Small Bites

Going smokeless: Step into the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Merrimon Avenue and take a deep breath: The ever-popular “brew and view” has gone smoke-free, even at the bar area (of course, you can still pop outside for drag or two).

Pickin’ and ‘cue: Barbecue and bluegrass will make an appetizing combination this Saturday, March 11, at the first annual WNC BBQ Cook Off and Bluegrass Jam . Presented by Clear Channel Radio and the WNC Farmer’s Market, the event will give barbecue connoisseurs the opportunity to sample chicken, pork and brisket — all cooked by the competitors — while enjoying the sounds of Mark Pruitt and the Whitewater Bluegrass Company. A “Kids Zone” will feature face painting and rides. The party starts at 8 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. Contact Brian Roberts at 253-1691 at the WNC Farmer’s Market for details.

St. Patty’s at Earth Fare: Forget about those dried sausage slices on a toothpick — Earth Fare’s got the grocery-store-sampling event to beat them all. The health-food grocery will get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day with a free big beer, Irish cheese and banger tasting on Thursday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. Several beer experts will be on hand to help you pick out the perfect brew for your St. Patty’s festivities. Then, on Friday, March 17, the store will give demonstations on how to make “Irish potato cakes with a wee bit o’ green” at noon and 6 p.m. On Saturday the 18th, Earth Fare will showcase more Irish cheese and beer samples, stage an “eat your beer” chili cook-off at 1 p.m., and provide more cooking demonstrations at noon and 4 p.m. For more information, call 253-7656.

Log Cabin Cooking: Barbara Swell, the Asheville-based author and cooking instructor, is back with a new spring schedule of classes with fun titles like “Granny’s Biscuits,” “Miracle Desserts” and “Everybody Loves Warm Cinnamon Buns.” All classes take place in Barbara’s vintage log cabin, where participants don retro aprons and learn to use classic cooking utensils. Sign up early — these classes fill up quick. For a full list of the classes and their dates, visit, or contact Swell at 298-2270 or


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