasting during the Asheville Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
The 2014 zipline season has begun in Asheville and it’s off to an exciting start. This month Navitat is expected to launch its’ unprecedented zipline called the Blue Ridge Experience. The thrilling mountaintop tour high above the forest floor is being heralded as one of the Southeast’s longest and highest ziplines according to Abby Burt, Navitat’s Branding & Marketing Leader.
The Blue Ridge Experience features three pairs of dual “racing-style” ziplines, with riders zooming alongside each other against the panoramic backdrop of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Navitat’s10 ziplines, sky bridges, rappelling and forest hikes have been called some of the best zipline canopy tours in the nation by USA TODAY and Outdoor magazine, and a “must-do activity” in Asheville by the New York Times.
The Blue Ridge Experience tours begin May 10 and run daily through November. Cost is $69 per person Sunday-Friday and $79 on Saturday and holidays. Reservations are required. Visit www.navitat.com for more information or call 1-855-NAVITAT (855-628-4828) to book a zipline tour.
Need a cozy place to stay on your next trip to Asheville? Look no farther than the Pinecrest Inn, a historic Bed & Breakfast located on over an acre of wooded gardens in Montford. Our Inn is conveniently located a short 20 minute drive from Navitat and less than 5 minutes from downtown Asheville. We look forward to seeing you soon! Visit www.pincrestbb.com for more details.
We 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 overly 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.
We are so spoiled by living in the epicurean wonderland that is Asheville. Unfortunately, because of this it takes a lot to wow us these days — even with so many excellent restaurants and watering holes to choose from. Irregardless, we feel it is incumbent upon us, in the name of service to our guests, to research every nook, cranny, bistro and cafe — leaving no new establishment unturned. Not snow or sleet, I digress…
As if she needed any more press, Katie Button’s new cocktail lounge, Nightbell, down on South Lexington Avenue, and right behind her restaurant Curate, turns out to be a classy, intimate setting that honors the traditional art of cocktails.
We were there on the early side of a Saturday night and so the mood was mellow and good for conversation. Word on the street is that it really picks up later in the evening and the space around the bar could get a bit mosh-y, but in a lively, friendly sort of way.
Whatever your culinary desire, you will not have any difficulty finding something savory or sweet. The “savory” offerings are served up in small plate portions and include hush puppies (with a honey, mustard dipping sauce), fish and chips, a lobster roll and duck and waffles (duck confit and an airy waffle). We partook in the oysters which came with tinctures of lemon, garlic, fennel, thyme and horseradish, but some around our circle of friends much prefer the whole and unadulterated version of accompaniments.
On the sweeter side, you can have anything from root beer floats (vanilla bourbon and nitro coulant, with tart cherry and a house root beer syrup spiked with bourbon), dark and stormy cocktails (a frozen treat layered with rum, roasted pineapple, ginger beer, grilled lime, five spice and mint) to a mascarone cheesecake in morello cherry, chocolate forest and pistachio moss or petit fors.
Cutting to the chaser — Cocktails, old classics, new perspectives and out of the ordinary are the main attraction here. The focal point of the establishment is the walk up bar. We had an (okay, maybe two) old-fashions (with Redemption Rye and an iceburg cube – done right), a Negroni, a Rye Sling (made with Bulleit Rye and chai infused cocchi di torino). All great examples of what a cocktail can be in the hands of a talented tender and a little creativity.
A smaller, by Asheville standards, collection of beers (6 draft/6 bottle) and wine(a diverse palette palate of 6 – 10 selections) is offered, but nonetheless a diverse lineup to whet any discerning (or just thirsty) whistle.
The ambiance is sophisticated. The lighting is on the darker side and there are cushioned seats toward the back with small tables to set your work of potion art down. A perfect setting for close friends or even a romantic date if you time it right. Straight to the top of the charts, this Asheville establishment should be put on your list as a must visit. In honor of the cocktail.
For more on our restaurant reviews and outings around town, visit our blog at http://pinecrestbb.com/blog/. Our Bed & Breakfast is dedicated to enhancing your culinary experience while visiting, both here with our farm to table breakfasts and around Asheville. For reservations at our Award Winning Asheville Inn, call 888-811-3053.