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A recent addition to the offerings on the westside of Asheville, it was a curiosity to witness the ‘shipping container restaurant’ recently take form along the French Broad River. When we had an opportunity to try it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the interior boasted an industrial and rustic vibe that grows in charm as the sun goes down and the candles light up.
For me, ambience is a huge factor in what makes a restaurant a good date night option. Lighting, music, colors, vibe. These details are on par with the quality of the food and drink and the service received for this gal. I’m a triple Taurus (for all of you astrology lovers, you know where I’m goin’ with this *wink*) which means I am an earth sign and a lover of all things that evoke and delight the senses. One thing I really enjoyed about Smoky Park was the atmosphere.
Food & Drink
I ordered a speciality bourbon cocktail from the bar which I was advised was ‘a sipper with warm fall flavors’ – exactly what I was in the market for on this rainy and cold Saturday night in October.
While not typically a big fan of hamburgers, I wanted something simple, so I joined hubs in ordering the SPSC Burger. I declined the bun, as I’ve been experimenting with eating sans flour for the past few weeks, but this did not detract from my experience. Surprisingly, however, the burger was not the star of the show for me. I’ve got a bit of a french fry fetish and their charred herb mayo dipping sauce sealed the deal for these taste buds! YUM.
After dinner, hubs and I shared in the indulgence of one decadent dessert. A rich chocolate brownie with a scoop of quickly melting vanilla ice cream to cut the intensity was the perfect way to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Why Are You Food Blogging??
This is a good question, and truth is, Willy and I are writers. We’ve been writing our ways through life individually for decades, and we’ve thought on many occasions of how we might be able to merge our mutual passions for the written word for some time now. We’re both big fans of food, too. Different tastes, absolutely: I am the adventurous eater, with sushi, seafood and vegetables of all kinds as well as interesting meats being parts of my repertoire. Hubs prefers food that’s been deep fried, cooked well, and when all of the things on his plate look at least, somewhat familiar.
As we stated in our About Us page, we loooooove a date night out, and at this juncture in our lives, a good date night wouldn’t be complete with a great meal and the time-space to enjoy and reconnect with one another. So, in short, we’re blogging to prolong the magic of our precious and few date nights, to offer other couples a resource to find out the best spots to hit and offer feedback post-date, and for the life enriching creative outlet that it is meant to be!
This was the second time we had been to Smoky Park Supper Club to eat on a date night, and I was looking forward to it, since the first time had been very romantic, and our idea for this website was born there. Well, there was the *actual* first time we went there, which was when we had to walk back out without eating because they didn’t have highchairs. Our then 6 month old was in tow, so that was like, a pretty crucial necessity, and we laughed as the young host that seated us suggested we could let him sit between us in a booth. You parents know what I’m talking about.
Regardless, I am happy we went back, and wasn’t disappointed this time, either. SPSC has a pretty tasty selection of bourbons on hand, and being reared as a Kentuckian, I have a pretty fond liking for good bourbon in a good atmosphere with my favorite woman. I went for the Booker’s, straight up. It is a good sipping bourbon, and it was perfect for this night of pouring rain.
The one thing that spoiled the first date night at SPSC were the fruit flies slowly meandering around our food, our drinks, and our faces the whole time. I didn’t think that would be a problem this time, but alas, it was, and I soon found myself defending my tasty bourbon from their advances. Seems like a simple bug zapper strategically placed around the restaurant would do the trick, but this seems to have escaped them.
We started with the crab meat hush puppies, sided by a decent pimiento cheese dip. These things were great. I ate the bulk of them, though I did try to be fair and offer half to Her. It was really hard to not eat them, and they had just the right amount of crab taste to them.
It is entirely possible to be overwhelmed by crab taste, especially if you’ve suffered from salmonella due to bad crab cakes in the past, as I have. But these evoked none of those memories, and I liked them a lot.
I’ve had some pretty good hush puppies, being raised in the South, but these were divine and the cheese helped make it that way. It wasn’t particularly spectacular pimiento cheese in and of itself, but it was the perfect thing to go with those hush puppies.
This was a damned good burger! The sauce/mayo on it was great, the meat was cooked exactly how I ordered it (medium-well), and the fries were above mediocre. I had to peel off the pickles, as I do on most burgers, but once that was completed I dove in and devoured.
By this point in time I had pretty much forgotten about the fruit flies, or they had sensed my evil intentions and made themselves scarce — not sure which. It may also have been the second bourbon helping me ignore them, which was a Bulleit Rye. Either way, I didn’t get bothered by them again. I do still wonder if I ate any without knowing it.
Sadly, I failed to get a picture of the desert. By this point in the evening I had pretty much forgotten that I was supposed to be keeping track of the experience so that I could write about it later. I consider that a good thing, really, as it indicated that I was having a really good time.
I almost didn’t order desert, but on an impulse, I went for it. We decided to share this brownie that was served in a miniature skillet with some ice cream on top. It was moist, warm, and the ice cream was melting at just the right pace so as not to make it too soggy. It was insanely good, and was probably the best part of the whole meal. However, I couldn’t finish it, and neither could She. We tried. We really did.
The service we received was awesome. Our server was equipped with a solid opinion (a quality I value highly in a server, especially in a restaurant that is relatively new to me!) and pointed us in the right direction in several pivotal decision-making moments!
One detracting factor was the fruit flies that seemed to want to join us for our date night dinner… not exactly the height of romance.
I’ll also add that while I am a fan of much of the music produced in the 1980’s, and didn’t really have a problem with that being the selector’s choice for the evening, something more chill would’ve lent itself nicely to the overall vibe.
Very good, would do it again. It was a nice experience for the two of us, we were able to converse over great food and enjoy each others’ company in a nice atmosphere. When the food helps bolster that experience, it’s a really good date night.
Ye olde fruit fly army. Once, I understand. But twice? Hmm…
Overall, a very nice date night experience was had!
Make yourself a reservation, why don’tcha!?