• French Broad Food Co-Op Review Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews

    French Broad Food Co-op Review: All About Community

    With its prime location, frequent parking lot jam sessions, and seasonal local plants outside near the large windowfronts, chances are you’ve driven by the French Broad Food Co-op with your curiosity piqued.  I’ve worked at a number of natural grocery stores, small and large. With their local brands, microscope view into the community, and approachable size, they’re a comfort to me, and I always pencil it into my itinerary when traveling to make my way to one. The French Broad Co-op has remained at the top of my list throughout my travels, and for good reason. If you’re not familiar with the word “co-op,” it simply means “community owned.” Community…

  • French Broad Chocolate Lounge Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    French Broad Chocolate Lounge Review: All About Cacao

    In what I assume was a bit of a cosmic joke, I spent a week in Asheville when I was a young and chipper 20-year-old. It was mere months before I could legally partake in the (then very young) brewery scene or wander into a bar with my college roommate, who was also hanging out for the week here.  But we discovered, just blocks away from our hostel, the perfect spot for people who couldn’t legally drink but who wanted to have a destination in the evening: the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. There was something so special about walking into the sweet, crowded little shop and breathing in the wildly delicious…

  • Twisted Laurel Restaurant Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Twisted Laurel Restaurant Review: Both Roots and Wings

    The warmth gets you when you first step into Twisted Laurel – this is the quintessential lunch and dinner spot, equally comfortable giving you a quick sandwich meal as they are plating up a gourmet salmon for you to feast upon on a special occasion.  It used to be my in-laws’ go-to spot for a chill but fun New Year’s Eve, and as the new year approaches (as I start this review, anyway), I am thinking a lot about tradition, about how the areas in and around Asheville are always in cycles of welcoming the new and commemorating the old – Twisted Laurel is a great example of a venture…

  • The Orange Peel Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Attractions

    The Orange Peel Review: The OG Place for Live Music

    Live music fanatics, the average showgoer, the groupie, or anyone who has walked by this monumental building on a Saturday night in the summer all know one thing: The Orange Peel is the OG place for live music in Asheville.  On the corner of Biltmore and Hillard, the brick building, adorned with orange-painted bubbles and a nostalgic orange marquee front and center, is nearly impossible to miss. The once skating rink turned R&B soul club, The Orange Peel has been recognized nationwide as one of the most unique and best places to see live music in the southeast.  Known for their variety of acts, featuring everyone from up-and-coming performers to…

  • Well Played Board Game Cafe Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Family Friendly,  Wining & Dining

    Well Played Board Game Cafe Review: Back to Basics

    It’s no secret that board games have taken off over the last decade. No longer are we stuck with the small cache of 10 games to choose from like previous generations.  With games like Exploding Kittens becoming the most backed Kickstarter of the time and the hashtag “board games” having over 5 billion views on TikTok, it’s safe to say, despite a world being overtaken by electronics and people using FaceTime with one another, board games are back in a big way.  Well Played Board Game Cafe has answered the call, and whether it’s the classics or the new, trendy, and maybe obscure, chances are they’ve got the thing you…

  • Taco Temple Restaurant Review Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Taco Temple Review: Your Go-To Taqueria in Asheville

    The prevalence of fast food, even in Asheville, can be tempting for anyone who has a busy day and not a lot of time to plan what they want to eat. Having a go-to order at one of your local fast-food places may be the difference between fitting in soccer practice, homework, and nutrition before bed!  However, for me, the fast-food options near me tend to have low appeal for nutrition, and I end up being annoyed at myself that I didn’t bother to spend the extra few bucks and get takeout from a local place. It’s a value here in Asheville – if I can manage to eat local…

  • Biscuit Head Restaurant Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Biscuit Head Restaurant Review: Jam Bar for the Win

    The moment you realize why Biscuit Head has such a cult following is different depending on who you are. For some, it’s just walking up to a breakfast joint on a random weekday and seeing a line out the door, since that does seem to indicate an intense following. For others, it’s that first bite of an exquisite biscuit sandwich or other flavorful entree. For me, though, it was the jam bar. For the uninitiated, rather than just popping a tasty-but-standard packet of jam on the side of your biscuit, at Biscuit Head, they go all out with a buffet-style array of jams that are house-made and not always standard…

  • Lazy Tiger Hostel Review in Asheville, North Carolina
    Local Business Reviews,  Where to Stay

    Lazy Tiger Hostel Review: Adventure Awaits

    I get the appeal of the luxury hotel – the smooth sheets, the sumptuous meals, and the general splendor of everything. The tough part is that hotels come with a hefty price tag, and even vacation rentals these days are rarely offering substantial savings.  The other trick is that in hotels, people tend to be walled off from each other. Maybe you have travel companions, but if you’re solo or in a small group, you won’t often meet people in a hotel atmosphere.  One place where truly affordable lodging that builds community still thrives, however, is hostels. These no-frills or low-frills accommodations are meant to provide you with somewhere to…

  • Chai Pani and Botiwalla Restaurant Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    Chai Pani and Botiwalla Review: Flavor for the People!

    When I moved to Asheville, the rumors about Chai Pani were intense – they’d just won that James Beard Award, and a seat in their first-come, first-served dining room or patio was the most coveted spot in town for a meal.  I’d known about the restaurant and its adorable storefront on Battery Park Avenue for years, having been visiting town to see family for ages, but it seemed like this humble, tasty shop had become an overnight hit among the best of the best in restaurants. I didn’t intend to visit the first time I went. Instead, I happened to be walking down the street at the right time on…

  • Owl Bakery Restaurant Review in Asheville, NC
    Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

    OWL Bakery Review: Savoring the Moment

    Sometimes, food is just so good that you can’t help but be drawn into its orbit. I first noticed that OWL Bakery has a bit of a cult following when wandering the leaf-covered aisle of the North Asheville Tailgate Market.  This is a popular farmers market with a ton of booths, and almost all of them have a little buzzy hive of people around them shopping, but OWL’s bakery truck stand had a line that very clearly was 20 or 25 people deep.  As a person presently munching on another, less-line-inducing pastry from elsewhere in the market and enjoying it very much, I saw it as a mystery that I…