Posted by eemilla on July 26, 2012
Due to a work meeting I was not able to enjoy lunch with my LB, but I did have one of the first meals in a long time alone. I was in East Asheville I decided to try Cafe Azalea which is tucked into a strip mall off Tunnel Rd near it’s Swannanoa River Rd intersection. As the name cafe implies everything here is diminutive from the parking lot, to the menu, and to the space itself. The vegetarian options were limited to salads and an entree; I opted for the shiitake mushroom with pasta and goat cheese in a white wine sauce dish.
The portion was fine, although my dish had very few of the highlighted shiitakes, and I tasted rather than spotted the goat cheese. The noodles and sauce were cooked well. My service was friendly and prompt as I arrived for an early lunch and sat at the bar. My good sized chunk of bread pudding felt more like breakfast than dessert, and it was quite hot on the top but cold in the center. On tap they had four beers (three local and one NC), and I didn’t look at their wine list.
I am not frequently in East Asheville to eat anything other than ice cream so it is unlikely that I will drive out of my way to revisit Cafe Azalea.
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Posted by eemilla on July 24, 2012
After weeks of growth and not enough mojitos, we have some tomatoes and leggy mint!
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Posted by eemilla on July 23, 2012
Back in March or April I had a meeting in Hendersonville so I had my husband and LB meet me so we could try lunch at West First Wood Fired Pizza, I ordered something and my husband ordered something else with a beer; I remember we both enjoyed our meals, and the price and portions were nice. The interior was funky and modern (the oven is so pretty), with a stairway that I was terrified of falling down. Our service was nice and fast for a busy lunch, and I wanted to go back to try some of their desserts. It took a few months, but we did eventually get back to Hendersonville. For some reason we opted for a Friday night dinner with a teething one year old; as it was Friday around 7 we did end up waiting for thirty minutes or so, and their foyer is a tight fit with more than a few people waiting. Please note that out of respect for staff and our fellow diners we do keep LB quite with toys, food, or outdoor strolls.
As LB was hungry, and she had drilled the grapes we had packed for her while we waited we ordered the trio bread plate (hummus, sun dried tomato tapenade, and roasted garlic cloves). The portion was good to share with hearty chunks of bread and enough of each of the complements. We both ordered a pizza; while I typically feel that the wood fired pizzas are overpriced, I was satisfied with the toppings on mine. My honey ordered a salmon pie, and I had a campari (although I have no recollection of what is on it). While our service was noticeably slower than the busy lunch, we never felt neglected; such is the cost of dining out on Friday night during prime dining hour.
I did not make it to dessert again as I had gone by their bakery in Fletcher (at St John and Hendersonville Rd) in search of their key lime pie which I’ve heard raves about; they did not have it that day so I placated myself with a chocolate cupcake that was disappointing based on my love of Short Street Cakes and the delicious in spite of being ridiculously over-frosted cupcakes from my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t order their key lime pie as my awesome husband had made me one a few days ago, so I guess another trip in is order. As for their beer list, I only recall it listing a couple of local brews, and I don’t recall it being nearly as extensive as the online one.
On a final note: Although it was a Friday night at prime dining hour, we were able to park on Main St a few blocks from West First.
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Posted by eemilla on July 21, 2012
A weekend or two ago we went to Sylva to celebrate a wedding, and as we had to drive past WCU we decided to make it a proper day trip with lunch and a tourist stop. For lunch I decided on Nick and Nates. I’ve been waiting for a reason to eat there as it was opened by a fan of my favorite (no longer open) pizza place, and much like other imitators, my expectations were not met as no one ever comes close to piling the toppings on as I remember they did. Our quick review found at least four pizzas from my favorite pizza place, albeit with different names. The flavor, portions, and service were nice, and I would eat there again. The beer list was much better than I expected, although contrary to the menu it was not completely devoid of one of the major breweries. I was so surprised to see Tanqueray in the well list that I almost ordered one. We dined on the covered porch, and it had a nice mountain view (past the hospital); I was a bit dismayed that a lady decided to smoke on the porch during our meal, but smokers will smoke.
I shared a Mediterranean with my daughter, and I’m glad I ordered the medium because she enjoyed the pizza and ate almost an entire slice. My husband went for the Border Crossing, and the jalapenos still had seeds which brought tears to his eyes; he ordered another beer to help wash it all down. Overall we were happy with our pies, and we’d definitely stop back by; if so I’m getting a Tanqueray up with a twist.
Our next stop was the Heinzelmannchen Brewery, where we sampled all they were pouring. I didn’t recall my first tasting at Brewgrass a few years past, but I really enjoyed their beers on this sample. Everything was easy to drink without tasting watered down; I even liked their Hoppy Gnome, but my favorite was the Hefeweizen which the pourer described as being tart. I was a bit worried, but alas my tart and his tart are far apart. It was perfectly crisp, and when I was trying to stay cool at the wedding while waiting for the newlyweds to appear I knew it would’ve hit the spot. Next time we are out that way we’re packing a cooler so we can bring home a growler, and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that the growlers show up next to Pisgah & ABC at the store.
We really didn’t have any extra time before the wedding to explore downtown Sylva, even though it is only a few blocks long and wide.
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