Small Bites

New restaurants abound

Three new eateries are opening in Asheville, adding even more depth to an ever-burgeoning food scene.

Busy B: Brian Canipelli, owner of Cucina 24, is opening a deli two doors down from his full-service restaurant on Wall Street. Photo by Michael Muller

First, a creperie is opening on Haywood road, directly next to Café Ello (across from Malaprops) and Pack Library. The new restaurant, the Twisted Crepe, is set to open on July 15, and will feature, obviously, crepes.

The owner, Dustin Pulliam, says that the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner crepes, as well as dessert crepes at low prices. "Breakfast crepes will be around $4 on average, lunch and dinner crepes will be around $6.99."

Pulliam reports that the creperie will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Twisted Crepe will serve wine and beer, as well as coffee.

Brian Canipelli, owner of Cucina 24, announced that he hopes to open his new sandwich shop, Cucina 24 Deli, before Bele Chere. The deli will be open two doors down from Canipelli’s full-service restaurant at 28 Wall Street. The fare sounds right up the alley of sandwich enthusiasts. "It's going to be butcher paper-wrapped sandwiches. We're roasting all of our meats here, baking all of our breads here," says Canipelli.

The deli will also be retailing some gourmet goods like olive oils, preserves and honey, Canipelli says. He also reports that the counter-service only eatery will serve lunch boxes with sandwiches and trios of antipasti selections.

The deli will offer delivery to restaurants downtown via Vespa. Canipelli reports that he is "almost 100 percent positive" that Cucina 24 Deli will be open seven days a week.

Some of the menu items include roasted turkey with figs, as well as corned beef and sauerkraut on a marble rye that Canipelli calls "awesome." The price will be "on the cheaper side," with sandwiches running about $6 to $8.

Cucina 24 will no longer be open for lunch once the deli opens. For more information, visit cucina24restaurant.com.

HomeGrown, a locally-focused, seasonal foods restaurant, will open in the building vacated by Picnics at 371 Merrimon Avenue. The concept, says Miki Kilpatrick, who is opening the restaurant with her husband Greg (formerly of Savoy and Rezaz), is "slow food, right quick." The atmosphere, she says, will feature a fast-casual style, and the menu will be peppered with as many local foods as possible. "We're going to try to hit a 90 percent bench mark, and do lots of canning and preserving to get us through the winter with local food," she says. "We're really trying to make it our mission to make local food affordable and convenient."

Tokens of change: At the Asheville City Market, EBT holders can now exchange credit for tokens that are good for items like vegetables, meats, eggs and more. Photo courtesy of ASAP

Though that sounds like no small feat, Kilpatrick is taking the challenge in stride. "I grew up on a farm in Madison County, putting up vegetables for the winter. That was just a part of life then."

The restaurant will have a patio for outdoor dining and "just shy of 50 seats inside." The couple plans to feature curbside service and, eventually, delivery.

HomeGrown will be open in September in order to hit harvest month, says Kilpatrick. The price point will remain under $10.

Some of the menu items include a burger with farmstead cheese and sun-dried tomato relish for $6.50, or sweet corn fritters with horseradish remoulade for $4. The restaurant will also offer an option to graze at the salad bar with its selection of local veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as soups and breads, for only — get this — $5.

Finally, Moe's Original Bar B Que is opening a location at 4 Sweeten Creek Road. The restaurant serves up "all things Southern, Alabama BBQ." Moe's will offer take-out, catering and delivery. Only time will tell whether the name of the restaurant will cause any confusion with the (unaffiliated) Moe's Southwest Grill, located only a mile away. The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information, visit moesoriginalbbq.com.

Asheville City Market opens doors

Last month, the Asheville City Market, run by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, began accepting EBT (government-supplied debit cards that be exchanged for food), as well as standard debit and credit cards.

Here’s how it works: Farmers market shoppers can visit the market information table and use their EBT, debit or credit card to secure tokens exchangeable for many of the produce and goods available at the Asheville City Market. Volunteers are also available at the market to assist with the transactions, and even give shopping and cooking tips.

This is encouraging news, according to Emily Jackson, the director of ASAP's Growing Minds program. She hopes the move will attract a wider range of customers.

"Farmers markets are gathering places, and we want a diverse and truly representative community at Asheville City Market,” she says.

Additionally, the market has added a Kids' Corner Market, with activities, cooking demonstrations and more.

According to Maggie Cramer, communications coordinator for ASAP, the organization "hopes to provide a resource for those who may not otherwise shop at the Asheville City Market. (Shoppers) can bring their children for free activities while they shop for local food."

The Asheville City Market is located at 161 Charlotte St. in downtown Asheville. The market is open every Saturday through December 19, and is located on a bus route. Visit asapconnections.org for more information, or call 236-1282.

Gardening for good

On Monday, July 19, a team of at least 30 volunteers, all employees of Tupelo Honey Café owner Steve Frabitore, will visit the YWCA on S. French Broad, armed with garden tools supplied by B. B. Barnes. The aim? To spend the day refurbishing the YWCA’s organic children’s garden. The rather substantial plot, which currently holds a fig tree, several clusters of herbs, raspberries and other perennials, has grown unkempt and choked with weeds.

"The economy's been hard, and we've had budget issues around having enough staff to really maintain the garden," says Ami Worthen, YWCA marketing director. The space, originally planted by Laurey Masterton of Laurey’s Catering and a team of volunteers, is a powerful teaching tool for the children involved in the YWCA's child care programs, many of whom have never had a garden, says Worthen.

The Tupelo Honey staff will spruce up the garden and prepare for late-harvest planting. "It's a wonderful resource for the children that we serve here," says Worthen. The YWCA's children have already begun planting seeds in preparation — little cups filled with sprouts line the windows of some of the classrooms.

"We're really excited about this partnership and their commitment to our garden," says Worthen. "Local restaurants getting involved with this project makes a lot of sense."

It sounds as though Tupelo Honey is indeed highly committed to the task; restaurant gardener Shosha Capps will offer support in the form of continued garden maintenance. Once the food is ready to be harvested, Tupelo Honey chefs will visit the YWCA to prepare healthy meals for the kids and their parents.

Monetary donations toward ongoing YWCA garden projects are being accepted at any Tupelo Honey location, B.B. Barnes or at the YWCA of Asheville. Donations should be placed in an envelope marked with “YWCA Garden Fund." Checks can be made out to the YWCA of Asheville. For more information, visit ywcaofasheville.org.

[Send your food news to food@mountainx.com]

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One thought on “Small Bites

  1. Try Kc’s Dawg pound for a Nathans original Coney Island Hot Dog. Located at the corner of Hwy. 19/23 and exit 37 I-40 in the Dollar General parking lot. Great food, inexpensive, a great value

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