what’s your feeling on chocolate? like it? love it? addicted to it? and how do you feel about chocolate and coffee? i, for one, love enjoying some of the yummy dark, sweet stuff and sipping on some coffee. and that is exactly what i did.
i have the pleasure of having some office space in downtown asheville, so i am close to everything…. including a very unique building. the grove arcade. something of an upscale mall, something of a historical landmark, the grove arcade houses shops, restaurants, and businesses. it’s a little too froo-froo for my tastes = i don’t shop there, but i completely appreciate this history and the architecture. it is a beautiful, big, two-story art deco building, with an atrium-like feel on the inside. it is unique, elegant, and simply lovely. i feel as if i am catapulted back in time whenever i am there.
the grove arcade was the brain-child of e.w. grove, a self-made millionaire who lived in asheville in the early 20th century. he envisioned a place that would be the hub of downtown asheville, bringing style and class to a place where people could gather. unfortunately he died two years before the grove arcade was completed in the late 1920s. but, his vision lived on. at least until the the federal government took over the building during world war II. the public outcry for the next 50 years finally resulted in creating a non-profit organization & the “taking back” of the grove arcade to return it to its original purpose… today, the beautiful building is once again a hub of business, commerce, and style.
and it just so happens that i decided to visit one of the cafes for fika there. true confections... doesn’t that just sound lovely and delicious? well, it was.
now, i had been to this little cafe before, but it was years and years ago, and i had one of the best… wait for it… chocolate cheesecake. my absolute favorite dessert of all time. no kidding. so, i thought that perhaps i’d go and enjoy life and have a little pre-birthday celebration (next week is the real thing!).
i walked in and smelled… chocolate. glorious. fabulous. divine. chocolate. there were homemade goodies everywhere. tables sweetly decorated. cool colors on the walls. lights in the windows. outdoor seating. all the ingredients for a place that i love.
i stepped up to the counter, after waiting in a little bit of a line – it’s a popular place, and ordered my coffee and chocolate cheesecake. eeeek! i sat down at a table, pulled out my journal, and savored every creamy, amazing bite. oh, gosh. truly. it is the best i have ever tasted. just like i remembered it. oh, thank you, true confections. seriously. it is that good. of course, the food is all made there. and they use local and organic ingredients. score.
after i finished the cheesecake heaven, i decided to move outside and sit for a while, sipping on my coffee. camera and journal on the table, coffee in hand, sitting back all relaxed and content, i watched tourists and locals walk by.
after a few minutes, two men from georgia and two women from germany (there were traveling together, but i have no idea their connection. i suppose they were military men now married to the women, and interracial couples too. cool), strolled by. the two late middle-aged men sat on a bench nearby and the ladies walked on. they asked me if i owned the cafe, and i responded that i did not, but that the treats were amazing. one of the men got up and walked inside, emerging a few minutes later with a giant slice of coconut cake.
in the meantime, the other man and i chatted and he gave me his take on asheville: a super friendly, funky city with a 70s vibe. his words. for real. he asked me if i was a photographer. i never know quite how to answer that. umm… yes. i take photos and use them, it’s not just a hobby. but, no, i am still not getting paid for anything. he then stated that he noticed that same 70s vibe from me… best. compliment. ever. he then, advised me to write about the cafes and asheville, including the great atmosphere of the city. – we had talked quite a bit about this blog project.
isn’t it cool that tourists feel this way about asheville? and, if you don’t live here, don’t you want to come & visit after that review? what’s so much fun, is that it is so easy to talk to people in this city. locals, tourists, business owners, homeless people. everyone. just flash a smile and soon you can be engaged in conversation with someone. it is truly amazing.
so, if you want to experience a little history and enjoy some deliciously yummy treats while enjoying some hot coffee and people watching, i’ve got just the place for you. meet you there?