Coming down to Ashville area in May- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Coming down to Ashville area in May

    I need info on motels and best trails to do in the area. We will be doing TSALI for sure and maybe some rides closer to Ashville like Dupont or Pisgah. This will be our second trip down there since 2002 so we are familiar with the area. Also any local info on places to eat and drink would be great. Oh and if you got some pics to post for inspiration be my guest. Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    trails in the area

    Quote Originally Posted by mrrrg
    I need info on motels and best trails to do in the area. We will be doing TSALI for sure and maybe some rides closer to Ashville like Dupont or Pisgah. This will be our second trip down there since 2002 so we are familiar with the area. Also any local info on places to eat and drink would be great. Oh and if you got some pics to post for inspiration be my guest. Thanks guys!
    Depending on the length of ride you want there are a few online guides.

    www.mtbikewnc.com has rides of 10-15 miles in length and great area info

    www.wncmountaingoatepics.com (my site) has rides of 30+ miles for soul searching epic adventures. Keep in mind that 30+ miles of Pisgah can be very brutal and the trail goddess takes no mercy on the unprepared!

    www.wncmountaingoatepics.com/camping.htm for local camping and lodgings

    www.wncmountaingoatepics.com/local_food.htm for the best local Asheville Food. NO fast food or chains to be food here!

    www.wncmountaingoatepics.com/music_&_ale.htm for info on places to see the bands and get the post ride lager. Keep in mind most of the local food places have beer as well.

    If your coming at the beginning of May I be might be able to show you around. The 15th I'll be doing the Pisgah Mountain BIke Adventure Race then the following weekend I go to Colorado for ten glorious days!

  3. #3
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    Hey, I'll handle the tourist stuff. What's your price range/preference on lodging? What kind of food do you like...are you an adventurous eater/food snob/beer hound?

  4. #4
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    im coming down april 9th and would

    love to hear some of your suggestions i think were going to be staying in brevard, where cheep students, eat anything that was once alive and drink on the excessive only 3 to 4 times per week any info especially on cheep hotels motels, peoples garages etc would be greatly appreciated, tryed the net but keep getting the same 2 to 3 hotels in brevard.
    MaY

  5. #5
    I like Squishy Bikes
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    Food

    Got Pizza?
    If not...treat yourself to Ashevilles BEST PIZZA
    @ Apollo Flame: 1 Large Mediterranean Pizza $15.52
    2 Locations: Forrest Edge Shopping Center (exit 50 off I-40)
    or Biltmore Square Mall (exit 2 off I-26...stones throw from Bent Creek).
    A dirty book is rarely dusty

  6. #6
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    Smile cheap stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    Hey, I'll handle the tourist stuff. What's your price range/preference on lodging? What kind of food do you like...are you an adventurous eater/food snob/beer hound?
    We are looking for basic motel super 8, Quality Inn, No tell motel kinda places. Knothing fancy but would be nice to park car in front of our room. As for food and fun. Pizza, burgers, beer. Maybe a micro brew. Should be 3-4 guys so we dont need the house wine or mint on the pillow kinda place you know. Any info would be great.

  7. #7
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    OK, that's no fun, but here goes:

    Try looking for a hotel on Tunnel Road in Asheville. You want to be in Asheville, not Brevard, unless you are planning to ride 12 hours a day, eat and then crash. There's just not much to do/see post biking.

    Tunnel Road is where all the crappy motels are. I only live 45 minutes away, so when I'm in Asheville I do often frequent the crappy places so I feel less guilty about paying to sleep that close to my house. I like the Pioneer Inn. Old fashioned Bates Motel kind of place, with a real talkative guy from Greece who owns it. You should be able to park in front of your room. They have "luxury" rooms behind the older inn. Wait 'til you see them! I have also stayed at the Ramada Limited nearby with out seeing any critters in the room. Asheville's hotel rates vary wildly. I have been quoted anything from $55 to $125 depending on where we are in the tourist season. May shouldn't be too bad, but who knows.

    For a few more dollars, I would really recommend the Best Western near downtown. It is no palace either, peelin wallpaper, etc. but you can WALK HOME FROM THE BARS. Very important. Least I have paid there is $79. You can't park outside your window, but there is another entrance besides the lobby (around the left side if you are facing the lobby) where I have wheeled my filthy bike in and wisked it up the elevator to my room without being frowned at by hotel staff.

    Food: You must eat at Salsa. It's Carribbean. Think mexican (quesadillas, burritos, piononos), but with fresh local organic greens and wild mushrooms, and crazy salsas made with everything from avacados to blueberries to seaweed to ginger to mangoes......

    Otherwise, Marcos pizza, Mellow mushroom pizza, Blue Moon for sandwiches, Picnic for roasted chicken and homemade pie. The beer garden in the lobby complex of the Haywood Park hotel is your spot for beer. Jillions of bottles and dozens of drafts with gobs of microbrews. Highly recommended (for drinking, not eating). They open the huge windows onto the street in good weather. Barley's has a huge selection of brews, too, but I don't think much of their food either.

    Also, West Asheville Pub is a smoke free beer joint w/ funky bands. Also in West Asheville (the kind-of artsy,hip, up-&-coming, but still cheap neighboorhood is a new restaurtant with a blue sign w/ a graphic of the sun on it (I can't remember the name). They have breakfast-y stuff like omletts and pancakes and DElicious sausage (I am not normally a sausage kind of girl)...only open til 2 though.

  8. #8

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    I second Apollo Flame

    I take my whole family there (7 of us) and usually it's less than $40
    Have Fun!!!

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    Hey what about that place by the Civic center :)

    Sure Asheville is hip but can be kinda expensive. Try looking a few exits away from down town and designate a driver if you are planning a night on the piss.

    Some other cheap eats, try Zen Sushi out on Marrimon ave. $1 sushi before 7 (better later in the week) Boston Pizza (pass it on the way to Zen), and Urban Burrito (same shopping center as Zen Sushi) are also up that neck of the woods by UNCA and always good for cheap eats.
    More of a Vegi type, find the Laughing Seed on the super trendy Wall Street (Upstairs from Jack of the Woods Brew pub I believe) closed Mondays & Tuesdays, but the food is usually good and a Laughing Bowl is under $7. Yup Salsa is worth the trip but if the line is to long try walking around the corner and down Biltmore Ave a short walk to Doc Chey’s, loud and cheap but watch for the lines there also.
    If you find your self lost in Hendersonville (short drive from Mills river & Dupont) and like really good dead bovine & sweet potatoes for cheap, and don’t mind your fellow patrons weighing more than the average group of 5 riders, check out Binions. $12 buys you a good southern salad (egg bacon tomatoes cheese onions to coordinate with your lettuce, and keep the cardiac surgeons in Mercedes) surprisingly good steak and massive sweet potato not to mention all the peanuts you can shell and eat, or stuff into your pockets if you must. Located on Four Seasons Blvd. just off old exit 18 on I-26. Just make sure you request they put the butter & brown sugar for the potato on the side (along with any other dangerous toppings like salad dressing). Also most Mexican places in the area are passably decent and dirt cheap due to the large influx of Mexican farm workers.

    Got the Jones for Ice Cream? Then the only option Is Ultimate Ice cream out Rt. 70 kind of hard to find so let your fingers do the walking in the yellow pages you stole from the no tell motel and look on the map. Don’t feel like the drive, then order some ice cream from Zen Sushi it is made for them by Ultimate.

    Now go forth and multiply (your waist line)

    Oh and the Civic center motel is only a joke, long time place of ill repute and historical business location of women of easy virtue, ill repute, and worse dental hygen (what can be so hard about brushing so few teeth?).

  10. #10
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    Civic Center Motel: do you mean the thing on Patton Ave? I stayed there ONCE.
    Or do you mean the even scarier thing you can see from the interstate? Have you been past lately? They are turning it into CONDOS!!!!


    I agree with your food recs for the most part. You would have to browbeat me to make me go to Binions, but you have described the correct way to eat at those places without having an immediate MI. But, I think all the Mexican places suck big-time. If you know of a specific mexican joint that is authentic (not that same damn menu with the #1speedy w/ beans, let me know)

    I second Doc Cheys (noodles) and Laughing Seed ( I like the Harmony Bowl, brown rice, steamed veggies, beans and tofu, but my husband calls me a hippie when I get it) and Jack of the Woods for brews and bluegrass.

    I think if you get stuck in Hendersonville, your best choice BY FAR is Flat Rock Village Bakery. I can't beleive I forgot to mention it earlier. Not only FANTASTIC mega-crisp crust pizza w/ lots of good choices like goat cheese and artichokes as well as tradional stuff.....not only great coffee, bread, scones in the morning.....but the 20-something guys that run it are the coolest dudes going. I highly recommend supporting these guys either before or after a ride (or both). If you're not familiar, they are right behind the Wrinkled Egg just before the intersection where the road from Flat Rock to Hendersonville turns on Little River Rd (I think that's the right name) as you head out toward Brevard past the Carl Sandburg House. Oh, and they have outside dining...good when you're filthy and smell bad.

    Ultimate ice cream? Route 70? help me out, please. How do you feel about Sweet Dreams in Montford? That's my current fave.

  11. #11
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    Smile You guys are awsome!

    I will be sure to copy all the info you have given and the Salsa place sounds like a winer!

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    More Asheville and Hendersonville culinary blathering

    The Motel you can see right off 240, I don’t pay much attention to it but I don’t doubt they are converting it the way the fools are buying real estate in downtown Asheville. Looks like they cleaned up the Motels primary clientele so I guess they had to do something with it. I remember when that sigh advertised $14 a night (or maybe that was per hour including full “room service”).

    Binions is a valid suggestion to the Beef eaters out there and a great deal price to quality wise, I just wouldn’t recommend making a habit out of it.

    As for Mexican, haven’t eaten Mexican in Asheville in @10 years but El Paso in Hendersonville ( on 25 next to the recently revamped BikeWays, just below the intersection of 176 @ 25) is pretty good and very inexpensive if you go for that type of thing. I would certainly recommend it to some one heading south from a day at Dupont or Mills River

    Thanks for the tip about the Village Bakery, I live just down West Blue Ridge from there and have always ignored everything in that little clump of wrinkled retail, due to its tourist crap image.

    Anybody ever made the mistake of eating at the Pisgah Fish Camp (just below Davidson River/276)? (other than me that is)

  13. #13
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    I figured I needed to get back in on this

    Ultimate Icecream is the Bomb! Its behind Pomodora's on 70 heading towards Swannanoa from Asheville. Tons of cool flavors homemade. Don't forget the Marbleslab right across the street from Mast General Store though. You pick the flavor and the mixing and they beat it together on a MarbleSlab!

    Everyone seems to be forgetting the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company in North Asheville. Micro brewed beer, $2.00 movies just released from theatres, and a Woodstock Pizza thats out of this world!

    Pisgah Forest/Brevard does have some great post ride eats. My Fav is Twin Dragons Grand Buffet. All you can eat chinese and Sushi for 7 bucks a head. They got beer to. Flat screen TV's in every corner and they hold something like 300+ people.From Pisgah Forest take 64 towards downtown Brevard and they are a half mile on the right.

    Next is Hawg Wild right at the entrance to the Forest behind Back Country. Bar-B-Que western or eastern style. I'm from the coast of NC originally and the eastern isn't quite true coastal NC style but close enough.

  14. #14
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    Since there have been tons of Coming to Asheville/Pisgah/DuPont posts, you might try doing a search on Passion for repeated info links. There are several motels near Bent Creek off I26 that aren't too costly and the area isn't as congested as Tunnel Road. Also, you are a stone's throw from the Blueridge Parkway. Downtown is about 8 miles.

    Several friends have stayed here. I've been told they are very bike friendly.

    http://www.gosuper8.com/index_biltmore.htm

    Ummm... think I'm going to start renting tent space in the back yard.


  15. #15
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    And another thing. FYI:

    http://www.blueridgebicycleclub.org/dealers.html

    Liberty has a rental house inside the Bent Creek forest that'll hold about eight +/-. It's like walking into a friend's place - furnished, dishware, laundry, big deck with a grill. We have used it for acouple of gatherings and it worked out great.

  16. #16
    tmb
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    Wow- popular place!

    I'm planning a long weekend in Asheville for the 1st of May. It started w/ the guys at Hammerhead Cycles putting together a group gig, now it may fizzle out. But I'm still making the drive from SE Mich. I might be solo but I'm not passing up the chance to ride in Pisgah & Dupont.
    I hope to have 3 days to ride(sat-sun-mon). Mountaingoatepics' Laurel Mt.-Slaterock is high on my list, As is Black Mt., after that I'm unsure.
    Hey locals- anyone have some free time the 1st weekend of May? Wanna play tour guide? My wife is a little nervous about the idea of me wandering around all alone( it didn't stop me last year in WV!)
    Keep the tips coming

    Thanks
    Todd

  17. #17
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    Wrinkled Wretail - I love it!

    Yes, odd juxtaposition, the cool hippy pizza and the "gold shoe" gift shop. Actually, though, if you can stand going in the Wrinkled Egg long enough before....well, I'm starting to think wrinkled egg may be a metaphor for men who have spent too much time in that place....I recommend a quick look at the toys. They have a big selection of hillbilly teeth and plastic frogs whose eyes squirt out of their heads when you squish them, fake tattoos, etc. Don't ask me why a place that sells $50 candles sticks with pink stripes on them would specialize in gross-out toys but you could probably find something there for amusement on a camping trip.

    Fish Camp: no, I have a highly evolved survival instinct. If you've ever thought of going in the b-b-q place near Davidson, think again. It was origianlly built by relatives of friends of mine. We were obliged to go once. Ick. A mercy it burned, and then they built it back!

  18. #18
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    Todd, do you mean Black Mtn the town (kitsuma, et al) or Black Mtn the trail in Pisgah?

    A word of caution if you mean Black mtn. the trail. I have run into people who have heard how great the trail is and were whipped by it. If you start UP Black mtn. from the Ranger STation area, it will beat your ass to a pulp before you ever get to anything fun(downhill). I recommend riding up the gravel road Clawhammer and then turning left on Black Mtn for some climbing, some ridge riding, and some descending back to Bennet Gap/Perry Cove.

    OR, gravel on Clawhammer/right on Maxwell Cove, then right on Black Mtn down to the Thrift Cove/Sycamore Cove.

    Black Mtn is certainly DOABLE in it's entirety from the parking lot, but since you are from out of town, I would say that it's not the best way to maximize your Pisgah fun.

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    That is plural "Wrinkled Eggs"

    I am planning on checking out the bakery this morning on my way to DuPont for a quickie.
    As for the wrinkled eggs, I spent 12 years living in NYC, and between the village (mid) and ChinaTown saw enough gold lame’ to last a lifetime (not to mention squirting eye frogs).
    We need to prevail on the “vagabond shaman” over at wncmountaingoatepics.com to set up something where locals can give valuable restaurant feedback to save the unwary from the Pisgah Fish Camps of the region (we were really hungry and the kids weren’t going to make it home without eating……)

  20. #20
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    I have a friend or two coming same weekend

    I have a few friend coming down the same weekend from VA for some spirited rides. Riding Heartbreak Ridge (minus the Kitsuma loop if you've been on www.wncmountaingoatepics.com) Saturday and then doing a loop including some of Black Mountain and all of Buckwheat knob and Bennet Gap on Sunday. If you're in by Friday morning going to be doing the Laurel Mountain Loop as explained by the previously mentioned website. Will be a good mix of locals and visitors riding with skill levels of intermediate and above and we're just out to have a good time and check our egos in at the trailhead.

    Another good restaurant that doesn't have a "speedy gonzalez" combo is La Paz in Biltmore village in Asheville. It is just North of I-40 off of exit 50 on Sweet Creek Road. Another place I recommend is the Noodle Shop around the corner from Salsa's. They have varying cuisines from the orient that is authentic and quick and lines are generally not as long as Doc Chey's. All of these other places are good and I have to agree w/Litespeed chick about Hawg Wild.I'll chop my arm off and smoke it before I eat there again ;-) of course that all depends on how lost i get in Pisgah.

    Good Luck

  21. #21
    I HUCK WITH CHUCK
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    If you are going by the wrinkled egg, might as well drive a few more minutes and stop at Mikes Chuck Wagon....its for sure the best redneck trailer food behind a gas station ever! We eat at the chuck wagon after every ride, it sounds bad, but seriously, the burgers are awesome. They serve just about everything, and its insanely cheap, buger and fries for like 3.50. If you can get over a dude with a mullet making your food, its awesome. Exit #3 at Green River road, beside the Texaco.

  22. #22
    tmb
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    Litespeed Chick- ummm... yeah I was talking about Black Mt. Trail, thanks for the heads up, after a long cold Mich. winter, maybe my eyes were bigger than my legs.

    cmweldon- the way it looks now, I'll be down Fri. night, but there's a good chance I'll take you up on your offer for sat. & sun. I'll get w/ you when things get nailed down.



    This is the southern hospitality I was hoping for.

    Todd

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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    If you know of a specific mexican joint that is authentic (not that same damn menu with the #1speedy w/ beans, let me know)
    Not in Asheville, but down the road 45min-1hr in Cullowhee is a little place called "5 Friends" that is pretty good. I ordered tacos, and what did I get? Not taco bell style, but beef, cilantro, and onions on flour tortillas!

  24. #24
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    O.K. heres the scoop!

    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    Civic Center Motel: do you mean the thing on Patton Ave? I stayed there ONCE.
    Or do you mean the even scarier thing you can see from the interstate? Have you been past lately? They are turning it into CONDOS!!!!


    I agree with your food recs for the most part. You would have to browbeat me to make me go to Binions, but you have described the correct way to eat at those places without having an immediate MI. But, I think all the Mexican places suck big-time. If you know of a specific mexican joint that is authentic (not that same damn menu with the #1speedy w/ beans, let me know)

    I second Doc Cheys (noodles) and Laughing Seed ( I like the Harmony Bowl, brown rice, steamed veggies, beans and tofu, but my husband calls me a hippie when I get it) and Jack of the Woods for brews and bluegrass.

    I think if you get stuck in Hendersonville, your best choice BY FAR is Flat Rock Village Bakery. I can't beleive I forgot to mention it earlier. Not only FANTASTIC mega-crisp crust pizza w/ lots of good choices like goat cheese and artichokes as well as tradional stuff.....not only great coffee, bread, scones in the morning.....but the 20-something guys that run it are the coolest dudes going. I highly recommend supporting these guys either before or after a ride (or both). If you're not familiar, they are right behind the Wrinkled Egg just before the intersection where the road from Flat Rock to Hendersonville turns on Little River Rd (I think that's the right name) as you head out toward Brevard past the Carl Sandburg House. Oh, and they have outside dining...good when you're filthy and smell bad.

    Ultimate ice cream? Route 70? help me out, please. How do you feel about Sweet Dreams in Montford? That's my current fave.
    tnere are actually quite a few "authentic" mexican joints in Asheville. no pun intented. taqueria fast in woodfin is one of many. there are taquerias all over the asheville area and most are good. jose,delores,y mina is awesome, on haywood road, just off 240. and yes ulimate ice cream is hands down the shizzle! much, much better than sweet dreams! ultimate actually makes their own. highway 70 = tunnel road. headed toward swananoa, ultimate is on your left, before the v.a. hospital. la paz is an overrated, over priced chain. don't bother. as is doc cheys. for pizza, marcos simply cannot be beat. apollo flame gets my vote as one of, if not THE worst! cheap, yes, if every sense of the word. asheville pizza and brewing co. has the best beer. no doubt. they make their own. yummy! foods o.k. too! can get a bit crowded and smokey! must like hippies! later

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