Hell of a Guy

Asheville, NC, Soup and Back Roads…


The Nancy and I were in Concord, NC for a conference earlier this week.  When we made our plans we decided on a slight western detour on our way back to The Farm via Asheville.

Allow me, please, to give you a brief visual on my observation of “Asheville.”

This is a neat little town of about 80,000 souls.  The really neat part about this town is the eclectic nature of the populace.  This is an artist’s Mecca, a place where the weird, the intellectual, and the “average Joe” all accept (or ignore) the idiosyncrasies of the others, or, perhaps, at least tolerates them.  This is North Carolina’s Haight-Ashbury, but with a southern accent.

After we checked into our hotel yesterday afternoon, having dropped our bags in the room, we journeyed off to stop number one.  The Mellow Mushroom is a chain of restaurants generally found in college towns, Asheville being the exception to the rule.  I chose this restaurant because they have an awesome vegetarian tortilla soup that I love and a whole bunch of really good beers on tap.  According to my GPS the Mellow Mushroom was located just 3.4 miles from the hotel.  As we approached downtown Asheville we noticed a whole line of traffic inching along at an incredibly slow pace.  Looking at the map on the GPS, it appeared we could take a slight detour and avoid the traffic.  Note: my assumption (and you know how assumptions go) that a “shortcut” would work for us proved to be a really stupid idea.

The street I chose took us up a mountain on a very winding two-lane, very narrow roadway.  The GPS now indicated my shortcut to the restaurant was now 6.8 miles.  We decided to do it anyway, rather than to attempt to turn around and backtrack (another dumb idea).

This road took us by some beautiful vistas and very expensive looking homes as it continued to climb and climb.  As we crested the top of the mountain that aggravating female voice of the GPS told me to take the next left turn.  The next left turn, having already driven three miles of the 6.8, was onto a gravel road.  I made the turn.  Almost immediately the GPS changed to mileage to the restaurant back to 6.8 miles, but we ventured on.

We finally made our way back to a paved surface after about three miles of kicking up a huge dust cloud, and arrived at the spot on marked on the GPS as our final destination.  Only thing was, the Mellow Mushroom was not to be found.  Out comes Mr. iPhone and a quick Google search for the Mellow Mushroom gave us yet another address oddly enough 3.4 miles from where we were.  Long story endless, after traveling some 17 miles we finally made it to our original destination, and not a moment too soon.  The Nancy and I were both famished.  My mouth was watering at the thought of slurping up that really great, delicious tortilla soup.

I bellied up to the bar, ordered a Green Man IPA and a big bowl of my favorite soup.  Disappointment ensued as my hopes were dashed immediately when the bartender said to me in so many words “No soup for you.” 

My soup was not on the menu. Devastation set in, but was assuaged in short order with couple of Green Man IPA’s and mushroom pizza.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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