Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Asheville, North Carolina

To date, my favorite American city is Asheville, North Carolina.  I heard from a friend that it was an artsy, hippie town with nice bookstores and antique shops and did some research but the place was way better than I expected.  Asheville is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and just east of the Smokies, so its natural beauty should come as no surprise.  The town is touristy enough to have a trolley and at the same time, the downtown area is a mix of locals and tourists.  The town is very walkable, and it helped that our hostel was right in the downtown area.  Oh and the cherry on top, Asheville food is simply amazing.

Bombay Chili Cheese Fries & Corn Salad at Chai Pani, the salad was very fresh tasting 
Red pepper & goat cheese omelet with potatoes & toast, bacon & cheese breakfast sandwich, mostly local ingredients 
Asheville architecture was another gem
What I loved so much about Asheville food was that even though it was fresh and organic, the emphasis was first on delicious food.  Also, Asheville chefs love to experiment and combine flavors of different cuisines resulting in very diverse menus.

It might help that the first time I went to Asheville, I was traveling with my soon-to-be boyfriend so everything had a heightened sense of newness.  Also, compared to other travels, we had a lot more freedom to plan the day however we liked.  But!  My love of Asheville is validated by its nicknames, Beer City USA, Paris of the South and perhaps others that I haven't heard.  I've never been to Paris and it's never been on my itinerary of places I'd like to visit, but if it's as awesome as Asheville, I may be inclined to visit!  :P

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