>James says that I have to stop writing about restaurants but really the food in Asheville is so amazing that it is hard not to write about it. Before I do as was suggested and give you a break from restaurant reviews and other culinary highlights, I have to tell you about a wonderful new tour: Asheville Food Tours. This is the brainchild of a local innkeeper who got together with a number of restaurants and gourmet shops here to put together a unique walking tour to introduce you to just some of what Asheville has to offer. Recently James and I took the downtown tour on a lovely Wednesday afternoon. We started off in a royal manner with a glass of champagne and a lovely crabmeat salad served in puff pastry at the Flying Frog Cafe and I knew it was going to be difficult to pace myself! In quick succession we moved on to the Chocolate Fetish, The Spice & Tea Exchange and Malaprop’s Bookstore. “Okay”, I thought, as I downed a cup of coffee and nibbled on a cookie, “I can do this!” We next went to Sazerac where the chef served us an amazing Brie and Crab soup. Everyone was blown away by it and I sneakily stayed behind and begged for the recipe. (I will share it with you if you ask nicely).
I caught up with everyone at Green Sage Coffeehouse & Cafe, Asheville’s “greenest” restaurant. Everything here is sourced locally and all waste is recycled. The entire restaurant produces only a small receptacle of true garbage a day. And the food is delicious. They cater to everyone: vegetarians, vegans, lactose and gluten free diets, and omnivores can all find something to love. It is really inspiring to watch the spirit of Asheville in action: don’t wait for someone else to change things, change them yourself!
All in all we visited more than 12 eateries over the course of the three hour walking tour. We ate cheese and drank wine, tried sandwiches and pizza, fine dining to rootbeer floats. The tours are small to allow you to tour the kitchens and workshops as well as enter the restaurants. If you are going to be in Asheville for a few days, this is a good way to get a look-see at the restaurants you might want to visit and for $25/person it is a bargain meal as well. As a matter of fact if you couple the tour with the Christmas Special at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast offered Monday through Thursday during December you can have a pretty amazing visit to Asheville with a gourmet breakfast and supper for less $200 for two!