Bakers Are Cool

Anyone who has read much of this blog is aware of how much I love one of the best local restaurants/cafes/places to acquire yumminess: City Lights Cafe.  Well, one of the very lovely people who work there has started her own blog and you… that’s you…. should check it out!

Seriously, it is worth putting on your regular blog-read list. Rachael Griffin: Confessions of a Wannabe Baker (and, if you’re on facebook, find it and like it here).

Now, this ain’t your grandma’s baking blog. That is, of course, unless your grandma made vegan chocolate cake that looks so good you want to eat it off the screen and unless she occasionally admits she’s drinking whiskey while she cooks (important word there is admits!)

There is also some lovely food photos as well as you can see from the shot of this a-mazing chocolate cake! Plus, she’s a super sweet girl and everybody knows that bakers are cool, so check her out and you’ll find her permanently in the link list on this blog.

Art Artist Artsy Artisan

Tomorrow night there will be an opening reception at on of my favorite local restaurants, City Lights Cafe, for a photography show. I’m nervous about this opening reception, mostly because it’s for me. Yup, it is my photography on display. And all I can think is: What Was I Thinking????

For several years I had much anxiety about sharing any of my photographs with others. I worked in the photo industry for a long time and I’ve known a lot of photographers and…. well…. sometimes they can be really critical of each other. Really critical. In fact, the only group of people I’ve found to be more critical of people in their own field are poets, but that’s another story altogether. Now, if you’re a photographer reading this, don’t get mad at me for saying it! It is the truth.

The other part of this is–who calls themselves an artist? Can you be artistic and not an artist? Maybe I’m artistic but somehow that title of Artist is heavy and a little frightening. Do I risk insulting real artists by presuming it is reasonable to call myself an artist? And then there’s that weird word that has shown up recently. Artisan. And it’s not just bread that’s artisan but a lot of things are given that title. It’s a puzzle fraught with danger. Or is it really even that big of a deal?

At the same time I have to admit that over the years I’ve sort of stopped caring about what most people think and just gone on about my business of doing whatever it is that I want to do. I have a whole blog of photography, The Mental Scrapbook, and I’ve become accustomed to sharing images and other creative stuff and junk right here on this blog with the world.

But the world isn’t my neighborhood.

The world can scoff and critique me and make fun of me all it wants on-line. I can be brave on-line!

But this wonderful little restaurant in my town is not full of the far away electronic world. It is full (if I’m lucky) of people who live near by. Worse than that, it might even be full of people I ACTUALLY KNOW!!

And yet I am doing it anyway.

Wish me luck, gentle readers, and if you’re up in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina during the month of May, stop by and see my work. But please…. be gentle with me!

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City, Crepes And Yumminess

Finally got to eat at City Lights Cafe and it was delicious!  Actually, I’ve eaten there twice this week. That’s how much I liked it.

Some years ago, I went to Paris with my boyfriend and got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I did not end up getting married and this is a long story for another time that only intersects my current topic at one point: crepes. While in Paris, we ate so much delicious food! I don’t care what they say about how French women stay skinny–they’ve got to all be bulimic because you could not live in a place with food that good and not eat All The Time. One of the last restaurants we visited was a creperie. It had some sort of horse stable theme and it was the only place we actually encountered French people who were impolite. But Oh! The Crepes! Savory and sweet with every kind of imaginable yumminess inside.

And City Lights Cafe has crepes that approach the goodness of these crepes I had in Paris without all the irritating Frenchyness. For lunch today I had a savory Italian Chicken Crepe that had grilled chicken, fresh spinach and a lovely-and-not-too-heavy pesto cream sauce. All wrapped up in a light and delicious crepe! But who could stop with just one? I also had a sweet crepe with brie and raspberry.

On Sunday I had a creamy chicken salad sandwich with swiss cheese and a sweet crepe with dark chocolate and sliced strawberries. Oh yeah, it was every bit as good as you’re thinking it would be.

There are some things that set this incarnation of the restaurant below City Lights Bookstore apart from the previous two. I say previous two because that’s all I have experienced. There have been more in the past. For one thing, you order at the counter when you come in rather than your server taking your order at the table. This sets the casual mood and it also has a bit of buzz about it when you come it. Sure, no one wants to wait, but a bit of milling about at the entrance does make things seem more intriguing. For another, the atmosphere itself seems less pretentious. Ok, not that all the previous restaurants here were really super pretentious, but it’s a restaurant in an old house and in Charlotte (where I was born and raised) restaurants in cute little old houses are pretentious. And this one is not.

There are also other aspects of the menu I have not yet explored, including a variety of coffee and coffee type beverages, Mexican Coke (which is made with cane sugar and not corn syrup), wine (which I’m not clear if it is served or only sold by the bottle) and our very own locally brewed Heinzelmannchen beer. There’s outside seating as well as inside and a local artist’s work on display. And, of course last but most assuredly not least is City Lights Bookstore upstairs which still is one of my favorite places in town.

Also, they are open seven days a week–that means they are open on Monday and it always seems like no one is open on Monday around here.

I’ll be going back again soon. And you should too.

City Lights Cafe

New restaurant opening here in Sylva. Actually, it is already open! Check it out!

It’s the City Lights Cafe

It’s open Monday through Saturday 7:30am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm.  Haven’t been there yet but I will be going tomorrow on my sort-of-day-off.

Perhaps best of all, right above it is City Lights Bookstore. One of my most favorite places on the planet!!