Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Good Morning, Friends...

Good Morning, Friends...

Tastee, Smoky, Sparky, Poppy

Today’s Podcast was originally broadcast by WPVM 103.7fm on December 2 & 3rd, and features Tastee Diner, Smoky Park Supper Club, Ay Caramba! Mexican Grille Leicester, Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Bigfoot Longs at The Gas-Up, and Sparky’s Bardega! If you have time to listen, I hope you will enjoy!

Today’s Newsletter (below) features all of the above, plus dessert!


Recently, Paddy and I went on an Asheville Food Tours lunch junket to Tastee Diner in west Asheville, and we ate a ton of food! We ordered the chop cheese and the Carolina hotdogs to share, but when chef Steven Goff saw us, he brought out their chicken salad sandwich and beef cheek sloppy Joe… good Lord! As expected from this chef, everything was excellent! The chicken salad sandwich might’ve been my favorite of all of them. The chicken was deep-fried so that it was crunchy, and still warm, and it was really something special!

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If you know chef Goff’s food from AUX Bar, or King James pub, you are going to love what he’s doing at the Tastee Diner! It makes me feel really good to have this chef back, doing his thing in his spot, not giving a fuck about anything, except for making the best food he possibly can. Good times!


In my family we don’t always do the “traditional” thanksgiving stuff. We don’t watch football, or fight over politics, and we’re just as likely to dine out at a restaurant, or order take-out as we are to cook an enormous meal at home. I’d say that about every other season, we pay someone else to do most of the work for us, and this year we got smoked turkey and all the fixin’s from Smoky Park Supper Club, plus pie & Parker house rolls by The Rhu, and ice cream by Sunshine Sammies. (canned cranberries are just WholeFoods’ 365 brand.)

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What you see above are a cold smoked turkey, which we reheated to 160°, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet taters, Brussels sprouts (with chopped bacon), whipped white taters, seafood chowder, gravy (X2), squash bisque, pumpkin pie, and then the fresh toppings and such, which included crispy onions, pomegranate seeds, chopped nuts, house made cheese-its, and a granola nut crumble for on top of the sweet taters. Below are all the same things cooked and / or plated.

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I’m super thankful for this awesome food which I thoroughly enjoyed with my awesome family! If you’ve never ordered-up a bunch of food for the feasting season, give it a try! ❤️❤️❤️


On Monday, my friend Lucho from and I went to a tasting at Ay Caramba Mexican Grill - Leicester and it was great! We shared three dishes, with chips, rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, tortillas and the works! Every single dish was delicious, and we stuffed ourselves. We started with an appetizer, which was very aptly named the Chorizo Skillet, and was basically their house-made, high quality Boston butt chorizo and loads of cheese in a sizzling hot skillet, topped with grilled poblano peppers, onions and fresh cilantro. We scooped it onto some tortillas, and boom. It was awesome.

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Next we got a dish called Alambre, which had bacon, ham, and steak, cooked with poblano peppers and onions then topped with cheese. It was insanely good! We were getting full when they brought out the mother of all dishes, the Molcajete, made with chicken, shrimp, chorizo and steak all grilled up with poblano peppers and onions, topped with cheese all served inside of a sizzling hot mortar that was shaped like a pig! Everything was excellent! I recommend it very highly! 🙂🔥🎉


My friend Lucho from Asheville Multicultural and I also went to an awesome sandwich tasting together on Monday evening at Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro and holy moly, Y’all. We tried five sandwiches, only four of them are pictured here, I somehow missed getting pictures of the head cheese bánh mì sandwich, but what you’ll see here are the pork belly grilled cheese, the meatballs with garlic bread corn waffles, the katsu fried bologna sandwich, and the incredible meatloaf sandwich.

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My favorite was the meatloaf, which is not a surprise, because I have handed this meatloaf two Stoobie awards in the past, in two different forms. Chef Jay Medford makes my favorite meatloaf in town! This version of his famous meatloaf sandwich has a fried egg and a hash brown on it as well as cheese and sauce and onions and other things! It was definitely a fork and knife sandwich as was the meatballs and waffles, which was Lucho’s, favorite, and a close second place for me. The pork belly was my third fave, followed by the fried katsu bologna, and then the bánh mì sandwich. They were all great, most of them were completely over the top, the way that chef Jay likes to do things! Lucho and I were stuffed by the end of this ordeal, and I brought a bunch of the food home with me, to reheat it the next day, and these sandwiches reheated very nicely! So, super high recommends for the new sandwich menu at Storm! 🔥🔥🔥


I went to a super fun, quirky, and delicious event yesterday with Lucho from Asheville Multicultural and Jason from Ashvegas yesterday. It was the grand opening of the very first Out-dated Video Box, hosted by The Gas Up in West Asheville, and catered by Bigfoot-Longs hot dog cart!

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I ate two awesome dawgs, hung out with the small crowd of punks that had gathered there, sighted at least one fancy chef gettin’ a hot dog, and I documented the ribbon cutting!

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More photos available on Facebook

This event was awesome in every way. Look for Bigfoot-Longs near you. Follow them on social to see where they’ll be next! 🔥🌭🦶


Y’all, the brand new Sparky's Bardega on Broadway downtown is frickin’ awesome! I popped in to say howdy, and was blown away by the selection! From local favorites to national brands to imported fanciness, they’ve got a little bit of everything, including some of my own personal go-to items.

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Along with snacks, drinks & grocery items, they carry home decor stuff, kitchen stuff, toiletries, and even puzzles, games, and toys! The space is large, and really nice, and there’s a bar with beer, wine, and hard cider. Full liquor and food service coming soon! I’m gonna say that this is a great addition to downtown for locals & visitors alike. Get on down and check it out when you can. 👍🔥🤘


Y’all know that we have a local popcorn company that totally rules, right? Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is one of Asheville’s true indie success stories, and their very popular popcorn flavors come in both savory & sweet. Their “Asheville Mix” is both, of course! 🙂 They recently sent me this four pack of fall flavors, which I cracked open at Thanksgiving and shared with my whole family. We crushed it! Dawn and I particularly enjoyed the southern pecan pie flavor, which had a generous quantity of nice pecan pieces, both large and small!

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