Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

May 11, 2014

Tim Preston: Slammin’ hot, heavy metals, coats and cabins: 5/11/14

ASHLAND — I had a bad case of spring fever (translate: wanted to spend a few days in a canoe with a redhead) in recent weeks, so I’ve just returned from taking a few days away from the newsroom. I would report grand adventures, although the truth is I sat at home and watched it rain all week. The most effort I put out in a seven-day stretch would have been walking to the swing on the front porch and watching my neighbors construct a new shed.

My wife, however, had to work and I ventured into “the city” just once to have lunch with her. I can’t remember how it began, but we found ourselves on an unguided driving tour of Ashland, starting by tracing the floodwall on the north side of Greenup Avenue. I was a bit shocked when we pulled alongside the unadorned sections of anti-flood fortification and she said she didn’t even know such a thing existed here. That tour didn’t take long, even with the detours now built in, and she then challenged me to show her some other part of the city she was unaware of, leading to a drive-by at the old Ashland Cemetery and some general gas-wasting through South Ashland until the lunch spark struck and we began a classic game of “I don’t care. Where do you want to eat?”

As fate would have it, we were a short distance from the now famous Suplex Tacos on 13th Street, and I remembered my wife had never had a chance to enjoy the freshly prepared, southern California-style Mexican cuisine. Months had passed since I’d been there and the very suggestion of one of the signature “619” burritos had me ready to place an order before the place was even in sight.

One of the founding brothers, Sergio, greeted us upon arrival and moments later I was asking him about the small bottle of habanero pepper sauce on the counter, bearing the local restaurant’s name.

“It’s pretty hot. Do you want to try it?” he asked with a grin that should have tipped me off to what was in store. I confirmed I like hot stuff and said I would try a small sample. Within seconds Sergio had his man behind the counter pulling on protective gloves and asking if there were any safety goggles available as he gingerly dipped the tip of a toothpick into the top of a bottle.

I smacked that sampler into the center of my mouth before offering the seconds to my wife. About the time I was thinking, “Good flavor,” the fire began to ignite, causing me to turn (against my own experience) to the nearby soda fountain. The flames licked out roughly halfway through my 619 burrito, shortly after I’d concluded my lips were going to melt off my face. It was just this side of awesome.

Suplex Tacos at 3613 13th St. in Ashland is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the Facebook page. To place an order, call (606) 420-4230.

Metal party

You can hear the enthusiasm in Steve Lyon’s voice as he talks about the hobby he and many others in the area enjoy when they have some spare time — metal detection.

Lyon, who owns Dig It All Detectors at 712 Winchester Ave. in Ashland, reported he and more than a dozen others gathered last weekend for a “detection party” and “pig out” near the bandstand in Central Park. When everyone had their fill, Lyon said they spread out and started their high-tech sweeping to discover what they might find in the well-used park.

“One person found a three-ring mini ball,” he said, describing an old muzzle-fired projectile recovered during their search of the grounds.

Lyon said he and other detector lovers get together at his shop on the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m., explaining each enthusiast tends to have his or her own favorite things to find.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years. Silver rings are my favorite,” he said.

For more information, visit the Facebook page or call (606) 329-1344.

Cabin fever

I can hardly drive down 13th Street without going into fantasy land, dreaming of a life “off the grid,” every time I see the Amish Cabin Co.’s display models near the ACTC campus.

Business owner Linton Wells reports I’m not the only one who gets inspired by the cozy-looking structures.

“A few updates below about our Ashland-based cabin company, now completing our first year of business,” he wrote. “One of our Ashland model cabins has recently been sold and we’ll be changing our Ashland model cabin inventory in the near future. We’ve recently sold a prebuilt deluxe cabin to Texas and will soon deliver it, our longest distance prebuilt cabin delivery so far. We’ll also be delivering a matching outhouse with this cabin — the buyer is an off-grid homesteader. We now have a model cabin in the Smoky Mountains at 3599 Newport Highway, Sevierville, Tenn., at Flat Creek Village, open seven days a week.”

The cabin business continues to grow, he said.

“We’ll soon be establishing a western U.S. division with an Amish partner based in Colorado, for Western states delivery. The Western cabin design will be more rustic than our Eastern cabins, and will be specifically designed for Western states’ climate dryness and temperature variations,” he said.

“We’ve now quoted unassembled cabin kits as far away as Abu Dhabi, Norway, Hawaii, Alaska and several Canadian provinces (no shipments occurred yet to these destinations, delivery charges are rather significant),” he reported. “In addition to prebuilt deluxe cabins, prebuilt basic cabins and unassembled cabin kits, we also sell Amish-built furniture (only for delivery with our prebuilt cabins) and off-grid solar power systems.”

For more information, visit amishcabincompany.com or facebook.com/amishcabin.

Fresh Coat

The Ashland Alliance’s recently announced Fresh Coat, owned by Mark and Donna Smith of Raceland, as its business of the week.

“Fresh Coat opened for business in February of this year and is a professional residential and commercial painting company focused on quality customer service and professional painting. Fresh Coat serves the Ashland, Huntington and Ironton areas as well as the surrounding communities,” the announcement said.

Services offered by Fresh Coat include interior and exterior painting; wood staining and refinishing; wallpaper removal and many other services for nearly every protective coating application.

“At Fresh Coat they use quality environmentally safe materials and offer a live 24/7 customer service center, online scheduling and free detailed quotes,” the announcement stated.

Fresh Coat is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit freshcoatashland.com, email msmith@freshcoatpainters.com or call (606) 393-0012.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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