00:00 - 08:48 INTRO & REVIEWS: Smoked Salmon & Chili Crisp
8:58 - 37:45 INTERVIEW: Chef Andrea Monzoni from Spring Creek Quail Farm
37:55 - 48:29 MESSAGES: The Eaters Get Negative
48:39 - 58:00 OUTRO & REVIEWS: Birthday Dinner Downtown, BBQ & a Cookie
TUBBY WAS HERE: I wanna thank everyone who showed up on a super gray, rainy day, first thing in the dang morning, to meet Tubby and get their picture took! Especially anyone who showed up in a costume! Big thanks to my friends Jen Hampton from Asheville Food & Beverage United & Zen Sutherland for making Tubby’s “Mayor for a Day” sash, and the spatula-shaped key to the city respectively.
Thanks as well to Twisted Laurel Downtown Asheville for giving us shelter from the rain, The Hop Ice Cream for giving away some truly special treats, and of course, Duke's Mayonnaise for being so awesome in so many ways!
Also, a very special huge thanks to Ingles Markets for their immeasurable help in making this dream come true! ❤️❤️❤️
SOMETIMES COOK AT HOME: I’ve been buying lots of tinned fish of various kinds from the Botanist & Barrel Tasting Bar + Bottle Shop Asheville, and trying different preparations. The other night I made some pasta, with Fishwife and Fly by Jing smoked salmon in chili crisp and cream sauce on a bed of arugula, and it was fantastic!
To make the sauce, I just added cream, butter and flour to the hot oily chili crisp sauce in the can, thickened it up in a pan, then poured it over the fish & pasta. YUM! Super delish. Super easy. High recommends. 🔥
MY TINY BREAKFAST: I received a whole bunch of quail eggs from the folks at Spring Creek Quail Farms and have been really enjoying them! They are CUTE, and tasty, with a slightly richer, creamier texture than chicken eggs. I like to cook a lot of things at home using my taiyaki fish-shaped press. First, I boiled some small, red potatoes, then smashed one and placed it in one side of the taiyaki press, cooked it for a little bit, then added two quail eggs to the other side of the press, cooked it all a little bit longer, flipped it, finished cooking it, plated it, and ate the whole thing in about four bites. I loved it! So I repeated the whole process and did it again!
Three quail eggs is about the equivalent of one chicken egg, and come to find out, they have a lot more nutrition in them than chicken eggs! Thank you, Spring Creek! I was already a fan of quail eggs, but had never cooked them at home, so this was a great experience, and I can’t wait to eat them all! PS - they also sent me a special quail egg opener! Apparently they are too tiny, and the membrane is too tough, to crack it like a chicken egg!
BIRTHDAY FEAST: Dawn & I went to Twisted Laurel Downtown Asheville for my birthday a while back, mostly because I wanted a big fat steak, which I know they always have on their menu. I also wanted to spend some time at my favorite restaurant of 2022. In my heart, I love Twisted, but also just by the numbers, it was was my most-visited venue last year. I ate there 14 times! This meal did not disappoint. Dawn got the campanelle with lemon, garlic, parsley, crab & crawfish butter sauce, and she loved it! She kept saying she was finished, and would be taking the rest home, but then she couldn’t stop nibbling at it, until there was literally nothing left to take home! 😂
I got the New York Strip Oscar, with jumbo lump crab, asparagus, & hollandaise. Those are, like, all of my favorite things on one plate. It was fantastic! I ate everything, except about half of that giant slab of beef, which I took home & reheated and it was great again! We also shared the meatball appetizer, which is hearty, homey & delicious, and gaining its own fan-base among the eaters-in-the-know of downtown Asheville!
Service was spot-on as always, and the entire experience was just exactly what I wanted on my birthday! 🎉 One more time around the sun, and one more great meal at my fave place. Thanks, Chef Tom & the kitchen crew, as well as Vince, and my friends in the front of the house, for making this a lovely evening for Dawn and me! 🙂❤️🔥 For dessert we went to French Broad Chocolates and got a slice of their “quintessential chocolate cake,” and a pint of their salted caramel ice cream to bring home. Perfect.
DOC BROWN’S BBQ My nephew just moved back home from Portland, Oregon, and he also had a birthday last week, so I took him out to lunch, and when I asked him what category of food he wanted, he said, “Barbecue.” He’d been missing it. Without hesitation, I said “Let’s drive out to Doc Brown's BBQ!” He’d never been, but he was game, so we went, and had an awesome barbecue experience!
I got the brisket sandwich, he got the brisket plate, and we shared some dry rub ribs. Gah. All of it was perfectly cooked and tasted great! Doc Brown’s brisket is some of the best I’ve ever had. The ends are black and barky, the meat it tender and flavorful, and the fat just melts on your tongue. The ribs are meaty, moist, and very tasty! Full recommends for Doc Brown’s, from both my nephew, and myself! ❤️🔥🐂
MANICOMIO Y’aaaawwwwllll… this sandwich… was so dang bomb. Jon at Manicomio Pizza has done it again. First he dropped his Reuben on us, available with either house made corned beef or house made pastrami, and it became an instant contender for a 2023 Sandwich of the Year Stoobie award. Next, he sprang his cheesesteak on the world, and no kidding, it is THEE best cheesesteak in WNC as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I said “best,” and I mean it! Then, today, Jon handed me his BBQ brisket sandwich, and wow, it is, simply put, one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve ever had. Perfectly cooked bbq brisket, just falling apart and melting in your mouth, with a tang of house made slaw and pickled onions, all on a soft white bun. It was heaven. I died. I cut one into four pieces and shared it with my friends at White Duck Taco Shop, and they agreed that it is a superbly delicious sandwich. Everyone was, like, “Oh mah gahhhd…”
Jon Liebowitz is really solidifying his spot as the King of Slow Cooked Meats and Sandwiches in Downtown Asheville. I know that I’m not the only fan of Jon’s new menu items, there’s an army of us out there, and if you’re in that army, or care to enlist, go try this sandwich. I promise you won’t be mad at me about it. 🙂🔥💥🦅💯‼️
CORTADO & A COOKIE: I go into PennyCup Coffee Co. at the YMI about 3 or 4 times a week, because it’s chill AF in there (especially since they got their AC fixed), and in my opinion, they are roasting and brewing some of the best coffee in WNC.
These days I pretty much only get fancy espresso drinks in cafes — cortados, cappuccinos, lattes, hot or on ice — because I can make a regular cup of coffee at home. Pennycup’s baristas pull a great shot, and they make the drinks look cute and pretty too. The lattes have art & the cortados come in tiny mason jars. Squee! Also, one of best things about being at any Pennycup location is the house made cookies. When they run out, they make more, so if you time it right, you’ll get to smell the cookies being baked and you can eat one warm out of the oven. Nice.
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