In case you’ve been wondering where we’ve been, here’s the scoop. Since late July, we’ve been visiting family and friends in NJ, NY, CT, RI, ME, and now NC. While here in North Carolina, we’ve taken up residence (briefly) in a cabin overlooking lush greenery set in a resort community offering loads of recreational opportunities.
|Spinach Pie and Fattoush Salad at the Jerusalem Garden Cafe, Asheville, NC|
On our exploration of surrounding communities, we found comfort in the dining opportunities offered in Asheville, a hip, artsy town on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western NC.
One stand-out restaurant is Jerusalem Garden Cafe. I guess we were drawn to it because of the menu which offers some usual fare, such as stuffed grape leaves, spinach pie (the dough is infused with rosemary!), tabbuleh, hummus, and mutabal (baba ghanoush). Remember, this is western NC I’m talking about!
The menu also offers some culinary surprises too …
Mujaddara (rice and lentils topped with caramelized onions).
Pistachio encrusted lamb chops, topped with pomegranate molasses.
Jerusalem burger with lamb made with local, grass-fed beef topped with shaved, slow-cooked lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a choice of Tzatziki or cilantro-parsley harra sauce.
NOTE: harra sauce is described as a mixture of cilantro, garlic, walnuts, red chili pepper flakes, lemon juice, tahini, salt, water and olive oil.
Then there’s thinly shaved roasted leg of lamb cooked in red wine, lamb demi glaze, baharat seasoning – topped with feta and caramelized onions. (They serve this as a sandwich as well, and it is divine!)
NOTE: baharat seasoning blend may include allspice, black pepper, cardamom, ground coriander, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, dried chili peppers, or paprika.
|Awesome lamb sandwich and Bastilla of the day stuffed with couscous, raisins, and other goodies, served with hummus, pita, and organic yogurt.|
The Jerusalem Garden Cafe also serves brunch on weekends. Get this, their ‘standard’ breakfast includes 2 eggs (fried or scrambled), local Hickory Nut Gap bacon or grass-fed kafta meatballs, harra-fried potatoes or biscuits (after all, this IS the south!). The last item I’ll mention, which is certainly not the least, is lamb and eggs with grilled onions, hummus, and pita.
We ‘re amazed that this menu is available in western North Carolina!
Can anyone explain why there isn’t a restaurant like this where we live?
One of our favorite restaurants too!
Very impressed that you're doing items from the road! Our roving correspondent…
Asheville is a great food town. You should also try Reza's. He is Persian and does upscale Middle Eastern food at his place in the Biltmore part of town. Also Curate which is an outstanding Spanish tapas place. Signed, Sarkis Chobanian, M.D. Knoxville, TN. Grandson of Armenians from the village of Gasma near Divrigi
Thank you, Sarkis, The next time we find ourselves in Asheville, we'll certainly try the places you recommend!