Written by Lauren Stepp
This Summer’s Short List of Al Fresco Eateries in Western North Carolina
To Hendersonville native Mara Erdman, Western North Carolina is a region with a “strong spirit of adventure.” It is a place where kayakers glide down the emerald green waters of Big Laurel Creek, mountain bikers shred sandy single track in DuPont Forest, and hikers ascend the sheer granite faces of the Hickory Nut Gorge. And so, “It’s cool when eating isn’t separated from any of that—when you’re enjoying a meal and you’re in touch with the flora and fauna around you,” says Erdman, who manages Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, a classic BBQ joint located off Greenville Highway in Flat Rock.
Since opening back in 2007, Hubba Hubba has offered outdoor dining to its guests. That’s for practical reasons: The smokehouse is tucked into a very small brick building with just enough space for staff to sling pulled pork sandwiches and limeade without bumping elbows. However, there is also a certain novelty to eating outdoors, says Erdman. Maybe it harkens back to the summers of our youth when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tasted better on ball fields and in Mawmaw’s backyard. Or maybe the desire to nosh al fresco is ingrained deeper still, passed down from our Paleolithic ancestors who had no choice but to picnic.
The full article continues below. Click to open in fullscreen…