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.

Dillsboro Chocolate Factory

Dillsboro Chocolate Shop

Since I often visit the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory (or as I sometimes miss-name it, the Dillsboro Chocolate Shop) for both my own consumption of yummy chocolate and to purchase some of the best fudge to take to friends and family, I thought it would be appropriate to do a real review of them.

I am most certainly a chocoholic, a trait and habit I inherited from my mother, so any place that is primarily dedicated to that wonderful and delightful obsession that is chocolate is a place I want to frequent.

The Dillsboro Chocolate Factory is located, oddly enough, in Dillsboro, NC in the little area of shops across the street from the historic inn–The Jarrett House.  It can be found, as most all of these little businesses are, in an old house that has been repurposed for use as a chocolatier’s home. It is next door to Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church, which can be seen from the main street. Parking is along the street and, except in high tourist season, is never a problem.

The fudge, I will confess, is my primary reason for visiting there.  It is yummy–always freshly made and never crusty, gritty or hard like some fudge can be. Many different flavors, of course, and my favorites are Amaretto, Oreo, Peanut Butter and, the not-nearly-often-enough-available Tigerbutter which is a swirl of milk and white chocolate with peanut butter. It is bought by the pound at a reasonable price, boxed in a simple white box and supplied with a little plastic knife for cutting.  There are also many types of fudge available in sugar-free as well.

Beside the fudge case is a case filled with other delightful chocolates to explore: various things dipped in chocolate like pretzels and nutterbutters and graham crackers, solid chocolate bars, chocolate turtles and other things. They serve various coffee drinks with all sorts of Starbuck like names but with better coffee in them. They also have various other candies available, thought I have no idea why anyone would care for anything other than the chocolate!

Additionally, this is not a grab your fudge and go kind of place. There’s comfy chairs and a couch, a handful of tables and chairs, internet access and a really nice porch with lots of seating for hanging out. The people who work there are nice, too. Never been there when someone was rude or dismissive or brusque, which can understandably happen in high tourist areas.

In all, I recommend it highly! 🙂

The Well House Restaurant

Went for lunch yesterday at the Well House. It’s one of my favorite places for lunch around here. It’s in Dillsboro in the area with the little shops. I am assuming they serve both lunch and dinner, though I’ve only been there for lunch. 

 Well House 

First off, it is a very interesting building. It’s in what seems to be a cellar or at the least, the lower floor of an older house converted into shops. The door is below street level and you descend a few round brick steps to get inside. The interior has an old pub feel to it with dark wood tables and only a couple of windows. The windows are even blocked a bit by lovely stained glass pieces hanging there which, presumably, came from the stained glass workshop in the same area. And there is, of course, the well for which the Well House is named. While the sign on the well says that it can still provide water, I’m sure that is quite limited. However, they were wise to put a plexiglass cover across the top so that you can see into the deep well and not toss things down it. 

 steps 

The food is comprised mostly of sandwiches and soups and although there is a pub-like feel, they do not serve pub fare or beer, for that matter. My personal favorite is the Triple Treat which includes several kinds of meats and cheese on a white hoagie style roll. Not overwhelmingly big either. These are not Subway sandwiches and, at least as far as I am concerned, that is not a bad thing. Today I had a platter with potato salad, egg salad and pimento cheese. It comes with crackers and is served on a bed of lettuce. Everything on the menu is fairly typical deli-type sandwiches and such. Rubens, French Dip, etc. While there is nothing spectacularly original there, it is consistently good food. Good sized but not absurd servings that are just good every single time. I’ve yet to go there and not get a good meal. The service is good, too. Order at the counter and it is brought to your table with other table service provided. You do, however, need to bus your own table when you are ready to go. 

 In all, it is a place I readily recommend to others for lunch. Dependable good food. 

Lunch at Speedy’s Pizza

So I’m having lunch at Speedy’s Pizza today. A little bit late of a lunch, but I really wanted to finish up stuff in the office first since I’m done for the day after this. However, I’ve worked during lunch–mostly setting up stuff on this new little Delly. I think that’s what these mini computers should be called…whatever the brand is with a Y on the end since when we say something with a y or an ie on the end, it has a diminutive and endearing quality to it. My little Delly.
 

The pizza here is really good. I did my own combo and I don’t usually do that but once, a long time ago, I had the best pizza of my life in a tiny little dive in Columbia, SC (Pizza Man) and I’ve been trying to duplicate that experience ever since. This came pretty darn close! Bacon–good ole American bacon not Canadian, mushroom and blue cheese. Thin crust, though I usually prefer big, thick bready crust. I did have to substitute goat cheese for the blue cheese but I have to say it is pretty close to as awesome as I had at Pizza Man. The crust was good as well. They don’t offer anything but regular and a French Bread kinda crust. So, although I’ve been to Speedy’s before and thought it was ok, I have to heartily recommend it to everyone.

There’s no Wi-Fi but, hey, do you ALWAYS have to access the internet every waking moment? Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to just eat a meal…..well, and work on non-internet stuff. I guess I could tolerate being away from Facebook for just a little while. They also serve some pretty good beers, including the local Heinschenmeishewichenclutchen stuff. Ok, I’ll admit that’s not it but I can’t spell it. I’ll look it up later. It’s pretty good stuff, though today I had a Highland Gaelic Ale instead.

From the outside it doesn’t look like much but it’s worth the stop. It’s across from the Sylva Volunteer Fire Department and next to Family Dollar. Ah, small town at it’s best! Too bad I haven’t been here long enough to say that it’s next to so-and-so’s house that burned down six years ago or the place where somebody or another’s store once was. Soon enough, I guess J