Small bites: Katie Button opens a bagel shop

ROLLING ALONG: Katie Button plans for her new bagel shop on South Lexington Avenue to be open by the end of October. Photo by Paul Clark

Katie Button, whose Asheville Spanish tapas restaurant, Cúrate, has garnered international attention, is set to open a bagel shop downtown.

Button & Co. Bagels launches later this month on South Lexington Avenue on the ground floor of Nightbell, a small-plates restaurant that Button owns and runs in conjunction with Cúrate. Like the other two restaurants, Button & Co. Bagels will incorporate local ingredients into its offerings.

Button was born in South Carolina but grew up in New Jersey, “and you can’t live in the New Jersey, New York area without developing an extreme passion for bagels and all things bagels,” she says. “We moved to Asheville because it’s a wonderful place to live, but a bagel shop where you can get smoked fish and a pastrami bagel sandwich is definitely something I always really wanted.”

Button & Co. Bagels will specialize in New York-style bagels, boiled and baked. The flour it will use will combine low-gluten spring wheat from Carolina Ground in Asheville with high-gluten winter wheat used in bagels up north. The bagels, naturally leavened from the restaurant’s own starter, will get their sheen from being boiled with a bit of locally made sorghum, replacing the barley malt they’re boiled in in New York and the honey in Montreal.

The restaurant, which will seat about 30 people, is partnering with Three Graces Dairy in Marshall to create a topping “that’s better than cream cheese,” Button says. A version of sable, which is traditionally seasoned with paprika, will be made with smoked trout from Sunburst Trout Farm and Western North Carolina sumac.

The café will also make its own jams and pickles and will offer sweet treats, too. Recently, Button was testing a caramel swirl brownie and a sweet potato pie. She is also working up a recipe for that staple of bagel shops, the black and white cookie — a half-chocolate, half-vanilla cakey confection.

Button & Co. Bagels will serve Counter Culture drip coffee but no espresso. (“We want to be about the bagels, and we want to make sure the line is moving,” Button says.) It will also offer beer, hard cider, rosé in a can and house-made sodas, as well as a blueberry-lavender shrub.

Button & Co. Bagels is scheduled to open at the end of October at 32 S. Lexington Ave. Hours will be 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. For updates, visit katiebuttonrestaurants.com.

Best pimento cheese in town

Connect AVL will livestream portions of the Asheville Pimento Cheese Championship 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. Five judges will sample spreads and dishes from 15 competitors. Sponsored by local food writer Stu Helm and Takeout Central, the event isn’t open to the public, but the videos will be available afterward on Facebook.

Read more at avl.mx/5cv.

Pie bragging rights

Got a great pie recipe? Find out how it stacks up against others at the South Asheville Pie Contest at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen in Arden on Saturday, Nov. 3. Now in its second year, the event invites home bakers and professionals of all ages to enter a pie. Tantalizing the contestants will be cash and gift basket prizes for Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice, Best Home Baker vs. Best Bakery and other categories. Pie bakers are asked to bring extra whole pies to be sold in a silent auction that benefits FEAST Asheville, a nonprofit organization that helps young people and families grow and prepare fruit and vegetables. The public is welcome to help taste and judge. Coffee, tea and milk will be provided for this family-friendly event. The contest starts at 2 p.m., and winners will be announced by 3:30 p.m. “It was a blast last year, so we thought we have to do it again,” says event organizer and restaurant owner Jill Wasilewski. “It’s really fun to let people show what they can do.”

The South Asheville Pie Contest will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen, 1854 Brevard Road, Arden. Entry fee is $15. For details and to register, contact Jill Wasilewski at jill@ivoryroadavl.com. 

Asheville Pizza hosts chef Michel Baudouin

Family-owned and -operated Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. is collaborating with chefs from other local restaurants to create a series of specialty pizzas, available only at the pizzeria’s North Asheville location. After the success of the Chestnut pizza in September, Asheville Pizza & Brewing invited chef Michel Baudouin of Bouchon to design a French-inspired pie with fresh, local ingredients. The pizza tops a light pesto base with marinated local tomatoes, shaved fennel, Foothills Meats ham, gruyere cheese and organic eggs over medium finished with a fresh basil garnish.
A limited number of Bouchon pizzas are on Asheville Pizza’s menu each day starting at 5 p.m. through the end of October. The collaborations continue with Strada Italiano (November), Aux Bar (January ) and Cúrate (February).

The collaboration pies are available only at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.’s 675 Merrimon Ave. location.

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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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6 thoughts on “Small bites: Katie Button opens a bagel shop

  1. J

    It’s will do well; do to name recognition ONLY… Like buxton HALL. I’m So glad I’m IMMUNE TO THE HYPE

    • luther blissett

      If you want a bagel w/ plain cream cheese for $2.74 plus tax, go down I-26 to exit 44. (Or Hopey, if you don’t want them fresh from the oven.)

      God forbid that somebody make decent bagels in Asheville again. Some of us still miss the NY bagel shop in the Merrimon space now occupied by Del Vecchios. (Sorry, Home Free, but no.)

      • j

        “some of us”… apparently NOT enough “us”…. place went outt biz

        • Jason

          They went out of business because they had too much success. Just like every other restaurant in Asheville.

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