Small bites: Pull Up at the Peel Deli and Grill

MUSIC AND EATS: Matthew Howell, left, recently expanded the menu at Pull Up at the Peel Deli and Grill with the help of Nick Kohli, center. Also pictured is patron and friend Aaron Eaton, right. Photo by Thomas Calder

In April, Pull Up at the Peel Deli and Grill opened inside The Orange Peel with a limited menu. Since that time, much has changed for owner Matthew Howell. At the beginning of November, he and former business partner Christopher Cox closed their flagship location, the Montford Pull Up, which was inside the Montford Convenience store. By chance, the closing coincided with plans to expand the hours and menu options at the business’s new location.

Pull Up at the Peel Deli and Grill, says Howell, is now in full swing, open for lunch, as well as during evening shows. Reading over the menu, the influence of The Orange Peel is hard to miss: The Rick Ruben, Marley Wrap and Snoop Dogs are among the latest additions. Deli sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas and sides are also available, including vegetarian and vegan options. Nick Kohli, former kitchen manager at Santé Wine Bar and Tap Room, has also joined Howell in day-to-day operations.

When it comes to serving meals inside a music venue, Howell says, “It’s an awesome and unique [experience].” The diverse acts that perform at The Orange Peel draw equally diverse crowds. Because of this, Howell says, no two evenings are alike. But no matter the genre of music, he notes all crowds seem “happily surprised to find food options at The Orange Peel.”

Moving forward, Howell hopes to offer delivery to downtown locations. In the meantime, he says he and Kohli are “excited to grow [the business] … and [we] look forward to feeding downtown neighbors and concertgoers for a long time to come.”

Pull Up at the Peel Deli and Grill is inside The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave. Lunch hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The restaurant is also open for ticket holders at all events. For more information, visit

East Fork Birthday Cake-Off

On Saturday, Dec. 2, East Fork Asheville will celebrate its one-year anniversary at its North Lexington Avenue location with a cake competition. Attendees are encouraged to enter a homemade cake, and the winner will take home a custom East Fork Pottery cake stand. Participation, however, is not a prerequisite. According to the event’s Facebook page, “Even if you don’t like baking … come vote for your favorite and toast to our birthday!”

The East Fork Birthday Cake-Off runs 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at East Fork Asheville, 82 N. Lexington Ave. Cakes must be dropped off that day, noon-4 p.m. For more information, visit

Sandy Mush Mountain Music and Square Dance

The annual Sandy Mush Mountain Music and Square Dance fundraiser returns to the Sandy Mush Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 2. Live music from the Stoney Creek Boys will be accompanied by Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers and Green Valley Cloggers. Chili made with beef from CrossCreek Farm in Leicester will be available — the $7 plate also includes bread, a drink and dessert. A $5 raffle offers guests the chance to take home an assortment of goods, including a Green River dulcimer by Bill Walker, a Sandy Mush quilt and a Matt Jones pottery lamp. Proceeds from the event benefit Sandy Mush Community Center.

The Sandy Mush Mountain Music and Square Dance runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Sandy Mush Community Center, 19 School Road, Leicester. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children 10 and younger. For more information, visit

Dandelion Chocolate book signing at French Broad Chocolate Lounge

Chocolate is the focus of the new cookbook Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’more, a collaborative work co-written by members of Dandelion Chocolate, a San Fransisco-based dessert eatery. On Monday, Dec. 4, co-author Greg D’Alesandre  will be at the French Broach Chocolate Lounge, discussing the new work and signing copies of the book. According to the event’s Facebook page, Making Chocolate includes “tips, tricks and the full process for making bean-to-bar chocolate in your own kitchen.”

The book signing runs 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, 10 S. Pack Square. For more information, visit

Celebrating the Flatiron Building

World Coffee Cafe and Skybar will host an evening of music, cocktails, wine and dessert celebrating the 90th anniversary of downtown’s Flatiron Building. Pisgah Brewing Co. will provide a specialty brew, Flatiron Ale. The free event is open to adults ages 21 and older. Guests are encouraged to dress in 1920s garb.

The Flatiron celebration runs 3 p.m.-midnight Thursday, Nov. 30. For more information, visit

Foothills Butcher Bar Black Mountain

On Nov. 17, Foothills Meats opened its second butcher bar location, Foothills Butcher Bar Black Mountain. “The Black Mountain community can expect high-quality food and excellent service from this kitchen,” says owner and CEO Casey McKissick in a recent press release. Chef Rachel Freihoff-Lewin, who has previously worked at Cúrate and Rhubarb in Asheville and Knife and Fork in Spruce Pine, heads daily operations at the new eatery. Foothills Butcher Bar Black Mountain offers lunch, dinner, cocktails and craft beers. It also features a browse-and-buy meat counter that includes steaks, pork chops, bacon, deli meats, house-made pickles and spreads, as well as milk, cream butter and eggs. The location serves as the pickup point for the Foothills Meat Share CSA program and special orders from Foothills’ Commissary Kitchen.

Foothills Butcher Bar Black Mountain is at 107 Black Mountain Ave. Hours are Monday-Thursday, noon-9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday Supper hours are yet to be announced. For more information, visit

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist.

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