Holiday Markets: Even Santa’s staffers are locally grown at the Asheville City Market, where Silverbelle the rein-goat is greeting holiday shoppers in search of handcrafted honeys, molasses, jams, jellies, pickles, soaps, salves and lotions. “The bustle of markets really captures the spirit of the holidays,” writes Mike McCreary, manager of the Asheville City Market, one of five area tailgate markets celebrating the season this month. Holiday markets scheduled for Dec. 13 and 20 include City Market (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), the French Broad Food Co-op Tailgate Market (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), the North Asheville Tailgate Market (8 a.m.-noon) and the Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) The West Asheville Tailgate Market will host its holiday event—complete with eggnog—on Sunday, Dec. 14, from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. For locations and more information, visit www.asapconnections.org.
Hanukah Dinner: Scratch, Eric Backer’s much-anticipated downtown eatery, still wasn’t open at press time, but Hanukah celebrants will have an opportunity to sample the restaurant’s output at a holiday dinner sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. Scratch is slated to prepare the JCC’s annual traditional feast on Dec. 21, the first night of the eight-day holiday. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with an adult cocktail hour and children’s “coke-tail” party. Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for children; JCC members receive a 20 percent discount. Reservations are required. To purchase tickets, call 253-0701, ext. 108, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Ridge To Go: While Blue Ridge to Go won’t stick a candle in every California roll and chicken parmagiana it delivers this month, the restaurant delivery service is quietly celebrating its fifth anniversary. Blue Ridge to Go opened in December 2003 with four part-time drivers, one office staff member and 13 restaurants on its roster. Today, the company boasts four full-time drivers, 11 part-time drivers, four office staff members and 29 partner restaurants. “We are absolutely thrilled,” owner Kenan Hopkins wrote in an e-newsletter marking the milestone. Hopkins notes the list of restaurants from which customers can order continues to grow, with Buddha Bagels, Frankie Bones, Jack of the Wood, Laughing Seed Café, Nine Mile and Suwanna’s Thai Orchid among the most recent additions. To learn more, visit www.blueridgetogo.com.
Spirits On The River: Asheville’s only Native American restaurant has apparently closed. While erroneous reports of the eatery’s demise have occasionally surfaced over the years, Spirits on the River’s phone has been disconnected and its East Asheville building shuttered. Spirits on the River’s unique menu and serene setting attracted many fans, including Rachael Ray, who famously profiled the restaurant in her $40 a Day episode devoted to Asheville eats.