Friday, November 17, 2023

Asheville, NC to Celebrate Steve's 25 Years with the Cleveland Cavaliers ~ August 2023

2023 has been quite an adventure!

My summer was really busy with work, so we weren't able to take our regular 2 week trip to Mexico or Bonaire (or fill in the blank) in July. Instead, we took a few long weekends and stayed domestic. As usual, my research and obsessive planning paid off and our weekend in Asheville, NC was a smashing success! We ate and drank really well while visiting 31 bars and restaurants in just over 3 days (anyone surprised??)

This trip was a gift from the Cavaliers to honor Steve's 25 years with the organization. Thanks Steve!

Asheville is an incredibly unique city with so much to offer. We last visited 10 years ago (blog post here!) and it still holds a special place in our hearts. It’s one of those places that just feels right. Peaceful and eclectic with quite possibly the best Indian food we’ve ever had. Fun, fun, and more fun!

We started with our "regular" routine at the Cleveland airport...drinks a The Club CLE and food at Bar Symon. We had first class tickets for the short trip to Charlotte.

A short layover and a short stop at The Club CLT.

The Grove Park Inn was a great home base with gorgeous mountain views, sprawling grounds and a quick 2 mile Uber into downtown. It made for a nice mix of relaxation and fun.

Expensive hotel = Expensive drinks

Our first night, we enjoyed dinner at the hotel. Edison's offered great views and the food was particularly good for a hotel. Fried green tomatoes, steak special, shrimp and grits...and banana pudding for dessert!

A drink at Elaine's dueling piano bar before heading to bed!

While the The Grove Park Inn was massive and had so much to offer...that's just not our thing.

So, we set off on our first day of Shannon's famous foot tours. That's what I'm calling it! I know it looks like a bit much, but it's really not. I'm a pretty laid back traveler. I'm just a well-prepared laid back traveler...and I'm fun...I promise!

Asheville is a four-time winner of the annual Beer City USA poll, so beer is what we had (with a few cocktails in between). I'm not a big beer drinker, but I do love a good sour beer. We mostly ordered samplers so we weren't overconsuming!

The pimento cheese tater tots and bloody’s at Chestnut were particularly memorable (we actually had them twice).

On the itinerary...Wicked Weed, Jack of the Wood, Thirsty Monk, and Cultivated Cocktails.

This is us at Jack of the Wood 10 years ago...Same table. Aren't we cute!?

Chai Pani had unforgettable Indian street food. We love Indian food and this was some of the best we've ever had.

We headed back to the hotel for a few hours before we Ubered downtown for dinner.

Before dinner, we stopped at One World Brewing for a beer. It was in a weird spot in an alley and then in a basement. We tried to look like we belonged...not sure it worked this time!

The food at Curate (we also ate there twice!) brought back great memories from our recent visit to Barcelona. The patatas bravas was nearly as good as what we had in Spain!

We finished the night at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (we also went here twice...)

Liquid chocolate?? Yes, please.

Day two took us on another walking tour curated by yours truly. The first stop in downtown Asheville was Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium, which is easily my favorite brewery of all time. Bring on the Funk!

Next was Twin Leaf Brewery before lunch at Buxton Hall BBQ. We shared the pimiento cheese chicken sandwich and waffle fries...Yuuuuuum!

Then we continued on Shannon's walking tour with stops at Catawba Brewery, Green Man Brewery, Burial Brewery, Eurisko, and finished with a cocktail at Antidote before heading back to the hotel.

You would think we had been out all day...nope.

It was time for another break.

We took a short Uber back to the hotel and enjoyed the beautiful views before we headed back out for a late dinner.

With no plans and no reservations (I told you I'm fun!) we had to wait for a table for dinner...sooooo we stopped at Dissolvr for a drink and a few Jell-O shots.

For dinner, we enjoyed drinks, kale salad, gnocchi and dessert at Posana.

On our last day, we planned to revisit some of our favorite places and a handful of new ones.

Bloody's and pimiento cheese tots!

Arcade games at Level 256

Next up...Asheville Brewing, Hi-Wire and (secret) Tiki Easy for beer AND cocktails, and finally Wicked Weed.

Our second dinner at Curate was awesome.

A special thanks to the Cavs for footing the bill to celebrate Steve.

He came to Cleveland as an intern in 1995 when he was 22 years old...he had never been to the city and didn't know one.single.person. 

Who would have thought 28 years later, he'd be such a proud and loyal Clevelander??

At the end of August, they officially celebrated Steve’s 25 years (actually 28, but who’s counting).

They played a really nice video montage including interviews with his co-workers and the man himself! 

We met each other 23 years ago within these same walls and I was happy to be invited to see him recognized. 

Cheers to Steve!

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