I woke up, and after a shower, dressed. I walked outside and walked down the hill a short distance to a Cracker Barrell Restaurant. I had my usual, an Uncle Hershel’s, with country ham, two eggs over medium, potato casserole, biscuits and hot tea. My usual, but just never at this restaurant.
I had the good fortune to have a young waitress, “with a playful mind”. Her name, from the receipt, was Rachel L. She and I were both talkative. She was from Tennessee, and was taking drafting classes, wanting to become an architect eventually. Because I ordered hot tea, she mentioned that there was a tea shop in downtown Asheville called “Dobra”. I thought she said dobro, which I equate to a type of steel guitar, or maybe how to play one with one of those steel rods that you run up and down the strings.
Dobra Teas, as you will see below was a very enjoyable experience!
After I finished breakfast, I walked back up to my room at the Red Roof Inn, packed up everything and left.
I also bought a wedge of onion & chives cheese and some fresh cherries.
After I left the Farmers’ Market, I turned and went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, travelling a short distance and then turning around. It was a foggy morning in the mountains.
I tried to time my drive into town so that the shop would be open when I got there. It was still about 10 minutes before it opened when I parked my car and walked across the street. Dobra Tea Shop is on N. Lexington Street in downtown Asheville. They open at 10 am on Saturdays.
The shop was closed, so I stood on the sidewalk, first reading some info on the door, then peering into the closed shop through a large pane window, and then checking my phone. A few people walked by, and two were standing a short distance up the sidewalk, talking, in front of what I surmised was a coffee shop.
I then heard a rustle from within the tea shop and turned to see a clerk who apparently went through the morning routine of unlocking the large paned, hinged window along the sidewalk, folding it up to open the tea room to the outside air, placing several potted plants at each end of the open window, and then unlocking the front door to welcome me in.
He suggested that I could sit anywhere. I chose the back corner of the front room. The shop has three themed tea areas. I told him, “I know nothing,” to which reply he became most helpful. He handed me a tea book, through which I could look and determine which tea I might want to try.
He returned a short time later, and I asked for a pot of hot Assam Brahmaputra tea. Assam is a black tea (I know now.), and the River or Region is Brahmaputra. The summer morning was still cool, about 65 degrees F, so the hot tea was very enjoyable. Surprisingly, I drank the whole pot without asking or adding sugar or cream, and it was very good.
Before leaving I bought a few teas to take back home. One tea was a PU EHR. It was formed into a heavy compressed tea leaf brick. The brewed tea has an earthy aroma, and just a small portion expands greatly as water seeps into it.
On the way back to Fayetteville, I stopped for lunch at Tumeric Indian Restaurant & Bar in Winston-Salem. They have a nice buffet. Pictured here was some good chicken curry, goat curry, rice, hummus and cabbage with naan.
As I neared Greensboro on I40, I stopped at the Piedmont Triad Farmers’ Market. My first visit. I bought a couple German Johnson and Cherokee heirloom tomatoes from this stand. A walk down the other end and I bought a bunch of aromatic basil.
I do not recall ever having a Cherokee tomato. It has a deep red thick flesh, a red bottom and an almost purple top near where the vine attaches.