Guests at Mount Mitchell Golf Resort soak in beautiful views of forests, the resort's namesake mountain, and the South Toe River while enjoying relaxing outdoor activities. Ranked among the best places to golf in North Carolina by Golfweek, the Resort's 18-hole course unfurls across 6,495 yards of bent-grass tees, fairways, and fast greens situated along the Toe River valley. Golfers must avoid the river's flowing waters on seven holes as they tunnel through the rising peaks of Mount Mitchell that envelope the fairways in vibrant clusters of trees.
In addition to hunting pars on the par 72 course, vacationers can cast lines into the South Toe to lure trophy brown and rainbow trout, either independently or with the assistance of a fishing guide. Additional resort attractions include trail hiking, tennis, mining for gemstones or abandoned gopher stereos, summer theater, and horseback riding. When craving a restaurant meal, visitors may stop by Hawtree's Pub or the clubhouse dining room, TEO'S, with views of the golf course's 18th hole.
Course at a Glance:
The son of a Greek immigrant from the small village of Nostimo ("delicious" in Greek), Tommy Tsiros spent his youth surrounded by the aromas of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil—all of the essential ingredients in Greek and Italian cuisines. Tommy’s love for the homestyle dishes of his childhood led him to open his first restaurant, a downtown deli that soon became a popular lunch spot among locals. Though his 10 years at the deli established his reputation for delicious Italian fare, it was not until he left the deli and opened Pomodoros Greek & Italian Café that he was able to follow his true culinary passions.
Those passions are manifest in the dishes Tommy grew up with and that chefs now cook to perfection in his restaurant—dishes that include homemade spaghetti bolognese, grilled wild salmon, and veal piccata. Greek and Italian cultures contribute heavily to Tommy’s vision, and the balance between the two is apparent on the menu as well as in the warm staff and the togas draped across each table. No Mediterranean feast is complete without wine, and the café’s wine list proves its worth with a selection that has won numerous Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence.
The last of 11 children, Mark Tomczak has a passion for prepping and serving quality cuisine that began in elementary school, when he helped his mother feed his siblings during countless baking and cooking sessions. Mark initially embarked on a career path rooted in ceramic artistry at his studio, Muddy Creek Pottery. After stints as assistant and head chef at several restaurants, however, he combined his adoration of food with his sculptural skills to shape the neapolitan pies, pastas, and abundant eats of Fresh Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta.
Swapping his kiln for a handcrafted wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy, Mark and his team bake pizzas and daily-made bread at temperatures of up to 800 degrees, the exact temperature of steam blowing out of a cartoon man's ears. Each hunk of handmade dough arrives adorned in organic ingredients culled at least once weekly from local farms, cooperatives, granaries, creameries, and the restaurant's own garden. Mark supplements his extensive pizza portions with pastas, lunchtime sandwiches, desserts made fresh daily, and a plentitude of gluten-free dining options.
Hailing from Germany, owner and chef Dieter Homburg rewards Asheville residents with a true taste of his homeland. According to the Mountain Xpress, his methods are scrupulous, and he brings “all the attention to detail, craft and freshness to sausage that his former countrymen in Germany might expect.” In the kitchen of The Bavarian Restaurant & Biergarten, Homburg—affectionately referred to as ‘Doc’—crafts nearly 150 pounds of sausages per week, each link cranked out with a medley of secret spices, Himalayan salt, fresh garlic, real cheddar cheese, and beer. A variety of schnitzels also pile onto plates. Sautéed wiener schnitzel comes with paprika lemon slices or crowned with münster cheese, mushrooms, and fried onions.
Pausing for sips of imported beers and wines, diners feast on hearty German plates inside a rustic dining room decorated by old beer mugs and tapestries. Guests can also get cozy outside in the 80-seat beer garden where two different species of docile bees pollinate malt and hops flowers.
During his childhood in Mexico City, Mauricio Abreu found respite from his four older siblings' shenanigans in his mother's kitchen. There, he absorbed the Latin culinary traditions that would later become the backbone of his restaurant's menu. Though he planned for a career as a graphic specialist, Mauricio's steady transformation into Chef Mo was as fortunate as it was fortuitous.
At Chef Mo's Restaurant & Bar, imaginative dishes bloom from this base of Latin influence. Mo crafts many of the platters and all of the desserts himself, labeling his signature additions as "Mo-made." He also habitually patrols the dining room to converse with guests, augmenting the warmth that radiates from his oven as it teeters after him out of separation anxiety. His creative fusion of Latin flavors with traditional Italian, French, and American dishes has coupled with the spot's genial atmosphere to earn two OpenTable Diners' Choice awards: Good for Groups and Neighborhood Gem.
The Hop’s dairy mavens look no further than their own stomping grounds when culling the fresh, local ingredients they use to concoct their gourmet ice cream. Since it’s illegal to scream for ice cream in a crowded building, servers sate fierce cravings for the glacial delight by plunging creamy scoops into organic sodas, piling them into housemade waffle cones, and drizzling them with the shop’s own hot fudge and chocolate syrup. In addition to indulgent confections, The Hop caters to health-conscious gourmands with vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free ice creams made from scratch, as well as fresh-fruit sorbets and fair-trade coffee.
In addition to appeasing sweet teeth, The Hop also serves as a welcoming hangout spot where guests can enjoy free, family-friendly events, including live music, magicians, and jugglers scheduled every Tuesday. The cheerful, carefree setting also hosts birthday parties replete with a build-your-own-sundae bar and face painting.
With more than 450 stores throughout the globe, TCBY has become synonymous with high-quality frozen yogurt since its humble inception in Arkansas in 1981. Known as The Country’s Best Yogurt, TCBY serves up frozen treats packed with benefits such as live active cultures and vitamin D while remaining lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream. New additions to the menu include frozen greek yogurt, which swirls with twice as much protein as the regular frozen yogurt, giving customers a treat to look forward to after strenuous routines of bench-pressing dairy-farm equipment. Another new addition is chocolate Silk almond milk yogurt which happens to be free of dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, and cholesterol. Revamped store designs infuse each space with modern, colorful touches, such as bright-green chairs and hanging orange lights, reflecting the dessert emporium’s dedication to happily moving into the future with its customers.
With more than 30 years of dough-kneading experience, the chefs at Iannucci's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant have crafted a menu of time-tested, authentic Italian food and pizzas. Choices such as eggplant and hamburger top Iannucci's housemade dough and sauce, allowing pie lovers to build a large 16 inch or Sicilian style to their liking or to look like them. For dinner, pasta fans can quell hunger tides with the baked ziti a la joi or satiate carnivorous cravings with the veal parmigiana, each chaperoned by the pizzeria's signature breadsticks. When the time comes to celebrate a birthday, reunion, or AVP: Alien vs. Predator anniversary, patrons can ogle the catering menu to spice up the shindig with a tray of meatballs or italian sausages, meat or spinach lasagna, or a large greek, italian, or house salad.
Jerusalem Garden Cafe strives for immersive authenticity. Surrounding patrons with ornate Middle Eastern patterns and silhouettes on the walls, the restaurant fills its dining space with scents of Syrian spices, housemade tahini sauce, and pomegranate molasses. Incorporating cuisine from Istanbul, Lebanon, and Cairo, the menu whisks patrons away to the Mediterranean. Skewers of beef fillet and chicken breast depart the kitchen alongside lamb, salmon, and shrimp, whose seasonings build on the flavors of housemade hummus and baba ghanouj. Vegan and vegetarian options are also on hand to sate herbivorous appetites.
Praised by Mountain Xpress for having one of the best beer selections in town, The Bier Garden complements its many brews with a menu of dressed-up comfort classics. From the tap or in a bottle, sip on porters and cloudy Belgian ales while browsing the menu of sophisticated bar fare, ranging from wings in a soy-ponzu sauce to oven-roasted prime rib served only on Friday nights. Flat-screen TVs dot the space, broadcasting live sporting events or marathons of Suddenly Susan.
For more than 35 years, Maria's Mexican Pueblo has served up fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Unlike Thanksgiving at a scientist’s house, they never use any chemicals when they craft specialties such as sizzling chicken, steak, or shrimp fajitas, or the hungry hombre plate, which mixes one burrito with one beef taco, one guacamole taco, and sides of refried beans and rice. They also serve up specials such as stacked nachos piled high with chicken, refried beans, and whole tomato slices.
Vincenzo's Ristorante & Bistro's owners understand that people have different tastes, or sometimes just feel like a different experience. So, they decided to split their space in two. In the ristorante, they ferry fine Italian cuisine to candlelit, white-linened tables. In the bistro, they serve deliberately more casual fare as live singer-songwriters ply their trade at the piano with jazz and blues standards.
The people of Panacea Coffeehouse designed their cafe as a place that fosters a sense of community where patrons can sip a fresh brew on the back deck that overlooks Richland Creek or within the cool, restored industrial space. The staff of savvy baristas also serves up homemade desserts, cafe treats, and improvised haikus.
At OneWay Eyeglasses, frames from name-brand designers pair with lenses ranging from single-vision to no-line bifocals. The shop also stocks an array of contacts, and the independent onsite optometrists dole out prescriptions and relationship advice.
Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts. Choose your favorite ice cream from dozens of silky flavors, such as cake batter and mint. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry-pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary by season and location. The store also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings, such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4.59 and $5.29, depending on size.