North Carolina Trip Restaurant Reviews

Happy Thanksgiving week!

I am excited to be home after spending part of last week in North Carolina. For those of you who don’t know, when I’m not being The Tall Guy’s right hand woman in the catering world, I am an interior designer. Closing out a project in Asheville, NC Monday and Tuesday, I got to hit up some of the city’s culinary gems.

The Tall Guy and I actually went to Asheville last year. It was more of a passing through on the way to our wedding in Charleston, SC. But we did get to see a little of this unique town. Its downtown has an upscale, artsy vibe. Asheville is probably best known as being the home of the Biltmore Estate, the larget private estate in the country. But more importantly, there are lots of farm to table restaurants and a resort that boasts five star dining.

Corner KitchenThis trip was mostly work, but I made sure to make time for some good food! First was lunch at Corner Kitchen. Right in the middle of the quaint Biltmore Village, this converted Victorian house has a cozy and ecclectic feel. My co-worker and I sat in the front dining room. Judging by the large fireplace was probably the parlor when this was a functioning house. Another fun fact? President Obama ate here when he visited in 2010.

She had the panko dusted salmon cakes, served over cucumber noodles. I ordered The Ploughman’s Lunch, which was a bowl of their (soup du jour) butternut squash soup, three different cheeses (dill, cheddar, and brie), a small side salad tossed with balsamic, a slice of baguette brushed with garlic oil, and a slice of country terrine. The soup was delicious and creamy, salad was perfectly dressed, the cheese was nothing special but still yummy, and the terrine was…interesting. Ever had terrine? I hadn’t. I had seen it made on cooking shows, but essentially it is pate and coarsely chopped ingredients forced into a loaf pan and served in slices cold or at room temperature. It basically tasted like sausage but with a creamier texture. All in all, a good lunch.

Ploughman's Lunch
The Ploughman’s Lunch
The next day before we headed out of town, we hit another great lunch spot, Tupelo Honey Cafe. I had read about it in an ‘In-Flight’ magazine years ago, and it worked out that it was located right down the street from our project. There are two of these restaurants in Asheville and a new location in Knoxville, TN. I couldn’t describe it better than they do on their website: “Our transformation of just about everything Southern – from fried chicken to sweet potatoes to catfish – is decidedly spirited, independent, and frequently unscripted.” It’s cute, it’s whimsical, it is SO GOOD. It took me forever to decide what I wanted. Deep fried cheesy grit cakes? Chorizo-Crusted Colossal Sea Scallops with Basil Cream Sauce? I ended up choosing the Grateful Dead Black Bean Burger, a scratch-made black bean and veggie pattie on a toasted bun. YUM. It came with a choice of side, which was also another big decision, but I landed on the Goat Cheese Grits. Good choice.
Black Bean Burger
The Grateful Dead Black Bean Burger with Goat Cheese Grits
My co-worker had the Sheer Bliss Tupelo Burger, but don’t dismiss it as a normal burger. This bad boy is a blend of ground prime rib and beef short rib. She said it was amazing, and I believe her. I wanted to try a slice of their Brown Butter Pecan Pie with vanilla bean and caramel sauce, but I was full after eating only half of my lunch. Yeah, I forgot to tell you that they also gave us a giant, fluffy, buttermilk biscuit with home made preserves before our lunch. I ate the whole thing.
Giant Biscuit with Blueberry Preserves
Giant Biscuit with Blueberry Preserves

Asheville fed me well. I’m pretty excited that Tupelo Honey Cafe also sells their sauces, honey, mixes, pies, and many other delicious items-via their website. They even have a pimento cheese of the month club! So now when The Tall Guy and I are craving some good Southern desserts, we can have them delivered right to our door:)

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Mail Order Pecan Pie from Tupelo Honey Cafe

We hope you all have your own delcious dishes in the works for this Thursday! Are any of you taking a Southern twist on an old Turkey Day classic? Please tell us about it if you do:) Happy Thanksgiving from Tall Guy & the Girl!