Asheville; the beer and barbecue version

img_7001After hiking up Black Balsam and climbing the equivalent of 75 floors (yes, we are fitbit geeks), we were thirsty and hungry.  Luckily, Asheville has an abundance of breweries and barbeque restaurants.  We left the car at the guest house where we were staying and walked a few blocks over to Catawba Brewing Company and Buxton Hall Barbeque.  Honestly though, I have not developed much of a taste for beer and did not indulge in any of the brews on tap.  Catawba Brewing Company is located in a large open space with plenty of seating options to match the number of brews available on tap.

img_7002Beer Kegs are all over the space.  These were located near the entrance and under the chalkboard that announces upcoming events and releases.

img_7006The back wall of the building is lined with windows, the seating area is bright and open racks of kegs line the walls.

img_7007When I mentioned the large amounts of brews available on tap, I really wasn’t exaggerating.

img_7010Located right next door to Catawba Brewing is Buxton Hall Barbeque.  They had me at pie…This pie case immediately caught my eye, and those are real pies, not just for show!

img_7011Like the brewery, the space is large and open and so is the kitchen.

img_7021We were seated near the bar.  The restaurant was packed and it was a Wednesday evening, after Labor Day.  Like many of the restaurants around town, the sources for the ingredients used in the kitchen are on the menu.  Since we were starving, we ordered full plates!  Fried chicken is a weakness of mine and I will order it on occasion but when I read that this version was made with smoked chicken, I had to order the quarter dark plate.  Alix decided to indulge in barbeque and neither of us was disappointed!  It is easy to see why Bon Appetit and Southern Living magazines called Buxton Hall Barbeque one of the best new restaurants for 2016.  Be sure to save room for pie, we had a slice of the Banana Pudding Pie and it was worth every calorie; creamy custard, homemade cookies and caramelized marshmallow topping, the perfect end to a wonderful day.

img_7024An open kitchen means that everyone can watch you work.  Seeing this cook prepping away brought back many memories of long evenings spent working the line and prepping for the next day.  Back then I worked in the pantry and spent many hours picking stems off spinach leaves and peeling shrimp 10-50 pounds at a time; I do not miss that at all!

img_7025Looking forward to going back to Asheville so that I can try some more of the restaurants.

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