Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Asheville Guide

So since this entire week's "Week Re-Cap" would be photos from my trip to Asheville I thought I would just do a little guide to our trip instead. Now, there is an entire separate post coming about all of the breweries we visited {I believe 13 in total} so stay tuned for that. I hope you enjoy - xoxo darling, Hayden.
Saturday morning began with a stop at Biscuit Head, which was recommended by just about every travel site. We visited the one near the hospital and it was marvelous. The biscuits were literally as big as your head {see what they did there?} and there were tons of options. I opted for a biscuit with a side of fried chicken - I then crafted a version of the Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit but gosh was this one better! The fried chicken was expertly cooked and beautifully breaded. My companions both had bacon and eggs with their biscuits and said the bacon was phenomenal.
Biscuit Head has two locations in Asheville, 733 Haywood Road and 417 Biltmore Avenue.
After that huge breakfast we set out for the Biltmore - something I have been wanting to see for quite some time. It was my dad's fourth time and my mother's second but this time it was still decorated for the holidays so a tad different. If you don't know the Biltmore is the largest privately owned house in America, it stands at 135,280 square feet; for reference the White House is 55,000 square feet. It is massive with staff quarters, a gigantic kitchen and tons of rooms for the Biltmore family. I will say, it is quite expensive to visit but if you have never been you need to go. It is definitely one of those things I can now check off of a travel bucket list but have no need to go back to.
Look at this ceiling! 
The gardens, while mostly dead due to the winter weather, are impressive. You know its good if it looks amazing while nothing is blooming, right? For more photos of the grounds click here, my outfit post from yesterday was shot there.
The Biltmore has lots of little shops and restaurants in the stables including a coffee shop that is really good. Way better than any Starbucks you could grab on your way in. I had a latte, my dad had the apple cider and my mom had hot tea. All received good reviews. 
The Biltmore Estate is located at One Lodge Street. Cost of admission ranges from $40-$75 depending day of visit. 
After walking so much {that house is so big!} we ventured to Mills River, NC for a stop at Sierra Nevada Brewery's taproom. We went last year on our trip to Boone but I couldn't drink then so I insisted on a stop. You have probably had Sierra Nevada beer before {or at least heard of it} so it isn't being included in my Asheville brewery post but it is being included here because of the food. Y'all, for the past year I had dreamed of going back because the food was so good - and if you know me this is high praise. We got the cheese and butcher board to start and really enjoyed one of the cheeses and both the meets. It comes with pickled grapes so be prepared for that - they look like regular grapes but they are NOT. We followed that up with pretzels & pimento beer cheese, a serious favorite of mine. I do not like soft pretzels or pimento cheese but this stuff is like crack. The cheese is the perfect amount of hot to melt perfectly on your pretzel, which is toasted so crispy I can barely taste that soft pretzel taste (I love that). Lastly, we opted for the joyce farms chicken wings in a ginger soy glaze. And oh my goodness were they amazing. First of all, the way they are prepared must be mentioned because they slide off the bone so easily and there is very little mess. This is something I can get behind. Plus, the ginger glaze made them sweeter than wings I usually eat but the sriracha mayo provided balanced that out. Honestly, they were a party in my mouth.
Sierra Nevada Brewery Taproom is located at 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC. There are brewery tours available as well as a gift shop and restaurant. 
The rest of our day we spend at various breweries, all of which will be in my brewery list coming to you soon! A few highlights included this hippo wall mural at Hi-Wire brewing's Big Top and Burial Brewing's Top Selleck painting.
Sunday dawned another beautiful but very cold day. We began with a stop at Moose Cafe somewhere we went when I was little on my first real trip to Asheville. I had remembered the moose cakes {hotcakes} and insisted we visited again. We were not disappointed, they began with biscuits that rivaled Biscuit Head and had some amazing apple butter. My dad and I had the Biltmore meal that featured two eggs, potatoes, bacon and a moose cake. There was way too much food for me to finish but all of it was delicious. It is the perfect kind of down home cooking stop that feels like the people eating are more local than tourist. 
Moose Cafe is located at 570 Brevard Rd and is open from 7am-8pm.
Anytime we visit North Carolina there is a pull to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is probably my family's favorite national park. Since it was January most of the stretch near Asheville was closed, something that was quite sad for the fam but we did get to stop for a few shots.
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through multiple states but you can get on it just outside of Asheville. 
View of the French Broad River
After that we visited quite a few more breweries. One of our favorites was Wicked Weed's Funkatorium where I had to snap a photo drinking out of a snifter sitting on this massive couch.
For a quick break between breweries we visited Vortex Doughnuts for a tap donut, one made with local beers. It was so so so good. There were peanuts involved and I loved it. We also had a chocolate iced with pretzels on top that was good but that tap donut was so much better. After 4pm (at least on Sundays) they do buy one get one free so we took advantage of that. Also, if you aren't into the craft beer scene but want somewhere adorable to hangout, this place is for you.
Vortex Doughnuts is located at 32 Banks Avenue, Suite 106. They are open from 7am-5pm Sunday-Friday. Saturdays they are open from 7am-7pm.
Dinner came a little later and we had seen Buxton Hall BBQ from another brewery. We then looked it up and found there were James Beard nominees involved so we knew we had to go. They close between lunch and dinner, so be aware of that but this should be on your list. The food is excellent. I had the BBQ chicken with fries and BBQ beans. The fries could have been cooked a little crispier for my family but they were still delicious. The food is simple and doesn't try to over complicate BBQ, which some restaurants can be accused of. Plus, the pie looked delicious - we didn't get any because we had plans to visit Cook Out for milkshakes after.
Buxton Hall is located at 32 Banks Avenue. They are open 11:30am-3pm and 5:30pm-10pm.
After dinner a few more breweries were visited and Cook-Out was stopped at but the next morning we had an early flight back to Florida so we went back to our hotel downtown and passed out. Hope y'all enjoyed and if you have any questions about our travels let me know here. A vlog of the trip will be up tomorrow and the brewery reviews are coming soon.
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