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Mar 8, 2009 08:49 AM

Chow Trip NC - Triangle to Asheville

I'm planning a week's vacation soon to North Carolina, mainly based on seeing my daughter briefly in Greensboro, then traveling for food and crafts. Will arrive at RDU and would like to spend the afternoon in Chapel Hill or environs - plan on Lantern for dinner. Then Sunday is open in Greensboro, and Monday travel to Asheville. Have made reservations for Table, Rezaz, Corner Kitchen and Zambras for the four nights we will be there, and would like to squeeze in 12 bones for lunch. We are then taking a road trip just to eat at the Town House Grill in Virginia, and are spending the night in Chilhowie. It's back to Greensboro for a night and then home to Boston.
So, my questions are these - on the trip from Greensboro to Asheville, or from Chilhowie to Greensboro, are there any great places to stop for lunch? Towns not to miss? I'm especially interested in Southern cuisine that is not available up North, although I don't want to concentrate just on barbeque. On the Blue Ridge Parkway, are there any wonderful places to stop for lunch on any of our days? We will be there at the end of March. Thanks so much for any suggestions.

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  1. Will you be doing day trips on the Parkway during the Asheville leg of your visit? There really aren't restaurants to speak of up on the Parkway. There is a restaurant at the Pisgah Inn but it's seasonal and not open yet for the season. If it's open, then the food isn't spectacular but the view can be depending on visibility. The only other restaurant near the Parkway is at Mount Mitchell. Again, I think it's seasonal and probably not open this time of year. I've eaten there a couple of times and the food wasn't great. My suggestion is to take picnic lunches with you. Laurey's Catering on Biltmore in Asheville is a great place to stop and build a picnic lunch. Earth Fare and/or Greenlife Grocery are also good places to put together a picnic.

    Looks like the Pisgah Inn may be open in time for your trip. Again, the food is nothing special.

    I see the Mount Mitchell restaurant won't open until the latter part of May.

    Hope that helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leepa

      This is helpful, thank you! I have a feeling that the picnic idea on outings is the way to go. I'm hoping that I can get some finds for the travel legs of the trip between Greensboro and Asheville and between Chilhowie and Greensboro. Also if there are any towns that are wonderful places to stop along the way. Thanks again!

      1. re: Leepa

        Picnic's on Merrimon also has some really good Picnic meals that they put together.

      2. Greensboro to Asheville isn't a great area to find good chow. Keaton's is a wonderful roadside bbq chicken shack, but its not open on Monday's, unfortunately. Hickory, NC is about halfway between G'boro and A'ville...try doing a search on Chowhound and you may find a recommendation.

        On your way to Chilhowie form A'ville, you might want to check out the small town of Blowing Rock. Lots of nice restaurants and shopping.

        As far as Chilhowie to G'boro, you might want to consider a slight detour and go to Shelton Vineyards. They have a nice restaurant, and they make some nice wines...a wine tasting and lunch there is always fun.

        1. Take the Brushy Mountain exit off I-40 and try the delicious Ice Cream at Brushy Mountain BBQ. I have not eaten the bbq but the Toasted Coconut ice cream in a homemade waffle cone is pretty darn good. Enjoy the time with your daughter, and give us a report.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mooreplease

            Whats the Brushy Mountain exit? I think you are referring to Brushy Mountain Smokehouse and Creamery in N. Wilkesboro? If so, N. Wilkesboro is located on Hwy 421, not on I-40. It would be considerably out of the way for the OP to go to Asheville from G'boro by way of N. Wilkesboro.

          2. 12 Bones is great! You aren't going to want much dinner after 12 Bones, though.

            Save Zambra for one night that you HAVEN"T just eaten at 12 Bones. It's always very good. Frankly, your other 3 Asheville choices are spots that don't thrill me much. In particular, Corner Kitchen was a big disappointment. I thought the food was amatuerish and trite.

            1. Merlej58,
              What is your route - Greensboro - I 40 west to Asheville, then The Blue Ridge Parkway North to Va. ?
              If so, you will encounter an unfortunate detour as the BRP is closed between Asheville and Mt. Mitchell State Park (milepost 367 to 355) , which is the first leg of your journey. There was a road bed slide at Craggy Gardens and they still do not have it repaired. You can take 40 east to exit 86 and take 226 n to Little Switzerland and rejoin the BRP. Bear in mind that the Parkway is subject to weather closure, and we get big snows in March.
              Consult or call 8282980398 for updates.
              You could always safely take I 26 to I 81.