(Let’s start in Black Mountain & Swannanoa, ok? These are some of THE best!)
I’ll never forget after being away at summer camp or something years and years ago, I came home and my sister told me that Mimi and Granddaddy had taken her to eat at My Father’s Pizza. I was utterly confused. “Mary!” I exclaimed, “Daddy does NOT know how to make pizza. Now come on, tell me where they took you to eat!” “MY FATHER’S PIZZA!” she annoyingly replied. After about 10 minutes of going back and forth in confusion, someone finally explained to me that she was talking about a new restaurant in town called “My Father’s Pizza.” We’ve been eating there ever since. Their hand made pizza is my favorite. I always get the supreme minus the peppers. Their salads are awesome. Their ranch dressing as well as hot bacon dressing are mind blowing. Their subs are superb. Their pasta dishes are practically perfect. OK, you get the idea. You’ve just got to go. Whether you’re on a date or out with friends or family…this is the place for you. They can accommodate large and small crowds a like. You’ll love the friendly servers too. My Mimi knows a lot of them by name and they know her too. It’s always great to be back while having a slice of home!
You want a delightful, tea-room type, hometown café? Then search no further than the Veranda! Get there early, though. Everyone knows it’s the place to be at lunchtime! My mom and grandma are known by name here too. The wonderful people who run this treat their customers very well. My grandmother’s dear friend, Janie, was only able to eat pureed foods like soup toward the end of her life. These kind folks kept her well stocked on her favorite, Carrot Soup. Each opportunity I get to dine here, I always get the same thing: Half a grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich and a cup of Hungarian Mushroom Soup. Oh my word. That soup is one of my top 3 favorites everrrrrr. My mom usually gets Shrimp and Grits when it’s available. Mmmmm. So creamy. If I were able to eat there more often, I’d get that too. My Mimi usually gets the Cranberry Turkey Sandwich. And my hubby typically chooses the Roast Beef Sandwich with horseradish mayo. Oh. And their desserts. The glass case filled with sweet delicacies just taunts you your whole meal. Treat yourself to a fabulous meal at The Veranda! You’ll be so glad you did!
Looking for a simple sandwich or a tasty treat like a cookie or cake? This is the place you’re searching for! With fresh, housemade breads and simply gorgeous (and delicious) cakes and other treats, the only problem you’ll have will be deciding what you’d like. The only fuss at this little shop is over making fabulous bakery and deli delights!
In the mood for something Italian, yet don’t want to go to a big chain? Fresh is the place for you. They sure live up to their name! I’d add the name “Large” to their sign too to be completely accurate because that’s just what their portions are! My mom and I split their fabulous spaghetti and salad when we go. And my husband hoards a huge pizza to himself. Their prices are remarkable too…especially if you plan on splitting something.
Want to go somewhere you can please just about everybody in your crowd? The Black Mountain Bistro is the place to be. Not only do they have a gorgeous patio area, where you can watch the Mayberry-esque town of Black Mountain stroll by, but they’ve got an incredible American/Southern menu. I just don’t think I’ve had better fried green tomatoes anywhere but here. The rest of their menu is one to write home about as well!
I love quirky little places for breakfast, how bout you? The Morning Glory Café is just that. You’re served by folks who fit well into the mountain scene. The food is fresh and carefully selected from mostly local venders. With items like Stuffed French Toast, Whole Grain Pancakes, and Mountain Man Breakfast on the menu, you can just tell it’s going to be good. The do serve a great lunch and dinner as well. As a creature of habit, though, my favorite time of day to visit The Morning Glory is for breakfast.
If you’ve read any of my barbecue recipes, you know that this Western Carolina (NORTH- not SOUTH!) girl takes her barbecue verrrrrrryyyyy seriously. Okie Dokie’s has the best barbecue in the state. Hands down. This is not that nasty East Carolina vinegar based junk, y’all. This is cooked the RIGHT way and served with the RIGHT kind of sauce. MMMmMMMmmmmMMMmmmm. Their pulled pork is my favorite. Their cheese grits are awesome. Their macaroni and cheese is scrumptious. And their black-eyed peas just make me plumb happy. Don’t walk…RUN here!
Are you looking for a great burger? Or a sandwich done right? A fresh salad? Unique entrees? The Trail Head is the perfect spot for you, then. With a name like The Trail Head, you’re sure to embrace the rugged flavor of the Appalachian trail with each bite you devour.
There’s a blue cone that lights up West State Street in Black Mountain. It’s one of the most beloved landmarks of the town. Hosting a variety of ice creams and frozen treats, this is the spot to be when you’re visiting during the Summer. You might have to drive by to check seasonal hours for this little business, but if you’re there when they’re open, stop on in and treat yourself to a marvelous small town delicacy.
Were you always secretly jealous of “Central Perk” on the show, Friends? Me too. I’ve found the Central Perk of Black Mountain, though. It’s The Dripelator. This is the perfect spot to sip your favorite warm beverage on a couch or at a little table while catching up with your friends. Speckled with local Art, this place is just a little corner of what I like to call home.
Everyone needs a little ice cream every now and then, right? Or how about fudge? You’ll find both at this franchise. My personal favorite is the salted caramel ice cream. Mmmmm MMMM good! If you’re feeling extra splurarific, then try one of their house made bon bons as well! What a great place to beat the summer heat or embrace the winter’s cold!
Alright, y’all…Let’s head on over to Asheville, shall we?
This is my absolute, most favorite restaurant in Asheville. The name says it all. Gourmet southern dishes…that’s what they serve. Goat cheese grits…those are my favorite. Ah, but the choices are a plenty. This is an absolute must. If you only visit one restaurant in Asheville, visit here!
Now, I love P.F. Chang’s with the rest of them. But there’s something about an independently owned Asian Bistro that is perfectly delightful. (It must be catching on, though. I just noticed they have a few locations in Georgia too! Which came first- the chicken or the egg?) Doc Chey’s has just wonderful Pan-Asian cuisine. My taste buds just lit up with excitement last time I dined here. I know yours will too!
Are you looking for a place to take your date that spells WOW? Bouchon’s is the place to go. My friends back home introduced me to this gem and got me to broaden my horizons a bit. This is a French restaurant. The food is divine. Now, I’m going to insist on something for you adventure-lovers…try the escargots! I was a skeptic at first, but one bite of those buttery mushroom-like in texture bites topped with puff pastry changed that! I actually ordered them by choice the next time I visited with my husband! You’ll find other wonderful features on their menu as well. But, do be adventurous, my friend!
Now, I usually insist on perfectly local restaurants for visitors. But Fuddruckers is one of my exceptions. I know there are other branches of their restaurant out there, but this one is the best! I’ve visited other restaurants in their chain, but none have been able to make the buns and cookies as well as Fuddruckers. What do I get, you ask? A Kid’s Meal Hamburger with a Peanut Butter Cookie every.single.time. And I always dip my seasoned fries in nacho cheese. My Mimi spoils me, though, and lets me eat part of the crispy shell off of her taco salad from time to time. Got a crowd or a young family? This is one of the best spots for you!
Oh, burgers, how I love thee! My friends back home have enlightened me on a fantastic new burger joint. I’m so glad they did. Last time I was home, this was our restaurant of choice. And a good choice it was. I’ll be back most definitely for the Bahama Mama Burger, Crispy Green Beans, Sweet Potato Fries, Ribs, and possibly even a milk shake. (Don’t worry…I’ll go for multiple meals!) I cannot recommend this peach of a burger joint more!
Do you have a restaurant where everybody knows your name? That’s about how we were for many years at The Appolo Flame. Our family would walk in the door and they’d bring us our drinks followed by our ‘usuals’. What are our ‘usuals’, you ask? Chicken Francesca and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Sausage. They come with a salad and their ranch is fantastic. Now, listen carefully. SPLIT your meal with someone at your table. Their portions are HUGE! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The World’s Fanciest McDonalds
Want to relate to something you’re bound to see on the Travel Channel? Then go grab a big mac and fries at the world’s fanciest McDonalds located in Biltmore Village…just yards past the gate to the Biltmore House. With gold-plated ceilings and a player piano, you’re bound to impress your date even on a budget the size of a happy meal!
The Soda Fountain at Woolworth’s Walk
Take a step back in time and get nostalgic. You’ll wind up at The Soda Fountain at Woolworth’s Walk, where EVERYBODY is welcome. With great sandwiches and sides and even better ice cream + soda treats, you’re sure to be walking with a skip in your step once you leave this joint.
My girlfriends from high school and I love to meet up here. You just feel great while you eat here and even greater when you leave because you know you’ve partaken in the freshest of the fresh fine foods. We especially love this place for breakfast. Local flair and local fare. That’s how we like it!
I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting a real crepe from France, but I have. Sheer wonder in every bite is what that experience is like. At The Twisted Crepe, that’s just what you’ll enjoy. Start with a fantastic savory crepe like Rusty’s Signature (Turkey, prosciutto, pineapple, spinach, tomato, asiago, and cajun roumolaude) and finish with a divine sweet crepe like Cassie’s Ladybug (nutella, strawberries, white chocolate, and caramel). The only thing twisted about this place will be your mind when making it up for what you you want off the menu!
The French Broad Chocolate Lounge
I’m a chocoholic and I am not ashamed of it. Having a bad day? Having a good day? There’s no excuse from keeping you away from this fantastically wonderful dessert shop. Your mind will be absolutely blown at all the choices there are. Last time I was here, my mom, husband, nieces, and I all got different things and took turns taste testing. Not one thing tasted bad. It all was delicious. I may have gone a little overboard and gotten SEVERAL things. But, hey, more for later, right? That’s why they invented doggy bags! Now, scoot. Get on over to this fine treat lounge!
Well, I guess it’s a good thing I don’t live in Asheville anymore or else I’d be a thousand pounds. But any opportunity I get to suggest a spot for dessert when catching up with friends, this is my pick. Oh, my. Such a variety of wonderful desserts. I’ve never had a bad experience at this cozy little place full of big choices! Head over here the first chance you get. You will NOT be disappointed!