As I mentioned in my last post, we spent a quick weekend in Asheville, NC to celebrate my birthday. We drove up Saturday morning straight into West Asheville where I'd read about a bunch of cool murals around town. We walked around a few blocks to take some photos of some pretty amazing artwork! We didn't have a place in mind for lunch so we decided just to stop in somewhere we passed by. We settled on Universal Joint, a cute bar on a corner lot with patio seating and an American / Tex-Mex menu. I was trying to be healthy so I ordered a shrimp and arugula salad. It was a little underwhelming but Alex's BLT with pimento cheese looked incredible! I'd give it another try and order something more substantial just because the converted cottage-style service station is just too cute to pass up.
The next stop on our trip was Vortex Doughnuts in downtown Asheville. I'm not usually a huge doughnut fan but when I stumbled across Vortex on Yelp, I knew we had to stop in for a couple of cake doughnuts. I ordered the rotating tap doughnut, prepared daily with a different local brew, and Alex had the matcha mocha doughnut. Both were delicious! We washed everything down with a nitro cold brew made with 1000 Faces Coffee and a local root beer. After finishing up our snack, Alex hung around in an ENO hammock in the courtyard (I was trying to be ladylike so I refrained from getting in while wearing a dress).
It's impossible not to think about beer when I think of Asheville and I knew Alex would want to try some different local craft beer after the disappointment of Wicked Weed's sellout. While I was doing a little research before our trip, I found that Burial Beer Co. had the most epic mural of Sloth from the Goonies and Tom Selleck. I was sold. I officially made it my mission to get a photo with the duo for my birthday. Burial's space is relatively small but they do have two bars-- one indoor and one outdoor. We grabbed a table outside underneath the covered patio to try to stay cool and out of the sun as much as possible. I tried the Deep in the Orbit Sour Pale Ale. It was really light and tasty with the fruitiness of mango and passionfruit.
We drove to our hotel to check in and drop our bags and decided to rest for a little while and watch part of a movie. After freshening up, we headed back downtown to do a little research at some local outdoor stores. Our final stop for the night was Bartaco Biltmore for dinner. I was blown away by the decor! The restaurant seemed to have "warm" and "cold" sides, with surfing inspired art on one half and snowy mountaineering photos on the other. The design of the space transported us to another location and definitely left me wanting to travel somewhere more tropical! We started with chips, guacamole, and salsa verde and shared a couple of tacos and street corn between us. We didn't want to skip out on dessert so we ordered gelato cones.
Sometimes we try to fit so much into a weekend that it is more exhausting than restful so we decided to head back to our hotel for the night and watch a movie in bed before getting up early to go to the Biltmore! There's something to be said about taking the time to relax during a weekend away and to not put too much pressure into trying to fit it all in!
Have you been to Asheville before? What's your favorite thing to do there?