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Where to Eat in Asheville When Fighting Off a Cold

August 28, 2007

Was it

a. the bevy of malevolent dust clouds kicked up while sifting through three years worth of books and stuff to make way for the Big Move?

b. the the loving snot of two babies, or perhaps the proximity of their germy mouths as one of them actually attempted to eat my nose for lunch? 

c. the mounting stress of a high-performance occupation combined with moving combined with a badly timed vacation?

The answer is probably all of the above.  In any case, here I sit.  Me and my summer cold. 

The good news:  Carte blanche to sit before the DVD player and watch marathons of Dexter (awesome show!!) and anything else I please no matter what is going on around me!  And of course, discovering sick-food.   I am proud to present to you Asheville’s best restaurants for fighting off a cold.

1.  The Noodle Shop.  My personal favorite dish (only when sick): spicy won-ton soup with extra garlic and no noodles if possible.

2.  Heiwa Shokudo.  My personal favorite (most of the time) the gypsy soup but the one with the shrimp and veggie tempura.  I forget what it’s called exactly, but you gotta get it with the udon noodles, no doubt. 

3.  Picnic’s.*  Normally, I fear Picnics.  “Mom” scares the daylights out of me and can send me flying from this lunch joint faster than a vegan from a J and S Cafeteria.  She follows me up and down the claustrophic circumference of this establishment, cajoling, begging, nagging, and finally guilt-tripping me into buying pie.  Pie that I would happily buy on my own accord if it wasn’t ridiculously overpriced.  Pie that I would probably buy anyway if I wasn’t being bullied into it.  Such as it is, “Mom’s” guilt tactics end up providing both the gun and target- her foot- by keeping me away from her restaurant even when it’s what I truly crave.  Except when I’m sick and all I want is a chicken pot pie.  Only then will I brave Asheville’s original fear factor.   The key, I’ve discovered, is no eye contact.  None.  Not even for a second.  Just keep your eyes on the floor.  Or you could pretend you are hearing impaired.  I think I saw someone do that one time. 

That said, I approve of the friendly and animated chicken on the street.

 *UPDATE:

I just ate at Picnic’s and it was royally B.A.D.  The sides were: slimy, tasteless boiled okra, gummy, lumpy mashed potatoes, and other boring breaded products.  The pot pie crust was good, as was the chicken, but the peas were either canned or overcooked and there were NO PEARL ONIONS.  Pearl onions are a totally enchanting little nuggets of wonderful and an imperative for any pot pie.   I defy you, Rachel Ray, you who gave Picnic’s a big “Yummo!” on your $40 a day food tour of Asheville!  No, I’m going to have to rescind Picnic’s place on a “best of” list of any kind.  Where oh where can one find homemade chicken pot pie in Asheville!?!**  Can anyone help me? 

**I can make this dish myself, since it falls under the “What Would Betty Crocker Do with Frozen Peas?” category, but not while I’m sick.  No, sir. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Pixiedyke permalink
    August 28, 2007 4:38 pm

    I avoid Picnics because a Southern food restaurant with crappy sides is not a good restaurant, regardless of the quality of their pie.

  2. August 28, 2007 10:51 pm

    Yes, Mom is scary. Someone should cast her in a horror movie.

    I think Tupelo Honey has a chicken pot pie, although I haven’t tried it. My fave CPP recipe is from Barefoot Contessa. But you’re sick and can’t cook! Hope you’re better soon.

  3. September 2, 2007 5:47 pm

    I’m sorry you’re sick. Feel better soon! Picnics is the mecca of comfort food, and Mom is truly as pushy as a real mom can be on a bad day. Mediocre quality, but better than J&S when it comes to fatty southern cooking.

  4. September 12, 2007 6:52 pm

    I’ve tried the Tupelo Honey pot pie. In my sinusy haze, I’d forgotten that it’s actually pretty good. It has pearl onions and all the requisite flavors, but the crust is all wrong. Some kind of an attempt at sweet potato crust. Sometimes people should avoid what’s fancy and stick with what works.

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