Continued favorite restaurant countdown- #3

Again, as the size of the list has increased, my willingness to recap it has decreased. Please check the prior posts if you want to know. They’re all there– I promise.

#3, Picnic’s, Asheville, NC.

               There are a lot of things I don’t like about Rachel Ray. Start with her shrill, annoying voice. Move on to her penchant for coining her own catchphrases– if I hear her explain again what “EVOO” means I may suffer a mental breakdown. Expand to include mass marketing. I could easily go on.

               Anyway, she did something right when she went to Asheville, NC, for “$40 a Day” and stopped at Picnic’s. Picnic’s is located in an unassuming building a mile or so from the middle of Asheville. The place is presided over by Ron Smith and his mother, whose name I cannot recall except to call her Mrs. Smith. The food at Picnic’s is fresh and authentic– no box mixes and canned veggies here. Wood-roasted chicken is a specialty; roasted duck is another that always draws me in. Honestly, how many times do you get to eat duck?

                 The last time I was there, the other options included Beef Wellington with a wonderful red wine sauce, pot roast, pork chops, and barbecue. These change pretty much day to day– the Beef Wellington was new to my Picnic’s knowledge.

                The sides at Picnic’s are inventive and fresh as well. I had some sort of black beans with cilantro and a nice brocoli and carrot dish. Salads of varied type and number are also available, and my wife swears by them. Bread is also part of the menu– whether cornbread, yeast roll, or sweet potato biscuit (which was so mild it tasted like gingerbread).

                  Somehow, you have to save room for desert. Mrs. Smith makes the cakes and pies fresh every day, and they are incredible. A few I can recall are apple and peach pies, an otherworldly key lime pie, coconut and red velvet cakes, etc etc etc. These are probably the best deserts I have ever had. Mrs. Smith is always on hand and will be glad to offer a helpful recommendation. I was amazed on my last visit to learn from a newspaper clipping that she is 93 or 94 years old; I would have put her 20 years younger.

                   When you go to Picnic’s, go hungry and leave very satisfied. Picnic’s is reasonably priced, has ample options to suit anybody, and offers indoor or outdoor seating, as well as boxing up your order so that you can take it away picnic-style. I would and have recommended it heartily, and have yet to hear from anyone who didn’t love it.



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2 Responses to “Continued favorite restaurant countdown- #3”

  1. April Says:

    I sampled Picnics last weekend because of Julie’s suggestion. It was wonderful! Mrs. Smith’s first name is Minnie. She was great! I recommend it highly!

  2. eljoe1235 Says:

    And there you have it. Now, April, you can stand in line to collect your $5 for agreeing with me 😉


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