Last night my husband and I went to Lansing, North Carolina to look at a Rocky Mountain gaited horse. We liked it very much but had a few questions about it since we have only had Appaloosas and Quarter horses.

I suggested that we go back into West Jefferson for dinner and take a little time to make some phone calls and look on the internet.

West Jefferson is a very old and quaint little town. It is quickly becoming known for music and art. The recession had been hard on them – they even lost their Chevrolet Dealership. But they are finding different ways to bounce back.

I noticed interesting shops on their main street last night – though most had closed by the time we returned to the town. Books, Christmas decorations and ornaments, music, antiques, art supplies, are available right next to the farm supply and Ashe County Cheese Factory.

They also have a few new dining options – at least they were new to us. And one of those was located in bottom of The Old Hotel. The upper floor of the hotel had antique shops, ornaments and – most likely – music lessons as we saw various people walking through and up the stairs carrying a guitar or banjo case. The Brickstone Pizza and Pasta is the name of the restaurant and they offered indoor as well as outdoor dining.

It was cool there last night – in the sixties – perfect for sitting out on the patio with a glass of wine and a plate of pasta. So that was exactly what we did.

When we entered to be seated, the aroma hit us right away. Is there anything that smells better than Italian seasonings mixed with tomatoes, cheese and bread baking? I think not!

We requested the patio and sat at a little iron table with a view of the surrounding mountains. Since we couldn’t decide which pasta to have or if we wanted one of their pizzas, we settled for the sampler dish with a cheese stuffed manicotti, a stuffed shell, and two ravioli – all in a delicious red sauce topped with more molten cheese. It came with a green salad and garlic bread and was divine.

And sitting outside gave us the freedom to use our blackberries for internet queries and phone calls, so that by the time we were served, we had all of the answers we needed about the horse.

And this weekend is West Jefferson’s big festival – Christmas in July. There will be music, crafts, food, and lots of excitement lining the streets of the town.

What did we decide about the horse? Well you’ll have to keep reading to find out. I’ll keep you posted.

Brick Stone in West Jefferson

Brick Stone in West Jefferson

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