The Fiddlin’ Pig

        I was on assignment for The Laurel of Asheville this weekend to cover the bluegrass beat.  The venue was the Fiddling Pig at Asheville, and the band was Balsam Range. I’d love to tell you all about it, but it’s gotta wait.  Given that my editor, Mr. Paul Howey, paid me to write it up he has dibs on the article.  However, you can read it on-line when it comes out in May by going to my blogroll and clicking on the link to the Laurel of Asheville.  

        I can tell ya all about Asheville, though.  Given that my boy lives up there, it is one of my favorite places to visit.  If you go, here’s how I recommend you see the town.  First of all, check out The Laurel magazine.  It will serve as your guide for meals and entertainment.  (And they have the most knowledgeable bluegrass staff in the business- tell ‘em you love Dr. Bibey, hint hint.  My contract gets renewed in January.) 

       Since this is a fiction blog, I’ll fancy myself as a travel writer for a moment.  You can’t wrong with Biltmore House and Gardens.  Go in the spring when all is in bloom.  The place was built by the Vanderbilts, and it ain’t a bad summer home get-away crib. 

        My wife and I spent our 25th Anniversary at the Grove Park Inn a few years ago, and IMHO (bluegrass for in my humble opinion) it is a world class resort. Check out their seafood buffet.  I’ve only been once, but I would rate it the best this country boy has ever seen.  Great food, all kind of variety, swans carved outta ice afloat in big ole fountains.  Come hungry.  (Bring money, too, a tad expensive for a bluegrass boy.)

        I hear Tiger Woods is building a golf course in the area.  I don’t much about it yet, but you can be sure if Tiger has anything to do with it, it’ll be world class, too.  I might not be able to afford to play it on any regular basis, but I hope I can get on at least once before age runs me out of the game.

        And then there is my favorite haunt, the Fiddlin’ Pig.  Fine bluegrass music all through the week, and even a gospel set every Sunday afternoon after church.  The BBQ is excellent, and if you want to watch the calories the smoked chicken is lean and excellent.

        For a bluegrass man in a strange town the Pig gets an absolute 5 star musician and barbecue affectionado rating.  As a travel writer, this might be a fiction forum, but in the bluegrass world I know my way around, and this one is the real deal.  Y’all check it out when you are in town, and try to catch the Balsam Range band.  They are the best.

        See you out on the bluegrass trail.

Dr. B   

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12 Comments on “The Fiddlin’ Pig”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Sounds cool. My husband did the Asheville thing years ago. He promised to bring me there, but so far the words have been hollow. Maybe if Tiger builds the course, he will come. He’s been known to chase the Tiger on many occasions.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Wii keep you posted Pande. I know Tiger has bought the property. Don’t know how far off the project is. If hubby gets to play the golf course, make sure you get to stay at the Grove Park and go to the seafood buffet, and the breakfast one too.

    The golf course at the Grove Park is a sporty little layout, a Donald Ross design I believe. It is a bit short, not too hard, but much fun. The resort has a lot of pictures not only of golf legends like Hogan and Arnie, but Presidents and movie stars who have stayed there over the years. Next time I go maybe I should look and see if one of my old heroes was ever there. (The Captain)

    And if you go to the Pig and catch Balsam Range, have Buddy Melton sing “Blue Mountain” for you. Tell ‘em Dr. Bibey sent you.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    Well, Doc, here’s my question – is bluegrass BBQ sweet or spicy? I like my BBQ sweet, with just a tiny bit of spice, and I was profoundly disappointed when we went to the Texas Roadhouse the other day (which, by the way, has its roots in, get this, Clarksville, Indiana. What. Ever). They claim to have fantastic BBQ, but I heartily disagree; it was far too spicy and had no depth of flavor – hot doesn’t necessarily equate to yummy.

    Speaking of yummy, we were watching the invitational yesterday afternoon and MAN is Tiger Woods looking well! He gives golfers a good name; no beer-gut on him!

  4. drtombibey Says:

    mrschili,

    You raise a very interesting question, and one worthy of a post all by itself.

    I am only a bluegrass BBQ expert in N.C. There are several camps I know of. (There may be more.)

    One is a vinegar based red sauce, but with a touch of sweet. I think they use some brown sugar and molasses, but I am not sure. The Fiddling Pig was somewhat like this, and I found it excellent. (Truth is I am more of an expert on eating it and playing pig-pickings than cooking it.) The second is vinegar based and more spicy. Both of these are red sauces. Also, there is a mustard-based yellow BBQ which I have seen farther east. There is also one called Lexington BBQ.

    I need someone to weigh in who is an expert. I have had all kinds of BBQ at gigs, and never a bad plate, but I don’t exactly how they made it.

    You are right about Tiger. I have been around the game for a long time, and never have seen one dominate the way he does.

    Dr. B

  5. Ted Lehmann Says:

    Not to start a fire-storm, but those who fear to tread etc. We lived in East Texas for a few years and learned that barbecue is truly barbecued BEEF cooked slowly for hours over mesquite. A choice of sauces is made available, but the meat is rich and succulent, served sliced not pulled.

    In the Carolinas there are at least three regional kinds of pork barbecue ranging from Low Country Style which has a very vinegary, sharp flavor and rising through the Piedmont to the mountains, each increase in altitude bringing a somewhat milder and redder flavor and look. A word of caution – Beware of chain restaurants and barbecue. Places like Sonny’s ( (a large chain throughout the south) must dumb down their barbecue to make it more broadly acceptable. Look for places that have lots of dirty pick-up trucks outside with local license plates. It’s also helpful if there’s a smokehouse outback with real smoke coming from the chimney. Best eaten with a big chunk of corn bread. Avoid having it served in a hamburg roll. Enjoy. – Ted

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Ted,

    I have also found law enforcement vehicles and paramedic ambulances to be reliable signs for good BBQ.

    We have two in town and I would rather take my chances with religion or politics than claim allegiance to one over the other.

    Dr. B

  7. mrschili Says:

    Ted, talk about starting a fight, I’m thinking of posting my own personal bbq sauce recipe on my new recipe blog. I’m sure that, according to bbq purists, it’s TOTALLY bogus, but we love it…

  8. drtombibey Says:

    mrschili,

    I asked the Pig to say a word without divulging trade secrets. I believe a BBQ blog would get quite a lot of attention -people are very strong in their opinions on the subject.

    Dr. B


  9. [...] to publish this post – barbecue really is a summertime dish, I think – but Doc went and started a conversation about barbecue over at his place, and I threatened to start a fight by posting my recipe.  Never let it be said [...]

  10. mrschili Says:

    Okay, Doc – the post is up!

    http://stupideasyinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/bbq/

    I’m steeling myself for the rain of crap I’m expecting from bbq purists, but I said I’d post the recipe, and I’m a woman of my word.

  11. drtombibey Says:

    O.K. All you BBQ experts check in on mrschili. I figure anyone named chili knows more about this subject than an old Doc.

    Dr. B

  12. drtombibey Says:

    Someone asked and Lexington BBQ is similar to that you see in the Piedmont- red sauce, vinegar based.

    Dr. B


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