Friday, May 29, 2015

Dealing with the Damage - Pub & Grub Crawl


This was a day that we stayed around the campground to deal with the damage to The Duchess. We found out that our insurance company, Nationwide, has agreed to pay the claim and that the work will be done here in Marion through the Tom Johnson Camping Service Center. The Service Center here is a "Blue Ribbon Repair Shop" for Nationwide Insurance, so if the damage had to happen we were lucky that it happened here. Connie and I spent the afternoon visiting with several other campers here at the RV-Dreams Reunion Rally. We had another rainstorm come through in the evening (no awning to worry about this time).


On Friday afternoon, Connie and I along with 14 other campers from the Reunion Rally went over to Black Mountain NC for the Creative Mountain Pub & Grub Crawl. This was a 3 hour walking, drinking & eating tour of several places in Black Mountain that have pubs or bars in them.

We started the crawl at the Monte Vista Hotel Fitz Bar which was named after a gentlemen named Fitzpatrick. He was able to have a National Historic Site designation put on the hotel which somehow allowed him to serve alcohol by the drink despite the county being dry. Within a few months, the town of Black Mountain voted to have liquor by the drink and later allowed the sale of alcohol within the city. We met the current owners of hotel along with the chef who runs the hotel restaurant (called Palate). We were served a drink consisting of sweet tea, honeysuckle simple sugar (from a plant on the hotel grounds) and vodka. The chef prepared us a reversed grill cheese sandwich with country ham along with potato chips he had fried in his kitchen. The sandwich had cheese on both the inside and outside and was delicious.
Some of the artwork in the hotel

On the front porch of the hotel with Kim and Tim

The owner of the hotel and the Fitz Bar

Guy & Sue (the birthday girl), Greg & Cori

From there we walked over the Merry Wine Market which is a shop that sells a wide variety of wines and beer. They stock a number of local and North Carolina wines and beers. There are 27 breweries located either in Asheville or the surrounding area, so there are a lot of choices in local brews. We sampled a local beer from the Catawba Brewery called White Zombie Ale.
White Zombie Ale

Kim, Sharon and David, Bonnie

Then we moved to the Black Mountain Ale House which is more of a pub than anything else. They had recently updated their food menu and served us wings with four different types of rubs. The beer served was a Hi-Wire Lager from a local brewery.

Our host for the tour, Sandi, followed by Tim & Kim
 On to the Dark City Deli & Pub where we were served a Carolina Apple Cider. The food consisted of red cabbage, quesadea and a pork & cheese sandwich all of which they serve at the pub. We met the owner who told us that there were ghosts who inhabited the building: a woman with children who would appear at various times. The building that was first built on the site burned around 1900 and there are some stories that this was a family that died in the fire (but no one seems to know for sure).

The deli consists of three buildings with passages between them

It was a walk of several blocks to the Lookout Brewery which is a nano-brewery: a brewery that makes even less beer than a micro-brewery. We met the owner who started brewing beer for his friends several years ago and then turned the hobby into a brewery. He gave us a tour of the small brewery as explained the beer brewing process. We sampled an American Pilsner beer along with their Black Mountain IPA.
Today's selections at the Lookout Brewery. It changes with the owner's taste buds.
The Manufacturers Defect was a batch that was drinkable, but not up to the usual standards.

The owner explaining the beer brewing process. They have just
acquired the property next door so they will be expanding soon.
Someday they will be a Micro-Brewery.

We finished up at the FRESH Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta shop. They served us three different types of pizza, flat bread with cheese toppings and peppers/tomatoes. The beers served included Mother Earth Beer, Maibock Lager and Highland Lost Cove. One of the campers on the crawl had a birthday today and her husband surprised her with a German chocolate cake. We all sang Happy Birthday and then helped her eat the cake.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon with the group and the variety of drinks & food we were able to sample along the crawl. Black Mountain NC is a beautiful little town with a number of shops and restaurants located within the city limits. The town swells to several times its normal size during the summer since the temperatures are usually cooler at the higher elevation the town is located at.