What’s new in food: Dine To Be Kind for Asheville Humane Society

DINE TO BE KIND: Asheville Humane Society's annual fundraising event returns Tuesday, April 4, to help local animals in need. Photo courtesy of Ewart Ball

Dine to Be Kind, Asheville Humane Society’s annual fundraising event benefiting local pets in need, returns for its 18th year on Tuesday, April 4.

Over 60 local restaurants, breweries and bars have come together for the event. The majority will donate 15% of their April 4 sales to the Asheville Humane Society, while 15 participants have pledged to donate 25%. These 15 include: Banks Ave bar, Blue Sky Cafe, Bone & Broth, Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar, Grey Eagle Taqueria, Haywood Country Club, Hi-Wire Brewing – Biltmore Village, Manicomio Pizza, Old Europe Pastries, Plant, Re:Fuel, Tastee Diner, The Blackbird Restaurant, Whistle Hop Brewing Co. and WXYZ Lounge.

Over $90,000 was raised in 2022, all of which assisted the Asheville Humane Society in continuing its medical care and community programs. This year, the organization has a goal of raising $120,000.

“Dine to be Kind began 18 years ago with the Animal Compassion Network, raising money for ACN’s Betty Fund, which provided low- or no-cost spay/neuter services for residents of Western North Carolina and was held on National Spay Day,” says Mabel Lujan, marketing assistant with the Asheville Humane Society. “A few years after its inception, ACN merged with Asheville Humane Society, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, Dine to Be Kind has grown into AHS’s largest and most vital fundraiser.”  

In addition to helping the AHS cause through patronage, diners can enter a raffle giveaway through individual donations of $25 (for two raffle tickets) or $50 (for five). Three winners will be selected. The grand prize features a two-night stay at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. The second-prize winner will receive a luxury velvet dog bed donated by Dog & Pony Show, and the third-prize winner will bring home a handmade quilt created by local artist Paula Entin.

For a full list of participating venues and additional information, visit avl.mx/prx5.

A surreal event at DSSLOVR

DSSOLVR will host A Taste of the Surreal, a new dinner and drink pairing event, on Wednesday, March 29, 6 p.m., at its downtown brewery.

Chef Chris Bugher, owner of the pop-up, private event and consulting business Apex Culinary, will be creating the evening’s four-plate menu. Vince Tursi, DSSOLVR co-owner and head brewer, will provide the evening’s sips.

“A Taste of the Surreal is somewhat of a passion project for me,” says Will Craddock, DSSOLVR event coordinator/vibe lord. “I come from a background in the restaurant industry and, after three years of working at a brewery, I’ve missed the dance of working with food.”

Additionally, Craddock hopes the event showcases DSSOLVR’s diverse beverage programs. “The pairing will include our latest wine releases, crisp refreshing beers and a toasty, malty stout to finish out the night,” he says. “The food menu is Southern-inspired upscale cuisine that is still approachable and accessible.” 

This pairing event is the first of what the brewery hopes becomes a regular series featuring a rotating list of local chefs.

Tickets are $90 per person and include the full meal and beverage pairings with detailed course descriptions, as well as a social hour before the dinner with provided drinks and appetizers.

DSSOLVR is at 63 N Lexington Ave. Visit avl.mx/civ for tickets and information.

PBJ time at Catawba

Catawba Brewing Co. celebrates the return of its famed Peanut Butter Jelly Time Raspberry Brown Ale with a special release celebration beginning Friday, March 31, and continuing through National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day on Sunday, April. 2.

First debuted in March 2012 as a brewer’s tribute to a friend’s young son, the now-iconic beer has evolved into the brewery’s most anticipated special release each year.

“Peanut Butter Jelly Time has become our most recognized yearly release and has grown beyond just a focus on the beer,” says Jared Turbyfill, brand and product line manager. “The celebration weekend, as an event both inside our own retail locations and throughout the greater wholesale market is an exciting way to celebrate our roots and share one of our oldest brews with the community.”

Four flavor variations on the peanut butter and jelly theme will be released in beer form this year, including raspberry, strawberry-rhubarb, blackberry and Carolina jam (peach and blueberry). Special flights including all four beers will be offered while supplies last, and commemorative glassware will be available for purchase.

Release parties will take place across both Asheville locations (South Slope and Biltmore Village) as well at the brewery’s Charlotte and Wilmington expansion locations. In addition to sips, the free-to-attend event also has on tap a Smuckers Uncrutables sandwich eating contest, live musical and comedy performances, and a photo booth with PB&J-themed props.

Catawba Brewing Co.’s South Slope and Biltmore Village locations are at 32 Banks Ave. and 63 Brook St. Visit avl.mx/ciu for additional information.

All-you-can-eat crawfish

Warmer temperatures and extended daylight hours go hand in hand with the dawning of spring, but did you know they also mark the beginning of peak crawfish season? Jettie Rae’s Oyster House is set to capitalize on this fun freshwater crustacean fact with two all-you-can-eat crawfish boils, taking place Sunday, April 2, at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“We’re proud to be serving the best crawfish available, sourced directly from Natchitoches, La., at the northern edge of Atchafalaya Basin,” says executive chef Will Cisa. “We’ll be preparing 500 pounds of crawfish to feed what we expect to be a large turnout.”

Tickets are $65 per person and include access to Jettie Rae’s courtyard area for an unlimited Louisiana-style crawfish boil including all the traditional fixings, such as andouille sausage, okra, corn on the cob and potatoes. Beer and wine to wash down the lavish feast will be available a la carte.

“Crawfish boils have such a strong culinary tradition, which is what we always strive to honor with our food,” says owner Eric Scheffer. “We cherish opportunities to connect with our guests through the joy of shared food experiences. Nothing creates a bond quite like sucking the meat out of a crawfish next to one another.”

Jettie Rae’s Oyster House is at 143 Charlotte St. Visit avl.mx/cis for tickets to the 12:30 p.m. gathering and avl.mx/cit for tickets to the 4 p.m. gathering.

Freeze alert!

The Freeze reopened on March 24. Since 1981, The Freeze has been serving soft-serve ice cream treats and hot dogs within seasonal periods typically lasting from March to October.

The Freeze is at 1091 Patton Ave. Open daily from 11 a.m-10 p.m. Visit avl.mx/ciq for a menu and online ordering.

Montford Deli reopens

Montford Deli has reopened at 1461 Merrimon Ave., in the building previously occupied by Nick’s Grill. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., the revitalized Montford Deli is making the most of the new space with a refreshed and expanded menu serving burgers, wings, sides, salads, desserts and over 20 unique sandwich options.

Meals can be enjoyed inside the new space via counter service, called ahead and picked up through the drive-thru window or delivered through Grub Hub and Door Dash beginning Saturday, April 1.

For a full menu and additional information, visit avl.mx/cir.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.