Small bites: Amazing Pizza Co. goes inside

OUTSIDE IN: In planning its new brick-and-mortar restaurant in Hendersonville, Amazing Pizza Co. originally intended to have the kitchen located in a converted shipping container next door to the building. When the city put a stop to those plans, the owners simply moved the container inside the building. The restaurant opened in late August. Photo courtesy of Amazing Pizza Co.

Amazing Pizza Co. had a dilemma: Despite the success it had with its wood-fired pizza food trucks, the city of Hendersonville said it couldn’t park a shipping container beside its brand-new restaurant space. APC had intended the container to serve as the kitchen for its new brick-and-mortar location, having already outfitted it with a new custom-built, wood-fired oven.

So APC moved the container inside the old tire store on Seventh Avenue and opened as a restaurant in late August. The location’s 60-seat dining room now gives diners an indoor option for the business’s hand-crafted pizzas, which are built on top of dough made from a 300-year-old recipe and baked in a locally fabricated oven that heats up to 1,000 degrees.

The new restaurant has a drive-through window and an indoor children’s play area. Construction on its bar should be completed in mid-October, owner Darren Stephens says. Everything about APC’s new space is unique, he adds. “I don’t know of another place with a wood-fired oven in a shipping container in an old tire shop,” he says.

Amazing Pizza Co. is at 706 Seventh Ave. E., Hendersonville. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Learn more about it at avl.mx/5ba.

WNC Garlic Fest

Sow True Seed brings back the WNC Garlic Fest for its fifth year on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the company’s new digs on Haywood Street. The free, family-friendly festival features more than 30 local vendors offering samples of everything from garlic ice cream to garlic tea and kombucha. New this year, the Organic Growers School will host a beer tent serving garlic beer brewed by Fonta Flora Brewery, and Slow Food Asheville will operate a family fun area with a bounce house, face painting, games, music and food trucks. Wrist bands for entry to the family area will cost $10, with proceeds supporting Slow Food Asheville and the WNC Garlic Fest. As in years past, the festival will include free 45-minute workshops on garlic growing, fermentation and cooking. Sow True Seed will have several certified seed garlic varieties for sale before and on the day of the event.

WNC Garlic Fest is noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, Sow True Seed, 243 Haywood St. Admission is free. For details, visit wncgarlicfest.com.

Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

Food Truck Festivals of America presents its second Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Asheville Outlets. The family-friendly event features 25 food trucks from all over North Carolina, as well as craft beers and ales, plus music, lawn games and a local arts market. Active/retired military and first responders (police, fire and EMTs) are admitted free. VIP tickets include early access with no lines, free dessert, $1 off beers and unlimited free bottled water.

Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival at Asheville Outlets will be noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. VIP hour is 11 a.m.-noon. Tickets, available at avl.mx/5b8, are $10 at the gate or $5 in advance; VIP tickets are $30 at the gate, $25 in advance. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Asheville Wine Focus Group

Metro Wines is convening its Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the wine shop. The free event will feature the wines of Empire Distributors, a wholesale distributor that represents 1,000 brands from around the world, from everyday wines such as Villa Pozzi from Sicily to high-end wines such as Stag’s Leap, Heitz Cellars and Dom Perignon.

Empire Distributors will present four wines for consideration. Participants will be asked in an informal give-and-take gathering to say if they like the wine, whether they think other customers will, should Metro Wines sell the wine and, if so, how much the shop should charge.

The Asheville Wine Focus Group meets 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte St.

Chestnut supports Pedal for Alzheimers

A group of charitable cyclists passing through Asheville on Monday, Oct. 8, will have a good meal to look forward to. Kevin Westmoreland and Joe Scully of Chestnut restaurant will prepare plates of lasagna for some two dozen Pedal for Alzheimers riders raising money for Alzheimer’s research. Their trip from Knoxville, Tenn., to Daytona Beach, Fla., entails 1,098 miles — one mile for each victory won by the late Tennessee Vols women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who died of Alzheimer’s in 2016. Alzheimer’s has affected Westmoreland’s family, and he and Scully both love cycling, so their being involved in this dinner “seemed like a no-brainer,” Westmoreland says. The riders will chow down at Chestnut after the longest and most grueling leg of their trip. “It’s essential for the riders to have a really delicious meal every night,” event director Sara Mitchell says. “Lasagna at Chestnut will be a huge morale booster. This is a dinner that everyone is really excited about.”

Find out more about the ride at avl.mx/5b9.

Highlands Food & Wine Festival

Some tickets are still available for events at the Highlands Food and Wine Festival, happening Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 8-11. The Grand Tasting, Main Event and Gospel Brunch events are sold out, but the festival has created a Facebook page — Highlands Food & Wine Ticket Exchange 2018 — to buy, sell and trade tickets for sold-out and other events. Tickets are still available for the Truckin’ food truck extravaganza, scheduled for noon-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9; A Generous Pour concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10; and the Sip & Shop wine strolls on and around Main Street 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 9-10. Additionally, a handful of Highlands restaurants have teamed up with winemakers to put on dinners around town. All festival events are for those 21 or older, so a valid ID is required. The nonprofit festival, held to promote Highlands, plans to recycle and compost its waste (last year it diverted 3,085 pounds of material from the local landfill, it reports). The concert, featuring Langhorne Slim and The Lost at Last Band, will benefit the Highlands Food Pantry.

Highlands Food & Wine Festival is Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 8-11, at various locations around Highlands. Event times vary. For more, visit avl.mx/5b1.

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About Paul Clark
Based in Asheville, NC, Paul Clark has been writing for newspapers, magazines and websites for more than 40 years. He is an award-winning journalist, writer and photographer. Some of his photography can be seen at paulgclark.smugmug.com. Google his name to find stories and photos that have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the Southeast.

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