Hey Everyone, I think I actually have become Too Legit To Quit. So check me out on www.shewhoeats.com
I’m keeping the name, I’m rocking it out, and I’m in an Empire State of Mind.
Come see me at my new digs and follow the adventures in Foodland.
If anyone out there is still reading, hello!
I know this blog, along with so many others, has been gasping and wheezing the long death rattle of literary and food frivolity. But there’s kind of a good reason.
You see, for a year now, this small town food enthusiast has been preparing for a move to New York City. Just like I spent my paradoxical decade in Southern Appalachia searching for hints of cosmopolitan worldliness and cultural diversity, in the Big City I plan to seek out authentic community, quaintness, and nature trails.
But mostly, food. Crazy food. Woman vs. food. Food that was created in a science lab, or grown on a rooftop. My list is long, and the first couple of years will be spent in a mad dash of food tourism, dragging my Partner- in-Dine from borough to borough, from night market to food truck, indulging all gastronomical fantasies that were born in far away lands. I can’t wait to find my favorite dim sum, my neighborhood West African takeout, and my personal go-to for a slice. I plan to become the Louis and Clark of urban food exploration, and I’d like to take you with me. Along with the advent of adventure, I predict my passion for blogging will once again rise to the surface. Cheers to adventure, and food exploration. This post has been updated; I’m keeping the name.
Together let us, like the Muppets who’ve gone before, take Manhattan.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a review over at Ashvegas of Pho Fusion, a newish Vietnamese cafe located in the eclectically random Downtown Market. Although I was thrilled to add Vietnamese pho to Asheville’s rainbow of fruit flavors, not everything about Pho Fusion was thrilling. Take note: things have changed, for the better. The pho itself was once bland and barebones, during my last two visits I detected savory notes of onion, spice, and perhaps even mint? In any case, the broth has deepened into a richer, more fulfilling, and hotter bowl of soup.
Also, they’ve augmented their menu with vermicelli noodle bowls! I was hoping they’d get around to adding vermicelli bun salads to their menu in time for spring, and they are delicious. Choose from tofu, beef, chicken or shrimp to top your bowl of rice noodles and julienned veggies. Dash the spiced fish sauce on top and you’ve got an authentic, light, and colorful meal. They’ve also added some walls to create a homier feel to the cold warehouse, and I noticed an addition of some East-Asian sodas and drinks to accompany your culinary experience.
On two recent occasions I ordered the daily special of a pork and rice dish with a pork quiche. The pork quiche was exquisite, fluffy and a tad sweet. I vote the quiche makes it onto the regular menu. I also noticed an addition of meatballs as a pho option. Pho fusion is getting it’s act together, way together, and if you were a disgruntled customer their first few weeks, here’s your invitation to give them another chance. I was so glad I did.
Well I got called out over at Ashvegas for not breaking the news about Pho Fusion’s opening. I’m not trying to be a news source here, but I guess it is finally opening on November 20. At this point I’m not holding my breath, however. Not until I have tasted it for myself will I believe it.
Also, I guess now it’s pretty clear that the secret’s out. I do not read the Asheville Citizen-Times. Nor do I plan to start.
I’d like to know what you think about the new Greenlife/Whole Foods hybrid situation. There was a time when Greenlife was my home away from home. The cashiers always liked my outfits, the key lime pie was the best in town, and the clientele were my peeps. But lately. The snazzy new salad bar looks snazzy enough, but they’ve also raised the price by $1 per pound. Last night, most of the wines “on special” were over $13, and I became confused about where everything is made. Let’s say you’re a chicken pot pie. If you are labeled “Whole Foods,” does that mean you were made at the Greenlife in Asheville? Or were you shipped from someplace? Confusion, mass confusion!
Also, Whole Foods is owned by a capitalist, libertarian, conservative climate-change refuter, so let’s just cut the ruse of down homey-liberal-progressive vibes and call a corporate takeover a spade.
At any rate, what are your thoughts, Asheville? Is Greenlife better than ever? Should we all get on board because now the employees have benefits and better pay which is better for our town? Or do you long for the days when you could pick up some ground beef that had been raised down the road at a nearby farm, rather than “USA”. Cause those days are over.
Thanks so much if you voted for She Who Eats for Best Food Blog in Asheville! I was thrilled to find out I tied with Short Street Cakes for the honor. As a reward for your undeserved loyalty, I will offer you a lifetime supply of. . . More Posts! I would like to say that I will post at least once per week, forever.
This week’s Food News: The Vietnamese are coming! The Vietnamese are coming! I am sick with anticipation. The Downtown Market is sick of my harrassing them about what date the Vietnamese fusion restaurant will open its doors. It’s official (or is it?): Pho Fusion will open on October 1st. Although I wish it didn’t include the word “fusion,” I am nonetheless thrilled we will finally be able to get some potentially authentic pho around here.
Now, which one of you lovely readers will open a Korean restaurant? Let’s get this Asiaphile fed right, y’all.
What can I say?
Nothing gets the creative fires burning quite like a despicable, horrible, terrible, no good very bad restaurant experience. So I’m back, for one reason and one reason only.
It’s time for a good ole’ therapeutic rant.
I refer to therapy because I might go looking for one to recover from the most horrible night out to dinner in years. One caveat to this is that the company could not have been more wonderful.
Hear ye, hear ye. I am instituting a house-wide boycott of Salsa’s. I take back every complimentary, kind, overexcited word I ever wrote about Salsa’s. I went to Salsa’s on Friday, for the first time in over a year, and I will NEVER go back. Not as long as I’m paying, anyway.
Caipirinhas and mojitos looked pretty, but no one in our party detected rum within the sugary cocktails. With a hefty charge of $7 for the former and $8 for the latter, this sober diner remained nonplussed.
We order a salsa trio, at $9 for 3 options, to share between four people. The trio arrived, a pineapple, a guacamole, and a roasted tomato and almond sauce. Back in happier times, Salsa’s used to offer a hefty number of chips and separate their salsas with ramekins. Last Friday, the salsas came smushed together in a nebulous mass, with a meager ring of oversized, not-for-dipping chips. The salsas all tasted just fine, but were quickly pushed towards one another until rendered indefinable.
I have sung the praises and glories of Salsa’s inventive menu for years. How many tourists have I pointed toward their overly-hyped direction? There was a time when one could open a giant empanada and find a treasure box of sweet pumpkin, velvety goat cheese, rainbow chard, wild boar, pungent mushroom, all delicately spiced with an inspired, fruity salsa. The tastes seemed worlds apart, but came together in the mouth like a boys choir of chaotic perfection. That was then.
On this fateful night, I ordered the molcajete. What came to the table was a gargantuan stone bowl of thin soup. Tossed into the soup were some random squash, a carrot slice or two, and some other stock soup vegetables. Plus, slices of taut, underspiced steak. I was unable to find any of the mole sauce that the menu had advertised. Their side of rice proved equally as bland, and as I chewed painfully, I recalled a past meals, when the rice burst forth flavors of the carribean, and beans, redolent of cumin and tradition, came alongside a few pert plaintain slices.
All this might, maybe, perhaps have been forgiven, but to top it all off, our table service lacked a sense of order. During the 55 minute wait which we were told would be 20-25, we tried to order drinks. My partner-in-dine was repeatedly ignored, then told our drink order had been lost 3 times. By the time we were seated, we were thirsty, hungry, hot, and ready for some apologies. This is no way to start a meal. Not to mention (but let’s mention it) standing water in the bathroom begs an inquiry into their most recent health inspection.
I know I won’t win any popularity points with this rant, but after a stomachache and $70 I won’t ever get back, it had to be said. Salsa’s ain’t what it used to be, and though business was obviously booming all weekend, this is one customer who won’t be back.