I was honored to be invited with other food bloggers to attend a Sneak Peek of Hendersonville Restaurant Week. Meals and accommodations were provided gratis. All opinions are my own.
I just got back from a quick little trip to Hendersonville, NC to catch a sneak peek of the upcoming Hendersonville Restaurant Week which is happening March 15-24. I’m telling you about it now because it’ll give you plenty of time to plan. And let me tell you, you’re gonna want to take a little jaunt to the mountains of North Carolina to check out this foodie town and get you some delicious eats.
I had heard that Hendersonville had a happening food scene, while enjoying being a touch “away” from the tourist vibe in nearby Asheville (about 20 minutes away). It was my first time and I immediately fell in love with its charming downtown as well as the neighboring village of Flat Rock. A half dozen or so food bloggers from all over the state and South Carolina were invited by my friend, Laura Huff the Carolina Epicurean, to taste what is to come for their first ever restaurant week. We tried eight restaurants in 2 1/2 days …it’s a tough life, foodies. We call it R & D and I haven’t quite recovered from so many tastes of foods. Plus I got spoiled a little, I ain’t gonna lie.
The 10-day event encourages locals and visitors to explore restaurants via prix fixe multi-course menus. You’ll find all varieties of restaurants participating, from taverns to fine dining and even food trucks. Lunch menus range from $10-15 and dinner menus from $25-35 (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). And if you want to turn your foodie adventure into a bonafide getaway, there are lodging partners that are offering special rates and packages, such as buying a two night stay, get a third for free. Reservations are recommended as this inaugural event is generating quite the buzz. Please be sure to visit the Hendersonville Restaurant Week website for the latest menu updates. Below is just a smidge of what you’ll taste and see during HRW. We just glazed the surface baby. And we ate a ton!
Flat Rock Wood Room 1501 Greenville Hwy, Hendersonville
This cute BBQ restaurant meets pizza joint draws you in the moment you get our of your car. The smell of the smoke and the casual ambiance invite you to just hang for a while. Be sure to get some stock for your pantry with Jamie Guay’s Championship rubs and sauces. You’ll have trouble deciding. There’s a lot to choose on the menu and we tried some tasty bites, but I really loved those wings and you must try the cornbread. It rocks.
Old Orchard Tavern, 201 Sugarloaf Rd, Hendersonville
Located in the Cascades Mountain Resort, this little restaurant is not your typical hotel restaurant. Very chef-driven with locally-sourced ingredients, I look forward to dining here again. The hotel is quaint and you can enjoy some family time in the indoor pool with a slide that kids of all ages would love. As for the food? Delicious is all I can tell you. Highly recommend any of the dishes. I also loved this beer-brined game hen, which didn’t make the cut. So just be sure to check the website for any menu changes.
Brooks Tavern, 142 3rd Ave W, Hendersonville
If tavern fare is more you speed, you’ll love this cute little happening bar-meets-restaurant for drinks and specials and pub food. It’s just so fun and pretty too. Don’t miss the jar of candied bacon and if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll enjoy the fried (yes, fried) cheesecake. Think cheesecake made like an egg roll served with a side of preserves. Big enough to share.
Postero, 401 N Main St, Hendersonville
You. Guys. Postero is gorgeous and Postero put so much food in front of us that we ate ourselves into a tizzy. And Postero has great lighting for food photography and I felt very comfortable there with my fellow food bloggers just taking snaps. I’m sure people were aghast but we didn’t care because we were with our people. There were several highlights but I have to say that the whipped goat cheese mousse with house-made waffle fries kept me going back for more. As did the salmon tartare. As did the polenta fries. And the banana ice box pie. I’ll stop now.
Season’s at Highland Lake, 86 Lily Pad Ln, Flat Rock
A great vacation spot whether you’re vacationing solo, as a twosome or as a family. Highland Lake enjoys hosting receptions, weddings, parties and business luncheons. Quite too many tastes that we tried to list here. We had a table full of plates and we passed and tasted in a flurry. What you see here may change and here are some of my faves.
Hannah Flanagan’s, 300 N Main St, Hendersonville
A traditional, no frills, super casual Irish pub. Their claim to fame is the Shepherd’s Pie Eggroll. Dipped in a little brown gravy, it’s a super tasty crispy on the outside soul-soothing favorite.
Never Blue, 119 S Main St, Hendersonville
Ya’ll. My bucket list spot. I’ve been trying to get to Never Blue for a few years now since hearing the praises of superstar Chef Jesse Roque. She’s so hip and gorgeous and super sweet. And heck yeah, can she cook. Tried a lot here too. My favorites were the Gypsy Cheese (think a tex-mex style pimento cheese, but with jalapenos) topped with Cowboy Candy (think candied jalapenos…and yum). The gnocchi was also mmmm…mmmm good. Be prepared to get FED at Never Blue. The portions at dinner are no joke, but Jesse says she wants you full and happy and you will be!
The Dugout Taproom & Grill, 430 N Main St, Hendersonville
This is the only spot I didn’t get to try since I had to get back to the kiddos, but from the photos I saw, you might want to get you some fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese because, cheesy goodness.
Where I stayed:
1898 Wavery Inn
1898 Waverly Inn is the oldest surviving inn in Hendersonville. This inn used to be a boarding house before being turned into a charming bed and breakfast. Mike and Tracey made us feel so welcome. Breakfasts were delicious and not just for guests. You’re welcome to just come in the morning to eat. It’s very convenient and just a block from downtown. Be sure to enjoy their social hour and if the weather is warm, you’ll love taking a seat in a rocking chair a swing on the charming front porch.
If there’s time between eats, don’t miss…
Appalachian Pinball Museum, 538 N Main St, Hendersonville
Pinball machines, Pac-Man, Tetris, Frogger. All in a historic theater. It will take you back for sure.
Also try not to miss:
The Poe House
Named in honor of author Edgar Allan Poe, The Poe House is located in historic downtown Hendersonville. Coming off somewhere between English Pub and trendy wine bar. The Poe House is a hangout for locals and visitors alike. A cozy place to enjoy live music, a craft cocktail, beer from their ever changing draft list, or a flight of hand selected wines.
What I loved about Hendersonville is that the downtown is very walkable with wide streets and ample parking. And the nearby town of Flat Rock has cute little shops and eateries, a wonderful park, Flat Rock Playhouse and the Carl Sandburg home.
A portion of Restaurant Week’s proceeds will benefit Dandelion, a job-training cafe in downtown Hendersonville for Safelight, a nonprofit that assists victims of domestic violence.
Check out the restaurant week menus here. For more information about Hendersonville, click here.
Happy eating and traveling foodies. Let me know where you go and what you loved. Tag us while you’re there on FB or Insta, we love seeing you on your adventures!
For Lodging Specials: http://hendersonvillerw.com/lodging-partners/