Sunday, June 22, 2008

French Broad Chocolate Lounge

This is one place I wish I could have visited during daylight hours. Their web site certainly has me convinced it's a place worth checking out.

French Broad Luscious Chocolates is a small, family-run company. Not including our two little boys, whom we haven't yet conscripted for duty, we are two, husband and wife. Sam and Max are a long way off from being allowed to handle chocolate; we grown-ups have a hard enough time not eating our profits! We share responsibility for every aspect of our little operation, making each small batch with our own, um, four hands.

Every batch of hand- mixed, -scooped, -dipped and -decorated truffles is certified organic by our fellow crusaders for a better world of eats, North Carolina Crop Improvement Association. The certification process is rigorous, requiring that we use only certified organic ingredients, with very few exceptions (for more info on the rules, check out our ingredients page), and maintain impeccable cleanliness in our operation.

Being certified is no small task, especially when considered aside another primary company directive: to be part of the local business community. We dance the very complicated dance between concern for our local and regional economies and availability of certified organic ingredients. Sometimes we must look beyond Appalachia for stuff that is best grown right here. Even if our neighbors grow an abundant supply of delicious organic raspberries, if they're not certified, we cannot use them for our certified organic Fresh Raspberry truffles. Them's the rules. Undeterred, we will continuously strive to localize our efforts whenever possible. Note: if you see an ingredient listed that you think we could source locally, let us know!

Chocolate, and all things made from cacao, is an inevitably international food, unless you live in the tropics. It is a testament to the effects of globalization at which few of us would scoff. A world without chocolate is no world we want to live in. And so it goes with the vanilla bean, tea, coffee, and too many other things we have come to take for granted. What that means for an ecologically minded company like ours is that we must find our supplies from people who share our concern for fair trade, even if they must travel thousands of miles before they end their respective journeys in our mouths.

We are very proud of our what goes in our truffles, so check out our page devoted to ingredients.
-- French Broad Chocolate Lounge

10 South Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-4181
Get directions

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Asheville Fish Company

As evident from the photo, this building is on the corner of Walnut and Broadway, across from the Mellow Mushroom.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

S&W Cafeteria

The renovated S&W Cafeteria building on Patton Avenue, near Pritchard Park downtown, now houses the newly opened upscale restaurant S&W Steak & Wine and the Corner House, a coffee shop and casual restaurant.

That gives the public a chance once again to eat and drink among the 1929 building’s period touches, including porcelain tiles on the walls, terrazzo floors, sculpted plaster ceilings and steps made of travertine marble.

The cafeteria closed in 1974, a casualty of the movement of much of the city’s retail activity to Asheville Mall. The building saw various uses over the years but had been closed for some time before developer Steve Moberg decided to take the plunge and put it back in use.

Moberg, whose other projects include the Lexington Station condominium and retail complex on South Lexington Avenue downtown, bought the building last year. He is building six residential condos on the building’s third floor and adding a level and a half on the roof to house four more.

Those units are scheduled to be completed later this year. All but two of the condos are spoken for, Moberg said.

The S&W was designed by architect Douglas Ellington, also responsible for iconic structures including City Hall and First Baptist Church. It was part of a small chain of cafeterias in the South started in Charlotte by two men who served as mess sergeants together in World War I.

“It’s one of art deco’s crown jewels in Asheville and one of Douglas Ellington’s finest buildings that he designed in town,” said Jim Coman, president of the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County.

“It’s the highest pinnacle of art deco. It’s as good as it gets,” said Coman, a Buncombe County zoning official who helped produce a comprehensive inventory of historic buildings in the county.

The S&W was completed in 1929 and was a community hub for much of the middle of the 20th century.

“It was a great place to go and eat,” said Che Spurlin, who lived in Asheville in the ’50s and is now a resident of northern Buncombe County. “You would always see somebody you knew.”
-- Asheville Citizen-Times

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lark Books

Almost 20 years ago, we published our first book. Since then, our list has grown to more than 300 books, with 60 to 70 new titles now appearing every year. From beaded bags to community quilts, from garden mosaics to garden seating, from art cars to art dolls, from fountains to feng shui…well, we’ve been busy.

There are about 50 of us who work at Lark. We share a love of what we do, a respect for the readers we serve, and a fair amount of pride in the books we produce.
-- Lark Books

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gallery Minerva

A sign in the window gives the following information on the beautiful illuminated figures shown above:
As the creator of this wire sculpting process, the London native, Michael Gard, has made beautiful dancing figures. The process starts with an oil based clay sculpture that is transformed in to wax. He then takes single strands of wire weaving them over the wax sculpture. The wax is melted away in a boiling water bath leaving the wire sculpture intact.

Gallery Minerva
12 Church St
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 255-8850
Get directions


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More Of Lexington Avenue