Mountain Times Coverage of 2013 High Country Small Plate Crawl!

Small Plates, Big Taste – 2013 High Country Small Plate Crawl

By Jesse Campbell (


Selective-focus image of Bruschetta with colorful salsa/chutney

Have you ever wanted to sample high-end dinning without the high-end prices?

The second annual High Country Small Plate Crawl allows food lovers to taste and savor the innumerable flavors of the Boone and Blowing Rock restaurant scenes, while drumming up business for more than a dozen area establishments.

The buffet of restaurants will feature special small plate menus, reasonably priced from $3 to $8, from Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 3 to 5.

Each restaurant welcomes crawlers on all three days during the same blocks of time, including an all-day window (11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), lunch hours (11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or for the dinner block (5 to 9 p.m.).

The event is free of charge, but a special incentive is offered for those who print out and complete a restaurant “crawl” passport, said Laura Huff, event organizer and founder of The Carolina Epicurean food blog.

For each restaurant that crawlers attend, they will receive a special hole-punch on their passport from each participating establishment. Those who receive five or more punches will have their passport entered in a prize drawing. Anyone who includes a restaurant outside of the downtown districts of Boone and Blowing Rock will receive a “double chance” of winning the drawing, Huff said.

A passport can be printed out at

The concept for a food crawl was originally born in Hendersonville before crossing over the Blue Ridge Mountains a year ago, Huff said.

“I started this in November 2009 when I did the first small plate crawl, and that was because the market had crashed,” she said. “And since I’m a big supporter of small businesses, particularly restaurants, I called the rest of the town to see if they wanted to do this event.

“As many as 33 restaurants (participated), and they did it every six months for a couple of years. The idea is that it gives the public a chance to come and try the food guilt-free, especially if it is high-end prices and they’re not having to spend what they would on an entire meal.”

While filling the bellies and satisfying the taste buds of crawlers, Huff added the event would also promote each individual establishment.

Like with previous events, Huff said she distributes surveys each crawl to gauge participation and offer feedback to area establishments. Each meal block also offers a chance for fellowship.

“It kind of turns into a street festival,” Huff said. “When you see other people with theses passports, it becomes a conversation starter. You start to ask one another ‘Oh, which restaurant have you been to?’ and ‘Have you tried this yet?’”

There are also lodging discounts offered for crawlers. Visit for a complete up-to-date listing.

Any establishment that wishes to participate can contact Huff by emailing her at (

The High Country Small Plate Crawl is presented by Boone Independent Restaurants and The Carolina Epicurean. – See more at:

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