Asheville is one of our favorite places, so we knew that it was going to be one of our first stops on the tour. We were stressed out from the drive through Virginia and it was great to have a good RV park to set up for the first days of working on the road.
We learned our lesson from Jellystone the previous night and called ahead to make a reservation at Bear Creek RV Park (so chosen for its proximity to the famed Biltmore Mansion). The RV Park was advertised as “so close to the Biltmore, you can see it from the park,” making it seem as though you would be able to walk right over to the place and take a look around. But don’t believe everything that you read. As it turns out, the mansion is another exit up off the highway, and can really only be viewed from the park’s exit. False advertising aside, this is a beautifully manicured, clean, and well-maintained place with concrete slabs on which to park, and outstanding views of the surrounding mountains. Not to mention, its located in West Asheville and about a 6 minute drive to downtown with all its craft brew glory.
We didn’t eat out every day, we actually cooked in the RV sometimes! But here are some of the places we did visit.
White Duck Taco Shop – Really good! A mix between authentic mexican and interesting new styles. They change the menu frequently, but just trust them and go with what’s new. Delicious.
Punk Wok (MG Road) – This is what they call a ‘pop up’. They bring in another chef for one night a week and server a different style of food. We got the Bahn Mi sandwich and Okonomiyaka, the sandwich was great (but a little small), the second dish was the real star. It was a large kimchi pancake topped with shrimp and lump crab meat with pieces of sliced ginger on it. Really different, but a nice surprise!
Hobnob – We were invited here by our new friends Kyle and Lauren whom we met at wedding. We didn’t know anything about it going in, they just said it was one of the best restaurants in the area. They were SO right. We had scallop ceviche that was great and I got some fresh river trout that was out of this world. Everything on the menu looked fantastic. It’s built into a house, so the atmosphere is really relaxed but yet sophisticated. It’s a little expensive, but they didn’t complain that we were wearing shorts and tshirts. We would really recommend that everyone try this place at least once.
Biscuit Head – Run, don’t walk, to Biscuit Head. It’s like a new southern food mecca. Every individual ingredient is fantastic. Biscuits: good, Chicken: good, Grits: good. But together they form a new level in taste. Laurel had the biscuit and gravy ‘flight’ where you get to pick 3 different gravies to try. These aren’t normal flavors either, they’re ones like ‘coconut curry’. AND THEY HAVE A BUTTER BAR, a whole section of jars with different flavored butters for your biscuits. So excited for this place!
Asheville NC has a pretty diverse collection of breweries. We were able to visit 4 of them in one day while walking around downtown. Of course I checked them all in on UnTappd.
Jack of the Wood – Affiliated with Green Man Brewery, but they have plenty of other beers to offer also. The atmosphere is a pretty traditional Irish pub, we had the fried pickles to get our night started, they were very good, lightly breaded and kind of peppery.
Wicked Weed Brewery – One of the newest breweries in Asheville, but it really hit the ground running. The building is really nice two story restaraunt with exposed wood beams and 15′ rough stone walls. The tasting room downstairs is a great place to try some of their beers. Including 8 types of sour beers, which Mark loves right now. We liked this place so much we came back again during the trip.
Green Man Brewery – They’ve really improved the area around Green Man since the last time we came here. Does that mean that it’s lost some of it’s industrial charm, maybe. But they’re doing a good job of improving their offerings while keeping true to their roots. Mark had a goze, which is a slightly sour beer that’s being revived in the Craft brewing community.
Twin Leaf Brewery – Everything is new here, that’s because they just opened up 6 months ago. They offer some very good beers, the 114 was a really good IPA. It’s one of their core offerings so we recommend that you get it if you find it near you!
Oskar Blues Brewery – We didn’t even plan to go to this brewery, but our day of hiking got rained out so we had a couple hours to kill before we met some friends for dinner. So Laurel tried the Mango Chipotle Dales Pale ale – on Cask. Honestly, I wouldn’t get it again. But it was good for a special taste at the brewery. I also sampled their core offerings Deviant Dales and The Gubna were the standouts. They offer a ‘Crowler’ at the bar, which is a 32 ounce can that they fill from the tap and then seal for you at the bar. It a pretty interesting way of doing it.
Lexington Avenue Brewery – I wasn’t really that impressed by this brewery this time. I don’t know if it was that I didn’t like the current selection of beers or that the atmosphere is a little dull during the daytime. But their flatbread pizza and homemade hot sauce was something to talk about.
The people of Asheville are always friendly. I don’t know if that’s because of that general southern hospitality or that mountain people just love to talk. We met good folks at every bar and restaurant we went to, they all gave us advice on what places to see and where to eat while we were there. We love this place!
PS. We’ve been here twice and still haven’t been to the Biltmore. We will get there eventually.