Monday, July 27, 2015

A Short Trip to Asheville...

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Asheville.  We went to visit my family and go to a gem show down there.  As an added bonus, our trip aligned with Jessica Wiesel's and we were able to catch up with her as well!

We drove all night on Thursday and got to Asheville super early on Friday morning.  After a short nap, we headed to Franklin to shop for the store.  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows.  Not only do I get to see my family while I'm down there, but it's a manageable size and not quite as daunting as sprawling Tucson.

While we were in town, we had to stop at White Duck Taco Shop.  We went to the West Asheville location and even though the line was pretty epic, we were really happy with what we ordered.  I shared a couple of different ones with William, including the pork belly and the thai peanut chicken tacos in the above picture, and the shrimp and lump crab tacos (not shown).  I also couldn't resist ordering a Mexican Chocolate Pot du Creme.  All delicious!

Since we were over in River Arts District, we went to a couple of the galleries and studios.  I particularly wanted to see Karen Newgard's pottery studio.  I've been smitten with her sgraffito for years!

No trip to Asheville would be complete without a stop at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  We were already downtown visiting one of my new favorite galleries, Horse and Hero.  So we popped in.  It was pretty hot and muggy out, so even though I adore their Liquid Truffles, I was in the mood for something a little cooler!  I selected their Jitterbug!  It's a frappe of espresso and chocolate with creme anglaise with caramel drizzled on top.  Delightful!

This trip, we managed to enjoy a little bit of Asheville's night life.  We started the evening off at The Imperial Life and enjoyed some fancy mixed cocktails and sampled artisan made pickles and charcuterie spreads.  I was really impressed with all the variety and deletable offerings.

We sauntered down the street and made our way to the Buchi Bar at Rosettas Kitchen.  During our last trip, I sampled some of the bottled Air Kombucha and was inspired to brew my own concoctions at home.  If you're not familiar with kombucha, it's basically a fermented tea.  And Buchi is mighty tasty!

Since we were at a kombucha bar, we wanted to try all the different flavors and ordered flights.  I was really impressed and am glad we tried them.  There were so many subtleties and were way more complex than my more straightforward home-brew.  My favorite was still Air, but I also enjoyed the berry-flavored Water.  While the Fire was a bit strong for me, I could definitely see how the bold fiery flavors of ginger and cayenne would be most useful if one were clearing up a cold.

I was happy that we could spend a little bit of time exploring more of Asheville's night life.  I didn't take advantage of it nearly as much as I should have when I lived here.  Of course, a lot has changed since then!

OH!  And since William has never been to 12 Bones and I talk about it non-stop, we had to get lunch on our way back to Pennsylvania.  We split one of their Turkey and Brie Sandwiches and one of their BLTs.  It would not have been complete without their corn pudding.  (Cynthia had their cookbook, so I made sure to jot down the recipe.  Of course, it'll be hard to stop at their perfectly portioned sizes and not eat an entire pan.)

During our short trip, we did a little wax craving, planned future workshops, played with Pan Pastels, and spent quality family time cooking and playing with the kids and catching up.  We even squeezed in a 1000 piece puzzle!  It was a short trip, but we got a lot accomplished and have plans for more adventures yet to come.

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