Monday, March 28, 2011

A Roadtripper's Guide to the Beerlaxy: Part 2

Day 2 of our Beertrip:


I know this has taken over a month to post. But it was such a good time, you really have to hear about all the awesomeness in Asheville. I will get the rest of the trip up, EVENTUALLY. :)


QUICK TIP: Don't forget to check out the GoodforthePalate google maps, and friend me on Yelp to see where I am eating, where I considered eating, where I will be sure to eat in the future, and where I will never eat again.



Type: Breakfast
Location:   Early Girl Eatery
                  8 Wall Street
                  Asheville, NC 28801
Items:
     Local Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon and Green Onions
     Shrimp and Grits
     2 Homemade Biscuits
     Homemade? Preserves
     Fire from the Mountain Local Hot Sauce

 
Chris is excited he will soon be filling his gullet with delicious. 

When I go on trips I like to research eateries on Chowhound and Yelp prior to hitting the road. But I learned in Europe that your best bet is to ask the locals. And don't just ask them where to eat. Ask them where they eat. You get a more honest answer that way. 

I had seen good reviews about Early Girl Eatery, and when the hostel-keeper also suggested it, I knew I had to go. 

Early Girl Eatery made me the best breakfast I have ever eaten. Every item on the plate was put there with love. They use local ingredients when possible and the care taken to make these foodstuffs is evident. 

When I eat at a new place I like to order off the specials menu. I feel that special dishes really showcase a chefs talents, and they are dishes I may never have to opportunity to try again. I did bend my usual rule and ignored the special list, even though their garlic and potato cakes sounded yummazing. I decided upon the local sausage and sweet potato hash with bacon, mushrooms and green onions. The sweet potatoes were super sweet and perfectly cooked and toothsome. Each bite had a piece of everything mixed in, and the eggs were fluffy and moist. 



I knew I made the right choice when the waitress asked me if I wanted a biscuit or toast with the hash. The biscuit with the hash was just what I wanted. This was the most perfect biscuit ever. I think they must use wheat flour, or less refined white flour. When I inquired I was told it was white flour, but I dont believe them. The biscuits had beautiful little brown flecks of wheaty goodness in them. And they brought the most delicious berry preserves ever to accompany the biscuits. I was too busy stuffing my face to ask what kind of berry it was, but it was soooo good. It had the same texture as confiture does in France and instantaneously took me back to my morning market trips on the Canal St. Martin. 

Chris got the Shrimp and Grits, his favorite dish ever.


No instant grits here. Shrimp were perfectly cooked. "Best shrimp and grits ever" - Chris
That's all he had to say. These dishes are really too good for many words. 

Early Girl also offered a local hot sauce called Fire from the Mountain. It was spicy and super flavorful and you could see all the little bits of peppers and I think mustard seeds in it.






Really, and truly, I can't imagine a better breakfast. 

Well maybe some hot chocolate would have made it better. 

Oh! And then... we found a chocolatier with hot chocolate to fuel my fix.  Thanks Asheville.

Type: Snacks
                10 South Lexington Ave
                Asheville, NC 28801
    
Items:
     2 Liquid “Chocolate” Truffles
     2 Chocolate Truffles with local Raspberry Puree
     4 Chocolate Bars from Mast Brothers(click to the post dedicated to the chocolate bars)-     Brooklyn, NY (Vegan)
                                          105A North 3rd Street
                                          Brooklyn, NY 11211
            1. Madagascar 72% cacao from the Sambirano Valley in Madagascar
                (tasting notes: citrus, raspberry, red wine)
            2. Black truffles 74% cacao farmed in Dominican republic, plus black
                truffles from the hills of Northern Italy and sea salt from the Trapani Sea
            3. Serrano peppers 70% cacao with Mexican dried stone ground chilies
            4. Venezuela 75% cacao from Ocmuare de la costa, Venezuela (tasting notes: raisin, tea,
                licorice, apricot)




Click for more about Mast Brothers from BEERSimple
All of the chocolate was again stellar. I LOVED this stuff. I think this was the fluffiest hot chocolate I have ever seen. It was so viscous it bubbled above the spoon rather than flowing off it. Dark, rich, and creamy, this was by no means light. 


The raspberry truffles had a dusting of what I am guessing is dehydrated raspberry powder, with super concentrated flavor.  


We did have a walk around the city before heading to French Broad. We check out lots of local shops with clothing, furniture, and antiques. 


Then we finally made it back into Bruisin' Ales for a purchase, the true reason we came to Asheville.

Type: Beer
Location: Bruisin’ Ales
                 66 Broadway Street
                 Asheville, NC 28801
            Items:
                        Glazen Torend Saison
                        Hanssens Experimental
                        Montegioco Bran
                        Montegioco Demon
                        Left Hand Milk Stout


I keep seeing Italian craft beer and have very little experience with it. I love everything Italian so I am very intrigued about the quality of their craft beer. Jason, one of the owners, was very enthusiastic about the Italians so I grabbed a few Montegioco. 


Chris purchased mostly local beers so my only local was the Left Hand Milk Stout. 




Type: Snacks
Location: 5 Walnut
                5 Walnut Street
                 Asheville, NC 28801
            Items:
                        Trout jerky
                        Cornbread
                        Pisgah Organic Bacon Stout
                        Greenman ESB

            A gorgeous WINE BAR, with a great, local beer selection, and fun snacks like trout jerky? Yep, 
            Asheville has it all. 





Type: Snacks, cause we really hadn't eaten enough
Location: French Broad Café and Chocolate Lounge    
                10 South Lexington Ave
    Asheville, NC 28801
            Items:French broad local cheese plate:
                                  Seasonal Chevre - Three Graces Dairy - Madison County, NC
                                  La Mancha Reserve - Locust Grove Fram - Knoxville, TN
                                  Bailey Mountain Tomme - Spining Spider - Madison County, NC
                                  Farmstead Pepper Cheese - Yellow Branch Farm - Graham County, NC
                                  Housemade Seasonal Chutney
                                  House baked rosemary semolina crackers made with local rosemary and locally 
                                  bottled olive oil




HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH YET? We hadn't!

I promise there was a lot of lèche les fênetres, window licking, or how the French refer to window shopping.

After a time we decided we needed to try yet another Asheville Restaurant. Chris chose Tupelo Honey. 

Type: DINNER?!
                12 College Street
    Asheville, NC 28801
            Items:
                      Fried green tomatoes over goat cheese grits with pickled okra
                      Biscuits with honey
                      Fried chicken sandwich
                      New South Sauteed Greens aka sesame sauteed kale
                      Cheese smashed cauliflower
                      Bubba's brussels sprouts



Unfortunately, while the waitress was incredibly good, the reveiws on Yelp are pretty much dead on. My biggest issue, and one I read on a review, was the oversalting of a few of the dishes. I also read something about overcooked chicken, which was also an issue in Chris' sandwich. Everything else was good, just seemed like the chef needs to put a little more care into the finished product. 




I will admit, I was pleased to see a piece of pickled okra on my plate. 

We gorged and then went back to the hostel for a nap. We awoke to the need for carbonation in our bellies and a good walk. 

Type: Beer
Location: Thirsty Monk
                92 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801
            Items:
                 New Belgium
                                Le terroir
                                Veridinen
                Avery
                               Mephistopheles 

New Belgium was having an event at Thirsty Monk that evening. Chris and I wanted to stop in because New Belgium is headed to the Maryland area very soon. I was pleases to learn they they make a large selection of sour beer, the two we tried were part of this bunch. Keep an eye for NB on your local beer shop shelves in the next few months. 

And here we stopped. Our bellies bursting. I literally could not take one more sip of beer, no matter how delicious. And yet I was still plotting for breakfast in the morning. But thats another post. 






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