Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mountain Fare

This weekend Steve and I had a great time meeting my parents and dogs for a weekend in the mountains of North Carolina. My family has a vacation home in the small town of Cashiers, in southwest NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a gorgeous area, right where the mountains slope down to meet the Piedmont (creating lots of steep drops and waterfalls), so it's drawn a pretty large population of wealthy out-of-towners who mingle incongruously with the local hillbillies. Because of the influx of money from residents of my home state (or the "Floridiots" as the locals call us), the last decade has seen the growth of several wonderful restaurants in the Cashiers area.

So, this weekend, in addition to hiking Whiteside Mountain and visiting Whitewater Falls, we did some good down-home country eatin'. For lunch on Saturday, I satisfied my craving for real southern food. I'm talki
ng about a BBQ pork sandwich, cole slaw, and a giant jug of sweet tea. And the best part: chocolate buttermilk pie for dessert. Buttermilk pie is a southern delicacy that northerners can't appreciate till they've tried it. I've been talking up the buttermilk pie at Cornucopia for weeks, and fortunately I think Steve agreed that it lived up to the hype.

Saturday night we went to a fancy restaurant in town called the Orchard - my favorite restaurant in the area. I had the most delicious dinner: chicken breast rolled around a golden delicious apple and walnut, sage, and provolone stuffing, all of it lightly fried and covered with a sweet apricot glaze. Absolutely amazing. We drank a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon with the meal (I was convinced I could smell a hint of cheese in the wine's aroma, even though everyone else thought I was crazy).

On Sunday we went out to get sandwiches for lunch and ac
cidently wound up in an expensive brunch buffet. The food was good, though - also very southern. Fresh biscuits and gravy, egg casserole, blueberry French toast, roast beef. As we were leaving, a crotchety old guy outside (who thought we were just arriving) tried to warn us not to go in because it was "the worst meal [he] ever had in [his] life." What a crazy.

Lastly, on Sunday night we had our first dinner at the Library, a private club in Sapphire Valley (a neighboring town) that my parents recently decided to join. This place is great because they actually serve wine and liquor - even though the rest of the county is dry, they're allowed because they're a private club. Sweet! I had a local specialty: North Carolina rainbow trout crusted with pecans and drizzled with maple butter. Delish!

For dessert, Steve insisted on fried cheesecake. That's so South: take something unhealthy and then deep-fry it. No wonder we have an obesity problem.


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