Beer City, USA

A few weekends ago we took a little mini getaway to Asheville, NC! It’s about a 2.5 hour drive which is very doable for a weekend trip. We left Friday as soon as I was finished work, checked in to our hotel, and headed downtown for some dinner.

Food: Salsas

We had a list of places that we wanted to eat, as well as back ups, because a lot of them do not take reservations. The food Gods must have been looking out for us on Friday because when we got to Salas the waitress estimated a “3 minute wait”. We walked past it a few times over the course of the weekend and there was always a line! Know why there’s a line? Well, because it’s small. But also because it is DELICIOUS. I had pork tenderloin tacos and Tim had a Pom Pom Pom. I was too busy eating to take a picture but here’s a picture that I found online:

Essentially that is a cool bucketish thing full with layers of rice, beans, cheese, chicken, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, cheese, etc. Did I say cheese? It was amazing. The chicken was grilled so perfectly. I was more than happy with my pork tenderloin tacos but when we go back some day I will be getting a P3.

Drinks: Margarita at Salsas!

  • Tim:regular margarita with habanero
  • Me:strawberry marg. It was National Margarita Day, afterall!

We went back to our hotel after dinner to hang out, stopping on the way at an Ingles to pick up a six pack of random beer.

Drinks: Random mix of drinks in a six pack

Food: Continental breakfast.

It was nothing to write home about but it was free and they had one of those Belgium waffle makers that I love.

Our hotel was ~5 minutes driving from downtown Asheville and our routine was to drive downtown and park in the deck on Otis. The deck is free for the first hour and then 75 cents for any additional time, with a max of $8. For the ease of parking it was definitely worth it.

Food: Jack of the Wood

We wandered around stores for a while before stopping to eat at a pub and try some more beer. We each had burgers which were HUGE and delicious.

Drinks:

  • Tim: Green Man ESB
  • Me: Green Man Dweller

Food: French Broad Chocolates!

After Jack of the Wood we had a chocolate factory tour to get to! French Broad Chocolate Lounge has been open for almost 5 years but more recently, due to the unknown when dealing with outside vendors, the owners decided to start making their own chocolate. So French Broad Chocolate Factory was born. The tour is $10 but is well worth it. You spend about 2 hours in the factory getting a tour of the facility, learning about the bean to bar process, and TASTING CHOCOLATE! I didn’t lead with the tasting chocolate part because people probably wouldn’t have bothered to read anything further. It was really fascinating and their chocolate is delicious. Absolutely something that I would recommend to everyone!

Drinks: Highland Brewery

Another of our planned stops was to tour the Highland Brewing facility. It’s one of the largest breweries in the region and really has a great operation. We got there a little after 4 for the 4:45 tour and it was already full! That was supposed to be the last tour of the day but because there were a lot of people that wanted a tour they opened up a 5:15 slot. Now that’s customer service! Plus who can really complain about having to wait around in a brewery with a bar attached? We ordered a flight of beers and sipped on them while waiting. There was also some live music that started up towards the end of the wait. The tour was maybe 20 minutes long and was pretty standard brewery tour fare but they have a really huge operation and it was interesting to compare home brewing to brewing at this level. Plus they give you a little cup of beer.

Drinks: Thirsty Monk

I forget what we ordered here! We had read a lot about the Thirsty Monk so before heading to eat dinner we stopped at the Thirsty Monk. They did have a lot of beers but if you go make sure you know whether the beer you want is upstairs or downstairs (2 separate bars).

Food: Twisted Crepe

In our earlier wanderings we passed this crepe place. Ever since visiting Paris and getting nutella/banana crepes from street vendors I have been obsessed with crepes. I have to be honest, this place was just okay. I’ll eat nutella and banana in almost anything but the crepe was a little rubbery. One of my former roommates made crepes that were much better.

Food: Kilwen’s

So since the crepes didn’t bowl us over and weren’t very filling AND we didn’t know there was a Kilwen’s in Winston-Salem, we decided to get ice cream. Don’t judge – we walked a lot this weekend!

We went back to the hotel and rested up for our next big day.

Food: Early Girl Eatery

Here we did have a wait. Of about an hour. It wasn’t a big deal because we had planned on walking Asheville’s Urban/Public Art trail and there were some stops in the area. The wait was worth it – the food is amazing! It was really sunny outside so their space looked so warm and inviting as well. I really like the bright colors around the windows. Well, I love the windows in general. I would love this exact room in our future house, House Gods!

After that we did the Urban Trail which I highly recommend. It was a really beautiful day to walk around and it took us to parts of the city that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Plus, each stop has a statute and a small historical tidbit so you get a good  history lesson about the city. We had a really good time trying to follow the map and find each stop! I would highly suggest getting a brochure with a map. We saw two women doing the trail with a map they had printed off of the internet and it looked like they were struggling. We stopped by Asheville’s Visitor Center (which is huge and very nice!) and got a brochure that was very helpful. It had a map with each point marked and said helpful things like “travel north on Y Avenue and turn right onto X Street”. We probably would have missed a few without it!

Have you guys made any weekend treks? Ever been to Asheville? If not – you should check it out!

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