Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten Free Asheville, NC

I recently went to Asheville NC with Bob and Ruth's Gluten Free Travel Club. It was my first trip with them and my first time in Asheville, and it was a really fun trip. There were 28 people on the tour and we stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, an easy walk to the restaurants we went to and located right next to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, which I could see from the hotel room window, and which I toured on our “free” day. The tour takes about an hour. Almost everything in the house was original to the house. Neat tour for Thomas Wolfe fans.

We went to the Biltmore, which is the biggest tourist draw in the area and is very beautiful and worth the visit.  Bob and Ruth had arranged a gluten free lunch in the upstairs of the Stable Cafe. There was a fritter appetizer, which I don't think too many people really enjoyed. It tasted a little doughy. Then there was a choice of either a hamburger, a sampler plate or a vegetarian salad. I chose the sampler plate, and I think it really was the best choice. There was some pulled pork, some chicken and some ribs with various vegetables. It was all tasty. I'd have that again if it were available. (I don't think the restaurant normally has much gf.) Dessert was a chocolate mousse. I ate it all. (I ate all of all of the desserts we were served, at all the meals, even if I was overstuffed, and I usually was.) That was the only lunch that we had as a group.

There were three dinners on the trip. The first was a buffet at the hotel. I enjoyed it all, but was especially thrilled with the macaroni and cheese. I don't think I have had mac and cheese since going gluten free, and this version was particularly fine. The quinoa salad and the fried chicken were also particularly good, but there was a large assortment of items, and then two desserts – a sort of Mallow Bar made of a chocolate chip cookie topped with a marshamllowy cream and held together with a chocolate shell, and then a cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. I ate a full serving of both.

The second dinner was held at Posana's. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. It was fabulous. First, everything they serve is gf, always! Secondly, the food is wonderfully prepared. Third, the service was excellent. Great restaurant! My entree was small, but I left pretty full. I had sweet potato soup as my appetizer, and scallops with grits as my entree. (There were two choices for each course—but not for dessert.) The dessert was a very delicate walnut chiffon cake, layered with a flavorful bavairan cream frosting and served with a lemon gelato and a couple of candied walnuts. The best dessert of the trip, hands down. Best meal of the trip too, come to think of it.

The third and last dinner was served family style at Strada. First there was am Antipasto platter of various cold vegetable and meats served with a little hummus and, and there was also some flat bread with dipping oil. I ate more of all of it than I should have. Then there was a pasta presentation with two different kinds of meatballs. That was followed by the entrees, which were Veal Marsala and Chicken Sorrentino, served with risotto and broccolini. (I can't believe it, but I took seconds on the risotto, having felt wistful about not getting seconds earlier in the the week of that fabulous macaroni and cheese.) Then dessert! Tiramisu. Yes! Yes! I at it all in spite of being completely stuffed.

I'm going to have to do a lot of gustatorial penance for awhile. Yes. I did overeat at every meal. Yes. I would do it again. Thank you, Bob – Ruth, too, who was not present, but whom I will hopefully meet on another excursion.