Small Bites

Holiday bites

The Hop Ice Cream Company is making Yule logs for Christmas. The confections are an ice cream take on a classic dessert, and are available for order through Wednesday, Dec. 22.

The ice cream shop makes their Yule logs with jelly-roll cake from Creme Patisserie, which they roll with the customer's choice of vanilla bean, butter pecan or peppermint stick ice cream. Then, the whole concoction is covered with dark chocolate ice cream and decorated to order. For $22.95 plus tax, the whole shebang serves up to a dozen.

For more information about the Hop, visit hopicecreamcafe.com.

Speaking of Creme, the little Merrimon confectionary has a number of holiday specials of their own.
 
Creme is turning out hot cross buns — sweet rolls baked with currants and spices and frosted with an “X”. They cost $10 for a half-dozen.

The bakery also offers a number of pies: Apple, pumpkin and the amazing-sounding Jack Daniels chocolate pecan pie. Whole pies run $20 each, while cakes — salted caramel, double chocolate cheesecake and coconut cake — are $28.

Holiday boxes and baskets, filled with an assortment of baked goods, are also available. According to co-owner Jitra Neal, a number of special breads will also be available come Dec. 23rd, including focaccia, sesame butter bread and dinner rolls. Neal recommends pre ordering to ensure that certain items are available. Details can be found by calling the bakery at 350-9839. Creme is located at 640 Merrimon Ave. in suite 201.

Creme isn't the only bakery offering holiday breads. The City Bakery offers pannetone and stollen. According to Brian Dennehy, City Bakery general manager, "Our pannetone is a traditional Italian holiday bread. It’s a rich, sweet, sourdough flavored with vanilla bean and studded with dark chocolate.” Visit citybakery.net for more information.

Marco’s Pizzeria is also getting ready for the holidays. The restaurant is serving up crowd-sized portions of some of its classic Italian menu items for holiday entertaining. The special holiday menu features more than a dozen dishes, from antipasto platters to meatballs and baked pastas. Trays are available in half (serves 8) and full sizes (serves 16).

Marco’s holiday menu includes: lasagna, baked ziti, pastas, Parmigiana (chicken or eggplant), sausage and peppers, meatballs and salads. Vegetarian options are available.

Holiday menu orders should be placed at least 24 hours prior to pickup. Call Marco’s at 285-0709 (North) or 277-0004 (South). Both locations are closed on Mondays. For more information, visit marcos-pizzeria.com.

Calling all bakers

Through Friday Dec. 17, Loving Food Resources Food Bank invites you to bake cookies to make a difference. Loving Food Resources will hold their 20th annual Holiday Cookie Party on Friday the 17th from 6 until 8 p.m. During that time, the organization will fill 125 cake boxes with homemade cookies and individually wrapped chocolates for their client’s holiday food box pick-up that weekend. The organization will also accept donations before the event

Loving Food Resources is an all-volunteer food bank that serves people living with HIV/AIDS, as well those in hospice care. The organization is requesting that donors bring at least four dozen homemade cookies to help fill their gift boxes.

The drop-off point (and cookie party location) is at the Social Hall of Kennilworth Presbyterian Church on the corner of Chiles Avenue and Kenilworth Road. For more information and for early cookie drop off, contact Betty Sharpless at 254-8832.

The gift of food

How about a CSA for Christmas? It's the kind of present any chef would love. Winter Sun Farms is a community supported agriculture program that provides locally grown food all winter long. At the height of freshness, fruits and vegetables are processed and frozen at Blue Ridge Food Ventures and distributed throughout the cold months.

Consumers purchase “winter shares” from Blue Ridge Food Ventures in advance of the growing season. The money is used to help area food growers purchase seeds and get their crops in the ground. Some farmers are certified organic; some are certified naturally grown. All of them grow sustainably and responsibly.

Blue Ridge Food Ventures offers Winter Sun Farms gift certificates — the perfect size for stuffing stockings.

For more information, visit wintersunfarmsnc.com.

Christmas eats

Seems like nearly everything is closed on Christmas, which is a good thing for the workers, at least. However, where is one to go when they’ve had their fill of family, want to get out of the house — or don’t celebrate Christmas to begin with?

Traditionally, options generally tend toward greasy Chinese and fast food, but luckily there are some independent options. Here are a few, provided by the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association:
Christmas Eve:
Avenue M. avenuemavl.com
Bistro 1896 (special holiday menu) bistro1896.com
Blue Water Seafood (until 2 p.m.) bluewaterseafood.net
Bouchon ashevillebouchon.com
Chef Mo's chefmo.com
Chelsea's Tea Room (open until 3 p.m.)
City Bakery (open until 2 p.m.) citybakery.net
Corner Kitchen (open until 3 p.m.)
Fiore's Ristorante Toscana fioresasheville.com
Frankie Bones fbdining.com
Gianni Panini giannipanini.net
Green Sage thegreensage.net
All Grove Park Inn restaurants groveparkinn.com
Grovewood Cafe grovewoodcafe.com
Jack of the Wood laughingseed.jackofthewood.com
Laughing Seed Café (open until 3 p.m.) laughingseed.jackofthewood.com
Luella's BBQ (open until 3 p.m.) luellasbarbeque.com
Neo Cantina neocantina.com
Olive or Twist oliveortwist.net
Pizzeria Ritrovo ritrovopizzeria.com (special holiday menu)
Pomodoros pomodoroscafe.com
Posana posanacafe.com
The Lobster Trap thelobstertrap.biz
Vincenzo's vincenzos.com
Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian vinniesitalian.com
Westville Pub westvillepub.com
Christmas Day:
Avenue M. avenuemavl.com
Bistro 1896 (special holiday menu)
Fiore's Ristorante Toscana fioresasheville.com
All Grove Park Inn restaurants groveparkinn.com
Grovewood Cafe grovewoodcafe.com
Olive or Twist oliveortwist.net
Vincenzo's vincenzos.com
Zen Sushi zen-sushi-asheville.com
Kubo’s kubosjapanese-asheville.com
Know of a restaurant that we left out? Visit mountainx.com and let us know.

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