Good Food and Great Music
Posted by eemilla on December 9, 2008
The Mountain Xpress Best of Showcase was a great time between the food samples and the live entertainment.
The Trainwreks kicked it all off, and everyone that wasn’t eating or waiting in line was getting down. I can’t wait to see them again when they are the main event as it seemed they may have been a bit less rowdy than they would prefer to be due to the kids in the crowd. Stephanie’s ID reminded me of why I like rock/pop, and I will definitely buy their new CD in the spring.
Asheville Aerial Arts were actually the highlight of the event. It was stunning to watch the performer twist and contort herself on the silk bands; her physical prowess was breathtaking, and as with all great athletes she made the effort seem minimal. She supported herself by her arms with no leg support at one point, and at another she created a seat out of the silk. All of her movements were controlled and graceful, and I was terribly envious of her skill. The flowing silks, the height, the music and the awestruck faces of the crowd created this magical ambience in which she wove a spell that seemed to end much too soon. This is the first time I have been able to catch a performance even though I tried to catch them at TriNumeral, and I hope to be able to find out about their next event rather than stumble upon it as I did this time.
Laughing Seed, Doc Chey’s, and Jersey Mike’s brought enough food to feed the hungry masses, but when we passed through the line at not much after six Wasbai’s space contained some dishes of soy sauce; I did not see The Lobster Trap or Apollo Flame. Being the picky discerning eater that I am, I only sampled Doc Chey’s cold peanut noodles and two of Laughing Seed’s three pizzas. The Laughing Seed took the time to label all of their items and detail the ingredients; Doc Chey had a staffer serving their food, and she answered any questions that arose. The best overall was Laughing Seed’s soltice pizza that had their delicious seitan soyage and butternut squash among other toppings that I cannot recall. This was heavily my favorite over their Florentine pizza, of which I mistakenly picked up the vegan slice. It had really strong onions and I think broccoli, but alas, all the $3 Pisgah pales I imbibed before nine have left my memory a bit hazy.
Since I had not found enough food to sate my appetite (I danced a bunch during The Trainwreks!), we strolled up the street to Kanpai Sushi Thai. Our service was fast as it should have been in the not too full cafe space, and the food was tasty. I feel like both my tuna tataki and hanada roll were seasoned with a heavy hand, and being in a sushi restaurant on Sunday in the mountains, it turned me off just a bit. The avocado promised on the menu with the hanada was fairly skimp on the 10.95 roll, and the overabundance of sriracha hardly made up for the missing avocado. The salmon and tuna on the roll were sufficient in portion, but again the burning hot chile sauce blunted my tongue so I was not able to appreciate their taste. The tuna tataki portion was certainly fair, and I was able to take the sourness down a notch with the shredded daikon; however, the dressing was so sour and sharp that I suspected it of covering up older or less than wonderful fish. On a repeat visit (I have a three strikes rule unless the food, price, and service are all unbearable), I will revisit each of these dishes. On the upside, my honey thought the Thai seafood dumplings were a steal at five dollars; I believe he received six plump dumplings (again, maybe because we visited on the day before the new seafood order)? I did not have enough time to reasonably peruse their sake selection, but I did glance my Ingles favorite, Sho Chiku Bai (I saw the organic nama but I cannot recall if I saw the ginjo and/or the nigori).
Overall we had a fantastic time enjoying the food and the performances; I look forward to next year’s Best Of Showcase.