Jason and Carolyn Roy opened their first Biscuit Head location in Asheville, NC to share their love and passion for southern cooking and local ingredients. With features in the New York Times, Food and Wine, USA Today, and more, Biscuit Head was an immediate success. They have since opened three additional locations, two in Asheville and one in Greenville, South Carolina. All locations have a strong commitment to maintaining a low carbon footprint and partnering with local vendors- we love to see it.
I had been wanting to grab breakfast at Biscuithead for the past several years, but we always ended up heading somewhere else every time we visited Asheville- check out my post here and you'll know I'm not complaining. However, I do like to try new things so I was thrilled when we finally got to check it out this past August. I was even more thrilled when I saw their social distancing procedures. Outdoor seating, touchless menu and ordering. It was all great.
Now, my husband is one person that you would not, in fact, call a biscuithead. He grew up in the South alright. South Jamaica that is. Biscuits aren't really their thing. Me however, I am a born and bred true biscuithead. Gimme a biscuit drizzled with honey, layered with jam, topped with a piece of salty ham and cheese. Whatever, I really don't care. I just appreicate a good biscuit, and therefore, I appreciate the fine eating establishment of Biscuithead.
We visited the Biltmore Ave, location, just a few minutes outside of downtown. It was doing a pretty steady business for a random late Tuesday morning. With a menu that features just a plain regular biscuit, or a gravy flight for those who like it all, Biscuithead even has gluten-free and vegan options, making it a place your entire party can dine at. Whether you're a biscuit purist or an innovative eater, you'll find something guaranteed to satisfy. In case you love your meal so much, you can order meal kits to go, as well a cookbook featuring all of their signature dishes.
Recently I celebrated my second wedding anniversary. Given the year that 2020 has been, we decided to head to Charleston for a long weekend, staying in a relative's guest house. Our plan was pretty simple. Stay in the outside guest house. Spend some time outside, maybe on a beach somewhere. Eat some delicious seafood at a park. Stay away from everyone. Foolproof. Well, if you haven't already noticed, the plan was to head to Charleston and yet, this blog it titled 48 Hours in Asheville. Hmmmm.
Apparently our plan wasn't foolproof enough, as 2020 threw another curveball at us- one we really couldn't do anything about, and that curveball greeted us in the form of Hurricane Isaias. If our trip had been for a week, it wouldn't have been a problem, but due to the timing and only having a few days of vacation, we didn't think it made sense to head to Charleston to sit inside all weekend because of the rain. So we rerouted ourselves and headed west to Asheville instead.
Of course, 2020 being the year that it is, we still encountered a weekend full of rain. However, we didn't let that get us down! Asheville is one of our favorite cities after-all and we made the most of it. Continue reading below to find out how we spent 48 hours in our favorite funky city.
Where To STay - Aloft Hotels Downtown
We have visited Asheville, North Carolina a number of times, and each time we have stayed somewhere different. This most recent trip, we decided to make things easier on ourselves, staying in the heart of the city at Aloft right in the middle of Downtown. Aside from the fun, modern decor and beautiful amenities, Aloft features an ideal location within easy walking distance of many of Asheville's well-known destinations, including breweries, shops, and parks. Because we wanted to adhere to social distancing guidelines, as well as just generally spend quality time together, we spent a good amount of time on the hotel's balcony. Here we soaked up the city's golden hour on comfy couches and listened to the sounds of the city below.
Where To Eat
Coffee- Double D's Coffee Bus
If you're like me, coffee is a necessity, but it's also a way of life. No matter which way you feel when it comes to this liquid gold, Double D's Coffee Bus is a fun experience for all, with a menu just as inclusive. Go ahead and grab a latte or hot cocoa as you stroll the streets downtown.
Breakfast- Biscuit Head
A multi-location breakfast joint, this casual breakfast/lunch spot is perfect for a brunch date or a place to meet up with friends. If you couldn't tell by the name, their specialty is the biscuits. Big, fluffy, and loaded with delicious Southern goodness, this is not the place to go if you are trying to cut back on the carbs. Whatever you get, be sure to add a side of the pimento cheese grits! Look out for a full review coming soon!
Lunch- White Duck Taco Shop
You may have seen my previous post about my all-time favorite taco shop. White Duck Taco Shop can be found in three locations throughout Asheville, as well as several other cities spanning the state of North Carolina, and even venturing into Tennessee. With an expansive a la carte menu featuring taco classics or options for the more adventurous eater, this Asheville staple is one you can't pass up!
Dinner/Drinks- Wicked Weed Brewing
We love good beer in our family and Asheville is THE place to go if you feel the same! With roughly 50 breweries throughout the Asheville area, you will everything from small-town batches to globally known brands. During our quick trip (and because of the relentless rain) we headed to the closet spot, just a short 5-minute walk from our hotel, Wicked Weed Brewing. With a small but satisfying menu and spacious outdoor and indoor seating, we felt safe, comfortable, and full. This is the perfect place to visit for socially distant drinks and brewpub food, rain or shine!
What To Do
Of course no one wishes for rain on their vacation, especially when you only have a few days and most of your favorite activities are outdoors! What's important is making the most of your time and enjoying your travel partner no matter what the circumstances (often easier said than done)! Aside from wanting to spend time simply r e l a x i n g we did venture out around the downtown area.
Asheville is well-known for the plethora of family-owned shops featuring local artists and handmade goods. Kress Emporium, located a block off of Biltmore Avenue, features over 80 regional artists, antique curators, and sellers of fine homemade goods. If you're looking for a place to pick up a gift for a friend back home, this is THE place to go. Pottery, jewelry, candles, art, and more- you can spend hours strolling the artist booths (and avoiding the rain outside).
Mast General Store is another regional favorite. With several locations throughout the south, this family-owned company has established quite the presence in downtown Asheville. Browse the racks of tourist t-shirts, stickers, and mugs, or head downstairs to an entire floor filled with outdoor gear for your next camping trip! Pick and choose from the candy bulk bins and sample some locally made jam.
If you're lucky enough to catch a quick break from the rain, head over to Pack Square Park to stretch your legs and enjoy some outdoors (with easy access back inside if it stars to rain again)! Walk around the Vance Memorial and view the Black Lives Matter mural painted on N Pack Square.
The small town of Mindo, Ecuador is nestled tightly in the Andes Mountains cloud forest, one of the richest bio-diverse ecoregions in the world. Mindo is a well-kept secret and has no shortage of fascinating attractions, but its reputation and popularity as an adventure destination is growing rapidly.
Just a block or two off the main square, you will find a tall building looming over the trees. Featuring on-site chocolate making, a delicious cafe, locally roasted coffee, and rooms with a view, El Quetzal is THE destination for chocolate lovers and adventure seekers the world over.
After you grab a bite to eat at one of the many delicious cafes in town, you can check into your room at the chocolate factory! Located up a few flights of stairs, we choose the room that features a balcony, swinging hammock, and amazing views of Mindo and the surrounding mountains.
Because we were guests in the lodge, we were permitted free entrance into one of their world-famous tours. You can follow along as a guide walks you step by step through the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. Starting with the cacoa bean, you will learn about the ins and out of how modern-day artisans have turned this amazing bean into one of the most lusted after flavors across the world. You'll even get to sample a batch of fresh chocolate brownies and experience for yourself the rich flavors grown right in the Ecuadorian valley!
Breakfast the next day was the cherry on top! We woke up and were treated to special seating on the veranda, surrounded by beautiful foliage and the sounds of the town waking up. Choose from a selection of cooked-to-order meals and fresh coffee-there's really no better way to start your day!
Staying at El Quetzal was more than just finding a room on Airbnb- we got to experience part of the amazing chocolate-making culture of Mindo. The secluded atmosphere allowed us to observe Mindo life from above, taking it all in.
Need to Know:
- Chocolate tours are offered 7 days a week, from starting each hour on the hour from 10:00am-5:00pm
- Cost $10/person (*Free entry if you are staying in one of their Airbnb suites!)
- You can book a stay in the lodge here
new to airbnb? use my referral code here and get $55 off your first booking
The small town of Mindo, Ecuador, is located where two of the most biologically diverse areas of the world, the Chocoan lowlands and Tropical Andes, converge together, creating an ecoregion like no other.
As the most popular tourist destination in Ecuador, with nearly 200,000 visitors a year, Mindo has quickly become known for its wide offerings of adventurous activities, including rafting, hiking, tubing, mountain biking, canyoning, zip-lining, and more. If high-speed adrenaline-rushing activities aren't really your style, Mindo also offers many opportunities for connecting with nature through bird-watching, butterfly and orchid gardens, and learning about the Andean chocolate-making process.
Roughly a two-hour bus ride from Quito, Mindo makes for the perfect day-trip or weekend getaway. Full of color, adventure, and raw natural beauty, you will love everything that this charming town has to offer.
Follow along as I share my favorite things to do in Mindo and how you can see a different side to the beautiful country of Ecuador!
Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, I have access to many local gems, as well as short distances to other incredible cities, such as Asheville, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia. While these are all amazing options for a weekend getaway, sometimes we just don't have the time to drive even two hours out of the city. The good news is that doesn't have to be a deal-breaker!
With only one night to spare in our crazy schedule, I did some detective-level internet searching to find the perfect getaway location for us. The best part? It was only a 40-minute drive away. At first that might not seem very enticing. A getaway is supposed to be removed from home, right? At this quiet, secluded, and nothing but peaceful Airbnb, it wouldn't matter if it was a 5-minute drive down the block- it had everything we needed, and nothing we didn't!
From the moment we arrived on the property, we were greeted warmly and directed to all the locations we may need, from the room itself to the eco-toilet to the hottub and the paths around the edge of the farm. Our room, a barn loft situated on a 20-acre farm, was tucked in one corner of the property and felt close enough to the other amenities, but also private and secluded.
As the only guests on the property at the time (it was a random Thursday night after all), we had the place to ourselves. The hosts do live on-site, and you may catch them in a conversation or two, but it never felt overbearing or cramped.
The room had everything we needed, from plastic wine cups to basic grilling supplies, and a lovely tea and coffee bar, as well as a mini-fridge. Our room featured a private deck with a grill out back, and right outside our door was the fire pit. After dinner out, we enjoyed wine and the hot tub, but decided against building a campfire this time around.
The eco-toilets were the absolute cleanest and well-maintained outdoor toilets I've ever used (which is a lot) and I felt extremely comfortable walking the property, even at night, to use the sink. Perhaps one of my favorite features of the entire farm was the outdoor rain shower. It was in fact raining during much of our stay, and there's something so calming about showering outdoors in the woods with the rain tapping the roof above. Despite the rain, our stay was so wonderful and cozy, although if you happen to visit during sunnier weather, the hosts even provide hammocks for you to enjoy in the adjacent woods.
While our stay was brief, this quick off-the-grid adventure was exactly what we needed to reconnect and reset.
Oh, and if a barn loft doesn't strike your interest, the farm also has its very own stone greenhouse or woodsy treehouse which is definitely where we'll be staying next time around.
More information can be found on the farm's website, The Green Omnivore.
Photos by The Green Omnivore
On a month-long trip to Argentina, we took a weekend to explore San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly known as “Bariloche”). As is frequently the case, we really didn’t know at all what we were doing – we tend toward “winging it” a lot of the time. But we selected our hotel (Nido Del Condor) as though we know one from another (we didn’t) and it was beautiful! The room was spacious with a beautiful corner fireplace and lots of cypress wood polished to a high shine; a small balcony looked out over the roof of the spa to the lake and mountains beyond. We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room that also overlooks the lake.
Our time in Bariloche was limited, so we elected to take one tour and spend the rest of the time exploring on our own. We chose the small circuit tour (Circuito Chico), which makes a loop around the lake and offers numerous beautiful panoramic views. One stop included a chair lift to the top of the mountain for 360-degree views. The stunning beauty of these mountains is hard to explain – they are rugged, snow-capped, and surrounded by water, and they seem to pull you in and warn you away all at once.
We ended the tour in the center of town where we spent some time in the Museum of the Patagonia; this is a small museum but gives an interesting look at the natural history and culture of the region. The exhibits are in Spanish, but there are comprehensive printed guides available in many languages including English. We explored the downtown shops – surprisingly, fancy chocolate shops are plentiful – and came across an artisan’s market set up in the park. It’s always fun to stumble across the unexpected, and I found several handmade gifts to take back home.
Bariloche has a pretty waterfront and a nice, walkable downtown. We were there in May, and it was cold but sunny and pleasant for exploring. The flight from Buenos Aires is short, so it’s a very easy trip for a weekend. The town itself appears to cater equally to backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as to affluent shoppers and spa lovers – in other words, I think anyone would find a way to enjoy a few days there.
Written by guest writer Laura Atkins.
For more check out her review of the Patagonia Cerveceria at Feed the Passport
The first stop on our tour of Asheville is one of my favorites- a place that I keep going back to every time I visit. We all have our favorites and sometimes tradition trumps quality, but not in this case! This time around the tradition was born because of the quality; the quality of food, service, and atmosphere!
Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville has it all. While I've only been there for some amazing brunches, they also feature equally amazing lunch and dinner menus, as well as a selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
Rated #1 on TripAdvisor for the best brunch in Asheville, Sunny Point Cafe can also be found on hipster foodies' lists everywhere, ranking in the Top 10 for Best Asheville Brunch/Breakfast spots. Some examples of their award-winning dishes (yes, they have won awards for their amazing culinary talents), are the shrimp 'n' grits, which won the 2016 and 2017 Stoobie Award for Asheville's Best Shrimp 'n' Grits. I've also heard that their avocado toast is among the best in the city.
My personal favorites are the Huevos Rancheros- eggs topped with black bean cakes, feta, and cilantro crema (a gluten-free dish), and the Fried Chicken and Waffle sandwich- a pecan waffle topped with fried chicken, bacon, pimento cheese, and jalapeño jam. Their menu also features several options that can be made gluten-free or vegan.
INSIDER TIP: Because of the cafe's popularity, it is more than likely that you will arrive and have to add your name to a long list of those waiting- DO NOT LEAVE. I know how easy it is to be turned off by long wait-times, but believe me it is well worth it. In fact, the cafe understands your displeasure with having to wait, and makes it infinitely more enjoyable by providing a coffee station in the outdoor waiting area, where you can help yourself to unlimited refills of fresh coffee, and enjoy watching West Asheville life pass you by. On a nice day, you may even get to experience some live music, as local bands have been known to set up and play for hungry customers.
Aside from the incredible variety of dishes and flavors that are served up here, one of my favorite things about Sunny Point Cafe is that they are very socially conscious, featuring a different nonprofit partner every month! Every table in the restaurant has an envelope on it for customers, should they so choose, to donate money for the nonprofit that month. Along with the money from generous customers, Sunny Point also adds a donation to the collected funds, and delivers it to the chosen partner. In 2017, they raised and donated $16,856, and in 2018 they increased that number to $20,517. Read more about the organizations they've partnered with here.
INSIDER TIP: After your meal, head outside to the neighboring garden- here you can walk through the garden beds and see where the cafe plants and harvests the produce found in your meals! It's as fresh as you can get!
INSIDER TIP: Take a bit of the West Asheville flavor home with you! You can shop the selection of jams, dressings, and sauces that you may have experienced in your meal. If that's not enough, you can even purchase the Sunny Point Cookbook, featuring several recipes that have developed since the opening of the cafe, as well as other timeless comfort food dishes.
Have you been to Sunny Point Cafe? Let us know your favorite dishes in the comments! Got another favorite Asheville brunch spot! Let us know so we can check it out!
I've been to Asheville a handful of times, as it's roughly a 2-hour drive from Charlotte, and each time I love taking advantage of all this amazing city has to offer. From the wide selection of craft breweries, local coffee shops, and eclectic restaurants, it is truly a millennial's dream. If those are things you also value, then Asheville is the place for you.
Located in the western part of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a population slightly under 100,000 people. Known for its vibrancy, it has a large (and growing) art scene, fascinating historic architecture, and is what a foodie's dream are made of. Walking the streets you are guaranteed to see layers of art and messages of peace adorning the walls. Ample opportunities exist to experience the local culture through artisans, food, and entertainment.
And if the city life becomes too busy for you, an escape to the mountains is a stone's throw away. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to waterfall hikes to cozy cabins, the great outdoors is ready and waiting for you.
In this new mini-series, I'm going to share all that I have come to know and love about Asheville, from the food and drink to art and nature. I was quick to identify Asheville as my spirit city, and if you stick around you may just find that it has something for you too.
If you've ever been to Asheville, share your favorite spots and things to do in the comments!
p.s. if this content looks familiar, it's because you've seen it before! This originated over at www.feedthepassport.com and is migrating here to our site. Feed the Passport is transitioning into a foodie-focused travel blog and we are picking up the pieces, focusing on the hidden gems, hole-in-the-wall, off-the-beaten-path treasures in cities around the world. Stay tuned on both accounts for the best in what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and how to experience the authenticity of each place we visit.
I like hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, and offbeat destinations