We came. We saw. We biscuited! Part one of a recap from our trip to Asheville, North Carolina.
Oh heeeeey, this is me, Quelcy, age 33 [in Asheville].
I’m very comfortable in that age, the “Jesus year,” if you will. We’re nearing that time of year when reflection is commonplace and new versions of ourselves are just a resolution away, so it feels fitting to step back and say that 33 feels right. The part that feels off is the gap between 23 and 33, ten years. In those ten years, my oldest sister and I lived like strangers. The kids, her kids, who I loved fanatically, grew into adults. In my mind, they were still little, still blonde cherub babes, zipping down the swimming pool slide with arms squished into swimmies (or floaties?).
Sometimes it takes ten years to be ready to embrace each other fully, for each to be the woman she is. Even unattended seeds will frequently blossom on their own, resiliently. For Thanksgiving, I went south, to South Carolina. I went to reunite, in person, with my oldest sister. She is the woman who raised me in many ways, the woman who shaped me so substantially. In a wave, all I had missed hit me, dug from deep within me. I lamented the ten years, the way my nephew stood before me a fully grown man, but paths are long and winding for reasons we can’t understand at the time of embarking. I was grateful for the new juncture.
And all of that emotional success definitely called for a biscuit, or two (or three fried into doughnuts) because after all, I started 33 with biscuits. So it was, after a momentous reunion, the Urban Farmer (or am I calling him the Rustbelt Farmer now?) and I ventured, at long last, to Asheville, North Carolina.
Fueled by many a recommendation, from locals and enthusiasts alike, we had our food compass, our free spirits and a cozy Air BnB (more on that here). We were gloriously agenda free, left to roam, graze, caffeinate, roam, graze repeat, so this is part one of the places we hit.
“Put Some South in Your Mouth”
Words to Live By:
“Cat Head is a southern term to describe a homemade biscuit that resembles the size of a cat’s head. When cats drape their tail over you, it’s to show a sign of friendship.” This isn’t just anecdotal. Their biscuits really do reach the size of a cat’s head.
What We Ate (ie: How We Over Ordered):
Tossed in sugar and served with lemon curd (Plus, the staff yelled “DONUT” enthusiastically with every order of these sweet gems)
Country ham biscuit
Biscuit with country ham, fried green tomato, cheese egg, and red eye gravy
When it comes to the flow of alcohol, traveling from Pennsylvania to ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD feels like leaving a mirage for a waterpark. In a mind-boggling display of old world paperwork, Pennsylvania has a limited number of liquor licenses, so nabbing one is akin to entering heaven through the eye of a needle. Meanwhile, the wine flows in Asheville like a parable’s worth of miracle water. Every niche place has niche offerings plus wine, beer and cider. If you want coffee, but your mate wants a beer, no problem, Asheville has you covered. Or in the case of French Broad Chocolate Lounge, chocolate and wine (aka heaven).
Lured by the “liquid truffles” we read about, we made our way to the welcoming leather couch to sip and savor.
What warmed me even more than my rich and creamy drinking chocolate was French Broad Chocolates’ manifesto on their website, which came to life on their chalkboard walls. You could feel all that earthy, crunchy earnestness of Asheville with every sip of chocolate.
And French Broad offers a curated shop of artisan chocolates from all over because they believe in the community aspect of chocolate making and eating.
We indulged in some to-go treats for making decadent s’mores at our Air BnB, but we held off on wine, so we could go have sips here:
Dogs + Books + Coffee + Champagne Bar = Heaven
or alternately, = Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar
(Calling all crazy dog people! Be sure to watch the shop’s dog themed video tour)
The sheer number of words contained in this place had me so inspired. There were so many nooks and niches where one could get lost in a book, or thinking of the many paths all these used books had wandered. And obviously, that dog art spoke to my soul.
I chose the “Death in the Afternoon” cocktail. Inspired by Hemingway, but rather than absinthe, the cocktail offered this trick I will be stealing- a star anise garnish. It added that licorice flavor without the threat of hallucinations from historical, compromised absinthe.
Cheers to Asheville. The organic, earth-loving, all accepting vibes had me feeling so warm inside (the champagne didn’t hurt either).
More to come!