Groucho's Deli nourishes guests with a menu of specialty sandwiches, house-made potato salad and coleslaw, and signature salad dressings. Cooks wedge hot ham, turkey, and swiss cheese into a plump sub roll for the Apollo Dipper ($6.19) and tuck 4 ounces of southern-style tuna salad beneath a nonscratchy blanket of sharp cheddar cheese in the tuna-cheese melt club sandwich ($6.49). Fresh lettuce shreds populate the My Wife's Salad Bowl ($6.99) alongside ham, turkey, bacon, and cheese, drizzled in a choice of Groucho's house-made dressings, including the popular Formula 45—a blend of spicy russian and thousand island dressing—Banish Bleu—a Scandinavian slather with a sour-cream base—and the fat-free Formula 95—a sweet and zesty mustard blend. Using advanced straw technologies, eaters can transform into drinkers by gulping down a glass of sweet or plain tea ($1.99) or a can of Dr. Brown's soda ($1.99).
In the kitchen at Mario’s Pizza, chefs heap cheese, steak, and sun-dried tomatoes onto oversize New York–style and sicilian pizza crusts. A white pizza covered in ricotta cheese, fresh garlic, and mozzarella reminds taste buds of eating a delicious snowman, and comes in sizes ranging from 10 inches to as large as 19 inches. Baked pasta and sandwiches, such as a philly steak or veal parmigiana, round out the menu.
Mansour Zand, owner of Willow Creek Inn, has transformed an early 20th-century farmhouse into a venue for fine dining. He's facilitated this change through an internationally inspired approach to cooking as well as design. Using fresh produce and herbs from his own garden, he composes plates of European-style chicken, fish, and beef. This ever-changing cuisine is most often served in the formal dining room, which is adorned with lace drapes and antique furniture, or at the intimate chef's table, where groups of up to 16 can take in views of the countryside and watch the chef prepare the meal. Larger parties, meanwhile, take root on the open-air terrace or in the garden pavilion.
North Carolina's western counties are often collectively called the High Country or the Land of the Sky, references to the soaring peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains to the northwest and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the southeast. The village of Plumtree is nestled between these two vast ranges, located near the protected wilderness of the Pisgah National Forest. Hiking trips are common, with most popular trails heading to Linville Falls and past panoramic views of Hawksbill Mountain.The mountains have proved as useful as they are beautiful, as mining operations in the region were a major force in North Carolina's development. The nearby Museum of North Carolina Minerals chronicles local quartz, mica, and natural deposits of silly putty.
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: