Small Bites: Plates popular downtown now made in Biltmore Village

NEW FORMATION: Alex Matisse has moved his East Fork pottery factory from an old tobacco barn in Madison County to a 14,500-square-foot building near Asheville High School. Photo by Paul Clark

East Fork, the pottery studio whose simple plates and bowls are used by several Asheville restaurants, has opened a new factory in Biltmore Village that could help it increase production by 800 percent by 2020.

Among local restaurants that use East Fork’s dinnerware are Curate, Cucina 24, Gan Shan Station, Table, The Montford Rooftop bar and Sovereign Remedies.

East Fork has moved into the defunct Kenny Pipe building at 531 Short McDowell St. The 14,500-square-foot space houses all of East Fork’s manufacturing and shipping operations, as well as support services and areas that will be used for community events. The revitalized space even includes a commercial kitchen in which employees sometimes cook the communal lunch the whole team shares every day around a 26-foot-long table. “Sharing a meal together around one table is something that felt very important to us when designing this new space,” brand manager Erin Hawley says.

East Fork will begin offering Friday afternoon tours in late December. In January, it will launch a monthly Long Table Dinner series that will bring together an invited chef, co-host and group of guests for dinner and conversation around a shared interest (look for updates on eastfork.com).

“From the beginning, the place I made my work was incredibly important,” says East Fork founder and CEO Alex Matisse, who started the business in 2009 on an old tobacco farm in Madison County. “As we grew, we didn’t want to lose this. … We wanted to give our team a beautiful space to work.”

East Fork is at 531 Short McDowell St. To reserve a spot on a tour, email care@eastfork.comor check eastfork.com.

Fried chicken sandwiches in the RAD

The owners of White Duck Taco Shop have opened a new restaurant in an old building where chickens used to hatch. Henrietta’s Poultry Shoppe, which sells fried chicken sandwiches, opened Oct. 30 in the old Hatchery building in the River Arts District. The space was the site of the original White Duck Taco Shop, which is now on Riverside Drive. Boneless chicken sandwiches on sweet potato buns at Henrietta’s include the Asheville, with apple slaw and brie; the Nashville Hot, hot-dipped with pepper jack cheese; and the Charleston, with pimento cheese and bacon. Sides include french fries, kale salad and mac and cheese. In early November, Henrietta’s was awaiting permits to sell beer, wine and cocktails. All sandwiches are $10. “Affordability is very important to us,” says Ben Mixon, co-owner with Laura Ruess. “You don’t have to spend $20 to get a good lunch. It’s all about ingredients and technique and attention to detail.”

Henrietta’s Poultry Shoppe is open 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday at 1 Roberts St.

New chef at Isis Restaurant

Pop-up prodigy and East Coast chef Jeffrey Porter has joined Isis Restaurant and Music Hall as its new executive chef. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Porter is known in Wilmington as the founder of Port City Pop-Ups, where he brought area chefs together to create pop-up dinners. He also spent three and a half years working as the head chef for “One Tree Hill,” “The Wire” and other TV shows. Porter has worked under world-renowned chefs to study the art of Italian, French and Asian cooking, inspiring the international fusion cooking style he has brought to Isis. He plans to reinvent the venue’s menu and create special menus that match the music featured on specific nights. “I want to be able to show West Asheville something new and exciting,” he says. “Our concentration is going to be playing around with fresh ideas to better incorporate the kitchen with the great music that is coming into Isis.”

Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is at 743 Haywood Road.

Turkish pop-up at Baba Nahm

Downtown Middle Eastern restaurant Baba Nahm, which periodically hosts creative pop-ups, has for a limited time replaced its regular menu with Turkish street food dishes. Through Sunday, Nov. 18, the eatery will offer eight Turkish entrées, including doner kebabs, salads, flatbreads and more, along with other items such as halva, Turkish coffee and mint tea. Food prices are in the $4-$9 range.

The pop-up runs through Sunday, Nov. 18, at Baba Nahm, 1 Page Ave. Visit babanahm.com for details.

Copper Crown gives back

On the first Monday of each month, Copper Crown will help raise awareness and money for local and regional nonprofit organizations and charities through its Giving Back Night. It will donate 15 percent of proceeds from dinner on those evenings, both dine-in and takeout. Reservations are recommended but not necessary.

Copper Crown is at 1011 Tunnel Road.

Waitr app arrives in Asheville

The food delivery app Waitr has come to Asheville. The app lets people order from participating Asheville restaurants and sends a Waitr driver to deliver the food to their door for a flat fee of $5. Nearly 50 Asheville restaurants have signed up with Waitr, including Pack’s Tavern, Del Vecchios, AUX Bar, Farm Burger, Atlanta Bread, Takosushi, Neo Burrito, Urban Burrito, and Blue Dream Curry House.

Waitr expects to hire 100 people in the area. Drivers can apply at avl.mx/5f8. Launched in 2015, Waitr has 6,200 restaurant partners and well over one million users in more than 230 cities.

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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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