A couple of months ago (good heavens. Months? Sigh.) I was brought out to Asheville, NC for a visit to their local area and to learn all about how they enjoy their food there. I've written a little about it, and a brief mention here, but I haven't gone into much detail yet, because you'll need a disclaimer first. If there was a problem with the trip*, it was that everything was fantastic. That is primarily a problem because I paid for none of it, so I don't have any really good examples of something I didn't like to balance out the reporting. Therefore, it's possible that because the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau footed the bill, I might be biased towards the place, and you should know that. The problem with that line of reasoning is that I get sent to all sorts of places where someone else foots the bill (they like to call them "business trips", and I can be quite miserable on those trips). Free is not where the bias comes in. No, the bias comes in from the knowledge we were given about the area, the people we met in it, and all the great food we tasted. If I could have paid for that exact same trip, I would have been just as enthusiastic. More so, in fact, because I wouldn't have to disclaim it. The disturbing part is that I think I understand the Asheville food scene better than I do the Charlottesville food scene, and I've been in Charlottesville for a decade, the last few years of which as The Food Geek. Clearly, I need to do some more research on my local environment. In any case, disclaimers are made. Ethics are, if not preserved, at least consistent with what I set out for this site. And when I go back later and do all the same things again but paying for it and with my wife, then I will report back to tell you how much 'free' biased me. *-aside from a minor incident involving a tray of mimosas and my pants. Oh, and their attempts to try to kill us with large quantities of food and drink of such high quality that it's hard to refuse. Honestly, if they had pulled off their masks at the end to reveal that they were aliens ("IT'S A COOKBOOK!") and we were to be their tasty treats, I would have merely thought, "Ohhhh. Yeah, that makes sense." Fortunately, that was not the case.