Asheville Beercation (Part 5)

Admit it, you’re hooked 😉

Asheville Beercation Part 1

Asheville Beercation Part 2

Asheville Beercation Part 3

Asheville Beercation Part 4

*A sincere apology for the confusing End-Beginning retelling of Saturday afternoon in Part 4. Though it worked as a device to overcome writer’s block, I should have just edited it into normal order before publish. Oh well, blog and learn!

I’m pretty confident that my patient blog readers don’t want to hear about where I didn’t eat brunch on Sunday, so let’s jump right to the good stuff:

 Laughing Seed Café

            We ended up at Laughing Seed Café more by luck than design. I owe a debt of gratitude to the patrons of über-popular Mayfel’s and Early Girl Eatery. If not for 30-50 minute waits at both restaurants, I might have missed the best meal of the weekend.

Sooner Sunday: sample just about everything: creamy grits, housemade seitan sausage, organic tofu Florentine, sautéed spinach, rosemary potatoes, and guacamole, with vegan sausage gravy. All this for just $7!!!!!!
Sooner Sunday: sample just about everything: creamy grits, housemade seitan sausage, organic tofu Florentine, sautéed spinach, rosemary potatoes, and guacamole, with vegan sausage gravy. All this for just $7!!!!!! The spilled water is my fault.

You may notice the presence of vegan cilantro sour cream on the plate. Though not included in the Sooner Sunday (free w/ Brunch Burrito; $0.95 w/ my meal), it piqued my interest. To paraphrase Frank’s Red Hot: I want to put that $h!# on everything! Made with cashews, lime, ginger, and cilantro, it was the most intriguing things I have eaten in quite some time. Anyone want to come over and make it for me?

Our post-meal agenda started with a lovely stroll through the city center. We explored the historically renovated Grove Arcade, and congratulated a recently engaged couple that was taking wedding photos against the backdrop of the building’s façade. Next, a tour of the Woolworth Walk. The repurposed department store houses a privately owned art gallery showcasing collections from a variety of local artists. This was truly a “uniquely Asheville experience”, and a nice way to slowly stroll off a couple breakfast calories if I do say so myself.

The lunch counter at Woolworth Walk
The lunch counter at Woolworth Walk

Art in hand, we ambled over to Laughing Mask Candies. I’m more of a salt guy than a sugar guy, but Laughing Mask is unquestionably the go-to place to satisfy your sweet tooth in Asheville. We chatted with the owner, Anna, and learned that she and her husband had fashioned candy bins from plastic popcorn buckets. According to Anna, they have plans to make and sell their own candy in the very near future. Homemade candy paired with Cheerwine (Cheerwine on Wikipedia), sign me up!

The Gourmet Chip Company

After Laughing Mask Candies, we headed to The Gourmet Chip Company. We tried a couple of different varieties, shared some local Ohio “Gold’n Krisp Potato Chips” (EAT THESE CHIPS!) that I had brought w/ the owner, Travis, and had a lovely conversation about Asheville beer with other patrons. In addition to fresh cooked chips, the shop also offers a variety of pressed sandwiches; beer is available also.A couple of missing menu items aside (it happens, and the substitutions were fine), we had a good time. I would make it a regular lunch stop if I worked in downtown Asheville.

My favorite were The Buffalo: "Kettle Style Potato Chips with Mild Buffalo Sauce, Creamy Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Cracked Black Pepper". I suspect (but did not confirm) that the homemade buffalo sauce is a  mix of Sriracha and Red Hot. Need to make a test batch at home...
My favorite were The Buffalo: “Kettle Style Potato Chips with Mild Buffalo Sauce, Creamy Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Cracked Black Pepper.” I suspect (but did not confirm) that the homemade buffalo sauce is a mix of Sriracha and Red Hot. Need to make a test batch at home…

More than anything, however, stopping at The Gourmet Chip Company made me long for Boston’s finest frites shop: Saus.

I thought I had more Saus frites pix, but I think I always eat them before I can get a photo.
I thought I had more Saus frites pix, but I think I always eat them before I can get a photo.

Great people, great frites, GREEEEAT beer. Mmm…Saus.

Departing downtown, we made a beeline for our last Asheville brewery, Altamont Brewing Company. But it’s unfair to relegate it to the end of this post, so look for it in Part 6.

No beer drinking in this post at all. Boo, I know. So here’s an owl drinking beer (a nod to Everett, MA’s Night Shift Brewing):

Give a hoot, drink craft beer!
Give a hoot, drink craft beer!
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