NEW MOON: Modern day distillers in WNC are bringing the region's most-storied spirit into the 21st century. Photo by George Etheredge.

Bottled lightning: Appalachia­n moonshinin­g in the 21st century

Western North Carolina is now home to a growing number of craft distillers making legal moonshine. Blending traditional recipes with new technology and methods, these pioneers are bringing Appalachia’s most fabled and misunderstood product into the 21st century, changing cultural perceptions even as they adapt to shifting economic realities.

AED: Breakfast and brunch

Asheville takes breakfast and brunch pretty seriously. Simple or elegant, urban or rustic, Asheville and environs offers options ranging from a heaping stack of pancakes with eggs and bacon to a breakfast salad — and just about everything in between. A walk through downtown on a weekend morning reveals a staggering number of choices. Eateries […]

AED: Sweet stuff

When your sweet tooth starts making noise, it’s good to know that Asheville has myriad options offering swift and complete satisfaction. Consider these choice venues: The French Broad Chocolate Lounge downtown is one of Asheville’s standard-bearers for quality chocolates. When you visit, be sure to sample their sipping chocolates. Also notable is The Chocolate Fetish: […]

AED: Fast bites

The slow food movement is alive and thriving in Western North Carolina, but sometimes we all find ourselves in need of a quick, affordable bite on the run. An informal poll of Mountain Xpress staffers (a busy and budget-conscious bunch) revealed that, in Asheville, the need for speedy eats doesn’t have to mean a stop […]

AED: Kid-Friendly in WNC

Parenting is hard work, and let’s face it, sometimes at the end of a long day mom and dad just don’t feel like cooking. But despite the wealth of top-notch eateries in Asheville, the simple act of taking kids to a restaurant can present unique, stress-inducing challenges. Thankfully, plenty of local dining destinations warmly embrace […]

AED: Something stronger

Despite having so many great breweries in Asheville, sometimes you just need a hiatus from the hops. Those finding themselves in need of something a little stronger should consider trying a tipple from one of the city’s many creative craft-cocktail lounges and savvy wine bars. Even though it was illegal to sell alcohol by the […]

AED: Taste of the South

When in the South, eat Southern. And fortunately, whether it’s fine dining or homegrown barbecue, a number of Asheville-area chefs and restaurants are as rooted in the region as the local foods they source and serve. Hailing from Eastern North Carolina, Mike Moore has made his mark with the Blind Pig Supper Club, a recurring […]

AED: Neighborho­od notables

Despite Asheville’s compact size, its neighborhoods are as distinct and varied as can be — from downtown’s eclectic, urban vibe to West Asheville’s reinvented charm. And naturally, those areas’ neighborhood favorites also run the gamut: Downtown Limones offers classic Mexican dishes with a modern twist, plus a not-to-miss brunch. Primarily set up as a bar, […]

Image courtesy of Asheville Wing War

Asheville Wing War approaches its fourth year of competitio­n

So far, confirmed warriors include Mojo Taco Lounge, Luella’s Bar-B-Que, Haywood Lounge, the Social, Foggy Mountain Brewpub, Scully’s Bar and Grill, King James Public House, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Creekside Taphouse and the Barleycorn. A few additional competitor slots remain, and three of the listed participants — Barleycorn, Moe’s and Creekside — are in the game to defend a title.

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