Travel Notes: Asheville, NC (Part 2)

Day 4: Eat … Shop … Eat

Early Girl Eatery gave me the farm-to-table southern breakfast experience that I was looking for. The place and presentation were down-to-earth and the food was delicious! I went for the Early Girl Benny which is grit cakes topped with tomato, spinach, poached eggs, tomato gravy and avocado with either toast or a homemade biscuit (I chose the latter). I found a new favorite hot sauce as well – Fire From The Mountain “Smoked Habanero”- a four out of five chili rating and it sure was fiery!

I’m really not sure how it happened but before I knew it (within 30 minutes of finishing breakfast) we were having ice cream and mint tea at French Broad Chocolate Lounge! I suppose that we were trying to take in as much as this foodie town has to offer. I chose Thai – a ginger, lemongrass, lime, and coconut milk concoction. Adjacent to the lounge is the store with walls lined with artisan chocolate bars in pretty packaging.

We HAD to walk off our hearty breakfast and high calorie indulgence and the good thing was that we were in the heart of downtown Asheville with plenty of stores to browse and shop including the Grove Arcade which is a few blocks away. The weekend weather was also tremendously pleasant with temperature in the 80’s, little humidity, and plenty of sunshine.

With full bellies and tired feet, it was time to head back to our hotel – the Omni Grove Park Inn. This historic resort hotel alone is worth a visit to Asheville. Built from granite boulders from Sunset Mountain, the Grove Park Inn opened in 1913 and have hosted many famous guests such as author F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harry Houdini, George Gershwin, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford and ten US presidents including Barack Obama. It still has rockers and bedroom furnitures made in 1931 by the White Furniture Company in the Arts & Crafts style.

We had our last dinner in Asheville at the hotel’s Sunset Terrace that offers an expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and downtown Asheville. The service was first rate and so was our meal of roasted beets, shellfish tower on ice, Bone-In Porterhouse steak, sides of butter roasted asparagus and caramelized mushrooms, and warm biscuit served with butter and honey.

To my husband for our Asheville adventure ….

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