Before we hit the town of Asheville, we need to share with you a place in Charlotte, not too far from UNC-Charlotte, a section of the Queen City that is sorely lacking in good eats. A few weeks back, Mr. foodie ran across this placed called Tulips Multi-Cuisine Restaurant. Basically it’s Indian and Indo-Chinese, but there are many cuisines on the menu. He raved about it and we decided it might be worth sharing with the foodies. It is, foodies! It is! We rolled in at 11:30 for lunch and there was not a single car in the parking lot. Not even on the side, where you’d think staff would park! But my worries that a server or cook might not be present were relieved when I saw the empty restaurant DID have staff. Whew!
Though we could’ve ordered from the menu, we decided to follow our server’s suggestion and get the buffet. So here are some shots of the buffet, which does change daily but with a few things that do remain as a staple. Everything we tasted on the buffet was terrific. Some things were quite spicy and some things were just barely spicy. I like it spicy so I was not at all concerned, but my sinuses WERE clear at the end of my lunch. Chicken Tikka Masala won Best on Plate. But it was all yummmmmy!
Decisions, decisions. Good news, too. They label the dishes and the server will explain the items to you if needed. It was needed for me :).
Moving on to beautiful Asheville. Hopefully, you read my post about Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder. Here’s a recap on the other foodful adventures we enjoyed during our brief stay.
Owned and chef’ed by award winning, Katie Button and her husband, Felix Meana, Curate is a pretty famous and VERY popular tapas bar. Chef Button’s recipes have been featured in foodie mags like Food & Wine and Southern Living, among others. And she’s been a chef for maybe 2 years, with a couple of years experience in front of that. Amazing! Their small plates are unparalleled. Their cocktails, gorgeous and creative. We waited 45 minutes for our table because they were totally booked for reservations. I’d say if you want to enjoy Curate, book well in advance, get there very early or wait it out. It’s so worth it. You will see why she deserves all those accolades. Next time, I hope to meet this rising star.
There are tons of tapas to choose from. You have a large selection of multiple categories: Charcuterie & Cheeses; Soups/Salads; Fried; Sandwiches; Sauteed; Grilled; Desserts…it all looked amazing. We ordered Pincho Moruno (lamb skewers in moorish spices), Gambas al Ajillo (sautéed shrimp and garlic–the #1 tapa in Asheville), and Berenjenas la Taberna (fried eggplant drizzled in Wild Mountain Bees honey and garnished with rosemary). Can’t say which was best because they were all superb.
My mouth is watering remembering Curate. Believe it or not, we were quite satisfied after the 3 small plates, so we moved on to listen to some music and see the scene in Asheville. That leads us to…
I have no pics. I don’t know what I was thinking because we even got a little meat and cheese platter a couple of hours after dinner. Definitely check 5 Walnut Wine Bar out for great bar appetizers and plenty of wine. It is a WINE bar but they do have beer. It is a happy, joyful place. And with beautiful, open windows to the street, it’s very inviting.
I could’ve been the mayor here because I walked into this shop 3 times in one day. An eco-friendly shop serving breakfast and lunch, snacks and pastries, they use very sustainable practices and items and are striving to be Asheville’s “greenest” restaurant. They even make their downtown deliveries by bicycle! I had a Red-eye coffee that morning with Carolina Epicurean, Laura Huff. The coffee is wonderful and the Chia Wildberry Lemonade I had later in the day was interesting and refreshing and not at all too sweet. After my coffee and visit, it was time to explore downtown Asheville for a while.
Recommended by Laura, I joined my hubby for a light lunch. I ordered the special, BBQ Grilled Shrimp with a Shaved Fennel and Arugula Salad and Mr. got the steak with pomme frites. Delicious. The restaurant was so lovely and quiet. Definitely check them out for lunch or dinner.
Mr. foodie had to hit the road again so I was on my own exploring for a few more hours. I stopped at another recommended coffee shop, World Coffee Cafe. I got an iced coffee and a pecan bar. This is a tiny little shop with a nice looking dessert case. The bar was enough to get me through until my lemonade later. Oh, and they have quite the cool SkyBar where you can order cocktails and drink in a magnificent view. And it’s a pretty cool elevator ride up too.
Now, you know we went to dinner at Seven Sows that night, so we will skip right to Brunch on Saturday at…
This is one that’s near and dear. Posana Cafe prides itself on “conscious, artful cuisine.” I’ve been dying to try them. Every item on the menu is completely gluten-free, 80 ingredients sourced from 40 different farms in the area. This was a lovely brunch that had an hour wait before their doors opened. We thought to make reservations. So glad we did. I love so much about Posana. The website is gorgeous. The food is beautiful. The creations are divine. And….it’s quite mind-boggling to think how they can make such scrumptious pancakes gluten-free. The special strawberry banana special we had that day was so light and fluffy. You didn’t miss any texture whatsoever. You got pancakes!
My smoked salmon benedict on focaccia was more than I could eat! And hit the spot. Again…awesome focaccia and you couldn’t tell a difference. By the way, there’s something about smoked salmon for breakfast. Mr. enjoyed his Posana omelet stuffed with ham, peppers, onions and cheese. Served with home fries. The meal might have been gluten-free. That doesn’t mean you didn’t get some calories. Were we full!
We got to meet the chef and owner, Peter Pollay while we were there. A real treat as he did so well in Competition Dining’s Fire on the Rock in Asheville last January. We were able to discuss his experience in Fire on the Rock for a bit. And I just love that he and his wife created this restaurant as a way to cater to those who have gluten sensitivity and give them a place that they can eat as safely as possible without cross contamination. They are open for dinner and weekend brunch.
I need to also say that Posana has been recently renovated and is absolutely gorgeous. The light is amazing.
Roberto, our server (that’s him in the way back) said that the bar is a swanky, happening place to be in the evening as they can turn the lights down, change the colors on the bar lights and create a mood like no other. Well, I’ll keep that in mind for next time!
Before we wrap up, I also need to mention Modesto Wood Fired Kitchen
Mr. foodie ate here and LOVED his meal. And what really impressed him was owner, Hector Diaz. Chef Diaz has traveled the world to teach food cultivation. He moved his family to Asheville for a better life and decided to open Salsa’s Mexican Caribbean Restaurant. The problem? No money, so the community banded together to help him open Salsa’s. And here he is, 20 years later with 4 restaurants in Asheville. (Modesto, Chorizo Latin Fare, Salsa, and the newest, Bomba). He owns a farm irrigated by the mountain springs, profit shares with his employees, supports over 100 families and says he wants to be a good steward for the community. A local hero in Asheville.
Those are all the places (plus one) on THIS trip to Asheville. There are impossible amount of restaurants to try there. There’s such a movement in Asheville to source local ingredients and I feel like they’ve really paved the way and setting a great example of farm to chef relationships for restaurants across the state. Many have award-winning chefs and accolades and I’m looking forward to trying more.
What are some of your places to eat in Asheville?