Every week or so, I pick just one piece of food, or one dish, or even one type of food that I ate and thoroughly enjoyed during my many adventures throughout Asheville’s amazing food scene (and beyond!), and I bestow upon it the high honor of being my official “Eat of the Week.” Anything from a block of cheese, to some doo-doo-shaped ice cream, to “fancy vegetables” might be featured as my Eat of the Week! Look for it exclusively here on Stu Helm: Food Fan!
EAT OF THE WEEK:
When to Waterbird, Ate Good Stuff
Above: Chicken, Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy at 67 Biltmore Ave -photo by Stu Helm on Instagram @stuhelmfoodfan
So, my friend and ex-partner on Asheville Flyer for Kids gave me a very generous gift certificate to The Waterbird for X-mas (thank you, Tim!), which my GF Dawn and I finally got around to using sometime in March. We’d been to Waterbird before, and enjoyed it tremendously, so we kept waiting for a special time, and then we were like, “oh, fuck it, let’s just go,” on a random-ass Sunday evening, after one of my downtown Food Tours.
Yes, I can eat on my tours if I want to, and I usually do, because the food is fucking good, but when Dawn is in town I often skip the tour food, so that we can eat a meal together afterwards, which means we’re both starving our faces off by the time we’re sitting down to eat. So, yeah, post-tour, I rolled down hill, and loitered on the corner of Biltmore and South Street where Dawn grabbed me in her car, and we made a bee-line for Waterbird. Though the ride was short, my hunger had increased exponentially, and come to find out, Dawn too was hangry (as evidenced by the stream of eff bombs she hurled while trying to park) so, we walked in the door, and more or less as soon as our asses hit our seats, we ordered the Whipped Feta Dip., not knowing exactly wtf we were getting into. Our faith in the Waterbird kitchen was at an all-time high, and they did not let us down!
This wonderful, life-saving dip is whipped until light, yet it is not without texture and substance, both of which I enjoyed and appreciated very much in the moment. The ultra-salty imported feta is cut nicely with a generous dollop of house-made orange cardamom spiced honey, which is then topped with fresh chives. This charming, simple, and satisfying dish came served with three slices of very hearty and delicious grilled boulle bread from Buxton Hall Barbecue‘s bakery, which is headed by Chef Ashley Capps, my 2018 Chef of the Year and current James beard semi-finalist! I was not aware that Buxton was wholesaling baked things to other venues, so that’s some exciting shit right there!
This dip was just what we needed and hit the spot like nobody;s business. Warm and comforting, as well as exciting and different, it brought Dawn and I back to human form, from the ravenous monsters that we had devolved into somewhere between the downtown and the parking lot. Thanks again for the gift certificate, Tim, and thank you, Waterbird, just for being there, and for being cute and awesome, and for having this great fucking dip, which I’m calling my…
EAT OF THE WEEK!
“Our vision is to offer our neighbors a bright morning workspace with coffee & pastries, an afternoon cocktail with conversation, & an evening watering hole.”
Address: 197 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 552-3662
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Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.