Thursday, October 18, 2012

Road Trip to Asheville, NC- part 1

Last weekend we decided to take a little road trip to Asheville, North Carolina to get out of town and meet up with my sister who moved to North Carolina back in August for a teaching job... we even decided to get brave and take this little lady with us for the trip...

Do not be fooled by her laying in this bed...I'm not sure she laid in it even once :)
We folded down one seat and she spent most of her time right there.

The trip there was beautiful. Mountains, changing leaves and some of the nicest rest stops I've ever encountered. We stopped a couple of times to stretch our legs and let Maggie run around.

We drove right into downtown, parked the car and walked around until my parents arrived in town. Then we found a restaurant where we could sit outside with Maggie and get some lunch. We chose City Bakery and Cafe where Rob and I split the Turkey Day Turkey (turkey, gruyere, cranberry relish, mayo, red onion & lettuce) and the TAB (turkey, avocado, bacon with basil mayo served on ciabatta).
It was good! The bread was fresh and I was a big fan of the cranberry relish on the turkey day, which I preferred over the TAB mostly because the TAB was a very bready sandwich. Both were very good though. Both sandwiches came with chips and you also had the option to get soup or salads or a "you pick two" situation similar to Panera.

Afterwards I was so excited because there was an adorable little shop with olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings called Olive & Kickin. It was so fun to try all of their interesting oil flavor profiles. They had fresh fruit olive oils, infused oils, balsamic vinegar of all kinds and specialty oils. I was especially a fan of the "whole fruit fused lemon" and the "wild mushroom with sage" oils. Ultimately we decided to take a bottle of garlic infused oil home.. mmmmm. The tastings were done from small paper cups and then afterwards they filled up the bottle of your choice to take home. Such a fun concept!

We walked around the bustling downtown for a little longer, checking out the local shops and sites. Eventually the men (and dog) grew tired of shopping so we hit up a local brewing company- the Asheville Brewing Company for a seat and for those of us who could, a nice cold beer :) One thing Asheville definitely has going for it is lots of local breweries and local craft beer.. It seems like everywhere we went all weekend had local beer on tap, very cool. This place also had pizza by the giant slice, but we were in between meals so just settled for a few drinks.

After a drink or two, my parents decided to go check into their hotel room and Rob and I walked around the town a little more. People are very dog friendly in this town. The number of people who stopped to pet Maggie or even just smile at her and the number of restaurants and bars that had water bowls outside was just so nice! She was even allowed in most of the stores! We met a friendly man at a furniture store that gave us the run down of the city and where to eat/what to do before we left.... and on the way back ran into a drum line... I think the way this works is people with drums just come as they please, sit down and start drumming away..

We watched them for a few minutes until a friendly cop told us since we had a dog we had to stand on the other side of the street (maybe not so dog friendly after all?). We headed back to the hotel to get the dog settled in and get changed for dinner. This was one zonked out dog. We were afraid of how she would react to being dumped at a hotel she'd never seen before for hours by herself, but I think she was just too tired to protest at this point.

We changed and met back up with my parents for dinner at Tupelo Honey.
I ordered the Chorizo-crusted colossal sea scallops with basil cream sauce. They weren't joking when they said colossal....It's always interesting when you order scallops at a restaurant what you are going to get.. I have never seen anything like this before! I ate about half of it before my sister arrived at almost the end of our meal and I offered the other half to her, who happily finished it.

These scallops literally take up this entire bowl
The scallops were good but my favorite part of this meal was the complimentary biscuits and blackberry jam they give you. Our waitress forgot to give us ours so at the end of the meal I asked what the bread everyone else was eating was which ended up being perfect because it was pretty much the perfect dessert. Chunky and delicious on a big warm biscuit. mmmmm

Ok, I think that is quite enough for one post, we will have to save Asheville, NC's day 2 adventures for a separate post. 

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