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Jan 10, 2008 03:44 PM

NEWBEE in Asheville/Hendersonville

Hello All,
Just moved from Fort Lauderdale to Mills River and I need fellow foodies to help me find:

Heritage pork/Korabuta pork
Great local smokehouse products
Best BBQ
German homemade sausages
Maine lobsters
Best farmers market
Great Butcher
Great Delikatessen
Great European style pastry

I am willing to travel but please help me out.
I have read many of the posts with great interest and I look forward to contributing with my
reviews in the future

Thank you for your help

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  1. for pork, try warren wilson college. they raise hogs (don't know if they're heritage) sustainably, and sell 1/4, 1/2 or whole hogs.

    we don't have any really great q/smoked products here. 12 bones is probably the best q, although their hours stink (11a-4p, m-f) and their ribs are a bit inconsistent. sunburst trout farm sells smoked trout (and supplies many local restaurants), but it's all farm-raised fish, so somewhat lacking in flavor.

    haven't found any really good german sausages. fresh market, greenlife & earth fare all have the basics on at least an occasional basis. there's a german restaurant (the name escapes me right now) out merrimon near weaverville that gets good reviews on their sausage, but i don't know if they sell it retail.

    can't help w/ lobster. it's one of those things i only eat when i go to it rather than it coming to me (after paying $3/lb in maine, i just can't stomach the price elsewhere).

    the wnc farmer's market is by far the biggest, and it's pretty good. there are also quite a few tailgate markets in the asheville area. they set up on different days in different parts of town (each part of town has at least 1 once a week). the tailgate markets are, of course, smaller than the farmer's market, but the vendors are more local than farmer's market. each tailgate market has it's own flavour, and you'll find different things at each. check the mountain xpress for listings.

    there are zero butchers in the area. rathbone's in clyde is good for pork if you don't care about the pork's provenance. that's who i call when i need a particular size of a certain cut (he's my supplier for big cuts to smoke).

    delis aren't a big thing in this area. a boars head sign is about the best indicator of quality around here. negozio's in h-ville is my fave. i don't think we have a jewish/kosher deli here. absolutely avoid all grocery delis in the area.

    greenlife, earth fare and fresh market generally have the best meats. there's also hickory nut gap farm/springhouse meats; they supply a lot of the local restaurants. more downscale grocers like ingles/bi-lo generally have poor meat quality & selection (their "steaks" are an absolute joke), although ingles occasionally (and it varies store to store) comes up w/ good stuff (for example, the one near me has awesome looking beef short ribs and ox tails, both of which are on the menu this week/weekend).

    asheville is sort of a dessert desert. you'll find stuff that looks good, but rarely lives up in taste. there's no place i can recommend that is across the board good. if you have specifics that you're searching for, i might be of more help.

    welcome to the area. hope you like it, and please share your findings & tips with us.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mark

      Hi Mark,
      Thank you for the detailed response. I will check out your recommendation and if all fails I can always FEDEX it in :)
      Kind regards,

      1. re: michael123

        yeah, mail-order & the internet are your friends when you live here. one of my biggest sticking points is finding good olive oil at a fair price.

      2. re: mark

        The German restaurant out near Weaverville is The Bavarian Lodge.

        1. re: mark

          Enoteca in Biltmore Village sells Deric's cakes,pastries and possibly his bread. (he's Rezaz's pastry chef). His chocolate is amazing. Try him.
          They also sell cured meats on their menu and possibly retail. If so, they could probably slice it for you?

          Good to know about Rathbone's. Do they sell stock bones?

          i think there's a Jewish deli in the Grove Arcade and possibly another deli in there too. Anyone else know?

          There isn't a Whole Foods in Asheville.

          1. re:

            Yeah, sorry , i meant to add that the OP will have to drive down the mountain to Greenville , SC to hit Whole Foods.

          2. re: mark

            per this week's mountain xpress, bavarian restaurant (the one i couldn't recall the name of) retails their sausages.

            332 weaverville hwy; 645.8383

          3. You're screwed on a lot of your requests.

            Local highlights are:

            Tailgate markets (in season) at the French Broad Food Coop, Greenlife, others...check the free Local Food publication. Also some nice items at the little market in Grove Arcade.

            I buy my beef either from Whole Foods (Coleman Dry Aged, uncommonly expensive) or mail order from (stratosphericly expenseive). We don't eat much beef. I also get my Deli meats from Whole Foods. It's a serious step up from Boar's Head. If you want something closer to NY quality charcuterie, you're going to have to drive over the Dean and Deluca in Charlotte.

            Pastry - Flat Rock Village Bakery (just a few miles further south from H'ville) had ridiculously good bread and pastry. More Boulangerie than patisserie, however. City Bakery in Asheville and Well Bred in Weaverville also have some nice items.

            Blue Water Seafood in H'ville has a lobster tank at $16/lb.

            2 Replies
            1. re: danna

              Thank you for your response. I really appreciate your input. The Coleman Dry Age beef do you know if it is PRIME. Yes Lobels is my favorite for Prime beef and Pork.
              Thanks for your inpuat.
              Kind regards,

              1. re: michael123

                You know...I'm not sure. I always assumed it was, because if its quality and price, but I just went to the Coleman website and I don't see Prime specifically mentioned. I'm not sure if the folks at WF could tell you or not.

                As Mark said, we look forward to your input. Maybe you'll find some treasures we've been overlooking.

            2. Hi Michael,

              Welcome to Mills River! My husband and I live there too. :-) I agree that on many of your requests, it's just not going to measure up to what you're used to, but there are some good places. most recs so far have been in the Asheville area, so I will suggest a few in Brevard and Hendersonville, which might be a little closer for you.

              For meats, we go to Poppies quite a bit in Brevard (on 280 on the right not too far past the turnoff for the hospital). They are similar to Fresh Market (also a good choice), but Poppie's should be closer to you. They seem to lean more toward the organic side than Fresh Market. I have been very pleased with their meat department. They have happily taken care of special orders for me. They do a lot of samples on the weekends too, so it's a good time to explore! Since I have not found a good stand-alone butcher, we use Poppies. I don't know the details on the beef though - you'd have to go and ask. Don't know if it's the level of meats you're looking for.

              I have purchased some German products from Haus Heidelburg in Hendersonville. It is a restaurant and a has a deli. The restaurant has decent food, but not much atmosphere - we prefer Black Forest in Arden for German dinners. The Haus Heidelburg deli is very small, but has several German items including a meat case with a variety of sausages. The ones I have tried have been good.

              I agree with Mark on the lobster. When you've lived up there (we're from New England originally), I can't pay the prices they want down here. I would, however, recommend Blue Water Seafood on Kanuga in Hendersonville for seafood in general. Everything I have had from there has been very good - expensive though. There is also a seafood place on 280 in Brevard (Carolina Cay) that is pretty good (I've only tried their scallops). Not cheap either.

              I am a dessert snob and haven't found anywhere yet that blows me away (I usually prefer my own homemade - boy, I really am a snob! ha!). There are a few places in A'ville that I think have been mentioned that have gotten good reviews. Flat Rock Bakery in Flat Rock IS really good (very small), but I'm not sure it's "european" per se. But, they have great baked goods (nothing fancy - scones, muffins, croissants, great breads, etc), sandwiches, and pizza (also try West 1st in H'ville for pizza too, they are great, but only open for dinner - same people as Flat Rock).

              Negozio's in H'ville (on Spartanburg Hwy, near Upward Road) has a decent sized Italian deli - not sure if it's what you're looking for. I haven't been in quite awhile. Unfortunately, there aren't any real NY style delis around here. I long for the Italian North End of Boston!! (especially at Christmas time!)

              I find BBQ likes/dislikes to be very subjective, so won't offer an opinion! Everyone likes different kinds.

              As mentioned, Greenville has a lot of options too, so maybe someone who knows more about that area can help you. It would be about an hour's ride from Mills River. If you combine with other errands, it's definitely worth a drive.

              Good luck and report back any good things you find!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Scirocco

                Hi Scirocco,
                Thank you for your warm welcome. I am making my lists from all of the replys today and I am looking forward to trying them all. Mills River is great and the hospitality is out of this world. Thanks again.
                Kind regards,

                1. re: michael123

                  Regarding smokehouse products, you're only 180 miles from Benton's in Madisonville, TN. They have become so popular that the wait on online orders is now 6-7 weeks. Closer to home, I can vouch for the prosciutto cured by Hickory Nut Gap.

                  On the pastry front, I continue to beat the drum for the croissants, brioche, and pain au chocolat at Paris Bakery in North Asheville. I had some just-out-the-oven stollen during the holidays that almost brought me to tears.


                  1. re: LPM

                    Oooo, that ALL sounds good!! (Paris Bakery). Might have to make the trek up there to try it out! We just don't get up that way too often.

                    btw, meant to post poppie's link before (and no, I don't work for them - ha! I just like them)

                    1. re: LPM

                      Thank you for the leads...I will try them out soon.
                      Kind regards

                2. Mark did a great job covering the majority of my rec's. There is a restaurant in Black Mt., Berliner Kindl. They have a number of sausage varieties on display, pretty sure they sell them as a "grocery" item too. There is a little Russian (?) store in Asheville on Patton, in the plaza behind the Sonic. They have some very interesting sausages. According to my beer drinking friends, they rate in that area too. WNC is just not a big BBQ area like much of the rest of the state - the styles & quality vary to a huge degree. Look at the free literature racks at Earth Fare & Greenlife, etc. There are two different groups that put out "local" guides. Most of the listings are fruit/veg, but each year the listings grow & include more heritage items, including meat. I can't say enough about Hickory Nut Gap Farms - good product-good people- I love their pork breakfast sausage! There are also farm tours sponsored by the groups each year which are a terrific way to meet the producers. Much on your list just isn't in the area now - but give it a few years. I always tried to hit Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta whenever possible to fill in the local gaps.

                  1. Best BBQ in my opinion is at Okie Dokies in Swannanoa.