What was supposed to be a travel day turned out to be a day with friends instead and we ALMOST stayed another night!
After my post this morning, we said our good-byes with our hosts, and drove into town for brunch, where we were greeted by James and Michelle. A tasty smoked trout and goat cheese omelet and a strong cup of organic coffee was my choice at Over Easy Cafe. It was delectable! Everyone seemed to enjoy their food, and the company was engrossing, so we stayed together for a few more hours.
As predicted, we walked up to Bruisin’ Ales for some shopping, and then back down to Barley’s for a glass of Valdez, which turned out to be glasses of Pisgah India Pale Ale, Pisgah Valdez, Pisgah Red Devil and Foothills Sexual Chocolate (BTW- anyone wondering where this name comes from should check out this video) – shared, of course. Can you tell that we like the Pisgah just a little bit?
On our way into town I mentioned to D that we visited most every place we could over the course of our three Asheville jaunts (Catawba was a miss, but I did meet brewer Scott Pyatt on Thursday at Barley’s), and while we’ve had Green Man brews at the Tasting Room, we’ve never been to Jack of the Wood. In talking with James and Michelle, we were reminded that this is one of their favorite places to go, and it wasn’t hard talking them into escorting us there.
Our short stop ended up lasting us all afternoon and into the evening. The atmosphere at Jack of the Wood was so captivating. In addition to spending hours talking to our friends, unexpectedly being joined by Philip (to whom we said our good-byes on Saturday night at the party, and again on Sunday a Bruisin’ Ales) and listening to an Irish jam session (featuring the sqeezebox, tin whistle, bodhran, fiddle, mandolin and others), we just really liked the place a lot. The beer line-up includes all Green Man products (ESB, Pale Ale, IPA, Porter and Imperial Stout) and a nice list of guest taps. (I particularly liked the chalkboards on the ladies room wall, where we could scratch notes to each other, and the hidden “Dora the Explorer” figurine; the staff were also pleasant, friendly and attentive.)
Finally, around 7 PM or so (and reluctantly because the bagpipes had just joined the jam session), we headed out of town with a short stop at Earth Fare for some parting groceries and a vegan dinner of chickpea salad (imitation tuna salad) and a live green salad, along with some not-so-vegan spicy tuna and avocado sushi and a yogurt for the road.
So here we are outside Bristol, crashing for the night, and reflecting on how wonderful Asheville was. Yes, we stayed too late to reach our target of Horniblows Taproom in Raleigh, but today was much more fulfilling! Thanks, old and new Asheville friends (Melissa, John, Joey, John, Michelle, James, Julie, Jason, Philip, Chris, Trish, Mark, Terri, Jason…I’m forgetting names, which means I need some sleep) for making this a memorable trip!