Small Bites

Firestorm Café & Books, billed as a “worker-owned community event space,” has officially opened at 48 Commerce Ave. in downtown Asheville, adjacent to The Thirsty Monk. The collectively owned coffee shop has already hosted a number of progressive-minded events, but—as of May 24—it’s keeping regular hours: Every day, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to serving organic fair-trade coffee, signature herbal-blend teas, wraps and paninis, the store stocks new books about politics, community organizing and crafts. “The whole focus is on community and creating a comfortable, safe place for everyone,” says Alex Willard, one of 12 owners behind the project. Fellow co-owner Shannon Zambricki says future plans include hosting live music, screening documentaries and “making small community grants.” For more information, call 255-8115.

Which came first, the smoked chicken or the egg? In Flat Rock, it’s the latter: Starr Teel has opened a barbecue joint behind the über-popular Wrinkled Egg novelty shop, which was started in 1990 by his wife, Virginia. Hubba Hubba is Teal’s first restaurant. “We’re serving pulled chicken, pulled pork, rib racks and briskets,” a staffer said. Sides include collards, corn bread and two kinds of cole slaw. While the eatery doesn’t have any seating, customers are encouraged to enjoy their meals at a nearby picnic table. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “We’re hopefully expanding when we get the drift of it,” the staffer added. Call 694-3551 for updates.

North Carolina is fertile ground for all sorts of edibles, but ranks as a national leader in only a few select categories—including trout production. Haywood County will celebrate its contribution to the industry at the annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds on Saturday, June 21. The daylong event includes fishing clinics, a trout race and fried-trout dinners. Admission is $2 for adults. To learn more, call 926-1686 or visit www.gsmtroutfestival.org.

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