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Discoveries in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a wonderful city.  It is laid back, is full of great restaurants, has a creative flair, and offers picturesque mountain views.  I enjoy simply walking around downtown Asheville, and over the past week Nick and I have visited quite a few restaurants and shops. Below is a quick list of every place – click on a business name to visit their website.

Jack of the Wood :: 95 Patton Avenue
Their Green Man microbrews hit the spot, there is live music playing every week, and bar food to fill your belly.  The bar is smoke-free, by the way, which is a bonus in my book.

Zambra Spanish Wine and Tapas :: 85 W Walnut Street
This restaurant is a bit pricier than our trip budget allows, but fortunately Matt, a friend who happens to work at Zambra, took us out.  I was excited to have a tasting of various menu items.  We sat in the back, where luscious pillows cushioned us as we laid back while enjoying our meal. It was great.  I do remember coming to Zambra years ago with my family.  The night we visited, belly dancers danced throughout the restaurant.  If you visit Asheville, make sure to stop in for at least a couple tapas and a drink.

12 Bones Smokehouse :: 5 Riverside Drive
If you visit Asheville, at least three or four people will tell you that 12 Bones needs to be a stop on your trip.  Nick and I split a barbecue plate with cornbread, collard greens, baked beans, and cole slaw.  I love the atmosphere – sit down to a picnic table of your choice (each with it’s own napkin dispenser), and chow down on your meal, which is served on a round aluminum tray.

One Love II Jamaican Restaurant :: 42 S Market Street
Great Jamaican food.  Nick and I split the jerk chicken large plate (around $11) accompanied with collard greens, rice, and cornbread.  I was too chicken to try the oxtail stew, but the option is there, along with curried goat.

The Noodle Shop :: 3 SW Pack Square
It was so cold at the beginning of the week, and a steaming hot noodle bowl was exactly what I needed.  Nick and I split a bowl of noodles (around $6.50), and it was served split for us.  The meal was wonderful.

Early Girl Eatery :: 8 Wall Street
This is a well-known restaurant famous for it’s brunch.  Early Girl Eatery serves local meats and other eats, offering a homey ambiance perfect for a weekend meal.  I have heard that Sunny Point Cafe is even better than Early Girl Eatery, so I plan to scope out the competition for breakfast.  Check out the comments for my verdict.
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Pisgah Brewing Company :: 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, NC
Check out Nick’s post: Pisgah Brewing Co. Brewery, Black Mountain N.C. He gives this beer rave reviews!

The Thirsty Monk :: 92 Patton Avenue
The Thirsty Monk offers a great selection of Belgian (and other) beers on tap.  I especially appreciated their menu. Its detailed beer descriptions helped me in my decision, and the half-pint option for each beer are convenient for us light-weight customers!  Get the spicy nuts to share to accompany your beer.  And for you mommies and daddies, head to The Thirsty Monk on Tuesdays, 4pm-7pm, for Babies ‘n’ Beer night.  It may sound like an odd combination, but I think it is a great idea.
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Chocolate Fetish :: 36 Haywood St
Need I say more?  Ok, I will then – dark chocolate covered caramels (and I’m talking about a chewy caramel… not some liquid excuse for caramel).

French Broad Chocolate Lounge :: 10 South Lexington Avenue
I hung out at FB Chocolate for a few hours this week, sipping on my lavender and honey “Liquid Truffle” while using their free wi-fi.  For those of you who have had European hot chocolate, this is what to expect at FB Chocolate – thick and rich (yet with a few flavor twists).
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Frugal Backpacker :: 2621 Hendersonville Rd
After walking in a snowy city, I started to realize that my cold toes needed wool socks.  So we headed to the Frugal Backpacker.  The Frugal Backpacker offers outdoor gear at discounted prices – don’t expect SUPER discounts (I think I am an even more frugal backpacker), but you will definitely save a little extra cash.

Curtis Wright Outfitters :: 5 All Souls Crescent
Nick bought these awesome gloves at Curtis Wright Outfitters in Biltmore Village.  Its a fly shop (or you could even call it a boutique), but also carries useful items for a trip such as ours.  Nick’s gloves, made by Choti, are mittens that fold over to allow you to use your fingers.  Not only are your fingers available, but the thumb piece is foldable as well.  AND… they’re windproof.

Three Dog Bakery :: 21 Battery Park
I just browsed this store, but I couldn’t resist writing about it.  Look at these “pastries” – these are dog treats!  The “chocolate” you see is carob, and they are all sugar free.

Amazing Savings :: 3018 Us 70 Hwy, Black Mountain, NC
It’s amaaaaazzzing! A great place to stock up on discounted health-food, but make sure to check the expiration dates before making your purchases.  Nick and I plan to buy some staple items here before leaving Asheville.

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