The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Our Visit to Asheville’s New Rhubarb Restaurant

December 29th, 2013
gn dinner

Goat Cheese Gnudi

In our never ending quest to discover new culinary finds in Asheville, we dined at one of the latest eclectic restaurants downtown, Rhubarb. We had read the reviews so we knew there’d be plenty of new flavors, and there was. After all, how often do you come across a lobster corn dog? A tasty twist on an old classic for sure, albeit a bit pricey for what amounted to gourmet carnival food. We also tried the crispy Brussels sprouts & cauliflower. We thought the portion was small, and the fried texture overwhelmed the delicate vegetables a bit, but it was a nice attempt to serve fall vegetables in a new fashion. Overall we shared two appetizers, a salad and an entrée and more than a couple glasses of wine. Our dinner selection proved to be the highlight of the evening, with the most interesting combination of flavors. We shared a salad with charred farro, turnips, crispy beets and grilled kale and an entrée with goat cheese gnudi (a light airy gnocchi like pasta made with yellow branch cheese) – lightly sauteed with roasted shallots, local mushrooms, wood grilled radicchio and toasted pumpkin seeds. The flavors were an unexpected delight. Overall the atmosphere was subdued and comfortable and the service was exceptional.

We had a great dinner, but with what ended up being a hefty price tag for an ordinary night out, we will probably save our next visit for a special occasion. That said, I would definitely recommend it to anyone searching for bold new flavors in a serene downtown setting.

Visit www.pinecrestbb.com/blog for more about our Asheville adventures. To inquire about Inn reservations at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast, call 888-811-3053. We hope to see you soon!

Things to Do this Winter in Asheville

December 11th, 2013
cataloochee ski

Cataloochee Ski Resort

shoji

Shoji Day Spa

Winter isn’t everyone’s favorite time, but for us it’s a time of quiet reflection, time to relax a bit and take in all the beauty around us. The mountains are spectacular this time of year and winter offers some of the best views when hiking (that is if you’re not intimidated by the colder temperatures.) There’s a certain exquisiteness about the trees in winter that you can’t truly appreciate unless you slow down on an early winter evening and watch the beauty unfold.  At sunset, the mountains thrust one last bit of sunlight tinged with pink and purple hues onto the sky’s canvas. The twilight sky seems to illuminate the now naked tree branches that sit in quiet repose. But beyond taking in the raw beauty of winter, there’s lots of other fun and relaxing things to do this winter in Asheville. Foodies still flock here to take in the vast culinary scene known as Foodtopia, then sit by a cozy fire at the end of a long day of site seeing and shopping. Here’s our recommendation of things to do this winter while you’re visiting.

  1. Hiking. Winter is simply put, the best time to take in the views. Just make sure you are packed properly. Here’s a trail guide that will help you choose the right hike http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=61
  2. Antique Shopping. Slow down your pace and spend time browsing for antiques around town then take in lunch at a downtown café overlooking the square. Here’s a great list of Antique shops, put together by Romantic Asheville http://www.romanticasheville.com/antiques.htm
  3. Beer Tasting and Brews Cruises.  Asheville, or Beer City U.S.A. as it’s been named for the past four years, has dozens of brewery tours and beer tastings to choose from. A great way to spend a cool winter day indoors. Here’s a short list of places to do a beer tasting: Hops & Vines, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Oyster House Brewing Company.
  4. Spa Day.  Ever visited an outdoor spa? Shoji Spa offers Japanese style outdoor hot tubs with mountain views, saunas and couples massage. For something more traditional, pick anyone of Asheville’s amazing spas and pamper yourself for the day.
  5. Gallery Hopping. Check out Asheville’s outstanding line up of art galleries. Here’s some of our favorites: Grove wood Gallery, Blue Spiral 1, Southern Highland Craft Guild, New Morning Gallery.
  6. Ski, tube or snowboard. Asheville is only about 30 minutes from Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Cataloochee Skiing and Tube World.

Planning a visit to Asheville this winter? We still have some rooms available at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. Celebrating an anniversary, birthday or special occasion? We’ll help you plan a special getaway with flowers, in room massage, a bottle of bubbly or anything else you may need for your special day. Pinecrest Inn is a beautiful, relaxing place to enjoy a winter getaway in Asheville. Call 888-811-3053 for reservations.

 

Biltmore Village Dickens Festival & Biltmore Estate Christmas Celebrations

November 23rd, 2013

Looking for ways to put some nostalgic holiday fun into your next visit to Asheville?  Then don’t miss the enchanting display of lights and ornaments at the Biltmore Estate this Christmas.   Experience a magical visit to Biltmore during their Candlelight Christmas Evenings November 9 – January 4th. Take a stroll by firelight and candlelight and enjoy the bmcbeautiful display of over 50 Christmas trees and hundreds of poinsettias displayed throughout the estate.

To help you get into the holiday spirit there will also be choirs singing European carols, vintage ballroom dancers, and dramatic Christmas readings. The Front Lawn of the Biltmore House sets the scene with a sparkling holiday illumination of evergreens bathed in thousands of twinkling lights.

Candlelight evening ticket prices includes daytime admission to the estate grounds, winery, gardens and Riverbend Farm and nighttime admission to the Biltmore House Candlelight Evenings (by reservation only).  Book online at www.biltmore.com 7 to 14 days in advance and take advantage of discounted ticket prices.

For more holiday festivities in Asheville, join the revelry at the Biltmore Village Dickens Christmas Festival. Horse drawn carriage rides and period dressed carolers make this a very special holiday weekend December 6-8th.  Put these festive Asheville events on your must-do-list while visiting our Bed and Breakfast in Asheville this holiday season. For Inn reservations, call 888.811.3053.

New Edison at Grove Park Inn Delivers Innovative Dining

November 15th, 2013
Edison-5-edited

Image by Carolina Epicurean

In late July of this year the Omni Grove Park revamped its in house restaurant and opened the new Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen. The restaurant’s new look is eclectic and lively, with much of the ceiling light provided by Edison-esque looking light bulbs – nodding to the Inn’s history; Thomas Edison was a regular summer guest there in the early nineteen hundreds.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the scenic views and amazing sunsets at this top-notch restaurant overlooking the city of Asheville. The restaurant has an enclosed section as well outdoors seating. The restaurant features large fireplaces and comfy couches and chairs to lounge inn as you sip wine or eat dinner.

Although the look and the name are new, the food and spirits featured on the menu continue to honor the local flavor and attitude of the region. The chic but casual restaurant carries ten North Carolina beers on tap, including several local ones. If you’re a beer lover, don’t miss the Centennial Pale Ale with a bit of hoppy spice and citrus undertones. The house beer is brewed exclusively for the Grove Park by Asheville’s own Highland Brewing Company.

If you haven’t been yet, you’ll quickly discover that the Edison’s menu is full of southern comfort food with a distinctively Ashevillian twist.  The oysters and cured meats are all fresh and fantastic with many items sourced locally. Everything we tasted was delicious without being overwhelmingly large or over the top. The deep fried egg with lamb and the prawns with red chili marmalade were both delicious! So the next time you venture out on the town to try something new in Asheville, put the Edison on your to-do-list. It’s well worth the trip.

The Edison is a short ten minute drive from our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. For more information or reservations at Pinecrest Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or give us a call 888.811.3053. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

12th Annual Weaverville Art Safari

October 26th, 2013

art safari 2013It’s time again for the 12th Annual Weaverville Art Safari, a self-guided tour of local artists’ studios that yields a wide array of art forms – from painting, to furniture, pottery, stained glass and more. The event takes place from 10 am- 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3rd.  There are over 30 artists participating in this year’s event, just a short ten minute drive North of Asheville.

Want to get in on the action early? Join guests at a special preview party hosted at the Weaverville Town Hall on Friday, April 26. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and includes live music, door prizes, heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and more. The party includes a silent auction featuring beautiful works of art donated by participating artists. Event tickets are $10 at the door, with additional door prize tickets available for $5 each.

Need more information about events in and around Asheville, NC? Ask your Innkeepers Stacy and Janna at the Pinecrest Inn Bed & Breakfast. We’re always happy to help suggest fun things to see and do. To check our Asheville Inn rates and room availability visit www.pincrestbb.com.

Bakeries, Cake and Pies…Oh My! Asheville Bakeries Abound.

October 22nd, 2013

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say there’s a bread movement afoot in Western North Carolina, but I just might! There seems to be an abundance of all things baked popping up in and around Asheville. Some of the bakeries are old time staples, while others are new on the scene, with emphasis on fresh, local and gluten free breads and cakes. Check out some of what our grand little city in the mountains has to offer.

strada bake houseStrada Bakehouse
http://www.stradaasheville.com/bakehouse/
New on the scene is the Green Certified Strada Bakehouse. Started by the same owners who run the über delicious Strada Italiano Restaurant, this European-style bakery serves up artisan loaves baked fresh daily. Melding old world techniques with modern flavors, the bakery uses a several hundred-year-old, three-step process that yields some amazing breads. One big bonus, they don’t use preservatives, conditioners, or chemicals of any kind. Only four basic ingredients can be found in these breads: flour, salt, water and leaven.

Daily Fresh Baked Breads include Peasant Batard, Red Pepper Cheddar, Sunflower Wheat, Ciabatta, Semolina Sesame, Roasted Garlic & Asiago, and Chocolate Cherry. Stop in any day of the week to pick up a fresh loaf – except Mondays, they’re closed.

West End Bakery
http://www.westendbakery.com/
It’s always nice to talk about one of our favorites in trendy West Asheville – the West End Bakery and Café. This all around great, go-to-bakery uses only 100% organic flour and the freshest ingredients available. Everything served at the West End is made from scratch, and whenever possible they use locally grown produce and organic products. Gluten-Free offerings include a variety of muffins in flavors such as blueberry, pumpkin chocolate chip, and raspberry almond.
They also offer sandwiches made with their famous Gluten-free breads, but they’re popular so you got to be quick to get them. Your best bet is to order a loaf of Gluten-Free Bread to take home so you have some on hand. They also offer a rotating selection of Gluten-free desserts like Carrot cupcakes and Chocolate Mousse.

The Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe

Pastries and Cakes at Well Bread Bakery

Pastries and Cakes at Well Bread Bakery

http://www.wellbredbakery.com/
Just ten minutes north of Asheville in downtown Weaverville, the Well-Bred Bakery and Café offers gourmet pastries, cakes, cookies, artisan breads and other fine delectable treats.  The 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner boasts made from scratch confections such as Espresso Roulade, Chocolate Éclairs, Classic English Toffee, Tiramisu, Swedish Crème, Peanut Butter Pie and a host of other sweets like Key Lime Tarts, Chocolate Mint Mousse, Austrian Tea Cakes, Pecan Praline Cookies, and much, much more. Their beautiful pastry case is a feast for the eyes. If you’re like me, you’ll have a hard time deciding what you want, and instead, just get one of each – to go of course. Look for their new location in Biltmore Village, opening soon.

City Bakery
http://citybakery.net/
Founded in 1999, family owned City Bakery is an Asheville staple. The downtown bakery offers a wide variety of breads daily, specializing in traditional French breads made by hand and using as little yeast as possible for more complex flavors. Their amazing pastry staff creates croissants, danishes, éclairs, cupcakes and more – fresh every day.

Their sandwiches, cookies and other bakery treats are equally as good. You can find them at three locations including downtown Asheville, Charlotte Street and a new location in Waynesville.

World’s Best Carrot Cake

http://www.worldsbestcarrotcake.com/

It’s no small feat to be awarded as the World’s Best Carrot Cake by Fox News, but this small, unassuming bakery located on the edge of Asheville and Weaverville, has claimed this award. If you thought all carrot cakes were created equal, think again. It wasn’t enough to offer just gluten free, all natural carrot cake (a big hit by itself), the cake geniuses at World’s Best Carrot cake also created Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Chocolate Gluten-Free Carrot Cake and Orange Citrus Vegan Carrot Cake.
Each and every World’s Best Carrot Cake is made by hand, from scratch, in small batches with care and love. It truly is the World’s Best Carrot Cake and best of all, it’s right here in our own backyard.

The Bake Shoppe
http://www.bakeshoppeasheville.com/
The Bake Shoppe, located in north Asheville, offers elegant and tasty cakes as well as other wonderful desserts. Run by mother daughter team Juanita Mantel and Heidi Bryson, these talented bakers have been creating award winning cakes for over 35 years. Their specialty is beautifully decorated wedding cakes, grooms cakes and anniversary cakes. They also offer a wide assortment of cakes and pies including German chocolate cake, pumpkin praline pound cake, cranberry pecan pie, coconut cream pie and more. Be sure to place your cake and pie orders in plenty of time before holiday guests arrive.

Now if reading this doesn’t make you want to head out and find a local bakery to satisfy your cravings, we must have done something wrong! If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a bakery near you, be sure to visit one of ours the next time you stay at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast. We are so proud of our local bakers. If you need a recommendation for where to go for your favorite baked treat in Asheville, just ask our innkeepers Janna and Stacy.

For more information about our Asheville B&B, visit www.pinecrestbb.com.

Asheville Bed & Breakfast Honors Vets with Free Rooms on November 11, 2014

September 18th, 2013

B&B guest roomIn honor of Veteran’s Day, Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is proud to honor our distinguished men and women in the armed services, active or retired with a special offer! On Tueday, 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.

Our Favorite Vegan Hash or Veggie Hash with Egg Recipe

September 4th, 2013
market vegetables for has

Potatoes from Full Sun Farm

It seems like I do a lot of blogging about food but what can I say, I have a passion for food, especially fresh from the farm food. Last week I had many guests with certain dietary needs. Rather than make a bunch of ingredient substitutions or several different breakfasts, I decided to be bold and make one breakfast that would make everyone happy. And when I saw the beautiful variety of potatoes my friend and go-to local organic farmer, Alex Brown from Full Sun Farm had at market…my mind screamed a veggie hash with an egg or not on top.

vegan hash 2

Vegan Hash

I grabbed a hand full each of gorgeous Green Mountain, German Butterball, Papa Cacho and Russian Banana Fingerlings, some yellow onions, Red Rosa di Milano onions, red peppers, fresh basil and divine Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Unfortunately, Alex did not have any kale so I had to visit our local grocery store for some baby kale, assorted mushrooms and avocados. I also picked up some seeded bread from City Bakery for toast. I have found that not everyone is a fan of mushrooms, so I always check and if there is an objection, I just move some of the sautéed onions to a separate pan continue with the recipe omitting the mushroom step.

Honestly, I couldn’t wait to make breakfast the next morning. There are some meals you just get really excited about and this one is by far one of my very favorites. It also gets raving reviews from my guests. I am including the recipe and some pictures with this blog. Here at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast we are happy to share all our recipes with our guests. Keep in mind, I have done my best to estimate the measurements, but really I just eye it.

Although I had 8 folks for this breakfast last week, I have reduced the recipe to 4 servings.

  • 2 1/2 lbs assorted small potatoes cubed
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2 small onions sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Several sprigs of chopped thyme
  • 8 oz or more assorted mushrooms
  • 1 bunch baby kale or any green leafy vegetable (stem removed)
  • 4 eggs (or not for vegan recipe)
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Tomatoes
vegan hash plated

Veggie Hash with Egg Breakfast

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and cube potatoes and place on large rimmed baking sheet. Generously drizzle potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, turning half way through. While potatoes are baking, sauté onions, red pepper, garlic and thyme in a little olive oil. Once onions are soft add the mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked through add kale and cook for just a couple of minutes or until kale is lightly wilted. Remove from heat. Toss potatoes and veggies together. Add a fried, poached or scrambled egg to the top for those wanting the protein. Garnish with avocado and tomato.

For more fun recipes keep an eye on our blog at www.pinecrestbb.com or even better, come visit us at Pinecrest Inn Bed & Breakfast in Asheville. We love fixing up farm fresh breakfasts for our guests and can’t wait to see you all again soon!

Recommended Hiking Trails in Pisgah National Forest

August 30th, 2013

The Pisgah National Forest covers over 500,000 acres of forested land in and around Asheville. Avid hikers and bikers alike will discover hundreds of miles of trails to suit any taste. If you haven’t explored the Pisgah Forest, then you definitely need to. Some of the Pisgah trails most favored by locals include those at Max Patch, Hot Springs, Bent Creek, Mills River, Graveyard Field and many others. For a quick guide to the best trails based on features, or ease/difficulty of hike visit http://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/.

A favorite of our Asheville Bed & Breakfast is Max Patch – a good 45-60 minute drive West of Asheville, but well worth the trip.  kids_hikingMax Patch Mountain offers some amazingly scenic hikes, appropriate for children and older individuals. It highest elevation reaches 4,629 feet. The grassy summit is not the highest peak around, but it is considered by some to be the “crown jewel of the Appalachian Trail”. If you want a relatively easy hike to Max Patch, take the moderate, 1.4 mile Short Loop trail. For a more difficult hike, continue another mile on the Long Loop trail. The long range mountain views are simply breathtaking.

For easier hiking just 15 minutes from downtown, head south to Bent Creek. The Bent Creek trail system offers great hiking and mountain biking options, a campground, mountain lake with sandy beach (Powhatan Lake), picnic area, fishing pier and a family recreation area. A great place to spend the day or just take a refreshing walk around the lake to enjoy the beautiful Dogwoods and Mountain Laurel. Bent Creek is adjacent to the NC Arboretum and charges a $5 per vehicle entrance fee to the park.

If you’d rather hike on the north end of town, head up to the trail system in Hot Springs. The famous Appalachian Trail runs right through town. From the trail head, take a hike up to Lovers Leap Ridge for spectacular views of downtown Hot Springs and Spring Creek. The scenic town is also home to natural, hot mineral springs for which the town is named. Take in the therapeutic spring waters after your hike by renting your own private mineral bath at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa and follow it up with a relaxing massage. Now that’s my idea of a satisfying hike!

No matter where you go, you’re sure to enjoy exploring the endless hiking trails in and around Asheville -especially in the Pisgah Forest. Our Asheville Bed & Breakfast is fortunate to be surrounded by so much natural beauty and endless outdoor recreation options. Need trail maps or other recommendations for hiking? Just ask our innkeepers or any member of the Pinecrest Inn staff during your visit. For Inn reservations or more information visit www.pinecrestbb.com. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Our Asheville B&B’s Favorite Coffee Joints

August 21st, 2013

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.

 

 

»