7 Great Places Locals Eat At in Asheville, NC

7 Great Places Locals Eat At in Asheville, NC

My favorite places to eat in my quirky hometown.
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Asheville is a quirky city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Asheville has been called the cesspool of sin, the gay capital of the south, beer city, hippie town, the city of liberals and so many other accurate titles. However, there is not a single name can encapsulate all that Asheville is.

I am lucky enough to call this artsy city my hometown. The city’s economy is centered around food, art and tourism, especially during the summer and fall. Asheville’s peculiar liberal culture draws hippies looking to join the weirdness and big-city folk looking to observe the hippies. The hiking trails attract nature enthusiasts that want to experience the old mountains secrets like hidden waterfalls and views for miles. Artists flock to the city’s up-and-coming River Arts District in the hopes of starting a studio in an old brick building along the train tracks. Micro-breweries are also becoming very popular, but unfortunately, I will not get to enjoy them for another year or so.

Recently, Asheville has been getting lot of publicity about its diversity, how beautiful it is and how accepting the town is. Of course the publicity is good for the city, and it makes me feel proud to be an Ashevillian, but it also makes Asheville lose some of its charm. Downtown is incredibly difficult to navigate because of all the pedestrians and traffic. The highways are overcrowded. There always seems to be construction being done on some major road or a new apartment building. When will the publicity overwhelm my quirky town to overcapacity?

Some things have stayed the same, and it makes it nice for me. The locally owned restaurants comfort me with eclectic dishes when I come home on breaks. Asheville’s food makes it stand out because the majority of the restaurants serve food made from local and fresh ingredients, and the prices are reasonable for the quality of food you get. Below, I’ll list a few of my favorites that I’m sure other locals enjoy as well.

Mela

Mela is my all time favorite restaurant in town. It is an Indian restaurant located downtown. Lots of tourists go there too, but locals enjoy this upbeat and spicy restaurant all the time. My favorite time to go to Mela is at lunch because they have a buffet option for $11, and if you pay cash, it's $10. The buffet options do not change much but that is nice for people like me who can go regularly and enjoy many different dishes for such a good price. I love to get the chicken marsala, white jasmine rice, naan and the tandoori chicken. I could live off that tandoori chicken for the rest of my life. At lunch it is really busy, but it is definitely worth the wait!

12 Bones

12 Bones is the notorious for its soulful sides and smokey meats. President Obama has visited this smokehouse twice, no big deal. The line always goes out the door and once you enter, you can smell the sweet smoke and hear the bustling chatter of the wait staff. I always get the same order - ribs with two different rubs, blueberry chipotle and brown sugar, and a side of “damn good” corn pudding and mac n’cheese (super healthy). The interior of the building is covered in bumper stickers and writing on the walls; it looks like a dive but the food is to die for.

Marco’s Pizzeria

I’m a bit bias towards Marco’s because I worked there while in high school. But that doesn't stop the fact that the pizza is delicious and their service is great. Being a part of the Marcos family made me appreciate those who work in the food industry more. Marcos is the type of place where you can walk inside, be genuinely greeted by the staff, and also see someone you know. It has such a homey atmosphere.Marcos pizzas are made on a rich crust that puffs up and browns nicely in the over. My favorite pizza that Marcos offers is the white pizza because it is creamy and full of garlic. I like to add broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes to mine. My favorite thing to get at Marcos are the hot wings. The wings are fried until golden and then doused in sauce made from hot sauce and honey. They are my favorite wings in town, and trust me, I have eaten a lot wings.

White Duck Taco Shop

White Duck makes homemade tacos on corn tortillas. My favorite tacos are the fish tacos made with tilapia, cabbage and spicy mayo, and the steak and cheese taco made with juicy steak, cheese and lettuce. My friends and family also like other tacos like the thai chicken taco, the black bean taco, and the bangkok shrimp taco. The tacos are cheap and delicious, the service is fast and it is a perfect spot to eat lunch during the summer or fall with its outdoor seating.

Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.

Asheville Pizza is one of my family’s go-to places when we want a quick meal and my mom wants a local beer. The wait staff are all laid back and friendly. Asheville Pizza is very diverse because they have a movie theater where they show movies for $3 and serve their homemade food as you watch. The interior of the building is odd because each table has a different movie theme on its surface, the walls are painted in murals and there are weird sculptures hanging on the ceiling. I don’t usually go for the pizza because I like their Tombstone Burger made with bacon, onion rings, and BBQ sauce or their beer-battered fish and hand-cut chips best.

Mamacitas

Mamacitas is a locally owned burrito place. The ingredients are always fresh. Mamacitas is like a better and more flavorful Chipotle. I always get a flank steak burrito on a whole wheat tortilla with all of my typical fixings. Mamacitas has a special deal called Taco Tuesdays and locals flock to the restaurant on that day every week, but going to Mamacitas any day of the is a great idea. The queso is also delicious.

Farm Burger

Farm Burger is a restaurant that embraces the locally-grown and fresh mentality. All of the meat and veggies come from local farms in WNC. The fries are hand-cut and homemade. Inside the restaurant there is a little bocce ball court where you can play with your friends. They have some yummy sweet tea and lemonade that just shouts southern tradition. You can order burgers that they have made up the recipe for or you can build your own burger. I usually build my own burger and put bleu cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, lettuce, pork belly and roasted garlic on top, but any way you build your burger will be a win.


Those are just a few of my favorite places to eat in my hometown. There are many more remarkable places to eat, but those are the ones that I consistently go to. If you live in Asheville or go to visit, definitely go and try one of these places!

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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A Saturday In The Life Of A Freshman

Welcome to Darty Season

epgainey
epgainey
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Have you ever had a more stereotypical freshman's Saturday than my friends Maddie, Lauren, Jocelyn, Meg, Barbara, and I? Keep reading to see a packed day in darty season from a freshman's point of view.

9:00 am

My alarm that I meant to set for the day before goes off. I begrudgingly roll over, and turn it off, falling back asleep.

10:00 am

I finally wake up, roll, or jump, out of my lofted bed, grab my laptop, and do a little studying for my exam on Monday -- there's no time for that later today, so I've gotta get some of it done then.

10:30 am

Shower. Pick an outfit. Brush teeth. Makeup. Pack a bag of extra clothes.

12:00 pm

I walked downstairs to the lobby to meet two of my friends who were gonna walk with me to Tutweiler Hall.

12:30 pm

My friends and I at the fundraising event

Elizabeth Gainey

We arrived at Tut, met our friends, then left to go to a philantropy event at Sig Tau sponsored by B+, an organization that assists the families of children diagnosed with cancer. Their burgers and fries were top notch.

2:30 pm

The Hackberrys, a band comprised of UA students, played the event. We left to go back to Tut after a few songs.

3:00 pm

We finally got back at Tut, changed clothes, listened to music, hung out.

3:45 pm

We *finally* left for Pike (sorry mom!). You know how long it takes five girls to get ready, so don't act so shocked.

4:10 pm

Myself, super escstatic about having to wait in a mob of people to get in

Elizabeth Gainey

Have you ever arrived to a frat when it's at capacity? Yeah, around 100 screaming girls were shoving to get into the darty. It was an experience like no other, but eventually, we made our way in. It may have been in groups of two, and we definitely lost a girl to the crowd (she's fine!), but we made it.

6:30 pm

After dancing on an elevated surface or two, walking in circles around their courtyard, watching an active climb into a basketball goal, and waiting in a way-too-long line for the restroom, we decided to go back to Tut.

6:45 pm

We definitely made a stop to grab a snack or two on our way back to Tut.

7:15 pm

After realizing that none of the parties at night were gonna start until around 10 pm, we decided to watch some random YouTube videos and Netflix to pass the time. There was also another stop for snacks at the infamous Julia's on the first floor of Tut.

9:30 pm

My third outfit change of the day. We decided to leave Tut for frat row for the third time that day, too. I wanna say my total steps for the day was around 17,000? It was a lot.

10:00 pm

Best view in the house (Myself on the left, Maddie on the right)

Elizabeth Gainey

We got to Sigma Pi as the party was just starting to build up. Their band room was filled within the hour, and they had a pretty good DJ. Although the active yelling at me and my friend to get off the stage was no fun.

11:00 pm

Have you ever faked out a frat boy with a soccer ball? Well, now I can say I have.

12:00 am

After someone pulled the fire alarm on Sigma Pi, we decided to walk back to Tut.

12:45 am

My two Ragecrest friends and I decided to take the bus back because, after the stretch to and from frat row three times, we had no more walking left in us.

1:00 am

Canes chicken tenders. Enough said. It's the way to end a night.

It was a very packed, but very fun and eventful day. We pretty much hit all the spring semester stereotypes: walking along and to frat row, going to a darty, going to a frat party, going to a philanthropy event, and more. As crazy as the day was, I highly recommend trying a day like this once because you won't forget it!

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epgainey

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