Small bites: Sanctuary Brewing Co. hosts Puppy Bowl

PUPPY TIME: Lisa McDonald of Sanctuary Brewing Co. mingles with some of last year's star players at the brewery's annual Puppy Bowl. Photo courtesy of McDonald

For a fourth consecutive year, Sanctuary Brewing Co. will celebrate the Super Bowl with its own pregame Puppy Bowl. The annual event offers fans of both sports and canines the chance to watch a pair of furry teams take the field and play for the ultimate prize — a permanent home. Proceeds from the event will benefit Sweet Bear Rescue Farm and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

As in years past, there will be plenty of vegan snacks to choose from during the big game. No Evil Foods will return with its pulled “pork” mac and beer cheese (featuring Sanctuary Brewing’s Dr. Dunkel lager), along with its vegan chorizo torta sandwich and buffalo chicken wings. Garlik Vegan Kitchen and Blunt Pretzels will participate as well.

Sanctuary co-owner Lisa McDonald says that since Puppy Bowl debuted in 2016, it’s continued to grow in popularity, so this year the event will move from the brewery to Kanuga Gymnasium. “Last year it was so crowded at the bar that people were turning away,” McDonald explains. “This year we wanted to make sure people had space and that we weren’t overcrowding.”

In addition to the new venue, the 2019 Puppy Bowl will also feature its first halftime show. Vegan rapper Grey will perform, and there will be a senior canine show as well. “We’re really excited to give older dogs the chance to find a forever home, too,” says McDonald.

Following the Puppy Bowl, guests are invited back to Sanctuary Brewing for a Super Bowl LIII watch party. Because McDonald lives with a New England Patriots fan, she predicts Sunday’s game will end with the Patriots beating the Los Angeles Rams, 36-28.

The 2019 Puppy Bowl runs 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Kanuga Gymnasium, 130 Kanuga Chapel Drive, Hendersonville. Tickets are $15 in advance/$20 at the door. Children 12 and younger enter free. For more information, visit

Super Bowl chili cook-off

If puppies aren’t your thing, Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop is hosting a pregame Super Bowl chili cook-off. For $8, patrons can sample all competing dishes, as well as vote for their favorite recipe. First- and second-place winners will be announced before kickoff. Competitors and judges are invited to stick around afterward to watch the game. Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop owner Matt Vaughan predicts a New England Patriots victory, 41-37.

The cook-off begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop, 100 Julian Shoals Drive, Unit 40, Arden. To learn more and to enter the competition, visit

National Homemade Soup Day

National Homemade Soup Day is Monday, Feb. 4, and to celebrate, the WNC Farmers Market will host demonstrations on how to make easy and healthy soups on Friday, Feb. 1. Visitors will also get the chance to try free samples from noon-1 p.m.

The demonstrations and free samples will be available noon-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Road. For more information, visit

Black Bear BBQ’s grand opening

On Saturday, Feb. 2, Mojo Kitchen & Lounge owners A.J. Gregson and Autumn Pittman will celebrate the grand opening of their second restaurant, Black Bear BBQ. The new East Asheville eatery offers smoked meats, homemade sauces, scratch-made sides and vegetarian options. The grand opening celebration will include free samples, live music and giveaways of gift cards and merchandise.

Festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Black Bear BBQ, 800 Fairview Road, Suite C8. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p..m. For more information, visit

Chinese New Year at Alchemy

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Alchemy will celebrate the Chinese New Year with a series of special offers. To honor the year of the pig, the alternative health care space will donate 10 percent of its daily tearoom sales to Animal Haven of Asheville. In addition, Alchemy will serve a number of Chinese New Year treats, including fish congee, nian gao (rice cake), dumplings and herbal wine. According to the Chinese zodiac, the year of the pig is associated with wealth and prosperity.

The Chinese New Year celebration runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Alchemy, 62 Clayton St. For more information, visit

District Wine Bar Winter Dinner & Wine Series

District Wine Bar continues its Winter Wine & Dinner series with an upcoming collaboration with All Souls Pizza. Each Tuesday, through March 5, pairings will take place at the restaurant in the River Arts District. “We have a growing culinary scene in the RAD and look forward to highlighting some of our favorites,” says District Wine Bar co-owner Lauri Nichols in a press release. Future collaborators include Haywood Commons (Feb. 19), Vivian (Feb. 26) and Smoky Park Supper Club (March 5). Seating is limited to 12 people per event.

The next Winter Dinner & Wine Series runs 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at District Wine Bar, 37 Paynes Way, Suite 009. Tickets are $60. To purchase, visit

First Friday Fish Fry

Green Opportunities’ Southside Kitchen recently launched its First Friday Fish Fry. As the event name suggests, on the first Friday of each month the Southside Kitchen will prepare a traditional fish fry brunch with soul food sides. Suggested donation is $5 with proceeds supporting Green Opportunities’ career training programs.

The next First Friday Fish Fry runs 10-11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center, 133 Livington St. For more information, visit

Tupelo Honey to renovate South Asheville location

Tupelo Honey has plans to renovate its South Asheville location, including an expansion of its kitchen space, dining room and patio area. Construction begins Monday, Feb. 4, with the restaurant remaining closed for about three weeks. New menu items will be rolled out when it reopens, including honey-dusted fried chicken.

Tupelo Honey’s South Asheville restaurant is at 1829 Hendersonville Road. For more information, visit

A-B Tech culinary team prepares for national contest

On Jan. 13, A-B Tech’s Student Culinary Team won the American Culinary Federation’s Southeast Regional Competition. In August, the group will head to Orlando, Fla., to compete at the ACF’s national convention. “They have worked countless hours outside of their already busy schedule to make sure they were prepared,” said the team’s coach, chef Chris Bugher, in a press release. “Now we have to focus on nationals.” Congratulations and good luck to the team!


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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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