Small Bites

The uncertain future of restaurants in today’s battered economy has led many savvy restaurateurs to try new schemes, but Bavarian Restaurant owner Doc Homburg’s latest plan to lure diners is positively Paleolithic: Homburg this month debuted “Das Wild Beast Fest,” a menu featuring forest creatures rarely seen on Asheville plates. According to Homburg, customers have been lapping up wild boar and venison medallions.

“They love it,” says Homburg. “About 40 percent of the menu is wild stuff. Right now, the restaurant business is suffering, and I’m trying to build up something nobody really has.”

Homburg comes by the dishes honestly: Wild game is a staple of traditional German cuisine. Bavarian’s bestial menu includes hasenpfeffer, the classic German stew of marinated rabbit, and a clear schildkrotensuppe, commonly known as snapper soup.

“Mostly you see creamy snapper soups,” Homburg says. “This is real snapper soup. In the late 1950s, I learned it from an old German chef. You simmer the bones and have a nice clear soup. It’s very tasty.”

All of Bavarian’s wild beast entrees—other options include buffalo, ostrich, frog legs and elk—are priced at $26.99, and are served with potato salad, Vienna salad, red cabbage and bread.

While Homburg is obviously proud to have the area’s only restaurant showcasing so many wild critters on its menu, he stresses the simplicity of his dishes: “We’re a simple restaurant,” he says. “I always say, if your food is served on a square plate, I wonder if you’re getting a square meal.”

Bavarian Lodge is located at 332 Weaverville Road; for more information, call 645-8383.

Me Foodie You Foodie: Henderson County resident Diana Kostigen set out to create a case study and ended up with a gift basket business. Me Foodie You Foodie, first conceived as an imaginary enterprise to showcase Kostigen’s marketing techniques, now offers 21 food-filled gift baskets, each priced at $90. Themed baskets include “My Man’s a Redneck Foodie,” featuring barbecue sauce, grits mix and a truck-shaped candy dispenser, and “My Fido’s a Foodie,” complete with homemade dog biscuits. To learn more, visit www.mefoodieyoufoodie.com, or call 329-0980.

Sunset Terrace: Grove Park Inn’s Sunset Terrace is the latest local eatery to debut a prix-fixe menu, offering three classic American courses for $30. The terrifically retro menu features appetizers, entrees and desserts that all would have been instantly familiar to 1950s readers of Good Housekeeping: Think Waldorf salad, steak Dianne and crème brulée. Call (800) 438-5800 for more.

Vintage Carolina: Hendersonville’s leading restaurants will be serving up samples at Vintage Carolina, the annual fundraiser for the Community Foundation of Henderson County, scheduled for March 2. Tickets to the evening event at the Hendersonville Country Club are $75; participating restaurants include Blackwater Grille, Blue Water Seafood Co., Umi and West First Wood Fired Pizza. To purchase tickets, call 697-6224.

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