Recently my husband Justin and I went on a day trip to Asheville. We had some Christmas shopping to do and he had found a new taco place that he wanted to try. I always love going to Asheville, it is only an hour away from where we live and there is always something new to discover there.
Asheville is in the mountains of western North Carolina and has a very eclectic population. Asheville is a city where you live and let live and that is so refreshing here in the South. After our shopping was done it was time to eat. My husband and I have a lot in common; eating great food is always on the top of our list whenever we go anywhere. The new place Justin wanted to try is a taco place called The White Duck Taco Shop. It is in the River Arts District. I had never been to this section of Asheville which is very close to downtown.
We arrive and it doesn’t have a lot of signage to let you know you are there, but the line out the door definitely lets you know you are some place special. It was a sunny, cold and windy day and I didn’t relish waiting outside and then I thought “well Justin hates waiting in line so we won’t be here long.” For the first time in the seven years we have been married Justin said we were waiting and I knew at that moment that this was no ordinary taco place! We only had to wait about 10-15 minutes, the line moved pretty quickly. When we finally got to set foot in the place it was wonderful. The menu was written on a chalk board and had 20 or so tacos to choose from. I was so excited and then panicked because I was going to have to choose and it just seemed so impossible to make a decision. In the end I choose the Thai Peanut Chicken taco, the BBQ Carnitas taco, and Lamb Gyro.
My favorite taco was definitely the Thai Peanut Chicken. It had a perfectly cooked and seasoned piece of chicken, with the most flavorful peanut sauce I have ever tasted. The taco was garnished with mango, red onion, cucumber, and cabbage. I never wanted that taco to end! The second taco was the BBQ carnitas, it was pork carnitas with a sweet yet spicy BBQ sauce and garnished with baked beans and Cole slaw. This WNC girl was in heaven! By this time I was getting quite full and I still had one taco left. When ordering my tacos I had the problem of my eyes being bigger than my stomach. I pushed on as lamb is my absolutely favorite meat in the world to eat. The lamb was perfectly cooked and the garnishes were the perfect amount of lettuce, tomato, tzatziki sauce, and salty feta. In the end I was unable to eat it all, but fear not Justin still had a little bit of room after his three tacos which were Jerk Chicken, Korean Beef Bulgogi, and Duck with Mole, so the lamb was not wasted.
At this point I didn’t want to move, but the restaurant is small and people were waiting to sit down and eat their own tacos. By the time we had waddled back to our car we had decided to go to downtown Asheville and walk off our lunch. Downtown is a great place to go, there are art galleries, pubs, and cute little mom and pop stores that sell things you didn’t know you wanted. After walking around awhile we were cold and thirsty so we decided to go to Jack of the Wood pub, which is a great Celtic style pub that we had never been to before. If you love beer Asheville is a great place to visit because they have several local breweries and bars like the Thirsty Monk, where the top floor bar serves great local beers and the basement bar is where they serve only Belgian style ales, and is one of the best bars in the country for this type of beer. Back to Jack of the Wood, as soon as you walk in you feel like a regular, it is all wood and dark and just right. Justin ordered Cold Mountain ale on draft which is a seasonal ale from the Highland Brewing Company based in Asheville. Since it was cold I ordered a coffee and Bailey’s. Next time we are downtown for lunch we plan to go back here because the menu looked so great. I really wanted to order a Scotch egg but I was still much too full from lunch.
We had a great day in Asheville and are looking forward to our next day trip. Who knows where we will eat and what we will find, but I look forward to letting you know all about it.