Good Morning, Friends...
GOOD MORNING, FRIENDS…
Today’s podcast is another full-length episode of the Food Fans Radio Show, which airs every Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 11:00am on WPVM 103.7fm. This one features our experience with Cottage Cooking, plus the Chow Chow opening party, Entrepreneurs of Color, and Diaspora events with my friend Lucho from AshevilleMulticultural.com. There’s also a “random” segment in which I cover Buxton Hall’s salads (I’m still on a salad kick), the new TV show The Bear, and the best alternate burgers (elk, bison, veggie, etc) in WNC. If all or some of that of that sounds familiar, you’d be correct. I covered most of this in my Newsletter last time, but this is, like, the audio version of those words and pictures. PS - The segment about Punk Rock Hot Dogs was recorded PRIOR to the event being cancelled. Sorry for any confusion.
Today’s Newsletter is allllllll Recommends! That’s right! My fav part of doing the newsletter is the Recommend section, so I’ve gone a little nuts this time, and today’s newsletter is entirely, 100%, nothing but Recommends!
If you have time to look, read, and / or listen, I hope that you will enjoy…
There are still a number of restaurants that I haven’t returned to since before the 2020 Shut downs, and some of them are among my all-time favorites! I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Among those restys is Table, one of the OG “fancy” restaurants, and long-time cornerstone of my pverall eating experience here in Asheville. They recently moved from the corner of College and Rankin, where it had been for over a decade, to just right around the corner on N. Lexington Ave where Calyso formerly was. So, I was hungry one Sunday, walking up North Lex, looking for someplace to eat right before my Food Tour started, and boom, there was Table, open for brunch!
I got the mushroom & summer squash toast and it was fantastic! It had some beautifully sautéed locally foraged mushrooms, some teeny-tiny Summer squash that were as cute as they were tender & delicious, a savory sauce, and a generous and diverse sprinkling of fresh herbs, all on a very high-quality piece of toasted bread.
The folks sitting next to me were from Kentucky, and they told me that they very much enjoyed their dishes of Chicken n Waffles and the sourdough BLT. So, go to Table for brunch if you haven’t already, I am definitely going back to try the rest of their small but excellent brunch menu!
Speaking of breakfast… I know, we were speaking of brunch, but that’s half-breakfast-half-lunch, right? So… SPEAKING OF BREAKFAST… I had an awesome one recently at the humble, and sometimes overlooked Stony Hill Bistro on Haywood Street right downtown, pretty much across the street from the library, near the Pit of Despair. Paddy and I were on an Asheville Food Tours lunch junket, opted for Stony Hill, and I noticed that the menu said “breakfast served any time,” so I fuckin’ went for it! I ordered two eggs over easy, toast, grits, AND taters, plus house made sausage (shoulda added bacon too!), and boy howdy! I could not have been more happy and satisfied with this meal! I added a few daubs and dashes of locally made Firewalker Hot Sauce here and there, and it was perfect in every way! I recommend Stony Hill Bistro for breakfast, or lunch, or breakfast for lunch, 100%!
Okay, so the other day I asked the members of my Facebook group to shout-out the best Mac ‘n Cheese in town. And of course some wiseacre said, “my house,” (Chehhhhhtt!) so I had to delete that post and clarify the question: Which restaurant in downtown Asheville is serving the best mac ‘n’ cheese? I got a lot of answers, some I’ve had, some I haven’t, some I’ve tried since then, but nothing has stood up yet to the amazing mac ‘n’ cheese at Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro. I admit that I’m spoiled, because I go in there weekly with Asheville Food Tours, and I can have their mac ‘n’ cheese any time I want… pretty much… and I do!
They make it from scratch, to order, fresh for every customer, starting with a roux, and adding the cheese and other magic ingredients from there. It’s some of the creamiest, cheesiest, hot, fresh, and delicious-est mac ‘n’ cheese imaginable, and, just to keep things interesting, they switch-up the flavor profile on a regular basis. What you see above is their smoked salmon, cream cheese, and everything bagel toppings mac ‘n’ cheese. AKA gahhhhhhhhhhhhh… So, yeah, go get this, and then tell me who’s got the best in town. Chett. ;) I’ll keep trying them all, but so far, Storm is the one to beat in my book. Your recommends are welcome!
There’s a new rib in town, Asheville, and it’s an instant contender for my Ribs of the Year award. That’s right, it’s Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro again! They premiered a tour-sized sample of their new braised pork ribs for us last week, and even included a few delicious green beans! My patrons loved it, and I did too! It was perfection. Subtly sweet, but not what I would call a sweet rib, porky, but not too porky, moist, meaty, and cooked just right, so that it fell right off the bone. Go get you some, WNC, and tell me what you think! I’m a rib fan, though I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any stretch!
Alrighty, let’s conclude this robust Recommend Round-up with a little dessert. Or a big one! Yikes! Have you had the Xiuxo from La Bodega by Cúrate yet? Holy crap! It’s incredible! It’s the crispiest, flakiest of pastries, sprinkled with sugar, and surrounding a rich, thick, custardy center of insanely delicious fresh pastry cream. Gah! If that description doesn’t get you interested, then this picture surely will!
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