I don't know about y'all, but tacos are one of my favorite foods. I mean, we served jerk chicken tacos at our wedding, so we will let that speak for itself.
I believe the main reason for most peoples' love for tacos, besides from the general deliciousness, is that they are so versatile and have the option to be completely customized. And the thing is, no matter how you change up a taco to fit your personal preferences, and no matter what theme you're in the mood for, you can always make a taco work.
This is why the White Duck Taco Shop (WDTS) in Asheville is one of my favorite local places to get tacos. The menu is so diverse in the types of tacos offered, with a range of flavor palettes and something guaranteed to meet the tastes of everyone! They standby their claim that "if you like food you will love us!"
My personal favorites have been the buffalo chicken taco, as well as the pork belly with pickled watermelon rind. Honorable mentions are the black bean and Bangkok Shrimp (you might need a few extra napkins for this one).
Now, WDTS has several locations throughout NC, as well as a few in South Carolina and Tennessee, including one in my very own Queen City of Charlotte. However, I have only ever visited the Asheville locations because everything is just better in Asheville. The original location is located in the River Arts District (RAD) and is the first location I visited. They have since moved a block over from their original setting, but the atmosphere hasn't changed!
During our most recent trip to Asheville, we visited the downtown location as it was within walking distance of our hotel. Now, it is COVID time, so things were a little different, but with plenty of outdoor seating and the same delicious menu, the tacos were as good as ever!
Need to know:
Location: View the map here
Menu can vary by location/season- view here
What's your go-to taco order? If you've ever been to White Duck Taco Shop, or any other honorable mentions, let me know in the comments!
If you've ever strolled the streets of downtown Asheville, you may have noticed a bright red double-decker bus. It would be pretty hard to miss, after all, and may even make you do a double take, as these buses are a bit of a rare sight this side of the world.
Double D's Coffee and Sweets is located within this particular bus, nestled in a shady corner on Biltmore Avenue, right in the heart of the city.
While you first feel a bit of surprise, you will quickly feel enchanted as you step into the unusual world of a coffee bus. From the bus people themselves, the experience has an effect on children and adults alike.
Stepping onto the Double Decker Bus has a very distinct effect on people. For children, it makes them feel like grown-ups. They get to be the captain of a vessel that only encourages their imagination. For people who are already grown up, it makes them feel like kids. However, regardless of age, the Bus ignites something special in every customer who walks through those red doors, and the result is always positive. A cozy red Bus nestled into a cozy, quaint town makes everyone feel at home. The vintage surroundings paired with organic coffee roasted locally by Notorious Coffee Roasting Company and local desserts made with love is the recipe for Asheville's Landmark Coffee Bus.
With a menu featuring classic coffees, hot or iced, as well as flavored lattes, chais and frappes, there is something for everyone at this one of a kind coffee shop. Needing a little bit more than a coffee? Try a smoothie or even one of their milkshakes! They also have an assortment of pastries and other sweet desserts. My personal go-to anytime I see it on the menu is a lavender latte, and the Double D's Lavender Honey latte did not disappoint!
Need to know:
41 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
Double D's Coffee & Desserts has reopened with an extensive safety system in place. We are confident that the level of safety precautions we have provided will protect our customers and our employees. We require 6 ft. distancing, face coverings at all times, except when seated at a table. We consistently sanitize all tables and high touch areas. All employees have temperature checked before they start their shift.
Empanadas. You know em, you love em. Even if you have never had an empanada before, I can confidently say that it is something you will like. How can I be so sure of myself, you may ask. Because an empanada, at its core, is a fried or baked pastry stuffed full of a variety of fillings including meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and even sweets such as chocolate. And honestly, who doesn't like a warm, gooey, bread pocket spilling over with deliciously flavored filling?
Empanadas are a popular snack in regions around the world, including Latin and South America, South Asia, and Southern Europe. These delectable little treats have their origins in Spain, and due to their widespread popularity, the exact style and flavors have adapted to each region they have become known in.
While each corner of the globe has modified the empanada to become symbolic of its own culture, the basis of the snack remains the same- hot and delicious. They are often served with sprinkled cheese, a side of salsa, or drizzled with sauces. In most places where empanadas are found, they are sold as a quick and easy street food.
I have eaten many an empanada, in countries around the world, as well as made my own homemade version. The best part about these little treats is the infinite ways you can customize them to fit your taste preferences. Have a sweet tooth? Fill them with chocolate and sprinkle on some powdered sugar. Vegetarian? They are great filled with cooked peas and carrots. Love seafood? Fill those babies up with fish! Make them bigger for a meal or bite size for a party snack. Deep fry them to perfection or bake them for a healthier version. The options go on and on.
In my household, my Jamaican husband grew up on patties, which is a Caribbean take on empanadas. The brand that we buy are a little bigger and more robust than many empanadas, but the idea is the same. A nice flaky pocket filled with beef, cheese, or a vegetable curry mix. So good!
Here's an easy recipe for Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas I found on the blog Great Grub Delicious Treats. This recipe uses pie crust for the outer layer, making it an easier and faster alternative to making your own dough.
Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas
Prep Time- 20 mins
Cook Time- 30 mins
Total Time- 50 mins
I like hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, and offbeat destinations