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Food In Review: Spring Break Eats

DSC05082_zps736e65f7Enjoying a cup of coffee at the historic Grove Park Inn Resort in Asheville, NC.

This post is going to be a break from the usual “let’s make a recipe and document it” routine.  Instead I thought I would take time to share with my legions of fan (yes, this is all for you, my one dear and lovely reader…okay maybe there is like 6 of you, but who is counting?) my spring break eats.  As I am in school again, I live a life where the breaks I have from said school highlight my calendar and turn arbitrary blocks of time into precious moments ready to be filled with time spent not at home.

And since I knew I wouldn’t be at home this past week, I knew I would have no chance to cook/bake something to feature on this blog.  That is how I came to decide I would take pictures of the more interesting meals eaten on my trip.  Perhaps this post will set a precedent for future travel food posts!

So here is where I went:

  • Asheville, NC

Chai Pani

The Laughing Seed

  • Gatlinburg, TN

The Wild Plum Tea Room

random candy shops

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Restaurant Review: Mama Ricotta’s

Ask anyone who has lived in Charlotte for any significant length of time where the best place to get Italian is and they’ll probably tell you “Mama Ricotta’s.” Even if they’ve never been there (like I hadn’t) they will probably have heard good things about it. Mama Ricotta’s is pretty much a Charlotte institution, one of those restaurants that only has one location, that grew up with the town that it’s in.

Below, you can see one of the many published accolades for Mama Ricotta’s:

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Restaurant Review: Bollywood Bites

INTRO

I have decided in addition to posting recipes and documenting my forays into the kitchen, I also want to include restaurant reviews in this blog.

I think eating food makes one a better cook, just as reading books makes one a better writer. By exposing yourself to different things you can learn how to improve and experiment with your own cooking. You can also find out how things should taste, like if you want to make an awesome crepe, but you’ve never had an awesome crepe, I think it makes it that much more difficult to succeed in that endeavor.

RESTAURANT: BOLLYWOOD BITES

For months now I’d been wanting to go to Bollywood Bites.  I’d heard about it through ads in a local Indian magazine I have a subscription to (a free subscription I may add, I signed up for it on a whim).  When I looked it up online, I found many reviews singing its praise.  I also read many reviews mentioning less than stellar customer service and a difficult to find location.

But I am just crazy about chaats (Indian street snacks) and I really wanted to try the ones at Bollywood Bites, to see how much better (or not) they were than the ones I’ve had other places.

So one afternoon one of my friends (Kellie) and I jumped in my car and drove to Bollywood Bites!

…Which was in a town (Pineville) about 40 minutes away from where I live (Charlotte).

And when we arrived in this town, Kellie and I could not find this place.  Now, Pineville is a small town, so there are not many places for a restaurant to hide.  We literally drove up and down the same 2 streets for about 20 minutes, both of us trying to use the Google Map applications on our phones, to no avail.  We could not find it!

Not until we Googled reviews and read one that told us to look in the strip of stores that faced away from the street near a patch of woods.

Seriously.

This place could not be more hidden if it were a cabin in the woods.

PhotobucketThe Bollywood Bites storefront.  Yes, it is open, though it looks closed!!

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