My parents visited Asheville over the Labor Day holiday. This is what a couple of flat land Kansans had to say about several Asheville landmarks.
Upon arrival I took them to my favorite place for tacos in town. This is the first time I informed my father that he might have a hard time finding Bud Light in this town, especially at restaurants. The wince on his face in reaction was remarkable. Thankfully Bandidos had PBR to save the day.
I had the Duck Confit tacos, my dad had the Banh Mi Trout tacos, and my mom had the Carne Asada tacos.
After completion I asked them if this was better than any meal they had in Topeka, where they have lived for over 24 years and they said yes.
Sunny Point Café
While we waited for our table, my parents toured the garden behind Sunny Point. It was amazing how infatuated they were by something as simple as plants. It was like a child’s first trip to the zoo. It’s good to know the older I get that it will be possible to shit my pants with excitement over a garden.
I’m sometimes irritated with my father’s passion for Bob Evans’ biscuits and gravy. Doesn’t matter how good the breakfast is, he always claims Bob Evans is much better. In fact if there is a Bob Evans within 40 miles of wherever we travel, we have to make a point to stop at Bob Evans. Sunny Point congratulations your Greek omelet is the dish that took down Bob Evans’ biscuits and gravy. He said it was much better than Bob Evans. I know Sunny Point you must be honored that your breakfast is claimed to be better than Bob Evans.
My father also ordered a side of Sunny Point bacon. I now think it’s his last dying wish to be able to replicate that bacon.
Lexington Avenue Arts Festival
Mom says, “People dress weird here.”
Holy shit Katie Button what wonderful remarkable things you do at Curate! I have no personal association with this restaurant, but for some reason I felt like a proud little kid showing off his artwork taking my parents here.
First of all the service is top notch. Our server took my parents through every aspect of the menu, explaining how it was organized and what the popular dishes were.
We started with an order of pan con tomate, City bakery toasted bread with fresh tomato and olive oil. All I can say is wow. How stupid is it that something so simple as bread can be so good?
We also had the escalivida con achoas (roasted red bell pepper, onion and eggplant drizzled in a 30 year sherry vinegar dressing, topped with Spanish anchovies), bocata de calamares (fried squid and housemade arbequina olive oil mayonnaise), pimentos de piquillo con queso de cabra (picuillo peppers stuffed with cana de cabra cheese), gambas al ajillo (sautéed shrimp and sliced garlic) and berenjenas la taberna (fried eggplant drizzled in wild mountain apiaries honey garnished with rosemary).
Did I spell all that right? Please don’t ask me to pronounce the names. Everything was good but the star was the fried eggplant drizzled in honey. The eggplant just melts in your mouth.
I never realized it but if you don’t order booze, Curate is pretty cheap for the quality of food you’re getting.
Dad says, “Now I want to go to Spain.” Me too.
Laughing Mask Candies
My dad buys $28 dollars worth of salt water taffy.
Grove Park Inn
Dad says, “We shouldn’t of left the salt water taffy in the car.” $28 dollars worth of salt water taffy melts in the rental car as my dad insists on looking at the pictures of all the famous people that have stayed at the Grove Park.
My mom reads about how President Obama stayed at the Grove Park while preparing for the debates. Mom says, “Maybe we should write him a letter recommending him to do it again, because it worked last time.”
President Obama expect a letter any day now.
We arrive at 5:00 p.m. to find we are the only people there. My mom starts to give me shit about how there is no one in the restaurant. This is because a month prior I started asking what night they wanted to go, so I could make reservations, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to go. By the end of our meal there wasn’t an empty seat in the house.
My dad complains there is no Bud Light on the menu, even though they have a sign in the corner. PBR comes to the rescue again.
My parents order the PEI Mussels (Bacon Dashi, Cilantro, Fingerlings, Jalapeno, Lime, Toast). My mom tells us the mussels are better than the mussels at Olive Garden. See Chef Elliot Moss you may have been written about in multiple magazines, but now you have received your highest honor, my mom says your mussels are better than Olive Garden. The Citizen Thymes will send you a plaque if you want. My dad tried to finish as much as the Bacon Dashi as possible, while waiting for the next course. If my girlfriend wasn’t present he probably would of picked up the bowl and sipped straight from it.
My parents finished with the HNG Beef Tenderloin Tartare and the Angus Flat Iron Steak. My girlfriend and I shared the SC Wreck Fish, the Flat Iron, and the Crispy Sweetbreads.
Just like my last visit to the Admiral everything was perfect.
Tupelo Honey Pecan Pie
I bought my dad a Tupelo Honey cookbook last year and every time I come home I force him to make the Chocolate Pecan Pie. We ordered a whole pie to go. My parents spent the whole ride home discussing how nice the box was that the pie came in and what we could possibly keep in it after the pie was gone.
Oh and the pie also did not disappoint.
My dad orders the Hogzilla, a sandwich stacked with pulled pork, sausage, sugar bacon, and melted pepper jack cheese on a hoagie. Pork juice is running down his hands the whole meal. Murmuring he says, “Oh my God that was good.”
He spends the rest of the day holding his stomach exclaiming, “He’s gutted,” and “Oh, I’m so full.” But somehow manages to sneak in a Dairy Queen ice cream cone one hour later. He also wonders out loud how the Hogzilla coming back out will feel.
Dad says, “President Obama should of have the Hogzilla instead of the ribs.” I agree.
Thank you Asheville for showing my parents a good time on a rainy weekend.