...I went to Asheville, which is THE ONLY thing even REMOTELY worth seeing in Appalachia.
Of course, there are rednecks there, and hiking trails, and gift shops with cheesy deer head-black bear-rustic cabin decor, but there are fun things, too. Like... funky hippies. And good food. And shops. And a mall. Yes, there are malls everywhere, except my town. We go to an endless variety of stores: Cato, Bealle's Outlet, and Wal-Mart. I hate it. But I digress.
Friday night we went downtown to Dok Chey's thai restaurant. We got a shrimp roll appetizer and it was amazing!! We also got green beans with soy sauce. To die for! I ordered spicy thai basil pasta with chicken. So good! It was VERY spicy, and very flavorful. The noodles were cooked to perfection. To drink I got housemade ginger ale. Uhh.. good, but EXTREMELY hot. Like chewing a ginger root. I think I would've liked it better if my meal hadn;t also been spicy.
Other Doc Chey's picks:schezwan (sp?) stir fry, pad thai noodles (my favorite), thai fried rice.
For dessert we went to French Broad Chocolate Lounge! It's also downtown. I got a piece of Quintessential Chocolate Cake. Three layers of incredibly moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with delicious chocolate frosting, topped with bitter, rich ganache and chocolate shavings. Amazing, and I don't even like things that chocolatey.
I've also had the chocoalte chip cookies which are great, and chocolate creme brulee, which is my favorite. I hate pudding but I love the contrast of the creamy, rich chocolate bottom and crunchy top.
Saturday the adults went to the Fresh Market and got Toffee chip and peanut butter chocolate cookies. They were amazing; i usually prefer homemade but these were great.
Last but not least, at TJMaxx my aunt bought fig balsamic vinegar. Oh, my. So good. Much better than plain balsamic vinegar. We mixed it with olive oil and dipped french bread in it, I could live off of it.
I love it. I love Asheville. Even if you're not a foodie, you'd love it. There's so much to do, and believe me, Downtown Asheville is the closest you can get to heaven- in the mountains, of course.
Sorry for the long post!