Small bites: Habitat Tavern and Commons hosts community potlucks

COME TOGETHER: On the last Monday of every month, Habitat Tavern and Commons will host a potluck dinner called Common Table with the aim of bringing diverse elements of the community together. Photo courtesy of Habitat Tavern and Commons

Here are a few questions to chew on: What keeps you up at night, and what gets you out of bed in the morning? Who do you want to be, and how will you become it? What is life-giving, and what is giving you life?

These are just a taste of the queries Habitat Tavern and Commons will pose to attendees during its monthly potluck series, Common Table. The dinners launched in April, with future gatherings scheduled to take place on the last Monday of each month. Jonathan Myers, the brewery’s co-owner, considers these initial inquiries as a way to facilitate conversation among those who attend. “Hopefully after that, people are able to find some common ground … and build community,” he says. “That’s the ultimate hope, which is why we named it Common Table.”

The format is fairly straightforward. People are asked to prepare and bring food to share. In the interest of preventing waste, guests are also encouraged to bring a plate and utensils to eat with, otherwise plasticware and paper plates will be provided. Beer will be for sale in the taproom, but guests can bring their own nonalcoholic beverages.

Myers, who describes himself an introvert, understands the reluctance some might feel about attending such an event. Nevertheless, he encourages everyone to give it a chance. He advises those who are more reserved to bring a friend along. “It’s always easier to go through a new experience with someone you know,” he says.

Inclusivity is the main thing. “All are welcome,” says Myers. “If people are interested in building community and having a place to share a space with others, this is a great opportunity for that.”

Common Table is hosted 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the last Monday of each month at Habitat Tavern and Commons, 174 Broadway. The next one happens Monday, May 29. The events are family-friendly and free to attend. RSVPs on the event’s Facebook page are encouraged but not required. For details, visit  

Green Man, Verbena Cakes present Spring Offering

Green Man Brewery and Verbena Cakes and Catering will partner on Tuesday, May 23, for an evening of food and drink. The Spring Offering dinner will consist of a four-course meal with beer pairings. “We are still relatively new to Asheville, so what better way to introduce ourselves as a local catering company than with a local brewery,” says Emma Hobbs, Verbena’s executive pastry chef and event and catering manager. Highlights from the menu include sunchoke and gruyere fritters, steak and Green Man Porter pie, and carrot cake. Guests will receive a souvenir Green Man glass.

The Spring Offering begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, at Green Man Brewery’s Greenmansion, 27 Buxton Ave. Tickets are $60. For details, visit

Class focuses on salt’s role in cooking

On Thursday, May 25, Living Web Farms will present Elements of Cooking: Salt, a class covering the history of salt as it relates to the culinary arts. The course will also cover varieties of salt and discuss best uses to improve cooking projects. “Antibiotics, refrigeration, preservatives and an ever-increasing array of disinfectants, albeit often poorly vetted though they may be, have all served to diminish salt’s importance to humanity,” says Patryk Battle, director of Living Web Farms. “But in the realm of food and cooking, salt’s role remains critical.” Battle will lead the class, along with Meredith Leigh, the program’s education and outreach coordinator.

Elements of Cooking: Salt runs 6:30-7 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at the French Broad Food Co-Op, 90 Biltmore Ave. A $10 donation is suggested. Register at

Tacos, gelato and beer at Billy Goat Bikes

Billy Goat Bikes recently launched a weekly mountain bike group ride that wraps up with a party. The event, sponsored by Stone Brewing, takes place 6-8 p.m. every Thursday. Riders depart from Billy Goat Bikes for a social-paced cycle covering 8-15 miles. At the end of the ride, Tacoed Wheel Food Truck offers its menu of tacos and more outside Billy Goat Bikes, while inside, Sugar & Snow Gelato has gelato, espresso drinks, snacks and beer for sale. “Thursday evening rides are a great way to kick off the weekend a bit early,” says Sugar & Snow owner Amy Pickett. “We are excited to have a location close to the trails that can serve as a gathering place for the mountain biking community.”

Group rides take place 6-8 p.m. Thursdays beginning and ending at Billy Goat Bikes, 1445 Brevard Road. Participation is free, and registration is not required. For details, visit

Taste the Seasons cooking class

Dietitian Denise Barratt of Vine Ripe Nutrition will host a clean-eating, spring cooking workshop Thursday, May 18, at Franny’s Farm. Participants will learn to make spring vegetable and chicken risotto, strawberry lavender corn cakes and more. Along with the meal and instruction, guests will receive meal ideas, recipes and a local, seasonal shopping list

Taste the Seasons Cooking Class is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at Franny’s Farm, 22 Franny’s Farm Road, Leicester. Cost is $55. To register, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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