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Travel Talk: Asheville, North Carolina Barbecue

Alright, let’s talk a little bit about food today. 🙂  Asheville, North Carolina is foodie heaven!  Because we were there only a couple of days, I did some research to find out the best rated restaurants.  It seems that barbecue is a BIG thing in Asheville, so we decided to do some “comparison eating.” 🙂  Our first choice was the highly rated Buxton Hall.

It has only been open since August of 2015.  Run by two James Beard nominees (South Carolinian, Elliott Moss and Meherwan Irani from India) the positive press and rave reviews that it has received is impressive! (So we had to check it out for ourselves. 🙂 )

The menus were posted outside, and the desserts sounded heavenly.  Not even sure I wanted the barbecue after reading the dessert menu…just bring on the pies!

The little gift shop/waiting area was filled with nostalgic accessories and cute logo items to purchase.And there were also to-go foods for sale there as well.
How fun is this amazing retro stove?!
(Where else would you display pies? Right?! 🙂 )

More pies were on display below that great chalkboard art.We had never heard of a “peaches and cream” pie, so this one especially intrigued us.Although all the desserts looked wonderful!

Now to that amazing building.  Buxton Hall is located in the old Standard Paper Sales Company building.  It has been used as a boat showroom, several auto shops, and even a skating rink back in the 1930’s.  Obviously, the owners kept that historic feel in place, and it made for a wonderful atmosphere…especially while we were dining there during a thunderstorm!

You can watch all the food being prepared in the open kitchen while you wait for your dinner. 🙂

Here’s another look at their menu.

We made sure we all ordered different sides so that we could sample as many as possible.  Everything was good.  The collards were on the spicy side (but then I like turnip greens much better than collards, so I’m prejudiced here.)

I know we were on a barbecue mission, but we had to try that fried chicken.  Glad we did because it was delicious!  Their green beans get major rave reviews.  I don’t remember them being that outstanding, but then we cook good green beans here. 🙂

And of course we had to try a couple of pies for dessert.
Yum to both the banana pudding one and the peaches and cream!
(Although my husband said he liked “real” banana pudding better than a pie version.)

And we left Buxton Hall quite full!

And now for lunch the next day.

Another restaurant that had great reviews was 12 Bones. I knew it would look like an old barbecue joint and that there would be long lines, but with such good press we really wanted to give it a try.

And yes, it looked like an old barbecue joint outside…

and inside too. 🙂

One of the great things about 12 Bones is their assortment of creative sauces. From Blueberry Chipotle to Sweet Tomato and everything in between.  (I still prefer a traditional barbecue sauce on my ribs though.)

Each plate comes with cornbread and two sides. We really liked it all…the meats, the sides (including the jalapeno corn pudding, the cheese grits, and the collard greens.)

And because our daughter’s favorite drink is Cheerwine, she was thrilled that 12 Bones carried RC products. 🙂

I would have to say that I preferred the food at 12 Bones over Buxton Hall, but I would happily dine at either. 🙂  And I am not the only one who likes 12 Bones.  Check this out….

I believe the Obama’s have eaten at 12 Bones on each of their visits to Asheville.  The restaurant has just recently moved to a new location, so I am really interested in seeing what it is like when we return to that area again. (Maybe we will run into the vacationing Obama’s. LOL)  I liked 12 Bones so much and thought our son would also love it, so we purchased their cookbook for him.

12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook
(My Amazon affiliate link for blog revenue.)

And that is all the barbecue we had while we were there.  Besides The Market Place, Buxton Hall, and 12 Bones, there were a number of other restaurants (non barbecue ones) that I had printed out menus for us to try while we were there: Sunny Point Cafe, Creperie Bouchon, Biscuit Head, and French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  Those will have to be for our next trip too. (I really hate we missed the chocolate one. 🙁 )

And good grief at the shopping!   We loved visiting Malaprops Bookstore, Duncan and York, and Traditions, but we did not get to Oddfellows Antiques, and Dwellings and like we had planned. Again, they will have to be for a future trip. 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed seeing this tiny bit of Asheville, North Carolina with me. There is soooooo much more to enjoy there. We will need to plan a week long visit in the future. Now let me get busy finding some flowers for Valentine’s Day!

Until next time…

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Jean Roberts - February 18, 2017 - 1:17 am

I loved the picture of the stove showing the pies. My home was built in 1961 and this is stove we had installed at that time. It went out about 6 months ago and was told could not be repaired because no parts available since so old, but I had a friend who is an electrician and he said he would rewire it for me and he did and it works like new. I was so happy. Always enjoy your blog. One of the best. Thanks for all the fun and interesting readings. Jean Roberts

Barbara - February 12, 2017 - 9:13 pm

Hi, Kelly,

I love your travel blog posts. Could you possibly share your travel research tips with your readers sometime? You always seem so prepared and thus are able to fit a lot into a trip. Even with apps and our phones, we seem to waste time trying to figure out what we’re going to do once we get to a new destination. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Continued fun and safe travels,

Missouri Barb

PS Love your decorating posts, too! 😉

Pat @ Life At Lydias House - February 12, 2017 - 8:55 pm

You must add The Screendoor to your list of places to shop. It’s just up the hill from Biltmore Village.

Ashley - February 12, 2017 - 3:48 pm

Greetings from a fellow Cheerwine fan!
Cheerwine is my FAVORITE soft drink too!! I grew up drinking it every time I went to my grandparents who lived in Salisbury, NC, where it is made!
I grew up in Charlotte, NC and worked summers at a Girl Scout camp in Lake Lure, NC…not far from Asheville! One of my favorite places to visit!
Thanks for the tour!

Peggy - February 12, 2017 - 1:02 pm

My best friend lives in North Carolina. We have gone to see The Biltmore but nothing else in Asheville. When I go back for a visit, I am going to tell her we have to take a trip back and spend a couple of days and shop and eat! I am making a list of the places you listed. Thank you for being our travel “scout”!

kathy - February 12, 2017 - 11:44 am

12 Bones has been on my list since the Obamas visited. I love BBQ but being from the Piedmont of NC… I am a bit of a BBQ snob. There is a difference in BBQ made in the Piedmont and the BBQ made in the mountains. The best is made Tom Frazier but he doesn’t sell it…yet.

classic•casual•home - February 11, 2017 - 11:44 am

NOW I AM REALLY HUNGRY!! The desserts in the first place look amazing! But the BBQ in the second…wow. Your daughter is beautiful.
Mary Ann

Gina - February 11, 2017 - 9:33 am

Yum! I shouldn’t have read this before breakfast. 😉 Now I want BBQ – ha. I’ve found BBQ is always good at restaurants, but sadly the sides are “eh.” Glad the sides were all delicious too. 🙂 The pies look fabulous too. 😀

Rosemary - February 11, 2017 - 8:49 am

Great post Kelly …especially the pictures of the pies!! 🙂 thanks for sharing. I love these posts you do that include restaurants, menus etc. Makes me want to just hop on a plane!! I’m glad you all had such a great time. It’s always worth researching and booking restaurants before travelling …. so many great places to eat it’s a shame to have a poor meal! Like you, I usually end up wanting to go to more places than I have time for…. always a reason to return. We’ve actually found some great new places near to home recently as well 🙂
Hope you’re having a good weekend.

Tricia - February 11, 2017 - 6:44 am

Hi Kelly. What a post to wake up to! Everything so mouthwatering and tempting. The peaches and cream pie sounds divine. May have to look into making one very soon 🙂

Katrina - February 10, 2017 - 7:43 pm

I am so happy you guys had fun in Asheville! The 12 Bones Cookbook is my daughter and her husband’s all time favorite cookbook. She uses it weekly and even gives it as a gift when her work counterparts from other parts of the country visit the Asheville office. Neeked ribs and greens is my daughter and son-in-law’s go to recipe in the cookbook.
Have an awesome weekend Kelly!

Ellen - February 10, 2017 - 6:44 pm

My sweet lord — can you get us the recipe for jalapeño corn pudding? I love Asheville, but I haven’t been in a while. I have been looking for a little getaway, and I think you have just provided me with the motivation

Tamara - February 10, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Love the retro stove displaying the pies! It is just like the one I grew up with in Ohio in the 60’s & 70’s. Thanks for sharing.

Travel Talk: Asheville, North Carolina and a Little More Biltmore


Welcome back!  A week or so ago, we looked at the Biltmore Estate, but I never filled you in on the other details of that trip to Asheville, North Carolina.  Today I want to share with you where we stayed, a few places to shop there, and a restaurant where we dined.  The photo above shows the two hotel options on the Biltmore Estate. (Keep in mind that although both of these are located on the estate itself, they are still a few miles from the mansion.)  The hotel pictured at the top of the hill is The Inn on Biltmore Estate.  It is a very nice hotel with many amenities, but it was out of our budget for this trip – an extended trip for my husband, my daughter and me where we toured 5 cities scattered throughout the state.  The hotel we chose for this trip was the one at the bottom of the photo – the newer (but less expensive) Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.


It is more casual in feel than its big sister on the hill, and I think this one would be an exceptionally good choice for families with children.  Here is its comfortable lobby.

The halls have old photographs of the estate framed and scattered throughout the building.

There is an onsite coffee shop just steps away from the lobby.

And this is the dining area across from the coffee shop.

Our room had two beds, a window seat, some built in storage, and a desk. The beautiful and serene view outside the window was of the fields on the estate farm.  The bathroom was very nicely appointed, and we will definitely choose to stay here again when we visit Asheville in the future.  (My photo turned out too dark, so here is one from their website.)


There are plenty of shopping opportunities on the estate itself.  I did not get a chance to tell you in the last Biltmore post about the shops right next to the mansion.  Located in the old Biltmore stables, you will find a Christmas shop, a bookshop, a toy shop, a gift shop, a couple of restaurants, and a confectionery.  (Of course my photo would be from it! 🙂 )

But that is not all the shopping there. Our hotel was located right next to Antler Hill Village and Winery.  You can tour the winery (with free samples) and shop in several gift shops.  You can also tour the barn, view antique farm equipment, and see farm animals there in Antler Hill.  It is also where all the outdoor activities begin (biking, Land Rover tours, hiking, horseback riding, and more.)

Additionally, there are exhibits to view in the Legacy building.  The exhibits change out from year to year, and you can read about the one for 2017 here. (It’s all about movie costumes!) The Vanderbilt and Cecil family wedding veils were on exhibit when we were there, including the one worn by Jacqueline Lee Bouvier for her marriage to future U.S. President John F. Kennedy.


More Biltmore Estate shopping is also available at a few shops at the entrance gate, and then it gets confusing. As you can imagine, the name “Biltmore” seems to be on every possible thing in Asheville.  But there is one really good Biltmore shopping experience right across from the estate’s entrance gate:  Historic Biltmore Village, a community that was constructed for those working on the Biltmore Estate.

At the center of the village is The Cathedral of All Souls, the church that George Vanderbilt had constructed from 1896-1905 for parishioners who lived in the village.

The homes were constructed in the Tudor architectural style.  There is a good article with the timeline of the construction of Biltmore Village here.

There is also a hotel in this village…The Grand Bohemian Hotel (the same line of hotels in which we stayed in Celebration, Florida.)  This would be another good choice when visiting the Biltmore Estate (but there is no self parking there, and I believe they do not offer a free shuttle to the Biltmore House like the Village Hotel does.)


It has quite a lobby!


Across the street there are even more stores…from Chico’s, J Crew, and Talbots to Williams Sonoma and a whole host of local shops.

Obviously, this is only one small section of shopping in Asheville.  We also explored the downtown area, and there are a number of other interesting districts to visit as well, but to me, the best part of visiting Asheville is its restaurants.  It is really a “foodie town.”  Before we checked into our hotel, we stopped for Sunday brunch at The Market Place Restaurant located right in the historic downtown area.


Although the food was good, I believe there are many other equally good (if not better) places to try in a town filled with great restaurants.  After that meal, we decided to go on a mission to sample a variety of barbeques in the city. (Such a tough job! 🙂 ) And that will be the topic of my next Travel Talk post.  I hope you will be back for it!

Until next time..

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Laura J. - February 10, 2017 - 2:55 pm

Is the Inn worth it? In other words, what perks go away when you stay at this other property? We are celebrating our 30th and want to splurge a bit…but, don’t know if we would be just as happy where you all stayed. Can you walk to the winery from here? We like to do a lot of walking…Forgive if this is a duplicate comment…not sure if you are moderating and I don’t see mine from yesterday. Thank you so much! Your blog is divine!
Hi Laura! Thank you for your compliment on the blog. Your earlier comment is about 6 up from the bottom. I answered your walking distance and shuttle questions earlier today and also sent you an email with the answer. Please check your spam to make sure it did not go to it. 🙂 As far as the inn being worth it, it really depends on what you want. With it you do get a more “luxury” experience, and I believe the rooms are larger. Here is what it offers that the hotel does not: valet parking, a bellman, 24 hour concierge service, 24 hour room service, fine dining (only casual at the hotel)an on-site spa (hotel guests are also given access to it, but it is not onsite) floral services, in-room movies, custom bathrobe and slippers, a shoe shine service, nightly turn down service, live piano and jazz. The hotel is much closer to Antler Hill Village (right beside it in fact) and they don’t advertise the inn as walkable to the winery…not sure why. It is the building at the top of the top photo on this post, and Antler Hill Village is at the bottom of the photo. It doesn’t look all that far, but I don’t think you can just walk down the hill. The hotel has a long driveway back to the road.That must be why they don’t say it is walking distance to the winery and village. If you want a true luxury experience, then I think the inn would be your choice. There is a much more casual atmosphere at the hotel.

Kristy - February 10, 2017 - 11:54 am

I’m ready for a trip back as well! Our focus on previous visit was the Biltmore, and didn’t take the time to enjoy Ashveille. I enjoy your “travel logs” –very detailed with information, including great places to eat, stay, sites to see.
Yes, I can understand how your focus would be on the Biltmore…so much to see there! But Asheville deserves a lot of time and attention as well. I hope you get to make a return visit there Kristy. 🙂 Thank you for the compliment on the travel posts…not sure everyone is a fan of them, but they are like journal entries for me so that I can remember the trips. 🙂

Dawn - February 10, 2017 - 11:43 am


I love seeing this area via your photos and sources. I love the shopping area that is on Biltmore and our favorite restaurant there is called Cedric’s Tavern. They serve the most delicious house made pickles! I also like the historic story that goes with the Tavern. Thanks for sharing!

We knew Cedric’s was supposed to be very good, but we did not get a chance to dine there. Hopefully, we will make a week long trip back to Asheville and will enjoy it then. I love pickles, so that sounds great!

Gina - February 10, 2017 - 10:28 am

Now, I want to go back to Asheville! I haven’t been in years. I love all the old historical photographs in the hotel. 🙂
Yes, you need to go back Gina. The restaurant scene has really exploded in the last few years. So it is worth a trip back just for the food! 🙂

Jo Anne Hayon - February 10, 2017 - 9:20 am

Simply wonderful. I think this is on my bucket list.
Good Jo Anne! It is a beautiful and fun place to visit. 🙂

kathy - February 10, 2017 - 8:21 am

Great post! It is fun to see posts when you are in our back door! A fun place to eat in Biltmore Village is Corner Kitchen. (It is right across the street from the Well Bred Bakery.) My husband and I just ate there on Wednesday. You would love the reuben and Joe’s chips. Also, when you return you MUST go to tea at the Inn on Biltmore. The tiers of sweets are unbelievably beautiful and delicious! YOU would be in heaven!
Yes, most definitely at your “back door.” 🙂 I have heard several recommendations for Corner Kitchen. Unfortunately we had just finished a barbecue lunch when we were in the village, so we did not eat there. Adding it to the list for a future trip. 🙂 The sandwich and chips sound great! Not sure I could get my husband to go to the tea at the inn, but I could certainly talk my daughter into it. Our kind of food for sure!!

Linda - February 10, 2017 - 8:17 am

Kelly, this is so beautiful. My husband and I are planning a trip in late September. Can’t wait for the rest of the tour.
Oh how fun! You are going to just love it there Linda! It is a very beautiful place. 🙂

Tricia - February 10, 2017 - 2:15 am

Kelly, lovely town. Always fun to travel with you. T
Yes, Asheville is beautiful! Glad you enjoyed the virtual trip! 🙂

Laura J. - February 9, 2017 - 7:04 pm

Could you walk to the winery from where you stayed? And was there a shuttle to the estate? Thank you!
Yes, it was a VERY easy walk from the hotel to the winery and also to the shops in Antler Hill Village. And yes, the hotel ran shuttles all day to and from the estate. So nice to not have to worry about parking there. 🙂

Leigh - February 9, 2017 - 6:56 pm

What a lovely trip! It has been many years since we have visited Biltmore Estates. I wonder if they still have the Biltmore Dairy. Their ice cream was so delicious and the atmosphere was really beautiful. I hope 2017 is filled with many traveling adventures for you to share 📷📷📷
Thank you Leigh. Unfortunately, the dairy has closed down and that division sold (to Pet I think.) The Dairy Bar is no longer in existence either, but there is a “creamery” (ice cream shop) next to the estate, and the vanilla ice cream is made from their original ice cream recipe. That is about as close as it gets to the beloved Biltmore Dairy products today.

Garden, Home and Party - February 9, 2017 - 6:55 pm

What an amazing place. That lobby in the Grand Bohemian Hotel! Wow. I’d love that fireplace and chandelier.

Thanks for sharing.
Wasn’t that fireplace UNREAL?! I would love to tour that hotel. It sits in a great location too! Like I always tell you, you need to plan a trip over to this side of our country one day. 🙂
Happy Friday!

DiAnne - February 9, 2017 - 6:38 pm

This is a fun post and places that are familiar to me. This needs to b
the year I buy a season ticket to Biltmore. Sounds like a good
Valentine gift to myself.
Have a great weekend!
That sounds like a great idea DiAnne! If we lived closer I would do the same. Our daughter wants to eventually move to Asheville, so perhaps we will have a need for that season ticket ourselves one day. 🙂

Faye - February 9, 2017 - 6:13 pm

Hi Kelly! My favorite restaurant is Rhubarb in downtown Asheville. The duck confit is outstanding! The Eating Asheville tour is a great way to check out the food in this delicious town.
That tour sounds like a wonderful thing to do!!! Asheville has amazing restaurants. We even commented we could stay a month and still not check out all the good ones! We will have to try out Rhubarb on our next visit there. Thank you for the recommendation!
Kelly - February 9, 2017 - 5:51 pm

Hey Kelly: So glad you had a good time visiting my fair city!! I’ll be interested in seeing your next post about local eateries. My favorites are not necessarily the downtown places. There is plenty of food here, for sure!!
Your fair city is FABULOUS Debbie! I could eat eat and eat there (and shop and shop and shop!)
Happy Friday!

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