1. Prosecco - it’s refreshing, not too bubbly, and the third ingredient is joy. Some of my faves are on the shelves at Greenlife right this minute.
2. Two Spoons is open (although they are no longer using Ultimate ice cream and their new brand leaves a LOT to be desired. Discuss.) As an alternative, may I recommend the chocolate malt from the lunch counter at Woolworth Walk? It is divinely thick and malty.
3. The Michelada My recipe: the juice of one lime, a couple of dashes of Worchesteshire sauce, a little horseradish, a dash or two of tobasco, salted rim, 3 ice cubes, and a bottle of Pacifico. Mix, drink, go to heaven. If you don’t want to make your own, Curras Dom mixes the best in town.
4. Fresh, local asparagus. Look for it at the first few farmers’ markets, or do what I do and invite yourself over to your gardening friends’ houses for dinner.
5. Sushi. I’m rarely interested in eating sushi during the winter, but once the weather warms, I can think of nothing but fish and rice, fish and rice. Try Sora in Brevard for the freshest, most exciting sushi in WNC.
6. Grilling out. So far we’ve made tuna steaks, steak-and-veggie shish ka bobs, roasted potatoes and onions, and turkey burgers. What have you thrown on the grill this year?
7. Caipirinha at Cocina Latina (Tomato). Honestly, it could have been a tad stronger, but I know Brazil’s favorite mix of refreshing lime, rum, and sugar will be hitting the right spot all summer long.
8. Ramps. I love to sample all the inventive creations from local chefs who annually find new ways to work this fresh, garlicky, severely local green into their menus. Ramps can often be found on the menus at The Market Place, Sunny Point Cafe, Cucina 24, Early Girl, and others.
9. Local lamb. It’s starting to pop up on Asheville’s seasonal menus and specials. Last week I had a Hickory Nut Gap lamb gyro from Sunny Point that tasted like springtime.
10. Burgers, Dogs, Cheese Fries and Milk Shakes. You really want to know where I’ve been eating this month? Really? French Fryz (BEST strawberry milkshake in town), Five Guys Burgers and Fries (my pick for best burger), Cats and Dawgs (best hot dogs around), and let’s throw in a Philly Cheese Steak for good measure from Philly Hoagie House and Ice Cream Parlor in Woodfin. I’m a Chicago girl at heart, and that means when the sun comes out and the temperature rises, it’s time for some serious junk food.
What culinary expressions of Spring are you enjoying? I’d love to know!