Barley's in downtown Asheville is a nice place to get something to eat and drink. They serve pizza and the usual bar food. What sets this place apart is the good selection of local craft beers.
Favorite Dish: Barley's has good pizza, which can be ordered by the slice or as a whole pizza. But the best thing on the menu here is the beer - try Highland or Catawba Valley, both local craft breweries with some great beers.
After waiting YEARS to find a home-style, non-chain restaurant in the area that served Oysters Rockefeller, then waiting 'til they opened at 5:30 (after browsing Asheville all day) my oysters came to the table in under 8 min. Were they possibly nuked? FUGGETABOUTIT ! Too much shredded parm, not cooked enough. Real bummer, as it was supposed to be the Crowning Jewel on my birthday........
Favorite Dish: Husband had the lump crabmeat with rice and veggies. Pretty good, but I wouldn't go back.
After waiting YEARS to find a home-style, non-chain restaurant in the area that served Oysters Rockefeller, then waiting 'til they opened at 5:30 (after browsing Asheville all day) my oysters came to the table in under 8 min. Were they possibly nuked? FUGGETABOUTIT ! Too much shredded parm, not cooked enough. Real bummer, as it was supposed to be the Crowning Jewel on my birthday........we were downstairs in the "bistro" or whatever, and the atmosphere was a Lesbian show/CW that was bashing men on the TV at the bar! No thanks. I'll just go to the corner dive if I want to watch TV, or stay home.
Favorite Dish: Husband had the lump crabmeat with rice and veggies. Pretty good, but I wouldn't go back.
The food was the best I have had in a long time. It was delicios and the presentation was gorgeous. Our waitress was friendly and it felt like she was genuinely interested in us. The atmosphere was not what I initially expected, but it was very cool! The drinks were beautiful and were made from freshly squeezed fruits. All around, Amazing!
Favorite Dish: I had scallops and sundried tomatoe ravioli- Superb!
When I am away from home and dining alone, I have an "almost" random method for choosing picking restaurants. On my latest trip to the Asheville area, I "randomly" picked a real winner. From high school visits to Asheville for football games, I remembered narrow serpentine streets but in recent years with all of the freeways, I had forgotten those delightfully curvaceous adventures. Finding The Corner Kitchen fully restored my respect for the hills and curves of Asheville's residential streets. Upon leaving my Conference at The Cove, I punched 3 Boston Way into my GPS and succeeded in getting lost three different times (all due to road construction projects) but the detours were well worth the delays. Located in the heart of Biltmore Village, the externals were excellent (and had I known the Biltmore Village location instead of depending on the GPS, I could have taken a much more direct route). My first impression of the service, however, was negative. I arrived just a few minutes after opening and in spite of the fact that the restaurant was almost completely empty, the hostess forced me to dine at the bar. (My disappointment was reinforced by the fact that there were several deuce tables empty when I left.) All was fine, however, when my nut encrusted trout with mashed sweet potatoes arrived. That was one of the best meals that I have eaten in quite a long time, and I say that after having had a delightful lunch at The Cove. The next time I am in Asheville, I may have to abandon my random selection plan. Would any locals like to meet me for a meal so that I do not have to eat at the bar?
This eatery in West Asheville is unique and delicious. Easy to get to, it is parking challenged but do not let that deter you. Walk a block or wait for a place nearby. They do not take reservations but take my word for it., put your name on the list and wait! In the summer you can sit outdoors in the yard. I last went there on New Years Day and it was cool and windy. They took my cell phone number to call me when our table was ready. There was hot coffee outside to sip while we waited and while some waited in their cars, the more hardy of us stood in the winter sun and braved the breeze while sipping our coffee. We waited about 30-45 minutes and then were seated at a somewhat cramped table. (Well, there were 8 of us!) The restaurant is small for the amount of customers but the service is so good and the ambiance so friendly that once you are seated you forget all discomfort. I have yet to taste the bakery items...this is something to look forward to if the quality of their biscuits is any indication. We had Mimosas to greet the New Year and everyone (yes everyone!!) was happy with their meal.
Favorite Dish: Breakfast salad. OMG!!! The food here is so good! The Breakfast Salad is really a spinach (or whatever green they have) salad wiith the most delicious, large chunks of the most wonderful bacon and 1 (or 2?) EGGS on it...however you like them...I have over medium. The dressing is...superlative. There are the best biscuits with it. I also like the huevos rancheros...lots of different flavors. The coffee is good, too.
Jerusalem Garden - Mediterranean food. Actually, this is my favorite. I am an absolute sucker for lamb. Some evenings, they feature belly dancing. This restaurant is on Patton Ave. but is further west than Salsa's. It is also fairly small. The proprietors are very nice folks.
Favorite Dish: Lamb Gyros
the havana restaurant is a great place to have lunch in downtown asheville. they serve very good cuban cuisine at moderate prices. on my recent visit to asheville i had their cuban sandwich which was just as good as ones i have ordered in miami and tampa. a nice inexpensive place to eat in downtown asheville.
the sunset terrace restaurant is located in the historic grove park inn hotel. obviously the sunset terrace is a great place to have an early dinner and watch the sunset. the sunset terrace offers a three course prixe fixe dinner for $ 30. you can also order off the menue if you so desire. the cuisine is new american and i thought the prixe fixe dinner was a good value. a very nice restaurant to visit when in the asheville area. reservations recommended.
Zambra...the very name means a gypsy dance of celebration! I have eaten at this restaurant many times and am almost always amazed and satisfied. They spent a lot of time and money on the interior which makes you think you are in a Moorish castle (tent?) I dunno. The long, curving stone bar is beautiful. There are large stone columns, small rooms with pillows for parties of 4-6, & high windows that open up to the street. It can be a truly magical place on weekend nights when a spanish or jazz group is playing and the belly dancers are there. Even without entertainment though, the food is the main attraction. Don't go if you are in a hurry, this is a place to spend time.
UPDATE 2008/9 New Year's Eve looks great! I have already made a reservation. Get a spot at the bar before they are all gone.
Favorite Dish: The menu changes often featuring contemporay twists on food from Spain and N. Africa. A starter of Olives with Preserved Lemons is wonderful for a group of 4 or more (its a lot of olives). They also feature Risotto, mussels, bits of various meats and poultry with mysterious and succulent sauces, great salads. They also have hundreds of wine for the connoisseur (a little pricy)....and the tequilas! Specialty drinks are varied and interesting. The beer on tap is reasonably priced. Although I would recommend this restaurant to any size group, I feel it is best enjoyed by 2 people sitting at the bar. You can share each small dish, it is intimate and the service is immaculate. It is close to the music. Additionally, you can meet and talk to people from all over who have come to enjoy that special ambience that is Asheville. P.S. they have late hours at the bar and it's a great place to go after a concert or show for a snack and a drink.
Okay, so I never went in this place. But I had every intention of doing so. Just ran out of time. The owners of the coffee shop that I worked at in college told me that one of their former employees was managing this joint now, so I wanted to stop in an get some joe from friends. But no dice. I will try and make it back next time for sure. They serve counter culture coffee which I know to be of good quality because the first coffee shop I worked at in Boone, NC (Crossroads) served their coffee and Helios Cafe of Raleigh also serves their coffee.
This place had excellent falafel and babaganoush. Really amazing decor and awesome service. In the back of the restaurant they had traditional seating on pillows in what they call the tent. On Thursdays and Fridays they have belly dancing and live music, which regrettably we missed as we went during the day on Saturday.
Favorite Dish: Try the vegetarian platter, it comes with hummus, babaganoush, stuffed grape leaves and falafel and more.
I regret to say we didn't try any of the pizza here but I hear it's good. The main thing I have to say about this place is that they have so many beers on tap my head was spinning. 24 taps downstairs and 19 upstairs, and a lot are locally made in NC. They have live jazz and other music at least three nights a week and upstairs, there are about four pool tables several dartboards and a few foosball tables. We found ourselves playing foosball after a short time of drinking.
Favorite Dish: At the time I was there, in early fall, they had the Catawba River Pumpkin Ale which was pretty amazing. I'm going to make it back here sometime to try the food.
This place was neat. I'm not a huge vegetarian, or one at all for that matter, but I can really enjoy good culinary tourism where ever I go and this place was definitely tasty. They have a very unique menu which you can view online. It's located pretty centrally in the downtown area on Wall Street.
Oh and they have local beer here too, Green Man Ales. Read more about them here
Favorite Dish: Try the Hempnut Burger. I know that's such a cliche for the non-vegetarian to get the thing on the menu with the word "burger" in it, but it was really good. A patty composed of millet and hempnut served topped with red cabbage, grated carrots and clover sprouts, lettuce and tomato. Yum.
Also, try the Jalapeno-Onion Fries.
Several of the restaurants listed here are now closed. Asheville is a quickly changing town, especially in the food industry. I would suggest you call or google the name before you try to find it. Anthony's and Max's Deli are both now closed. Asheville is still full of great food though!