Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Episode 132: My Favorite Guest

Episode 132: My Favorite Guest

Plus: Forking Around & Finding Out

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Podcast Contents

00:00 - 5:43 INTRO: I had an Arepa from Little Chango

5:53 - 18:14 INTERVIEW: Kara Irani from MANNA Foodbank


22:47 - 33:13 FORK AROUND & FIND OUT: Paddy & I Went to Brasilia

33:23 - 40:40 REVIEWS: Yum, Mikasa, Zella’s Self-Guided Mini-Tour

40:41 - 44:15 UNSOLICITED ADVICE: Get Downtown While You Can

44:16 - 46:06 TAKE A FOOD TOUR: Surprise Filet Mignon

46:07 - 50:20 REVIEW: Waffle Wednesday

50:21 - 51:35 OUTO: Good Bye

GIVE TO MANNA: Thank you Kara for always being an awesome guest, and thank you MANNA Foodbank for all you do!

Every dollar donated to MANNA helps provide enough food for 4 meals. To make a secure, online donation visit our donation page. You can call our office at 828-299-3663. You can mail checks directly to our office at MANNA FoodBank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805. If you would like to learn about our endowment or make plans for a legacy gift, please call our Director of Planned Giving at 299-3663 ext. 1243, or email

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FORK AROUND & FIND OUT: I had never been to Brasilia Churrasco Steakhouse-Asheville, so my partner from Asheville Food Tours Paddy and I decided to "Fork Around & Find Out" what the deal is there, and wow. It's an EATERS paradise! We devoured giant piles of seared meats, as well an endless salad bar, and we were stuhhhhffed.

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It’s a fixed price, cheaper at lunch than dinner, for all you can eat. The more you eat, the better the deal, so show up hungry, and eat like a maniac. Be syre to save room for the brûlée banana though. It good. I highly recommend Brisilia for eaters, and maybe not so much for “foodies.”

Stay tuned for more Fork Around and Find Out posts in the future, featuring places I've never been but have always been curious about. Do you have recommendations for our next adventure?

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SELF GUIDED MINI FOOD TOUR: My nephew and I took ourselves on a three-stop food tour in Downtown Asheville yesterday and it was yummy and fun! We started with hot crispy shrimp shumai from Yum Sushi Burrito & Poke. Shumai have been on my mind lately. They are little dumpling that are deep fried or steamed, and resemble scallops, although they are made with shrimp. They are very tender and mild, and at Yum, they with two dipping sauces. They are a simple, somewhat trashy, but super delicious treat that I grave all the time now!

Next my nephew and I each got a warm, buttery, delicious empanada from Mikasa Criolla inside the famous and beautiful S&W Cafeteria Building next to Pritchard Park. I got my new fave from their limited menu: The shrimp & grits empanada. It’s creamy, dreamy, rich and delicious! Super high recommends. I forget which one the neph got, but he loved it. They’re all good!

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We ended with my nephew's suggestion, by splitting the piping hot, very savory, cheesy, & highly satisfying “hot pastrami Philly” from Zella's Deli. It was great, and I’m proud of my young nephew for choosing a final bite that I had never had, and that I enjoyed tremendously, and can now recommend to others! Thanks, Bruh.

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I ❤️ Downtown Asheville, and I highly recommend taking yourselves on small self guided food tours there, as well as in the River Arts District and in West Asheville, as often as you can! Or sign up for a tour with me or one of our other tour guides at 😉 In a lot of ways tours, wether self guided, or with a professional guide, are better than loading up your belly with one big meal at one stop!

WAFFLE WEDNESDAY: I’ve been hitting up Waffle Wednesday at Session Cafe in the Citizen Times Building lately, and it’s frickin’ great! Chef Cheryl has been doing some very nice pumpkin spice waffles and I’ve been thorougly enjoying them!

Chef has a grilled chicken sandwich on her menu, and so last time I had the waffle, I asked her if she’s ever consider doing a checking & waffle dish, and she said that she’d been thinking about that! So, fingers crossed, she’ll come up with some great version of that classic Southern American dish. In the meantime, go see Chef Cheryl and the the other good folks at Session, and tell ‘em Stu sent ya!

TAKE A FOOD TOUR WITH ME: Food Tours of Downtown Asheville with through Asheville Food Tours are super fun, and the food is amazing. In fact… a couple weeks ago, one of our restaurant partners fed us some filet mignon. Not even kidding. Their meat purveyor accidentally sent them a bunch of top notch filet, and told the chef to keep them, on the house! Chef didn’t have enough to put it on the menu, so he served it to our tour!

It was insanely tender and tasty, and boy-howdy, it was something really special! The food tour patrons were blown away and so was I. Now, this ain’t gonna happen on every food tour, but every tour is awesome, and you just never know what some of the chefs are gonna throw atcha!

Readers of this newsletter can now get 10% off of my Food Fan Food Tours in December! To book your tickets, just go to find the Food Fan tour that you want to take, and go through the usual purchasing process, applying the code FFDEC1023 to redeem your discount!

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Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
This podcast is mostly about food