Small Bites

More than meets the eye at Beans and Berries

I recently found myself summoned to Beans and Berries for an impromptu brunch meeting. When I replied that my body was clamoring for something more substantial than a smoothie, I was surprised to learn that the eatery carried a small but mighty menu. Unbeknownst to me, and I'm guessing more than a few of you, Beans and Berries serves breakfast all day, as well as an assortment of lunchy items, like wraps and house-made soups. Beans and Berries originally opened in February of 2008 on Broadway. The owners, Paige and Danny Scully, also own Scully's Signature Dine and Drink at 13 Walnut St. 

Let the sunshine in: West Asheville's Sunny Point Cafe has a new sheltered porch that allows guest to dine al fresco — whatever the seaon. Photos by Jonathan Welch

The restaurant later moved to the old location of Gourmet Perks on Merrimon Avenue in order to expand, allowing chef, baker and manager Hollie Connor to make nearly everything on the menu from scratch. Connor, who has been with the eatery since its inception, is proud of the work that she puts into the menu in order to turn out a quality product

All of our baked goods are made from scratch — all of our muffins, our bars, anything special that I want to throw out there," says Connnor. She also marinates and roasts the chicken for the chicken salad and mixes it together with all fresh ingredients. The eggs for her egg salad are all free-range, says Connor. "It's like a deviled-egg salad," she says. "So it has a lot of flavor to it. I make everything but the bread products, like bread and wraps, but the bagels I bake in house. We're always coming up with new bagels — like jalapeno-cheddar, for example."

The eatery also has a location at the YMCA. "It's pretty much a mirror of our home location — we do smoothies, locally roasted coffee from Beanwerks. We do a chicken-salad wrap, egg salad and turkey provolone."

Beans and Berries is located at 165 Merrimon Ave. For more information, call 254-6969 or visit www.beansandberriesavl.com. In a rush? Beans and Berries has a drive-through window.

Sunny side up

Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville recently completed a renovation that allows the restaurant to keep its patio open for the entirety of the year. The updated space now features a permanent translucent roof, a heater for winter months, fans for the summer and drop-down walls. The renovation provides for year-round seating, as well as a more-sheltered waiting area. That's good news for customers who shy at the prospect of waiting for their angel biscuits while being buffeted by the elements.

Currently, the restaurant is getting ready for the spring, says Belinda Raab, who owns the restaurant with her daughter, April Moon Harper. Raab says that the restaurant's garden is being sown with seeds that will provide vegetables for fresh spring salads and side dishes. Belinda counts beets, greens and radishes among what Sunny Point expects to harvest.

Beans, berries and BLT's: Beans and Berries owner Paige Scully and manager Hollie Connor provide much more than smoothies at the Merrimon Avenue eatery.

The gardens are taken care of by Farm Girl Garden Design, owned by Lauri Newman. Newman studied landscape architecture at the NC State University College of Design,  and is also schooled in permaculture, ecological design, organic farming, holistic herbalism and more. Newman and her Farmgirl cohorts have been known to practice guerilla gardening, transforming hardscrabble space into flourishing gardens.

Sunny Point is located at 626 Haywood Road. For more information, visit www.sunnypointcafe.com. For more about Farm Girl Garden Design, visit farmgirlgardendesigns.com

Really quick bites

Packing it in: Pack's Tavern on Spruce Street in downtown Asheville is opening on April 19, immediately following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which begins at 10:45 am. For more information, visit www.packstavern.com
Movable feast: Tomato Cocina Latina is moving to the space next to Earth Fare at the Westgate Plaza. The new location should be open in the next three to four weeks. Restaurant staff at the Patton Avenue location expect they will need to close for only one week in order to move, unless inspections take longer than expected.
Sad times for the Southside Café: According to a recent Asheville Citizen Times report, the Southside Café, located on Hendersonville Road for 20 years, is going out of business. Owner Lance Carter attributes the closing to the recent veritable explosion of eateries on his side of town. "The pie was being split between all of us," the article quotes him as saying.
Snacks for Mac: The owners of the Corner Kitchen, Joe Scully and Kevin Westmoreland, have teamed up with a third partner to form a new company called Gianni Panini. The new business is currently providing paninis for City Mac over on Biltmore Avenue, as well as the Dripolator on Broadway. "Our goal is to provide fresh, handmade paninis to restaurants at a wholesale price.  This is a nice alternative to the [Corner Kitchen] making the sandwiches in-house which might be cost or space prohibitive," said Westmoreland in an email to Xpress.
Everything tastes better in the sun:
• Piazza in Fairview has opened a patio for the spring al fresco dining. For more information about Piazza, visit www.piazzaeast.com, or call 298-7224
• Did you also know that Sazerac on Broadway in downtown Asheville has a rooftop patio? For more information, visit www.ashevillesazerac.com or call 225-2553.
• The Blackbird in Black Mountain has also opened their patio. They are serving a revitalized spring menu as well. For more information, visit www.theblackbirdrestaurant.com or call 828-669-5556.

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