After visiting Nashville, I took a small detour to sneak in a visit to Asheville, NC. Asheville is a small “crunchy” mountain town with great food and a gorgeous arboretum. What is “crunchy,” you ask? It is basically epitomized by this poster:
Although this is predominately an “i-40 roadtrip,” we have now exited and are driving on the 29.
Do. North Carolina Arboretum is located 9 miles south of Asheville. Located on 434 acres, it is one pretty huge arboretum. Lots of trails and gardens to explore. Perfect mix of manicured and unmanicured. No admission, but $8 per vehicle (but free on the first Tuesday of the month). Hopefully the pictures better explain how beautiful this place is! Highly recommended.
North Carolina Arboretum
- Take the 26 E
- Exit 33 for Blue Ridge Hwy 191
- Left onto Hwy 191 (stay on for 2 miles)
- Look for brown sign that reads “Arboretum,” then turn right at light into Arboretum
Perfect biscuits with honey, butter, and black raspberry jam. Yup, that’s right – not blackberry, not regular ‘ol raspberry, but black raspberry. This right here is perfection. Could’ve eaten this all night. I actually bought a jar of the black raspberry jam to send home!
Shrimp & Goat Cheese Grits ($16) So creamy and salty and rich…I need more of this. The shrimp were cooked in a red pepper sauce, and I requested the addition of sauteed onions and spinach ($0.85 each). So, so tasty. Sung order a fried pork chop dish, which was surprisingly heavenly. I typically don’t like porkchop, and would usually prefer not to order something deep fried at a nicer restaurant. Came with gravy and sweet potato mash (mmm!)
Dessert. Came here based on strong yelp reviews, but didn’t fancy anything in particular. Maybe I ordered the wrong items? We got Aztec hot chocolate, chocolate dipped almond shortbread, and a bibby brownie. All were fine, but nothing special, especially at those prices! $3.50 for a brownie? Geez.