After staying with a Nepali restaurateur’s in Maryland and a Chinese-Burmese foodie family in Boston, I concluded the winter break in a quiet little town called Denton, North Carolina, in a quiet stone-walled house with gables overlooking ponds and woods. After having been home all winter break, my friend, Will, finally found an excuse, which is me, to escape the peaceful silence of the woods and flee to Asheville, right on the day after I arrived at his house.
People insinuate different things when I recount my Asheville trip with Will. This surprises me because I thought friendships between a heterosexual man and woman face suspicion only in traditional societies like Burma, where people befriend along strict gender lines. I was wrong. The same suspicion exists in the U.S. too. In fact, it’s probably worse off here. I know of truly platonic bi-gender friendships among international students on campus, but a close friendship between an American man and woman, to me, is unheard of, at least not on Davidson campus.
Ignoring what my college peers or waiters and waitresses would think, I happily took off my Asheville trip with Will, and visited tons of cafes and cutesy tea houses, of course, with him texting his girl along the way, and me … ahem, let’s just leave it here… So, the three places listed here are by far the best around Asheville among other gastronomic encounters during our short stay.
1. Sunny Point Cafe
The award-winning cafe procures some of the ingredients from local farmers, which seems a very Asheville thing to do after all. The breakfast croissant, with sweet roasted tomatoes contrasting the savory black pepper bacon, came with chipotle cheese grits.
2. Mike’s on Main Street
This one’s in a nearby town called Hendersonville. For some reason, the old Coca Cola and Hershey signs in this quintessential small town American café reminded me of a scene from Grease. One detail in that particular scene is the milkshake that Olivia Newton-John is having. This in turn made me yearn for milkshake, which Mike’s on Main Street happened to serve!
Our first night in Asheville, we weren’t sure where to eat. After wandering around in cold, we picked this one, judging by the number of diners in the café. Turns out, we weren’t let down.