I LOVE the mountains. LOVE. We call the bridge that takes you on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 421 over the Watauga County line, “The Bridge to H’Appyness.” Mr. foodie’s stress level can be seen leaving his body as we go under it. He becomes so blissfully happy. I graduated from Appalachian State and a new event was created last year for my (not going to mention how many years) college reunion. My college girlfriends and I started an annual girls weekend. Basically all we do is sit on the deck of our rented mountain house and reminisce, laugh, relax, drink cocktails and plan our next meal. So here’s a little recap of our exploits. And by exploits I mean here’s a recap of all the places we dined :).
I got to Boone just in time for lunch. I looked around and found Black Cat on Depot Street. It looked popular and a burrito sounded about right. Plus they had a great selection of NC beers. I ordered the Jerk Chicken to go, went around the corner to eat it and noticed my order was wrong (I had TWO burritos instead of one and one was a spinach tortilla). Went back, they made it good and let me keep the the other two. So I had 3 burritos and luckily, my friend, April, arrived in time to share some of it with me. With a beer! Oh and those burritos were awesome.
Boone and Blowing Rock, NC are just so precious. And there’s no shortage of delicious restaurants. Why, it’s where Competition Dining Series got its start with the now legendary “Fire On The Rock” chefs challenge. I hope the students at ASU realize how good they have it up there because when I was in Boone, the pickins were slim in the culinary scene.
After the rest of us arrived and we got settled in our mountain house, we made plans to have dinner at Canyons, which has THE best view in the High Country. Be sure to check out Canyons for their great live music in the evenings. They are open for lunch, dinner and jazz brunch. It’s very casual. The food is typical bar fare and Canyons has great specials featuring locally sourced ingredients.
On Saturday we had lunch at Kojay’s Cafe in downtown Blowing Rock. Delicious, healthy and fresh. They also have fresh baked goods and pastries every day.
I can’t remember what everyone got but you get the idea of how fresh the wraps and salads are in these pics. And the chicken salad is delicious. The little cheddar biscuits are lovely. And incidentally, if you want to feel great about your complexion, go check yourself out in their ladies room. Very flattering light ;).
After a relaxing tubing ride down the New River (highly recommended), we went back to the house to unwind some more then it was off to one of my favorite restaurants on the Rock…Bistro Roca. You have to give them a try if you are up there. They NEVER disappoint. Dinner and Brunch are always amazing. And their libations are pretty fab too.
Service at Bistro Roca is always top notch, the place smells fantastic because of the wood-fired oven and the atmosphere is wonderful.
Finally on Sunday, we headed into Boone for a little change of pace and had brunch at this cool place called Char. We were there way before anyone else. But the music was pumping and we enjoyed our time on their spacious covered porch and the open air dining concept of the old warehouse location.
April and I ordered the farmer’s breakfast which featured eggs our way, bacon gravy, bacon, biscuits and fruit. My friend, Jacqui, ordered the Fried Green Tomato BLT and Kim ordered Shrimp & Grits and had sautéed spinach added. She says it was the best thing she had all weekend. And we ate pretty well so that’s saying something.
And guess what? The CHEF was chef’ing. Here’s Chef Lucas who came out to say hello.
Char is located on Howard Street among a string of hip cafes and boutiques in the old Warehouse area (those of you familiar with that area will know what I mean). I wanted to stay and try the tea shop but it wasn’t opening until later. Oh well, thankfully Boone is less than 2 hours away.
After that, it was time to say goodbye. So sad to say farewell to my girls and not at all pleased to leave Happy Appy. Coming home in the torrential storm didn’t make it any better.
Click on the links to find out more about these restaurants. And next time your are up there, give them a try. This post could go on forever with more recaps about the other great places to eat up there (namely, Gamekeeper and Vidalia). You’ll just have to wait until the next time I’m on the Rock. Which should be in about a month, so until then!
The band you saw at Char is Dr. Bacon — largely comprised of App State students. They toured the Sandhills this week and blew away several of the mainstay venues (Broad Street in Durham, the Cave in Chapel Hill, Second Wind in Carrboro). The food and pics look mouthwatering. I’ve experienced several, but your description is superior to what I could offer. Great blog of your travels and culinary encounters … not to mention describing the great reunion of college friends. Love your blog, by the way. Hope you don’t mind if I follow it from afar.
Thanks for the info! And thanks for reading!!