Where have I been eating the last few days? Well . . .
Sunday morning: I hit the road for 28 hours in Asheville, as a speaker at the Food Bloggers' Forum at the Biltmore. First, I stopped for lunch at the Indian street food restaurant Chai Pani across from Grove Arcade, which is as good as I've heard. I hate to fall for butter chicken (it's like going to a Thai restaurant and never ordering anything but Pad Thai), but this version was so good, it was hard to resist. I threw in a side of kale pakora to mix it up.
Sunday night: I was playing a game where I shot an obscure picture and asked Twitter followers to guess where I was. This one: John Fleer's new restaurant, Rhubarb on Pack Square. The Sunday Supper is a great feature, with a three-course meal for $29. This week, it included a wild mushroom arancini, a cannelone of heritage pork, a date stuffed with gorgonzola and walnut, a lovely bowl of grilled corn and summer squash salad with roasted peach vinaigrette, red pepper grits, thyme-braised kale and a fillet of Sunburst trout fillet coated with sesame seeds. Dessert: Chocolate bread pudding with coffee toffee sauce. My favorites were the house-made condiments, including Nana's Pepper Relish and Spiced Preserved Tomatoes -- cherry-style tomatoes in a little jar of sherry vinegar, jalapeno and a little sugar.
Monday afternoon: At the Food Blogger's Forum, put on by Jaden and Scott Hair (www.steamykitchen.com) and photographers Diane Cu and Todd Porter (www.whiteonricecouple.com), I spotted another reference to John Fleer when lunch included sweet tea-brined fried chicken. Fleer was famous for that dish back when he was chef at the Inn at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
redradish.com, or call 828-669-5100.