Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dine Out for Life - April 30, 2009

Dine at one of over 90 restaurants in Western North Carolina, and 20% of your total bill will be donated to the Western North Carolina AIDS Project. Please help us continue Education and Prevention services throughout WNC and help insure that no one faces HIV alone by dining out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the most satisfying meal you will ever eat!

Many thanks to all the restaurants, sponsors and diners for making last year’s dining out benefit another success story raising over $117,000 - a new record for both our restaurants and dining patrons. And thanks to our sponsors, only 4.0% of that total went to cover expenses.

Be sure to enter the drawing to win one of the great prises - a Carnival Cruise, Sap Day or Gift Certificate to a local restaurant! The following restaurants are participating in this year's Dine Out for Life!

12 Bones, Arden
12 Bones, Asheville
Admiral, The
Asheville Yacht Club
Bavarian Restaurant & Biergarten
Bistro 1896
Black Mountain Bistro
Blue Mountain Pizza
Blue Water Seafood
Cafe Azalea
Cafe Ello
Charlotte Street Grill
Circle in the Square
City Bakery
Corner Kitchen, The
Cucina 24
Curras Dom
Cypress Cellar
Doc Chey's Noodle House
Early Girl Eatery
ED Boudreaux's Bayou Bar-B-Que
Fiore's Cottonwood Ristorante
Flat Rock Wine Shoppe & Back Room
Flying Frog Bar & Deli
Flying Frog Café
Green Sage Coffeehouse & Café
Hobnob Restaurant
Inn on Church Street
Izzy's Coffee Den
Jack of the Wood
Jerusalem Garden
Joey's Pancake House
Laughing Seed Café
Laurey's Catering
Lobster Trap
Madison Inn
Marco Trattoria
Marco's Pizzeria Restaurant, North
Marco's Pizzeria Restaurant, South
Martin's Pizza & Pasta
Mellow Mushroom
Morning Glory Café
Neo Burrito
Nine Mile
Nona Mia
Noodle Shop
Old Stone Inn Mountain Lodge
Ophelia's World Cafe
Over Easy Cafe
Panacea Coffeehouse, Cafe & Roastery
Pomodoros Greek & Italian Café
Pomodoros Greek & Italian Café South
Purple Onion
Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine
Rise 'n Shine Cafe
Sadie’s Seafood Pub
Saluda Grade Cafe
Santé Wine Bar
Scully's Dine & Drink
Sinbad Restaurant
Southside Café
Square 1 Bistro
Steak & Wine
Stoney Knob Café
Sunny Point Cafe & Bakery
Thai Basil
Three Brothers
Three Chopt Sandwich Shoppe
Tomato Jam
Tupelo Honey Café
Urban Burrito, East
Urban Burrito, North
Usual Suspects, The
Veranda Cafe
Vincenzo's Ristorante
West First Fired Pizza
Westville Pub
Wild Wing Cafe

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Unfolds!

I found an Aztec song that is perfect for this time of year - all the flowers are blooming. When one kind stops another takes it's place. Our acreage is just ablaze with color from the red buds, azalea, peonies (or as my neighbors say pee-ownies)dogwoods, phlox. The trees are leafing out in various shades of green - pale green, yellow green, emerald green - all new and vibrant. Enjoy the photos and song!

I offer flowers. I sow flower seeds. I plant flowers. I assemble flowers. I pick flowers. I pick different flowers. I remove flowers. I seek flowers. I offer flowers. I arrange flowers. I thread a flower. I string flowers. I make flowers. I form them to be extending, uneven, rounded, round bouquets of flowers.

I make a flower necklace, a flower garland, a paper of flowers, a bouquet, a flower shield, hand flowers. I thread them. I string them. I provide them with grass. I provide them with leaves. I make a pendant of them. I smell something. I smell them. I cause one to smell something. I cause him to smell. I offer flowers to one. I offer him flowers. I provide him with flowers. I provide one with flowers. I provide one with a flower necklace. I provide him with a flower necklace. I place a garland on one. I provide him with a garland. I clothe one in flowers. I cover him in flowers. I love him with flowers.
------Aztec Song

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

"I have come to terms with the future.
From this day onward I will walk
easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill
no living things. Live in harmony with
all creatures. I will restore the earth
where I am. Use no more of its resources
than I need. And listen, listen to what
it is telling me."

--M.J.Slim Hooey

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pisgah Brewing Company, Black Mountain

On a warm spring afternoon we headed over to Black Mountain to sample beers at the Organic Pisgah Brewing. They were voted the Best Brewery in WNC and we agree. The beers are handcrafted certified organic and they offer a wide range of beers to choose from.

They are located off of Rte 70 - take Grovestone Road near the Ingles Warehouse. Go right on Old US 70 until you see the Eastside Business Park. Drive through the gates and park on the left. Enter Building #100 and follow the sounds of people talking, laughing and having a great time.

The band was just setting up and they had opened the back delivery doors letting the customers spill out into the back pavement. Picnic tables are set up for seating and there is a lawn area further back with lovely trees to sit under and places to let your pets play. Some people had blankets on the grass and were having a picnic.

The crowd was of all ages from little children to seniors with several dogs of various sizes on leashes. It was a unique scene for a bar. No food is served unless a local restaurant is offering a special evening there. You can bring your own munchies and most folks had brought chips, cheese, crackers and other items to eat while sampling the delicious beer.

A full list and description of the beers can be found on their web site. My husband had a Pale Ale and I am not much of a beer drinker so I had the cider. You can't beat the variety - some beers are traditional like brown, stout, porter and others have more of a fruity taste. It was a great way to spend a cheap night out and with music to boot.

Pisgah is open Tues., Wed., and Sat. from 2-9. Thurs. and Fri. from 2 until whenever. Tours are available on Sat. at 2 and 3pm. They are located at 150 Eastside Drive in Black Mountain 828 669-2491. The music schedule is also online at Enjoy!

Dinner at the Morning Glory Cafe, Black Mountain

We have already written a post on the Morning Glory for breakfast/lunch but they just recently have begun serving dinner Wednesday thru Saturday from 5pm until 9:30. We decided to stop by and check it out.

We loved their eclectic menu with many offerings for vegetarians like myself yet plenty of meat dishes for my husband to choose from. The staff is more formerly dressed in black for dinner and the service was excellent as usual.

We ordered Fried Polenta Sticks for an appetizer which came sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and homemade ketchup for dipping. They were light and crunchy and very flavorful.

My husband got the Black and Blue Burger made with local bison and beef from Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fariview. The burger was topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and blue cheese dressing. He also ordered a Cesar Salad complete with homemade croutons. The burger was very tasty, nicely cooked and not overdone.

I got the the soup of the day - Asparagus Cheddar - lovely, light soup with pieces of asparagus in a cheesy broth. For the main meal I ordered the Caprese Panini with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, tomato and spinach. A delicious tabbouleh salad came with that. You can also have waffle fries or a salad. The panini was lightly grilled and the filling fresh.

The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers along with several entrees of fish, beef, chicken or vegetarian dishes. They even have Vegan offerings too. The price range is from $5. to $14. - very reasonable. Desserts looked tempting but we passed on them - too full of a great dinner.

Their menu is posted on their web site at 828.669.6212

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Linville Hiking

We lived in Linville in Avery County for a number of years before moving to the Asheville area. It is a quaint town of 300 people year round but the summer residents bring the population to abut 2000.

We loved to hike up our street (Ruffin Street) in the old part of town to where it turned to dirt. You would never know you were so close to Grandfather Mountain and all the tourist places back in here.

Creeks and streams filled with trout, both rainbow and brook trout, bubble pass with the cool damp air providing a refreshing repast. The path follows the stream by farms, ponds and finally to a 300 acre preserve owned by on older gentleman who loves to fish. He has a tiny cabin on this property and comes several times a year to fish for trout.

Hope you enjoy these photos. If you want to know more about our house and this area check out the side bar.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hiking Our Land

Yesterday it was cool and sunny so I hiked along the eastern boudary of our mountain up to the ridge.

The land drops straight down to the neighbors on the east and north sides. You can see their horses out in the pasture and the creek next to them. Just a little sign of life in the trees - the redbuds are starting to bloom. A few tiny wild flowers are poking up through the thick leaves on the forest floor.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - Happy Springtime

Wishing you peace and joy during this beautiful time of year
from all of us and the cats.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

Situated at 5946 feet above sea level Grandfather Mountain is an imposing element in the High Country. But the best part is that you can visit this natural attraction, all year round and enjoy hiking, picnicking, the Natural History Museum, the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and the Wildlife Habitats.

Grandfather Mountain was privately owned until recently when the state of North Carolina purchased it to preserve it for generations to come. It encompasses 16 distinct natural communities and 70 rare and endangered species.

(photo courtesy of
The Mile High Swinging Bridge was built in 1952 to give visitors easy access to Linville Peak and the astounding views. It is a 228-foot suspension bridge that spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. You do have to climb 50 stairs to get to the entrance to the bridge. The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 of galvanized steel and will not need to be painted like the old one did. The new one unfortunately does not "swing" as much as the old one. (I was one of many that groaned in disappointment). A new indoor elevator is being built to allow more people access to the bridge.

The Wildlife Habitat includes black bears, river otters, cougars, bald eagles, golden eagles and white tailed deer. Unlike in cities where they have to build natural looking environments, these enclosures were built around the animals' natural settings. You stand only a few feet from the animals, separated by moats or elevated on retaining walls. The otters can be viewed from below the aquarium through the glass. Children love their underwater antics.

The Natural History Museum features geological exhibits of the evolution of the mountains and the wildlife inhabiting them. There is a snack shop inside the museum and places to sit.

Eleven hiking trails are available ranging from a gentle walk to a rigorous trek. Many trails use ladders and cables attached to sheer rock walls. Some trails are not for the faint of heart but once you reach the top, you will forget all the worry on the way up. The views are 360 degrees of blue misted mountains.

One fairly easy trail is the Black Rock Nature Trail that begins in the parking area and runs out one mile and back through northern hardwood and spruce forest. This trail is marked with interpretive signs to give newcomers a better grasp of the natural environment surrounding them.

April signals Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain. All residents of six High Country Counties can be admitted for $1. While under construction some hiking trails are off limits so call ahead to find out what is available.

Grandfather Mountain is open from 8am until closing. Admission is $15 for adults, $12for seniors, $7 for children age 4-12 and under 4 free. For more information call 828.733.4337 or visit

The River Dog Coffehouse and Cafe, Linville

For a quick bite or a cup of Joe, this place is a cozy spot to visit. Located in a rustic looking shopping center the cafe has outdoor seating, tables inside and a few sofas to the rear of the storefront. The decor is rustic and comfy with local art for sale on the walls.

Order from the counter and grab a seat. The wait staff will bring your food to the table. If you are getting plain coffee, they will give you a cup and show you where the coffee station is, to the right of the entrance. All other fancier coffees are mixed behind the counter and brought to the table.

They carry drip coffee, latte, cappuccino, espresso, macchiato and iced coffee plus water, tea, soft drinks, smoothies and frappes. The sandwiches are pretty basic - Reuben, Cuban, Muffaletta, Turkey, Chicken Salad, Pimento Cheese and Veggie with specials available daily. They also serve breakfast, soups and salads. Prices range from $3.95 to 8.95.

If I don't get a coffee here I will always order a gelato. They give samples if you can't make up your mind from endless variety in the case just inside the door. Flavors like Bananas Foster, Vanilla Custard, Chocolate Mint and Double Fudge Mint tempt you to pass on dessert. The gelato is deliciously smooth, creamy and the flavors everything you would want them to be. The small cup is $2.95 and the large goes for $3.98. The small is plenty - they are not skimpy on the servings.

Hours are 7am - 6pm Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays. The hours will change with the seasons so call ahead for the times. 828.733.9333.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April's Full Pink Moon

Tonight is the full moon of April - a Pink Moon.

This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

(from Old Farmer's Almanac)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brevard and White Squirrels

Transylvania County is located just 30 miles southeast of Asheville and a world away. Small towns and waterfalls dot the county. Actually 15 different waterfalls can be found in this county. I have been to many but not all. I will go into detail about them in other posts.

Downtown Brevard is the crossroads between Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, Gorges State Park, and Bracken Mountain Nature Reserve. These are ideal for: hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and climbing.

For 72 years the Brevard has been home to the world-renowned Brevard Music Center. Downtown Brevard is also home to The Porter Center of Performing Arts (Brevard College) and the Transylvania Community Arts Council, which both bring diverse programs, concerts, and exhibits to this mountain community. The Heart of Brevard has teamed together with Transylvania Arts Promotion (TAP), in order to produce The Arts Directory of Transylvania County.

Brevard is also famous for its white squirrels. They are really white and have dark eyes so are not albino squirrels. Apparently in 1949, so the story goes, a carnival truck overturned in Madison Florida freeing several white squirrels. A pair was caught and given to a family member who lived in Brevard. One squirrel escaped soon after and the other was released to join his buddy. They began to multiply and thrive. Don't be surprised to see them playing in the trees on the campus of Brevard College or in backyards around town. Brevard is a sanctuary for the white squirrels and they are protected by a city ordinance.

Four annual street festivals capture this hometown feeling: White Squirrel Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, Halloweenfest, and Twilight Tour. Other special events include: Annual Squirrel Box Derby, Old Time Music Competition, Valentine Get-Away Weekend, and Main Street Alive. They’re just a part of why people visit City of Brevard, Land of Waterfalls, Transylvania County.

Main Street Ltd, Brevard

Located on East Main Street, the eclectic shop Main Street is a one-stop showcase of Brevard. They are next door to the Quotations Coffee Cafe in the Hollingsworth Building.

After our coffee and snack we browsed the aisles in this quaint shop featuring home accents, local wines and gourmet foods, gift baskets and care packages with local ingredients, jewelry, greeting cards and so much more.

The greeting card selection was excellent with many different lines. They also carry Vera Bradley handbags, Crabtree & Evelyn bath and body products, and adorable stuffed animals for the children on your gift list.

For more information call 828.884.4974 or visit

Elements Spa and Shop
The lower level of this building houses Element's day Spa offering facials, massage, body wraps, and heat and steam therapy. The Spa shop sells skin care products, aromatherapy oils and yoga wear. Classes in Yoga, Tai Chi, Nia and Pilates are offered year round with wellness workshops and seminars too.

To find our more about the classes and offerings call 828.884.2701 or visit

Quotations Coffee Cafe, Brevard

It was a cool breezy Sunday in spring when my husband and I decided to drive to Brevard and explore the downtown area. We had driven through the town a few times but never stopped. Brevard is located in Transylvania County, just 25 minutes for the Asheville Airport via US 280.

The drive was very relaxing, going by rolling farm land and all the flowering spring trees. We stopped at the Hollingsworth Building on East Main Street. Quotations is a great place to grab a bite to eat, a cup of coffee or tea and a delicious dessert. We had already eaten so settled for a White Chocolate/Raspberry Latte and a coffee with a lemon square and cookie. The place is whimsically decorated with framed quotations of famous and not so famous people. Unique greeting cards, food gift items and other small quotation themed merchandise were displayed around the cafe.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in this warm and inviting setting. The staff on hand was very very friendly and attentive. There is even a community room in the back for small meetings. Freshly ground coffee is avialable for sale.

It was a great way to get our bearings and relax before heading home. The main area of the building has plenty of brochures and local newspapers to pick up and browse throughout while eating here.

Quotations Coffee Cafe is located at 210 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712. For more info call 828-883-8966 or check out their web site
They are open Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day!

According to anthropologists and cultural hisorians, April Fool's Day hails back to festivals marking the Vernal Equinox, or Springtime.

Spring is the time of year when the weather becomes fickle, as if Nature is playing tricks on man, and festivals occurring during the Spring (such as May Day) traditionally mirrored this sense of whimsy and surprise. They often involved temporary inversions of the social order. Rules were suspended. Normal behavior no longer governed during the brief moment of transition as the old world died and the new cycle of seasons was born. Raucous partying, trickery, and the turning upside down of status expectations were all allowed. Slaves ruled their masters. Children played tricks on their parents.

Anthropologists note that Spring celebrations of misrule and mayhem, such as April Fool's Day, which would appear at first glance to undermine social values of order and stability, paradoxically actually help to reaffirm these values. The celebrations act as a safety valve, giving people a chance to vent their social antagonisms in a harmless way. In addition, they give people a chance to temporarily step outside of accepted rules of behavior. People can then choose either to voluntarily return to a state of order, thereby reaffirming society's values, or to remain in a state of anarchy. Inevitably, they choose order.



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