Asheville, NC: An Anniversary Trip

Way back in the fall Hubs & I went to Asheville, NC. It's a favorite destination of ours, as it's where we went on our baby-moon too.

Only problem? It's always raining when we go! We just have the worst luck. However, there's still lots of fun stuff to do. and drink. And hike. At least, that's what we did.

We rolled in around lunch time, and dropped our bags off at our AirBnb. Then we hit one of the places that was on every must-visit list in Asheville- the White Duck Taco Shop. We visited the R.A.D. location.

We got the salsa sampler/trio- all of them were good, but I have no idea what they were called. Would recommend, though. For tacos, Hubs got the Jerk chicken and Korean bbq with kimchi; I had the Bangkok shrimp taco, and a Cajun shrimp and grits taco. I saw one review/complaint that these aren't "authentic Mexican tacos." Um, no. And that's okay IMO, because they weren't advertised as such. The Cajun was by far our favorite, and then I'd probably say the Jerk chicken. The kimchi wasn't really our jam, but some salsa from the sampler made it fine. I'd definitely go back and try more. 

We ended up downtown and visited the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. This place seemed like my dream...but it didn't quite live up to my expectation. It was a bit overcrowded, which isn't the fault of the management or set up, but I felt rushed. It wasn't really possible to just browse the books, and also there wasn't a super apparent order of the books. Plus it was mostly used books that were going for 20+$. Sorry guys, I'm not a collector. I'm still in the bargain hunting stage. Just a little crowded and pretentious...but GORGEOUS. 

And it's basically illegal to go to Asheville without visiting some breweries, so we started fairly soon. Our first stop was Green Man Brewery. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what we got. I got some kind of cider, because truth be told...I'm not a huge beer fan. So I tend to stick with choices like ciders, ginger beers, or sours. Believe they had tours but we just didn't time it quite right, or decided to enjoy our drinks instead. We sat on the outside area upstairs, and thankfully they had good heaters so it was enjoyable even with the cool, almost-raining weather. 

Next we visited the Wicked Weed Funkatorium. This is Wicked Weed's location dedicated to sour and funky beers. Guys, it was LOVE FOR A BREWERY! Soooo good. Apparently they also have a menu but I was so hungry that I just grabbed our waitress and said "Hey can we get those chips that everyone else has? Oh they come with crab dip? Great!" And it was as delicious as the beer. So 100% would totally go back, I could spend all day there. 

Next we visited Bahrimi Brewing Company. It was probably my least favorite, but it really wasn't bad. Just crowded and weird seating arrangements. Also they didn't have their own cider so the only option was the one I had already had at Green Man's. I opted for a Jack & Coke instead but after drinking beer all day it was way too strong for my empty stomach (guys we walked a lot and the chips and crab dip from the Funkatorium wore off quickly, OK?). The food was really good- like several places in Asheville, their menu changes to use local ingredients depending on what is available in season so I can't remember exactly what we got, but I remember both of us being happy with it. 

For breakfast the next morning we hit up another place that was on all the must-see lists, the Biscuit Head. It has a jelly bar, guys. I got the Cajun Benedict. wasn't as amazing as I wanted. But, it was good and it lasted me over a 8 mile hike so no complaints. And if I was trying to save my biscuit to taste all the different jellies, it probably would have been better. My coffee was also lackluster, I think it was the Carmoolita maybe? Just not as Carmel-y as I expected. But hubs got the Maple Bacon Latte and it was so damn good. The jelly bar was also amazing and I should have just ordered a few extra biscuits to really take advantage of it- and let me tell you, those biscuits are HUGE. We started out with bananas foster, sour cherry, and sweet potato chai jellies. But we went back for more and I can't remember- but one was something like peach and thyme? Something with an herb in that that I never expected but was so refreshing. I would go there every weekend- although we did have a 30-45 minute wait so be prepared. But totally worth it. Some things were out of this world and others were fine, but nothing was bad. 

Fully fuled up from our big breakfast, we headed to Pisgah National Forest. We decided to hike the Looking Glass Falls loop because it had a waterfall. However...we started on the opposite side and Hubs had no faith in me at all and really thought we were going the wrong way for like 3 hours. It was finally sunny and we got quite warm. Even though the leaves had already fallen off the trees, it was beautiful and we had a great hike. We even saved a family who got lost- towards the end of the hike a blonde girl, maybe early 20s, literally popped out of the woods asking if we knew how to get to the parking lot. Her group had apparently gotten lost and she sat on the ground crying for 20 minutes, because it was getting close to sunset and she thought she was going to be stuck there all night. Her dad did not seem as concerned- but the fact that a group with 2 ex-Marines ended up following a former soldier out of the woods Hubs chuckle. Ah, sibling rivalry. Overall it was a great hike, and we did eventually find the waterfall...although it was anti-climatic. We hit up two others on the way out though, that were much closer to the paths and absolutely breathtaking.

After this we went back to our AirBnb to shower before dinner. Can we take a moment and gush about AirBnb? This is our second time using it in the Asheville area and I love it. Our place was super cute, a little basement area, and had everything we could need. It was minutes from downtown and the Blue Ridge Parkway, so perfectly situated. Best part? For 2 nights we paid around 175$ in the area can cost 200-200$ a NIGHT. Swoon.

We then went to the Bavarian Restaurant & Biergarten because my hubby loves German food. TBH...I do not. Just not my preferred cuisine. We were wary because some reviews mentioned that they ran out of food and sometimes the wait was long. Both of which turned out to be true, even though it's a little hole-in-the-wall. They were out of schnitzels by the time we arrived. So we both got bratwurst. The German potato salad wasn't the best I ever had, but Hubs liked it. He actually loved everything, for me it was "meh." But be expected with me & German food. And the pattern continued for dessert. Sadly, my black forest sundae was lackluster- which was a disappointment because Black Forest anything is basically my favorite on earth. However, Hub's apple strudel was friggin' delicious. Plus the beer was great. Hubs walked out looking like the happiest man on earth, so ya know. It was worth it. 

I am hoping to go back this summer and take Babycakes. I have great memories of the Blue Ridge Mountain area in general from childhood; I would go on vacation there every year with my maternal grandparents, and have paternal family members up there also. Can't wait to build memories with my little one there too!

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