Spending two years in Montana, I learned to enjoy a cocktail with brunch. Specifically Montana taught me to enjoy a caeser with brunch, which is pretty much a bloody mary except instead of tomato juice you add clamato juice (tomato juice combined with clam broth). I prefer the caeser because it’s a lot lighter than a bloody mary and for some reason always seems to be spicier. However, you are hard pressed to find an establishment that serves a caeser because it is mostly a Northern/Candian cocktail, so often I have to settle for a bloody mary.
Sunday’s bloody mary was a far cry from settling. I had the distinct pleasure of trying Luella’s Bar-B-Que BLT Bloody Mary. Yes take a deep breathe that B does stand for bacon!
Luella’s shared their BLT Bloody Mary recipe with WNC Magazine. From WNC Magazine:
"The BLT Bloody Mary at this Merrimon Avenue joint is rimmed with brisket rub and garnished with crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato wedges.
(Yields 2 cups) 1½ oz. vodka 3/4 cup tomato juice 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. fresh lime juice 1/2 tsp. olive juice Splash of Texas Pete Hot Sauce Splash of Worcestershire 1 Tbs. Luella’s Sweet Pisgah Sauce 1/8 tsp. horseradish, or to taste 1/8 tsp. whole celery seed Salt & pepper, to taste
Garnish- Luella’s Brisket Rub, Kosher salt, Romaine lettuce hearts, Tomato wedges, Crisp applewood-smoked bacon dusted with Luella’s Brisket Rub"
Blend equal parts brisket rub and kosher salt and use to rim glass. Fill glass with ice. Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake vigorously, and pour over ice. Garnish with a lettuce leaf, skewered tomatoes, and bacon. Luella’s Sweet Pisgah Sauce and Brisket Rub can be purchased at the restaurant."
The BLT Bloody Mary was a nice change of pace from the norm. I think I still would have enjoyed a big martini olive with it, but that is because I love olives. My next bloody mary adventure will take me to The Market Place Restaurant to try the Kitchen Sink, which was featured on the Mountain Express’s 2011-2012 cover of Eats & Drinks.
Luella’s serves brunch every Sunday 12:00-3:00 pm. You don’t have to ponder the brunch menu at Luella’s for too long because there are only three options with an additional option of adding an egg to your BBQ sandwich. Speaking as someone who can literally spend hours staring at a menu, I for one enjoy a menu with limited choices.
We both ordered the Hangover Helper (a delicious scrambled mess of Eggs, Pork BBQ, Collards, & Fried Potatoes, topped with Cheese and & Scallions) served with a biscuit.
Holy comfort food Batman! The first thing I noticed about this dish is the ample amount of cheddar cheese that holds this dish together. Strings of melted cheese hung from my fork with nearly every bite. The potatoes were crisp and were deliciously entangled with the collards and scallions. And just when I thought the dish couldn’t get any better, my fork found the pork BBQ. Thanks to Luella’s I now abide by the following two rules when it comes to brunch:
Rule No. 1: Every brunch should incorporate BBQ
Rule No. 2: See rule No. 1
The biscuit that accompanied the Hangover Helper was moist and fluffy.
It was a little odd that neither butter nor jam was provided. But I could care less because it gave me the opportunity to try Luella’s BBQ sauces. Luella’s makes two sauces in house including Sweet Pigsah, which is ketchup based, and Scooters, which is vinegar based. Both were delicious. Now I was raised on tomato/ketchup based BBQ, and I hate to admit this because it feels like I’m cheating on my principles but I can quite confidently say I preferred the vinegar based Scooters. I’ve had vinegar based sauces before, but never really understood why someone would prefer vinegar. Luella’s Scooters opened up my eyes to a whole new world of BBQ possibilities.
The Hangover Helper is a dish I will order again regardless of how exciting my evening was the night before. The sauces and the preview of pork BBQ in my breakfast has me convinced I need to come back for lunch or dinner. It was so good the following crazy question has run through my mind: Can it be better than 12 Bones?
Total before tip- $24.74
(includes a BLT Bloody Mary)
501 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
We finished the day with a trip to Ultimate Ice Cream.
Ultimate serves a variety of desserts including ice cream, gelato, and sorbet. The prices are comparable to other ice cream shops in the area.
I had a single scoop of the flavor of the month, which was Moon Pie (a vanilla based ice cream with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow).
The trend in ice cream seems to be bigger is better, which often results in too many toppings hiding the actual flavor of the ice cream or an ice cream that packs a punch of flavor but becomes too rich to enjoy after the first couple of bites. However, Ultimate did a wonderful job with the Moon Pie. The vanilla ice cream has a classic taste too it. The vanilla was sweet enough to appease your sweet tooth, but mild enough to allow you to enjoy the whole scoop without holding your stomach. The graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow ingredients mixed into the vanilla did what they were supposed to do which was compliment the vanilla.
My partner in crime ordered a single scoop of the Coffee Heath Bar (coffee based ice cream with heath bar).
She enjoyed it. I tried a bite and didn’t get the same enjoyment, but then again I’m not a coffee drinker nor enjoy the taste of coffee. So for those that like coffee you will have to take her word for it.
Overall Ultimate Ice Cream does a good job of living up to its name.
Total before tip- $6.36
Ultimate Ice Cream Company
1070 Tunnel Road
Asheville, NC 28805