Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Episode 119: Why is Hunger Still Here?

Episode 119: Why is Hunger Still Here?

There's Plenty of Food, So Why Do We Still See Food Insecurity in These Mountains?

Podcast Contents
Talkin' about the persistent issue of hunger in Western North Carolina, and the world, with Kara Irani from MANNA Foodbank.

  1. 00:00 - 12:30 INTRO w/ review of Lulu’s on Main in Sylva, WNC

  2. 12:40 - 38:50 INTERVIEW w/ Kara Irani from MANNA Foodbank

  3. 39:00 - 45:50 REVIEWS Dirty South sandwich at The Rhu

  4. 46:00 - 53:55 OUTRO w/ reviews of Mother Bakery, Cultura, La Bodega & Little D’s

LULU’S ON MAIN: Dawn & I were in Sylva, NC for a visit and decided to try Lulu's On Main. It was great! The atmosphere is very casual, almost cafe style, but the food we ordered was a little on the fancy side!

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Dawn got some very nice mussels in wine & garlic broth with what she described as “excellent” bread. She ate it all, so I know she loved it!

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I ordered an 8 oz steak with mashed taters, collards, crispy onion and horseradish sauce, and I ate every scrap of it! It was cooked to my specs, it was tasty, hearty, olde school, and hit every single nail on the head for me! The collards were slightly sweet & tangy with nice chunks of smoky pork throughout. Sylva is a cute little town that appears to have some good food choices, including LuLu’s on Main! Recommend.

THE RHU: Daaang, Yo! I just had THEE dankest breakfast sandwich ever at The Rhu. It’s called “The Dirty South,” and it’s a buttermilk biscuit w/ pulled pork, pimiento cheese, collards, and B&B Pickles. Wow. So f*cking good! 🔥🔥🔥

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It’s an instant contender for my Sandwich of the Year Stoobie Award, although I’ll have to eat it a couple more times before it becomes an official nominee.

MOTHER BAKERY ON THE SOUTH SLOPE: Dawn and I took our friend Millee to Mother Bakery on the South Slope for a light bite and some wine on Saturday evening.

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We ordered the confit mushroom toast and a salad to share, and both were excellent!

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This place is going to end up being one of my favorites, I can already tell! Great atmosphere, great food, and according to Dawn & Millee, great wine too! 🙂

CULTURA: Next, we took Millee to Cultura, where we had an incredible food and beverage experience! This restaurant is very special, offering creative takes on dishes both new and familiar, impeccably sourced ingredients, picture perfect presentation, and of course amazing flavors! I’m friends with Chef Eric Morris, he’s one of my favorite people in the food biz, and one of the best chefs in the country in my opinion. He sent out what seemed like the whole menu, but all in reasonable portions, so that between the three of us, we were very full, but not completely stuffed.

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Cozy and comfortable atmosphere, nice lighting, great service, excellent cocktails & mocktails, and one of the most exciting & creative kitchen teams in town, if not the entire country, in my opinion. They are open Thursday through Sunday, and they have tables & booths, as well as bar & counter seats, so you can go casual or intimate depending on your mood and the company you're with.

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Chef Morris and his awesome team, both front & back of the house, are top notch and I feel lucky to have them here in our tiny little town in the Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina. Get in when you can, and experience it for yourself.

LA BODEGA BY CURATE: Yesterday I dialed in a brand new bite for Asheville Food Tours at La Bodega by Cúrate. The “Costillas” are pork ribs, with salsa kalimotxo, and confit piquillo peppers, and it was frickin’ awesome! I had one along with my tour patrons and, wow! It’s an instant contender for my Ribs of the Year Stoobie Award for 2023!

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Sweet, savory, super flavorful, and cooked to perfection, every bit of meat came right off the bone, and the pepper on top was mildly piquant, and soft as butter. Super high recommends. Go get you some! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

LITTLE D’S: I went to Little D's for dinner with my friend David last week, and we had a great meal together. The decor is lovely, the atmosphere was mellow, service was friendly & professional, the menu was very enticing, the plating & presentation were on point, and the food was delicious! We shared everything. The grilled shrimp appetizer came with a pimento cheese polenta cake, and a nice sauce, and was a very strong start to our meal! Next we had ribs. Perfectly cooked, sweet & sticky, with a little corn salad on the plate. Loved ‘em! Want more.

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For entrees, we split the bistro steak and the duck breast. Both were cooked exactly to our specifications, and were very satisfying and filling! They came with small sides of taters & green stuff, that were also excellent. The steak came with house made steak sauce, which I loved,a nd the duck breast had a very crispy skin that was perhaps the best I've ever had. All in all, this was a great experience, that David & I both enjoyed very much! Little D's is located on Merrimon Ave in North Asheville, in the same plaza as 828 Family Pizzeria. Get on up there if you can! Plenty of parking outside and tables inside. Tell them Stu sent ya! 🙂❤️

TUBBY: Don’t forget that the Duke’s Mayonnaise mascot, a giant,”unhinged,” tub of mayo named Tubby will be appearing in Pack Park on Thursday August 3rd from 9am - 11am for photo ops and fun. If it’s raining, we’ll do it all in Twisted Laurel!

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See you there!

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