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Asheville Part One: Eat and Drink

Our quick getaway to Asheville was great!  The Western North Carolina mountains hold a special place in my heart after spending my summers in college as a counselor at Camp Wayfarer. I worked there for three summers and Brandon joined me for two of them.

Asheville is a fun mountain town full of interesting shops, good beer and delicious food with an emphasis on local and organic. We try to make it up there a few times every year. It’s an easy drive from Charlotte – a little over two hours.

When we arrived on Friday we met up with Brandon’s cousin Joe and his wife Kat for happy hour at Wedge.

It’s a local brewery in the River Arts District with a very casual vibe and a great outdoor setup.

I went with the Hemp Seed Brown Ale and it was delicious! Asheville is full of local craft brews and I love it!

We enjoyed catching up with Kat and Joe over drinks. You might remember that Kat wrote a guest post on my blog a few months ago about her first sprint triathlon. She is also an avid runner, cyclist and lover of being active!

We parted ways and checked into our hotel to get ready for dinner. We wanted to keep our evening super low key and casual so we decided to check out a restaurant that specialized in Indian Street Food that we’d heard a lot of good things about.

At Chai Pani the food is not only outstanding but also local/organic whenever possible and super budget-friendly!

Everything on the menu looked amazing so we split a few dishes.

Spicy, smoky eggplant dip with fresh, hot naan.

Samosas served on spicy garbanzo bean stew topped with sweet yogurt, tamarind and green chutneys.

Bhel Puri – puffed rice, flour crisps, crunchy chickpea noodles, potatoes, cilantro and onions tossed with tamarind and green chutneys.

Everything was so good and flavorful. Our dinner came in at just $30 with two glasses of wine…and we even received two jars of Indian hot sauce to take home because Chai Pani was celebrating their second anniversary! Nice!

We will definitely be dining at Chai Pani again. I wish we had something like this in Charlotte.

We were conservative in our ordering at dinner because we knew a stop by French Broad Chocolate Lounge was a must for dessert.

I dream about this place. Heaven on Earth. French Broad Chocolate Lounge specializes in homemade chocolates, cakes and desserts and they also offer all kinds of coffees and sipping chocolates. The atmosphere is wonderful too and it’s always slammed.

We were pleased to discover that there was a jazz band playing on Friday night and were able to snag a table to enjoy wine and dessert.

My handsome date. 🙂

I went with the maple butter cake topped with smoked salt.

Brandon chose the quintessential chocolate cake – three layers of devil’s food sandwiched with whipped chocolate ganache, cloaked in a dark chocolate glaze and covered with dark chocolate curls.

We shared bites, cleaned our plates and then enjoyed a brisk walk back to our hotel to help digest all that food. It was a fabulous evening culminating in 10 hours of sleep!!!

The Saturday recap will come in a separate post. It involves more delicious food and an awesome hike.

What is your favorite weekend getaway spot!?

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 25, 2011, 1:54 pm

    I seriously LOVE naan. So good.

  • 2
    Jo (livingmintgreen) September 25, 2011, 2:01 pm


    • 3
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:55 pm

      it was pretty out of this world…the smoked salt on the top was incredible!

  • 4
    Holly September 25, 2011, 2:49 pm

    That butter cake looks great!!

    Our favorite getaway is Kelleys Island on Lake Erie 🙂

    • 5
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:55 pm

      oh…fun. i’ve never been up to the great lakes. i’ve heard there are some beautiful spots!

  • 6
    Holly @ Pink Runner September 25, 2011, 3:06 pm

    That dinner looks so good and I’m glad you are celebrating! I can’t imagine how happy you will be!! Can’t wait for some workout/yoga videos!!

    • 7
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

      yes! they are coming soon!!! i’m going to start a series of them!

  • 8
    Sana September 25, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Thanks to NC bloggers I know where to go if I ever find myself in your state! So many people have raved about Ashville!

    • 9
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

      haha…it’s true. asheville is an amazing destination. there is so much to do/see/eat.

  • 10
    Marian September 25, 2011, 4:11 pm

    I LOVE Asheville! I have been wanting to try Chai Pani for a while, good to know you enjoyed it! aaaaand French Broad Chocolates is probably my favorite place on this earth. So glad to hear you and Brandon enjoyed your little getaway!

    • 11
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:57 pm

      marian – you must try chai pani. you would love it. tons of vegan and vegetarian options too. customer service was fabulous.

  • 12
    Stef September 25, 2011, 4:39 pm

    I’ve never seen such fancy samosas before! I don’t know how “street” that Indian food was, but all the better. Seems like a lovely vacation, it makes me want to go to Asheville.

    • 13
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:58 pm

      i had never seen samosas that fancy before either. they were delicious! 😀 i wasn’t sure what indian street food meant either but if it’s what we ate at chai pani then i think it’s fabulous!

      • 14
        Seher September 26, 2011, 9:02 pm

        Indian street food is traditionally sold along the roads/streets. It’s typically vegetarian, and made fresh every day, usually not in the most hygienic conditions but maybe that’s why it tastes so good! It’s always spicy and flavorful. And if you dont have the local stomach of steel, you may regret eating it the next morning, although some vendors now use bottled water rather than the regular tap water. That said, it’s fabulous!! It’s almost impossible to find authentic Indian street food here in the us, unless youre in parts of new jersey, or texas. Chai-Pani translates to tea and water, but it usually means snacks, which in India are not complete without a cup or hot milky sweet tea.

  • 15
    kat September 25, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Yay, so glad you liked Chai Pani! Y’all got all of our favorites. And thrilled you found the Chocolate Lounge afterward – perfect. Thanks for the pic and sweet words – so good to have y’all in our little utopia of a city. Come back soon (and next time don’t stay in a hotel, silly! ;))!

    • 16
      Jen September 26, 2011, 4:59 pm

      we loved, loved, loved it. can’t wait to go back and really wish we had something like that in charlotte.

      we will definitely be back VERY soon!

  • 17
    Dani September 26, 2011, 4:39 am

    Hi Jenn,

    DO you get your amazing physique mostly from your regular yoga practice or do you do additional strength training. I know you teach body pump but you are so incredibly well defined I was wondering what your regime was and what you thought made the biggest difference.

    • 18
      Jen September 26, 2011, 5:01 pm

      hi dani – although i definitely contribute the shape of my body to my overall mix of activities, i do believe that strength training makes the biggest difference. i usually strength train 2-3 times per week. also, the million chaturangas that we do in every yoga class help too! 😉

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