Over the last 18 months, Buxton Hall BBQ has undergone a literal trial by fire(s) before reopening to indoor diners Aug. 19 with a new look and expanded menu.
The CliffsNotes: Like everyone else, the eatery closed its dining room in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, launched takeout, then reopened in July 2020 only to have its building catch fire. It closed again, then did the Little Louie’s sandwich pop-up, relaunched takeout, debuted Buxton Chicken Palace in the new S&W Market in June, then stopped all food service at its Banks Avenue location to finish repairs and install some new equipment, including a new Texas-style offset smoker designed and built by Buxton chef and co-owner Elliott Moss.
The new equipment allows Moss to smoke a whole hog inside the building, albeit in smaller pieces. “It’s a different way than we did in the past, but [we’re using] the same hogs from Vandele Farms in Lake Lure,” Moss explains. “The best way to put it is we’re putting an eastern Carolina treatment onto western Carolina pigs cooked in a Texas-style smoker.”
Along with the smoker, the chef has added new menu items such as a sliced brisket plate and a brisket cheesesteak, a hot pastrami sandwich, a smoked turkey club and smoked and crispy wings. He has also expanded the menu of side items.
“We have a ridiculous number of sides right now — maybe too many,” Moss says with a laugh. “But they’re all things I want to eat, and I have always kind of selfishly geared the menu to what I want to eat most of the time.” The seasonal items will change — no winter tomatoes, people! — but diners will always find mac and cheese, collards, baked beans and mashed potatoes.
Of sentimental note are two dishes regional to his hometown of Florence, S.C. — chicken bog and the Buxton Hall BBQ hash plate. The former is one that Moss’ mother used to serve the family on Saturdays. The latter is a meat gravy. “It’s a great way to use up the off cuts and byproducts of barbecue,” he explains. “You puree it all and serve it over rice. It’s like a liquified barbecue. It’s weird and doesn’t look that great but is really good and something I’m proud we do here.”
Buxton Hall BBQ is at 32 Banks Ave., and is open for lunch and dinner. Hours vary.
Learn more at avl.mx/6sx.
Seniors freshen up
Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County recently partnered with Wildwood Herbal farm in Reems Creek Valley to provide homebound seniors served by the nonprofit with monthly bags of fresh produce. Funded by a $25,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America’s Make Good Go Further campaign, the partnership began in late July and will continue through September.
Among the items fresh-picked by Seth Salmon, the organic farm’s fourth-generation owner, are fruits, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash. Additionally, Meals in Wheels is using Wildwood’s fresh produce in meal preparation, making dishes such as squash casserole.
Debbie Sprouse, executive director of Meals on Wheels, says clients have expressed gratitude for the program, noting a card she received recently that read, “Thank you so much for the fresh produce. Such a delightful surprise!”
For more information on how to help or receive help, visit avl.mx/aam.
On Sunday, Sept. 5, Dobra Tea General Manager Miles Cramer will lead a two-hour class exploring Japanese tea culture as well as its history and production. The event will include a slideshow of Cramer’s travels through Japan and a tasting of six to eight teas.
The class runs 9-11 a.m. at Dobra’s downtown location, 78. N. Lexington Ave. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at avl.mx/wordcap5.
How about learning Japanese home cooking to go along with your newly acquired tea expertise? Waku Waku Eatery has expanded its online offerings of prepared Japanese homestyle comfort foods to include a catalog of Japanese grocery items. The products list includes tofu, soba noodles, seaweed, natural sea salt, soybean flour and more. For the full inventory of groceries as well as Waku Waku’s monthly featured menu, visit avl.mx/aav.
Hungry for more of the foods and beverages of the Land of the Rising Sun? Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse, which opened in South Slope on July 1, has added lunch service on Saturdays and Sundays from noon-3 p.m. Additionally, the restaurant has launched its new chef’s choice tasting menu, which features 10-12 items from the full menu, spanning appetizers to dessert.
Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse is at 121 Biltmore Ave. For more, visit avl.mx/aaw .
After a 10-month hiatus, Mother Earth Food has relaunched its Saturday Discount Box. The program, first established at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers a surplus of organic fruits and vegetables available for pickup from its warehouse on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We are happy to bring this popular service back and continue to get produce from our farmers into homes,” says Mother Earth Food CEO Janelle Tatum.
Boxes are available Saturdays, 9-11 a.m. at Mother Earth Food warehouse, 29 Hawk Hill Road. Boxes are $25.
There’s still time — but not much — to buy a ticket to win one of three collectible pieces of pottery from East Fork and lend a hand to urban agriculture nonprofit Bountiful Cities to boot. Pick your favorite or purchase tickets for all three. At $5 each, you can spread the love as long as you do it by Friday, Sept. 3; winners will be announced on Sunday, Sept. 5. All proceeds will benefit Bountiful Cities’ food and social justice programs, including FEAST, Grass to Greens and Asheville Buncombe County Community Garden Network.
For a look at the pieces and to purchase tickets, visit avl.mx/aax.