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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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