Of course the last full day in town was the only day when rain wasn’t in the forecast at all. There were ended up being plenty of clear mornings, but we saved hiking for the least-rain-chance day, just because. We got up fairly early and drove back to Craggy Gardens. We decided that since neither of us had been hiking in YEARS that we’d like a short hike with awesome views. Craggy Pinnacle was only a mile and a half out and back with 360 degree views at the top- which had an elevation of almost 5900 feet!
Shortly after we started the hike, I was sucking some serious wind. I was fairly dismayed that 4 days of food and bev with minimal working out had atrophied my fitness so much… and then the lady reminded me that we were OVER a mile UP. I’m sure the all the eating and drinking didn’t help, but I felt a little bit better about my huffing and puffing.
It was surprisingly chilly up there. Well, I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Glad I packed a jacket!
The cloud coverage was pretty thick on one side of the 360 degree view, so we probably only got about 240 degrees. But that was ok, it was still incredible. It was awesome to be up IN the clouds.
After our hike, we felt that brunch was in order and we went to one of the recommended West AVL spots, King Daddy. Because what’s better than chicken and waffles after a hike? I had a bloody mary and the lady had an Asheville-made orange creamsicle soda. I decided on the buttermilk waffle with fried chicken with the habanero sweet potato sauce on the side (I was too afraid to order it all slathered in it).
The waffle was waffly, and the chicken was PERFECT. Crispy, juicy, tender. I was glad I had ordered the sauce on the side. It had quite the kick, but it was also delicious. I almost always add hot sauce to my chicken to balance out the sweetness of chicken and waffles- so this sauce was perfect for me.
The lady also had the buttermilk waffle, but she had the Korean chicken.
The Korean chicken was delicious. It was a perfect complement to the waffle. It’s not something either of us would have thought of to put with waffles, but pretty brilliant.
So, one thing I loved most about Asheville is the abundance of restaurants that serve breakfast food all day. It makes brunch possible any day of the week- which is something I find myself craving when wandering the streets of Georgetown for lunch on a regular basis. I need DC to get (more) on board with this.
After we stuffed ourselves full of chicken and waffles, we had to take care of picking up a couple of souvenirs for family and friends. We wandered around the couple of blocks downtown that we hadn’t yet made it to. It solidified that Asheville is just a cool place. And that there was definitely some stuff that we missed and that we have to return.
We decided to retire to the goats for a bit to pack up our stuff and relax until it was time for dinner/ our evening plans.
While we were at Lex 18, old friend and her person told us about Asheville Distilling Company, they make Troy and Sons whiskey and moonshine, and how amazing the space was and how it was right next to Highland Brewing Company. Troy and Sons is only open on Friday and Saturday, so we waited to visit both places on Friday.
First impression was that the space was HUGE. The tasting room at Highland was the size of a warehouse. A little dark, pretty nice! We started with a flight there.
I really enjoyed all the beer, but my favorite was definitely the St. Terese’s Pale Ale. I’ll definitely be picking up a 6-pack of that next time I see it. If I can find it here!
Then, just after Troy and Sons opened, we headed over for a tour and tasting. That space was also nice. Very bright and warm. Small tasting room. Lots of reclaimed wood accents. We had a short tour of the space and then a tasting. Everything we had was SO smooth. I usually am not a big whiskey fan, or even a big liquor-tasting fan, but the white spirit, whiskey, and blonde whiskey were all so smooth I could sip them. I have to get a bottle of that blonde whiskey, if I can find it anywhere. They weren’t allowed to sell on-site and we weren’t able to get to an NC liquor store before we left.
We were going to head back downtown for dinner, but noticed some food trucks behind the building and decided to check that out first. We figured that would be easier than trying to find a parking spot and get into a restaurant downtown. So, we decided on Smashbox food truck. The coolest part was the meadow behind the building. It was a huge field area with picnic tables and tents, a stage, and even a bar pouring Highland beer. We pulled our picnic blanket out of the trunk, laid it out in the meadow, and had a picnic food truck dinner. It was perfect. And the food was really, really incredible. I had the steak box and the lady had chicken box. So, meat in beans and rice with a slaw, tortilla chip, and fried plantains. The slaw had green tomato thinly sliced in it. Why have I never thought of that?!
After we ate, we did eventually head downtown to Top of the Monk. We wanted to be able to say goodbye to them and polish off a couple more of their fantastic drinks.
We were rewarded for our return visit with a rainbow visible from their roof deck.
We also wanted to make one more stop at French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Where I got vanilla cake and the lady got a couple of truffles. A perfectly sweet ending!
We knew we wanted to fit in ONE LAST stop at a recommended spot before we left town on Saturday morning, so we headed over to W AVL to Biscuit Head to pick up breakfast before we hit the road. Biscuits for breakfast just seemed like the most perfect end to our southern vacation. I had the Fried Green Tomato biscuit, which came like eggs benedict but on a biscuit, also topped with salsa. It was huge and amazing. I do wish I had gotten something that let the biscuit shine more, but how could I complain about this?
The lady had the country ham biscuit. Which also came with fried green tomato, egg, and red eye gravy. Because the south. It was all the fuel we needed until like 3pm that day.
We cleaned ourselves up and packed into the car, said goodbye to the city and hit the road. It was a wonderful week of food and drinks. Scenery, mountains, nature. Chatting with strangers and seeing old friends. So, when do I get to go back?