Thursday, August 16, 2012

Caviar and Champagne (JK! Burgers and Beers)

The last few days I spent in Asheville, North Carolina with Tim and his mother. It was a quick two night trip, but it was wonderful to get a chance to explore a new place that I'd never been before. Plus, it's less then four hours from home and makes for a perfect little weekend getaway. Or, um...Sunday-Tuesday getaway. Details.

Anyway, the thing I was most excited about was the food. We really do live in the middle of nowhere out here in Georgia, and the nearest restaurants are more often than not chains or fast food. Of particular interest to me was a restaurant called Posano - a completely gluten-free restaurant. It was so wonderful to eat out and not have to be that annoying person who asks what ingredients are in every sauce and then just has the damn plain salad anyway. I still had to steer clear of soy, but I ended up with an incredible burger and fries:

Sure, the bun was kind of sweet and clearly not made from wheat, but the burger patty itself was flavorsome and juicy. The fries were topped with Parmesan cheese and even the ketchup was clearly homemade and had a little acidic kick from the vinegar. Naturally, I used this opportunity to drink a beer. No, not an actual beer, but this came in a bottle and had bubbles so we can pretend that this sorghum-based alcoholic beverage was beer. It got me a little buzzed, so I'm not complaining.

Honestly, the dining in Asheville was fantastic. It seemed to me that the majority of restaurants in the downtown area were independent establishments, and there was nary a golden arches in sight. I guess the health-conscious locals are pretty picky about their food too, because most menus were clear about gluten-free or soy-free foods, and there were a number of vegan and vegetarian options.

Once place we all really liked was the Early Girl Eatery. Maybe "liked" is an understatement, because we went there twice in a 48 hour trip.The first time I got a big salad, but asked them to top it with their famous grit croutons - amazing. It's basically just cornmeal that they have clearly fried multiple times in some crack-like oil substance, because they are crispy and fatty and delicious.

I guess I had met my limit of locally grown, organic healthy food for a while, because yesterday on the ride home I stopped for what I can only imagine is roughly a gallon of sweet iced tea, southern style, from Dunkin Donuts.  In my defense, all sizes are 99 cents. It would be fiscally irresponsible for me to choose a small size and throw money away, diabetes be damned.

I also managed to convince my fellow guests at the hotel in Asheville that I was a complete freak by - wait for it- actually working out in the fitness room. There was a glass door separating it from the lobby, so I got my fair share of stares and general disbelief from people walking by. Monday was a three mile easy run and Tuesday a slightly faster 7 miles. I also burned calories by walking around the city constantly for two days, opening and closing the same map 84 times a minute because I don't understand directions and asking "is this gluten free?" at 5 restaurants each day.

Do you ever take weekend trips somewhere new?
Not often, but we have whenever we have people staying with us. Last summer we went to Savannah with Tim's mom and New Orleans with a friend, and this year we went to Florida to see my dad and brother and then this trip to Asheville. I would say it's a lot of work driving for such a short trip, but Tim does all the driving anyway.

Are you good with maps/directions?
No. Just no. Sometimes I use the car GPS when traveling the same route I take all the time, just to be sure. I also have to do that thing where I face the exact same direction as the map in order to really understand my location. (Anyone remember that scene in Friends when Joey is in London and has to "get in the map"? That's me, spot on.)


  1. "We went away and the highlights involved food" pretty much describes how I like to travel. I love to see new places and do fun things, but I really love good food in a new place...

  2. I am absolutely terrible at directions. I can't read a map to save my life and if I have to guess which way to turn it is inevitable that I will always pick the wrong way. My husband, on the other hand, is incredible at just 'knowing' where to go. And I heavily rely on GPS to take me places, even places that I know how to get to. If I didn't have GPS I'd be a hot mess.

  3. Eric almost busted a major organ yesterday laughing at me while I was driving to Lily's house (where I've been approximately 987 times) because I insisted I'd missed the exit and had to turn around. I hadn't. I just don't know where crap is.

    We try to take a trip somewhere new/random/driveable every year for our anniversary. So fun! It's also a good way to choose race locations.

  4. I live in asheville! I also love the gluten free options. Next time you are here, you should go to tupelo honey cafe! Glad you enjoyed your trip :)

  5. Our local gas station has 44oz drinks on sale for $1, so a 32oz drink costs more than a 44. I agree with you, that would be crazy talk to spend more for less Diet Mountain Dew. Man, that stuff is amazing.

    And that hamburger? Dang Gina. Sign me up.

  6. we just left asheville and we ate at posana. How good are those fries? dang! so good!

  7. I am a directional GENIUS. But don't ask my husband for corroboration on that.

    I want to know more about this sorghum beer and these grit croutons. Did the beer taste good?

  8. I have total gluten free jealousy.. what an awesome trip!
    I take wayyy too many weekend trips and then eventually get so exhausted of them that I become a hermit for awhile ..
    I love when Joey tells stories in that episode and says " I'm in my map.."

  9. That's great you were able to enjoy a burger, friends, and beer again! I'm a big fan of short little road trips and I prefer to do most of the driving because Allan makes me nervous with his driving at times.

  10. haha that's probably why not a lot of people use the fitness center---the glass door! Some people are self conscious. But not me. Gotta get a work-out in!

    I am terrible with maps/gps. Do not count on me!

  11. I always argue with the GPS. It doesn't know me, it doesn't know my struggles. Fucking GPS.

  12. I can't wait for a weekend trip or any kind of trip!! GPS and I have a love/hate relationship!

  13. I love weekend road trips - we go as often as my boyfriend can get weekends off. And we'll often drive way further than really seems justifiable (6+ hours for a two day trip). I guess that means there's nothing interesting where I live!

  14. That restaurant sounds incredible! I think I'd still be asking, "is this gluten free" and "no croutons" out of habit!

    Love weekend trips, but finding I can only do so many a month. I need to be home at least one or two weekends a month!

    I worked out at a hotel gym in May. I asked if there were any fans to be used (no). I asked if there was any way to turn the temp down from 80 to something in the 60 (practical for workout) range and he said no, but moved it to 70.

    I thought it was QUITE odd that the video for the night desk/early am desk was facing the guests. So. . . anyone who walked up to the desk for assistance saw me working out in the gym. Not quite the same thing as a glass wall, but similarly odd!

  15. You get stares when working out in a hotel fitness room, too? Then it's not just me....*phew*

  16. I LOVED asheville the one time i visited and would love to go back. and i’m a huge fan of weekend getaways. i try to leave atlanta as often as possible. have you tried mellow mushrooms gluten free pizza yet? my gps, also known as garmina, gets me everywhere.

  17. the food is definitely one of the biggest perks of living in asheville, so many amazing, unique places to try!