Category Archives: Resorts

North Carolina – Agri-tourism – Walnut Cove Farm Has Done It Proud!

Barb relaxes on one of the Cathey grown pumpkins. Each gourd can make 15 pumpkin pies.
Barb relaxes on one of the Cathey grown pumpkins. Each gourd can make 15 pumpkin pies.

APtravelnews-September 11th, Walnut Cove Farm–Waynesville, North Carolina–Agri-tourism is very much alive and well at Walnut Cove Farm. Joseph and Tara Cathey have worked hard and smart turning one acre of land in Waynesville, NC and 3-acres in Bethel into a wonderfully productive garden and growing enterprise. Majic Heirloom Tomatoes, all kinds of greens and other field and tree fruits and veggies attract people from all walks of life to farm to table suppers often accompanied by Blue Grass music where guests as we did actually watch the process of grinding and pressing fresh apples into the most delicious apple cider straight from the press. While there, we enjoyed silver dollar sized little tomato pies (I ate 10 of them, beyond “good”) drank two glasses of cider and felt like Superman- the apples and tomatoes boosted my “WOW” factor by at least 10 (at least Barb and I felt like it did) and these folks made you genuinely feel as welcome as family. We loved this place. Besides the dinners they provide to the public they also supply restaurants and other businesses in and around Waynesville with produce for their uses in healthy, creative dishes too! Do we recommend going out of your way to visit these fine folks and enjoy a farm to table dinner? Oh, yes!!!!

Walnut Cove Farm  – Owned by Joseph and Tara Cathey. Farm to table dinners and suppliers from June thru October. 575 Walnut Cove Road, Waynesville, NC (828) 400-0115.

 

A cornucopia of fresh! Tomatoes, and great garden crops! The Cathey's also market flowers as well!
A cornucopia of fresh! Tomatoes, and great garden crops! The Cathey’s also market flowers as well!

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Grind and press apple juice into delicious cider. Manual labor of love!
Grind and press apple juice into delicious cider. Manual labor of love!
The Cathey's pour a canning jar of the sweet, fresh pressed apple exhiler!
The Cathey’s pour a canning jar of the sweet, fresh pressed apple exhiler of life!! The cider really complimented the tomato pies!
Tomato pies. Cheese covered heirloom maters! Oh, so good! I ate 10 of these silver dollar sized delights!
Tomato pies. Cheese covered heirloom maters! Oh, so good! I ate 10 of these silver dollar sized delights!

 

 

 

 

The Valley Cove Farm to plate barn full of nostalgia and relaxation plus great suppers!
The Valley Cove Farm to plate barn full of nostalgia and relaxation plus great suppers!

 

 

 

 

Cataloochee Valley Tours-Heading to Elk Country!

Out the window photo of a young bull elk in the Cataloochie Valley!
Out the window photo of a young bull elk in the Cataloochie Valley!

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Out the window elk watching.
Out the window elk watching.
Elk calf at side of the road!
Elk calf at side of the road!
Side of the road in the Cataloochie Valley. Elk meander all around you!
Side of the road in the Cataloochie Valley. Elk meander all around you!

 

Bull Elk just after bugling setting up for mounting one of his cows!
Bull Elk just after bugling setting up for mounting one of his cows!

 

 

 

 

APtravelnews-September 10th, Maggie Valley, at Cataloochee Valley-We took part in visiting the Cataloochee Valley area full of transplanted elk. The bulls were bugling their dominance over their herd of cows-quite a display! The occasion for this trip was an Eco-Tour and Picnic lunch with Cataloochee Valley Tours, Inc. Esther, the owner and tour guide put us in touch with the history and actual animals (Elk) that had been reintroduced to the area known as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We took in the beauty and grandeur of a place in time and history that, although now having the protection of it being designated a National Park, put us in touch within a living history of the way this place once was, untold years in the past. The only obvious hint that this area has taken on the veil of modernity, was the 3-mile tar road area of the valley (most of the other roads are gravel) and the  (of a couple of hundred years of  human habitation now gone from the park except for a few buildings left as monuments of this habitation) signs of old foundations left after so many homes were burnt down, during the course of turning many private lands into a park designation, and takeover of the lands of the Cataloochee Valley by the US Government for future protection against the inroads of commercialization.

Viewing the elk and the big adult bulls, hearing their bugling gave me the feeling of a palpable tingling on the back of my neck, I realized that I was being witness to a tableau that has played itself out season after season for many, many millennium, and for a moment- a mere quadrillion of a second, on a million-year timeline, I was there touching the face of Gods handiwork “again!”

Esther, our Naturalist Guide was responsible for this opportunity! She is, and will be a teacher of visitors to this wild and natural area for a long time!

Esther Blakely – Certified Master Naturalist

(828) 450-7985 – cataloocheevalleytours.com

The Brass Lantern Casual Fine Dining In Little Old Crossville, TN.

 

Grilled TN. Sour Mash Whiskey Pork Chop. Best chop I can ever remember!
Grilled TN. Sour Mash Whiskey Pork Chop. Best chop I can ever remember!
Salmon encrusted in pecans and a sauce to remember with wet lips!
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Really enjoying our meal at the Brass Lantern!


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APTRAVELNEWS -September30th,-, Crossville, TN.–When James and Denise Weismuller, new owners of the Brass Lantern welcomed us to their excellent fine, yet casual dining establishment, we had hoped for a great dining experience and we were not disappointed at all. A bit about James background: Chef James worked for the Marriott Corp. in Food and Beverage for 15 years prior to moving to the 2000 foot elevation of the Cumberland Plateau. Chef James for the past 14-years prior to recently taking over the Brass Lantern, operated the Stonehenge Grille  and was the Director of the Food Services for the Good Samaritan Society in Fairfield Glade for 2 years. His wife Denise said it was about time they finally opened their own restaurant and I’m sure the folks of Crossville would say the same! The Food: We started our repast with two special soups, one always on the menu; the French Onion and the other called “Hamburger Soup” was hard to stop eating it was so good. A hint of bacon, top round chop meat and the stock was hearty enough to dip the home made, specialty rolls in-delightful both of the soups. The side salads were “right on” excellent with all the greens, oranges and reds as in tomatoes just right and ready to be bathed in a raspberry vinaigrette or as Barb liked her salad dressed with blue cheese dressing. In perfect timing, out came our main dishes; a baked pecan salmon finished with Chestnut Hill (winery just next door) Volunteer Peach Wine. We caught this wild salmon on the plate! We both ate from it and it was exceedingly perfect-nothing dry, moist tasty, no fishy aroma-perfect. The sauce was divine!  My Grilled TN. Sour Mash Whiskey Pork Chop was worth calling home base about. Incredibly tasty. The 8-ounce chop was glazed with fine sour mash whiskey and James secret spices. The taters were excellent, but I must say, this chop was the best ever! We finished our meal with excellent cheese cake smothered in sliced, sweet strawberries and fresh decaf coffee. What a dinner, and if your headed on highway I-40 too, or from Knoxville, or Nashville get off Exit 322 and they are just down 1000 feet away. Our waiter was top notch, very attentive as we noticed for us and his other table charges as well. All in all, on a scale of 1-10 this meal was an eleven-period! Of course they also have great steaks too! Give a call and be prepared to thank us on line when you dine at the Brass Lantern located at: 79 Chestnut Hill Road Crossville, TN inside the Chestnut Hill Winery. 931 484-7657 Besides their reasonable priced dinners they are now open for lunch too!

A libation and a meal lunch or dinner is what awaits the smart diner!
A libation and a meal lunch or dinner is what awaits the smart diner!
New York Cheesecake and strawberries. Terrific!
New York Cheesecake and strawberries. Terrific!