Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Episode 113: This and That, Y'all!

Episode 113: This and That, Y'all!

A Random Selection of Food & Topics

TODAY’S PODCAST was originally broadcast by WPVM 103.7fm on 5/28/23

Podcast Contents

  1. 00:00 - 09:30 Intro - Help Bring Duke’s Mayo Mascot Tubby to Asheville

  2. 09:30 - 23:30 Ben’s Friends - Being Sober in The F&B World

  3. 23:30 - 32:25 Taco, Pizza, Soft Serve Ice Cream w/ Olive Oil & Sea Salt

  4. 32:25 - 36:30 Shout-Out to Mehfil! Great Food, Great People

  5. 36:30 - 48:35 Big Food for Brunch & Dinner at Bomba

  6. 48:35 - 50:00 - Good Bye

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BRING TUBBY TO ASHEVILLE: Y’all. The wheels are in motion, the gears are grinding, movers are shaking, shakers are moving, and things are getting done! That’s right, I feel real frickin’ good about our chances of bringing the “unhinged,” Duke’s Mayonnaise mascot, Tubby, to Asheville these days, because not only do I have an online petition for you to sign, but I have powerful allies in our quest! We're almost at 500 signatures on our petition, and I am in touch with actual people at Duke's, and they want this to happen as much as we do! We just really need to show them how dedicated we are to this cause! Sign the petition! Share the petition! Be the change you'd like to see! Or something like that. Yay, Tubby!

BEN’S FRIENDS: Some folks from Ben’s Friends reached out to me and asked if I could be a little more active in the Asheville chapter, so I agreed to do that. If you haven’t heard of Ben’s Friends, here’s their mission statement…

“Ben’s Friends is a community of chefs, bartenders, line cooks, servers, sommeliers, host and hostesses, GMs and owners who have found or are seeking sobriety. Our mission is to offer community, hope and a path forward for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. At our core, we are hospitality workers who have found connection, and the tools to seek and maintain sobriety while managing our careers and lives in a sane and purposeful way.

I’ve been attending their online meetings and I would encourage anyone in the F&B industry who is thinking about trying sobriety, or is truly struggling with addiction to check out the Ben’s Friend’s online meetings. I find the meetings to be uplifting, insightful, and helpful!

WHITE DUCK TACO - I thought I had eaten my way through their whole menu, but it turns out that I had to make a special trip to White Duck Taco Shop on a Friday just to try their ahi tuna taco, and wow, it was awesome! It has cubes of seared fresh tuna, with ponzu sauce, shredded cabbage, fried wonton strips, and a delicious crema on top.

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It was sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy, packed with tons of flavor, and like so many of the tacos at White Duck it combines the familiar with the different to create a uniquely delicious taco experience. Five stars for this taco. It’s ONLY available on Fridays & Saturdays, so get on in, and get one when you can! 🔥❤️🐟🌮

ALL SOULS PIZZA: Dawn & I went to All Souls Pizza for dinner the other night, and YUM!!! We had an awesome meal of crab & cashew salad (not pictured) and our favorite pizza: Honey, pepperoni & banana pepper! It’s salty, sweet, tangy, and packed with flavor. The dough and crust are excellent, of course, and every crumb of this pie was consumed.

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We also ordered some soft serve ice cream. Yay! I love soft serve,a nd I think it’s super-cool that All Souls has it. I got straight vanilla, I’m boring, but Dawn got chocolate/vanilla swirl, topped with olive oil & sea salt. Weird. But awesome! I recommend it and will get it myself next time!

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We live nearby All Souls, and we love it. Service, atmosphere, food & beverages are all always on point, and the addition of soft serve ice cream just makes it even better!

MEHFIL: Mëhfil was already everyone’s favorite new restaurant downtown, and then they hired Masterchef Vikas Kuriyal, who showed up directly from India looking like a dang super hero, and immediately started blowing ours minds with his culinary skills as well as his undeniable personal flare and charisma.

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I bring food tours into Mëhfil as often as I can, and it is universally popular with my patrons, as well as with my friends, and apparently everyone else in Asheville, because they keep winning awards!

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I have been lucky enough to have tried a wide variety of the food at Mëhfil, as well as Dilbar located right next door, and it’s high quality, perfectly prepared, and super-delicious! Get in to try it if you haven’t already.

BOMBA: Paddy and I went on an Asheville Food Tours brunch junket to Bomba and it was frickin’ awesome! I got the Atlanta blue crab migas, with house-made chorizo, perfectly over-easy eggs, black beans, farm cheese, green chili sauce, fried tortilla strips, and a beautiful side of ripe fruit. It was in-sane-ly delicious!!! I ate every scrap and ooohed-and-aahhed about it the whole time. Paddy got breakfast empanadas with avocado, fruit, greens, chorizo, scrambled eggs, and tangy slaw. He loved his just as much as I loved mine.

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Bomba has been a long time favorite of mine, the food is always incredible, the atmosphere is fun & lively, the patio seating rules when you can get it, the staff is awesome, I’ve given them a couple Stoobie Awards, and I highly recommend them for brunch.

A week later, I went back had an incredible dinner at Bomba. Chef Hector Diaz was excited to see me, and didn't wait for me to order, but pretty much just started cooking things and sending them to my table, while his wife, Aimee, sat down with me to have a glass of wine and keep me company. First there came a sort of mushroom tostada with a perfectly cooked egg & some briny roe on top, that was unbelievably tasty. Then some very nice oysters, with caviar. They were excellent. I love oysters. Used to hate ‘em. Weird. Next came some octopus on risotto.

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I don’t usually order octopus, but if it’s in front of me, I’m gonna eat it! This octopus was very nicely cooked, really tender, the sauce was terrific, and the peppers added a little piquancy and a bunch of flavor. The star of the show was a dish that was totally new to me. According to Chef Hector, no one else in WNC does fideuà, which is like paella, but with noodles instead of rice. It was super delicious, made with chicken, shrimp, and chorizo. I would order this dish anytime, and recommend it highly to anyone. Anyone who eats chicken, shrimp, and chorizo, of course.

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After all that food, Hector sent out a coffee flan, which was just the sweet thing I needed after so many various and diverse savory flavors! Thank you, Chef, it was a great culinarily experience! And thanks, Aimee, for the conversation and help tackling this mountain of food. Y'all, if you haven’t been to Bomba for dinner yet, get on in!


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