Urban Orchard is Beer City USA’s most unique drinking establishment. Dozens of places in town offered fantastic craft beers and great local wine, but there are scant few cider bars in the nation and no others like it in North Carolina. This was a first for both of us.
I’m not going to lie, the part of West Asheville we drove through between the highway and the cidery has more than its share of shuttered windows and broken glass, and stood in stark contrast to the gilded perfection in which we had spent most our day. The fifth vacant storefront and third car on blocks made us think our stellar GPS had once again led us astray. However, just when we were reassuring each other that we’d trod sketchier streets in search of unique refreshment Hayward Road took a hard left and dropped us into a very charming neighborhood and our destination, Urban Orchard Cider.
After sipping the first few samplers we decided tasting a good amount of 6%+ ABV on empty stomach wasn’t going to work out well, and we asked for a menu. So much avoiding hard choices! A young lady sitting to our left was enjoying the Massaged Kale Salad and chef’s special Pork Taco that could have come from any gourmet restaurant on Patton Avenue. The people behind us were getting their dinner, and although we couldn’t see what they were having the aroma only intensified my appetite. Finally, we decided to mimic the man on the other end of the bar and chose the Meat & Cheese platter, with our choice of two meats and three cheeses off of their diverse list of offerings, trimmed with cut fruit and the best olives I’ve had outside of the Middle East.
If you’re in ever in Asheville, put Urban Orchard on your list of stops. You’ll come for the cider, stay for the food, and return for both.
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