Saturday dawned bright, clear a little cool – which was a nice change from Charlotte weather! We headed out early to the local Farmer’s Market, Asheville’s City Market, downtown. As a die-hard local foodie, the Farmer’s Market was something I didn’t want to miss!
It was very different from my local market, and had about twice as many vendors. There was so much beautiful produce! But I wasn’t there for that since I was on vacation… I was there for the local goodies… nut butter, jams, pasta… things that would travel well back to Charlotte with me.
And tempeh! My one perishable purchase!
I knew I just HAD to get some Smiling Hara Tempeh to take back home with me.
After running back to the Cottage to put the tempeh in the freezer, we popped over to Early Girl Eatery for breakfast.
This is one of our favorite breakfast spots, and well worth the inevitable wait. This time we only waited about 20 minutes – no big deal. We window-shopped on Wall Street, snapped a few pics, and just hung out. (How did we ever survive without Smartphones? ha).
Tristan pointed out that Mimosas were on special, and insisted I have one! No argument here!
Starting the day with coffee and champagne = happy Angie. It WAS vacation, after all! We had a lovely window seat overlooking Pritchard Park, and enjoyed people-watching.
I had the Sweet Potato Scramble with Local Sausage. Mmm, mmm. I am definitely going to re-create this at home!
We spent the afternoon walking around downtown… shopping… snapping pics… seeing all that had changed since we were last here… and that which has stayed the same.
We stumbled upon the Three Dog Bakery and even did a bit of shopping for Lilly!
For lunch we popped into Salsa’s Mexican and Caribbean.
Tristan wanted to try this place, as we had never been. There wasn’t much that appealed to me on the menu, for a “light lunch”. Everything seemed to be either huge or fried. Not my cup of tea. This was probably the only disappointing meal for me, of the entire trip. I ended up ordered an appetizer called the Spliff Roll (heh, heh – very fitting for Asheville!) and it was super-fried.
I only ended up eating half of this small appetizer plate, (but ALL of the fresh mango salsa hiding underneath – yum), and it still managed to give me a tummy-ache later. I just don’t do well with fried stuff.
After lunch we walked and talked and walked some more. Everyone seemed to be out enjoying Pack Square Park, either cooling off in the fountain, or hiding out underneath the trees in the shade. This park was fantastic, and had been in the works before I moved away, but was far complete. The finished product is lovely.
We saw my old office building at 1 N. Pack Square, which looks at first glance to be an unsightly concrete mess, but was actually designed by I.M. Pei. I really enjoyed working right in the thick of things downtown, and miss working for The Biltmore Company.
After a visit to Malaprops for some local Asheville LOVE,
we hit up The Chocolate Fetish for some truffles (to enjoy a few days later, back home in Charlotte).
Before we knew it, we were heading out for our dinner reservation!
Dinner was at Stoney Knob Café in Weaverville, NC. (Just up the road about 10 minutes, still basically Asheville). Stoney Knob is our absolute favorite date restaurant in the area. It was where our first real ‘date night’ took place (as our first date had been a lunch date on a Saturday afternoon), and we ALWAYS pay them a visit when we get to the area. We had reservations for 8pm, at this cute little revamped Diner that serves “Cuisine from Near and Far” (mostly Greek with some Italian/Asian/Caribbean thrown in the mix for fun).
I was dismayed to find that they had taken my favorite dry Rosé wine off the menu (sad face), and opted for a Sauvignon Blanc instead. It was delicious, and I had a second glass with dinner.
Our appetizer was a special for the night… flatbread pizza with herbed goat cheese, arugula, caramelized onions and mushrooms.
For our mains I went with the Carolina Shrimp and Grits (featuring NC shrimp). This had a fried green tomato on top, with some more of that herby goat cheese, and was divine. Tristan had the Filet Minion.
For dessert we split the special, a chocolate tart and of course, Greek coffee. (Which we both LOVE).
It’s so funny, every time we order Greek coffee at Stoney Knob, the servers asks us “Have you had it before?” or “Are you familiar with Greek coffee?”. And we chuckle. Yes, we are VERY familiar with Greek coffee. I’d imagine that they have gotten some rather shocked reactions from patrons in the past, who didn’t know that they were ordering a strong, short, sweet little demitasse cup ‘o joe’. If you haven’t had Greek (or Turkish) coffee yet – what are you waiting for?!?!
Stoney Knob always gives us a lovely date night experience, and this was no exception. Love.
It was a PERFECT Asheville day.