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Archive for October, 2014

2013 Turkey Trot

Posted by eemilla on October 6, 2014

On a freezing cold morning, I joined tons of other runners to earn our gluttony later in the day at the 2013 Turkey Trot.  It was a nice route with some downtown and neighborhood streets, and none of the hills were killer.  It was my first road running experience so I didn’t appreciate the lack of cars on the route (granted it was Thanksgiving morning).  It was awesome to see the firefighters running in their gear, and it’s also pretty insane how fast some runners completed the race.  As I’m such a slow runner, I typically finish behind the pack so maybe I’m missing the lines, but the lines for post race snacks were incredibly long and slow moving.  I’ve registered for the upcoming race, and my honey and LB are going to do the Gobble Wobble.

2013 Turkey Trot

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Another local chain for South Asheville

Posted by eemilla on October 5, 2014

Since I live in South Asheville/Arden, I’m used to the only new restaurants being chains.  Our latest addition is Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, and it comes just as my friend who has been begging someone to put a pub within walking distance is moving away.  Maybe if I move we’ll get greenways and better bus service.  We have been a few times to check it out, and we love that we can pretend we live in West Asheville by walking our dog to the park and stopping by with him to eat and drink on the patio.  The staff has been great to him, bringing him water when we forgot and giving him some kind words.  I love being able to order a pitcher and share it without a bit of worry about getting behind the wheel.  Being a vegetarian, there are a couple of things I can eat.  While they may have tons of sides that qualify, it’s all stuff I don’t prefer.  I do love french fries, and I was not pleased with the almost soggy ones I had.  They do make a fried green tomato appetizer special which has been on the menu the few times we’ve dined there; it runs $6.95 which isn’t expensive for an appetizer, but Tupelo Honey right down the road serves a superior fried green tomato appetizer with grits for $7.95 (and a delicious, complimentary biscuit).

Since we’ve brought the dog every time we’ve been, we have not eaten inside.  From our trips to the counter and the restroom, I was surprised at how large the interior is.  They’ve got a big TV for sports along with a great beer selection and a full liquor bar.  We’ve had at least one pitcher with each visit, and even taking out the alcohol the food tab is pretty high for a chicken shack.  The beer menu is good enough and fairly priced which is enough for us to keep stopping by.
Rockys Hot Chicken Shack on Urbanspoon

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Gatlinburg and Dollywood

Posted by eemilla on October 4, 2014

Visiting Gatlinburg is not on my list of things to do; I’ve been a few times (twice at someone else’s expense), and none of them have been very much fun.  I’d also visited Dollywood as a pre-teen or maybe teenager, and I would have rather gone to Carowinds any day.  Dollywood with a pre-schooler made me more receptive combined with their much improved rides since my earlier visit.  Our first visit as a family confirmed the food is still the horribly overpriced junk that one expects when attending an amusement park or other captive consumer situation so we do pack a cooler and return to the car for lunch.  We also pack a snack to consume at the end of the trip before we return home.

We regretted not upgrading at least one of the season passes to the Gold Pass to avoid paying the $10 parking fee, but otherwise we’ve gotten enough good use to justify renewing our passes .  Unlike other parks Dollywood is open most of the year (including plenty of weekdays) which makes it really easy to come out ahead while still avoiding peak times and maddeningly long lines.

I don’t like Gatlinburg even though I tried on the last trip.  Everything is so bright and loud and tacky.  Both of our dining experiences were ridiculously overpriced with amateur service.  After looking online at menus Mellow Mushroom and Smokey Mountain Brewery seemed like the best vegetarian options (I believe I had tried Best Italian on my prior visit with disappointing results) along with best beer selection.  The Mellow Mushroom delivered its standard greasy mess of a pizza, and I was able to order a relatively local beer (out of Knoxville).  I don’t want a hot glass straight from the dishwasher, but the glass shouldn’t be so cold that ice forms in the beer either.  Our service was the normal slow Mellow Mushroom service.  Our wait at Smokey Mountain was about 40 minutes, and our service was better than at Mellow Mushroom.  However two adults and one pre-schooler somehow managed to spend too close to $100 on food that tasted like it could have come directly off the Sysco truck.  On the bright side my flight of beer wasn’t served with ice.  We wrapped the night up with a trip to the Donut Friar because I loved the stupid pun, and I’d had some really delicious doughnuts at a few apple orchards.  The guy behind the counter was not happy to see another customer walking through the door, and I should have saved my cash rather than bother him for a few stale doughnuts.
Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

Smoky Mountain Brewery on Urbanspoon

Donut Friar on Urbanspoon

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