PHOTO GALLERY: Eating Our Way Through Asheville

 

My Top 5 Bites in Asheville (described in 3 words)!

This year on Fourth of July weekend we traded Florida beaches for Blue Ridge scenery in Asheville, North Carolina. We couldn’t get enough of the cool mountain temps, southern barbecue and farm-to-table eats.

 

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#5 — Hummingbird Cake: Sweet. Moist. Sugar.
at Early Girl Eatery in Downtown Asheville

 

 

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#4 — Smoked Trout Spread: Spicy. Creamy. Addictive.
at Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen in Omni Grove Park Inn

 

 

 

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#3 — BBQ Sandwich: Meaty. Vinegary. Authentic.
at Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, NC

 

 

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#2 — Cheerwine Float: Sweet. Cold. American.
at Cook Out in Lincolnton, NC

 

 

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#1 — Shoo Mercy Omelet: Southern. Cheesy. Stuffed.
at Tupelo Honey Café in South Asheville

Miami Spiced: Quality Meats

Quality Meats
1501 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

 

August and September are a food lover’s paradise in Miami, as the two-month-long span of the Miami Spice restaurant promotion takes over town. This is our third year delighting in the annual event, and last weekend we kicked off our edible Miami Spice adventures at Quality Meats on Miami Beach. Sister to the NYC chophouse, this rendition offers an upscale yet cozy interior that stands out among the super posh restos lining South Beach’s Collins Ave. strip.

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House-Cured Bacon

We started our three-course, $39 dinner with a complimentary watermelon amuse-bouche to cleanse our palates before devouring freshly baked Parker House Rolls. Then came two different appetizers: my Seared Diver Scallops were supremely tender, toting that tasty charred exterior and accompanied by sweet creamed corn and bits of bacon. My husband was slightly overwhelmed with the portion of the House-Cured Bacon, which came slathered with jalapeño jelly and served with a house-made peanut butter. Warning: Gluttony at its finest here, folks.

Moving on to entrées, I opted for the Petit Filet — the server pointed out that they are serving a sizeable 8-ounce portion, unlike many other restaurants participating in Miami Spice. The meat was cooked to a perfectly medium-rare and seriously melted in your mouth. It was served with a few fingerling potatoes and some green beans, so for an extra $11 we added their famous Corn Crème Brûlée. I can understand why this is one of their most popular dishes, what with the crunchy, sugary topping and creamy corn filling.

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Burnt Marshmallow Scoop

My hubby regretfully admitted he had Order Envy after having a bite of my steak, but he did enjoy the QM Red Label Burger, complete with Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese and truffles. While the patty could have been a bit plumper for his liking, the overall flavors were on point.

To round out the meal, dessert consisted of “Dressed-up Scoops” of ice cream. The flavoring of the ice cream in my Burnt Marshmallow was definitely on the subtle side, but I couldn’t get enough of the mixture of graham crackers and chocolate fudge. Then there was The King, an insanely delicious hodge-podge of peanut butter-banana sorbet, caramel bananas, candied peanuts, cinnamon toast and brown sugar bacon. It was out of this world — and the perfect ending to an overall satisfying meal.

Miami Spice lasts until September 30 — for more info and to view menus you can go here.

PHOTO GALLERY: Eating Our Way Through Boston

 

My Top 5 Bites in Boston (described in 3 words)!

Our summer trip this year took us to Boston, Massachusetts. We spent a long weekend in this historic city walking the Freedom Trail, schooner sailing around the harbor, window shopping along Newbury Street and taking in a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Here are some of our favorite eats in Beantown.

 

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#5 — The Melt (at Wahlburgers): Juicy. Toasty. Cheesy.

 
 
 
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#4 — Lobster Roll (at Legal Harborside): Cold. Pure. Sumptuous.

 
 
 
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#3 — Clam Chowder (at Union Oyster House): Creamy. Steamy. Hearty.

 
 
 
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#2 — Chicken Parmigiana (at Panza): Tender. Tangy. Saucy.

 
 
 
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#1 — Amaretto Cannoli (at Mike’s Pastry): Nutty. Sweet. Perfection.