Food & Petrol Below The Mason-Dixon Line, Part 1

Posted Friday, October 12, 2018

In no particular order. First up: Black Mountain NC.

Dearest Food & Petrol enthusiasts, I come to you from the Western mountains of North Carolina where i will be riding the Blue Ridge Parkway with a base at the Motel 3 ½ just outside Ashville (ville pronounced Vull for us northerners). I came to this spot from Birmingham Alabama where i was at the Motorbike equivalent of Burning Man. The Barber Motorsports Park’s 14th Annual Vintage Festival was the draw, that and Sneaky Pete’s hot dogs. But more on that in another F & P.

My good Pal Rachel who manages a Rockland Restaurant & bar intro’d me over this past several months to two delightful young women who work with her, Kelsey & Taylor. When these two found out i was heading to Asheville (remember, Vull) insisted i visit their Mom, Sarah & uncle Andy. These kind folks offered me food, shelter and not an insignificant amount of wine as i got off the road with over 2500 miles done so far. In a sleepy Hollow just outside Old Fort we hung outside in their reconfigured carport replete with good tunes, a well stocked fridge and able companionship. All good and planned the next day’s roaming.

Petrol Update, Driving the 06 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a 16 foot trailer with, yes folks, 5 motorbikes. One of which is NOT mine Micah F! Alas, no riding these past few days as it is raining in these hills.. Ahhh but the car, The Porsche effortlessly uses it’s 450 HP to yank the trailer, the cabin full to the brim with tools (these are Italian bikes) gear, and enough crapola to keep me going for the 5 weeks that i will be on the road. Sooo comfortable at 80 -85 MPH on the interstates and does the grunt up the hills on I-40 into the Blue ridge mountains. What a vehicle. It also has towed the mobile 3.5 ton wood fired ovens for Cafe Miranda! Yes we serve large Porsche ions. Thanks for that one Fletcher!

Back to Old Fort NC & the most gracious Sarah. We went to a what is known as a Mountain Town, Black Mountain NC. We were to drop off a painting by Her Brother, Martin, for a judged show at Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League and to roam the town.

I must say there was a ton of pottery, outrageously fine. Lots of different styles, imaginative glazing and great skill. Must be this red dirt clay that draws them. Not to mention local handcrafted jewelry, painting, sculpture and as we are in the right place, a dulcimer store. Please note the pic of PELLOMS TIME SHOP. Unfortunately for me, closed. I am sure and Sarah confirmed that it would have been quite the experience. As towns get more hip, it is good to see this timeless (!) spot exist. I would however stay away at noon!!!

As we strolled, chatted and got to know each other, the talk turned to a afternoon beer/ wine. Not to bite the dog that bit us the night before, but merely lick it. As we discussed this possibility, hotdogs came up. This pricked the ears and brightened the eyes of the shopkeeper. A afficionato as it turns out. He told us of Worldly Wieners. THE local tube stop. As the Gods smiled on us we saw that it is attached to a Tap room, the best of all worlds combined. Beer- Hot dogs & petrol.

As we went to take a seat in the checker floored dining room, certainly just what one would expect, we spoke to our table neighbors, Mary, a pro Chef and her companion, Eddie. They went for a house made corn dog and a Chicago Dog. Kudos arose from their satisfied souls and we discussed how we all had enough of ego driven precious schmear n’ drizzle tweezer food. Not that it does not have its place. Mary proceeded to clue me in on several places i must hit in Asheville and a random discussion of other dog styles. Yes, comrades of the bun.

To the order and dogness. I must first express my disappointment at the lack of availability of the Hawaiian dog. A dog with seared spam, pineapple slaw and garlic aioli? Awwwww!!

Soo the meat of our desire today at WW is a All beef Vienna style wiener, in this case lending itself easily to the Chi Town dog on the menu. Ok, one of those please. Yes, in the proper poppy seed bun, onion, tomato, the requisite Nuclear green relish, teeny hot peppers, celery salt, pickle right in there and mustard. As it should be. Classic, well executed. We went for a Coney. Also often called a chili dog. Probably my go to and as it turned out, Sarah’s fave. . Now as you may have seen in F & P, a Coney stylie chili is a meat sauce. No beans, no chunks. Use a ladle to apply. Mustard, on the dog, not on the top, diced onion and on this one, cheese. American. The non traditional poppy seed bun did not sway how good this was. Our third was a Korean dog w/ seasoned beef, Kim chee, Korean sweet BBQ sauce and a first in my experience, an egg on top. Magical. The Fairground now calleth, a Corn dog modified with Jalapeno & cheese in the corn bread. Our thoughtful server provided us with a cup of Queso to dip, supreme. As an aside, corn dogs inparts of the south are referred to as Dipped Dogs as one dips the dog on a stick in the batter and then to the deep fat fryer. Really you can dip anything in that, fry it and it couldn’t miss. See Hushpuppies.

About half way thru our gorging, i mean repast, two women sat across the isle from us. Mom Eva and daughter Kim. Of course the talk turned to dogs, their passion having driven from Raleigh NC to BM for these franks. The world of Hot Dogs Of Character (HDOC) and the love of seeking them out is the common bond and makes for ice breaking convos. They built custom dogs, the specifics of which escape me. As we chatted this encased passion, they offered some of their fries. A number 1 fries! I reluctantly order fries or other things when there is such an extensive dog offering as to not take up precious gastro space but these…. Twiced cooked, BROWN, not wimpy golden and BIG crunchy salt makes these fries winners. Thanks Eva & Kim!

Dessert? No way, however in the true Everest climbing mindset (because it is there) and in the Cafe Miranda Because We Can or really we have to way, we ordered sets to go. With fries.

To wit. The un PC named Kamikaze with Nori, wakami Salad & Wasabi aioli a fine if not somewhat odd texture with the wakami. The North Carolina with pulled pork, slaw & mustard based bbq. Cannot POSSIBLY miss there and it was true. Next up, Mac & cheese dog. As it sounds, Dog covered in Mac N Cheese. This has gotta be a Miranda future dish. Imagine our creamy fire roasted mack with greens and tomato, cook the dog in the mac and ensconce it all in the Focaccia bun. Ask for it! Alas, there were more to try, The Philly Cheese steak, Greek, Italian. Oh my, the things we miss when we must choose. A great time was had by all, full bellies and a plan to hit Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts in the AM!

Well, Bob’s, Classic yeast raised & glazed. Good coffee. Worth a stop. A interesting aside, Bob’s offer a giant Birthday do-nut. Well played.

Well my friends of the fossil fuel, please share these posts as you wish. I wish to thank Taylor, Kelsey, Sarah, Andy, their family and as always the Miranda Krue & my family for the opportunity to share these dogventures with y’all.

EAT-LOVE-RIDE with gusto and heart, Chef Kerry

We Wrote The Book On Maine Comfort Foods Preorder the Reissue Now!