Bele Chere 2011 Roundup

Bele Chere did not disappoint. On the contrary, it seemed to enlighten and educate more than in previous years.

Friday, we enjoyed a leisurely walk before heading to the Bier Garden for food and varieties of better beer. Either we were heat-stroked or the food was out of this world or both (at least the first), but this spot was our oasis in the desert sun. On Saturday, it proved to be in fact the real thing and sheltered us once again, this time via easy escape from the heat, people and cheap beer. Ace Pear Cider at a table for two, to the rescue.

Saturday, we began with a detour. This chicken could not be ignored, homegrown food on his mind…

…the backstreets of downtown Asheville before pouring ourselves into the throngs of non-locals.

Momentary stops to look at the pretty, shiney things, then a stop for a game of darts at Barley’s. A win-cut-short and $50 bet with my sister over what the new structure across the street would eventually be later, we were headed to see Trevor’s band, the If You Wannas.

I’ve realized, behind a large group of dedicated music fans, that a lot of excellent bands choose Asheville to play over any other city in the state. Over any other city in this general area of the south. Little Dragon at Moogfest is an example.

The rest of the trip was hot, saucy and delicious. What you need to know is that Asheville has great food and great local beers. It makes an already worthy destination to the Blue Ridge mountains that much sweeter.

Mela Indian was fresh, filling and fantastic as street food. Looking forward to their sit-down establishment.

Tupelo Honey, both locations, are beautiful inside and out.

Early Girl does down-to-earth, kitchen style, farm-to-table food just right.

Jack of the Wood reminds me of our Welcomer to Bele Chere friend, Stoney, who we missed this year (and his monkey, so I hear). Also serves beers from two of the finest brewing companies, Highland and Pisgah.

Here’s to Bele Chere and beautiful living at it’s best!

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