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Asheville, NC

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Has anyone been to Tupelo Honey or Rosetta's Kitchen?

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  1. Tupelo Honey. It's OK, I went there once, did not bother to return. Many people seem to like it more than I did. If you want a "southern" fix, try it.

    Rosetta's Kitchen. Freaky little vegetarian place. The food is not that bad. BBQ tempeh, peanut butter tofu, french fries cooked to order, that sort of thing. Lots of street kids. Smokey on the outside terrace.

    These are two very different restaurants.

    11 Replies
    1. re: danna

      Haven't been to Tupelo Honey in ages...always too crowded now - that's what we get for letting Southern Living and other mags brag about it! What are you looking for and I'll give you suggestions

      1. re: leah

        Rosetta's Kitchen was on our list a few weeks ago as we passed through Asheville. We finally found the entrance for the upper flat and found it was not open for breakfast. The surroundings did not leave much of a desire to return. I read a recent review that praised the food. Quite puzzled by the place from the exterior...to say the least.

        1. re: Windsor

          I don't see what's puzzling. It has an entrance on both of the streets that it lies between. It's location is amidst tattoo parlors, head shops, used CD stores, and vintage clothing shops...which is exactly perfect for it's clientel.

        2. re: leah

          Hi Leah! We will be in Asheville for one night while on a road trip and would like to go to someplace downtown so we can check out the galleries there after dinner on a Saturday. Can you reccommend something there?We don't care about price as much as we like quality--which most often for us means a chef owned restaurant with a commitment to local produce.

          1. re: Kathryn

            make sure you check and make sure the galleries will all be open late...
            Restaurants downtown - casual and inexpensive - pizza - Barley's
            asian/thai - Doc Chey's
            Jamaican/island - Anntony's
            moderate
            seafood/American - Magnolia - has outside/covered dining
            vegetarian - Laughing Seed

            more expensive but worth it - Limones, Left Bank, Market Place ( of the three I'd do Limones)

          2. re: leah

            We're looking for something distinctly Asheville...have been to Early Girl and Laughing Seed and enjoyed both. Partner is semi-vegaterian -- will eat fish & seafood

            1. re: Carol

              "distinctly Asheville"? now, that's really puzzling as there are so many sorts of restaurants here...I'd say Salsa's, Limones or Zambra then if you want to stay downtown.

              1. re: leah

                Thanks.."distinctly Asheville" was meant to convey locally owned.

                1. re: Carol

                  I second Salsa's. I've been there about a dozen times and have never had a bad meal there. Early Girl, which you already know, is hard to beat for breakfast and coffee. Just my two cents.

                  -doug

                  1. re: Douglas

                    I'm not such a big Early Girl fan. I've tried it for lunch 2 or 3 times so that may be the problem. I'm just not crazy about it - always seems like there is something missing to me. If you're looking for locally owned...lots of options, but my fav's are Limones and Salsa downtown. Outside of downtown I really like Sunnypoint Bakery and Cocina Latina in West Asheville and Stony Knob between Asheville and Weaverville.

                    1. re: leah

                      all good recs.

                      fyi... tomato (aka cocina latino) has a real sign now, so maybe it'll be a little easier to find. says "tomato" on it and everything.

        3. I hate to be a "stick in the mud" but I have found Asheville restaurants to be either "tree hugger, 60's Berkley wanna be's" havens or pretentious 80's tiny food amounts, nose in the air expensive, we won't be here next week places.

          I travel quite a bit and to go to downtown Asheville during the day is like going back in time to the sixties. I take a number of classes (on weekends under the sustainable ag program, we even buy our piglets from them) at Warren Wilson College and must struggle to keep from laughing at the women in their Carrhart's. A set of Carrhart's is about as flattering as being dragged by a tractor. The "no make up" thing I happen to like however.

          Lunch is always a treat..."We have a tofu burger so you won't have to cause animal suffering" What about the poor soybean?

          "Animal is already dead...otherwise he wouldn't be in the pan, now would he?"

          Oh, anyway...when I am in Asheville I eat at Asiana Chinese Buffet. One at the Enka exit and another (and better) near Fletcher on hwy 25.

          Again I will now step off my soapbox.

          11 Replies
          1. re: michael b

            You have GOT to be kidding me. Mr. high-end-Japanese eats at a Chinese buffet?

            You must have formed your opinion of the Asheville dining scene 20 years ago. Break out of that buffet line and give it some more effort ;-)

            1. re: michael b

              YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!! Aren't you the same one who writes so glowingly about Sushi Koji in Greenville - the attention to detail, the customer service, the good quality and then you prefer an anonymous, glistening with oil, jostle others to get food, quantity vs quality -buffet...oh, golly I am thunderstruck, stunned, disappointed...
              You need to get downtown and experience some of the other restaurants in ASheville - you've described some of the clientele and menu at Rosetta's and Laughing Seed and sometimes Salsa's but what about Table, Market Place, Zambra's ?? Not to mention Fig, Gabrielle's, Savoy....We eat downtown at least once/week and aren't tree hugging, no shaving, anti-anti-persperant, dreadlock wearing, "trustafarians" - neither are our friends - but none of us would opt for a buffet (be it J &S, Twin Dragon, China, Asia etc) over ANY of our favorites in Asheville - (whew!) I feel better now

              1. re: leah

                Heh. I was at Salsa a couple of weeks ago and got to see a couple of trustafarians having lunch with their upper middle class, somewhat uneasy parents. It was hilarious.

                1. re: leah

                  I'm sorry folks but I consider Asheville on the same restaurant level as Kinston, NC or Goldsboro, NC. I can usually be found cooking in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn at the Biltmore exit off 26. I'm just not been happy w/ anything I've had in Asheville. I only eat lunch at Asianna but dinner in Asheville hasn't been so good.

                  A grade school friend is probably the leading attorney in Asheville and feels the same way. He lives there!!

                  When I visit him and his family we cook at his home because he doesn't want to go out. He comes to Charlotte, we eat out most of the time.

                  I've traveled the Carolinas and E. Tn for thirty years. The area is fantastic, the weather wonderful but the restaurants just don't compare w/ where I will be the next week.

                  I also cook in the parking lots in Greensboro and Columbia, so don't feel too bad.

                  1. re: michael b

                    I don't feel bad, but you should. You're really missing out. I'd really like to hear where you've been eating in Asheville to have this opinion. Asheville is a dining oasis in the midst of nothingness.

                    Of course, if all you want is sushi, then feel free to dine in, otherwise...you need to do a little more homework.

                    1. re: danna

                      Since I travel in a 4 state area...TN, SC, GA, and NC ...I can say that Asheville has restaurants that are as good or better than those that can be found in Atlanta or Charlotte....try some of the ones we've recommended on this site like Limones, Salsa, Gabrielle's, Savoy, Fig, Table....

                      1. re: leah

                        I shall try these places once more...only on Danna's and Leah's suggestion. I am sorry to repeat this but most road warriors consider Asheville to be a culinary wasteland. I will put my judgement on hold until another round of dinner and lunches...probably mostly lunches as I,IMHO, have already been burned once.

                        I eat sushi or sashimi about once or twice a month...never at Asianna in Asheville. I am very picky about sushi and sashimi. I usually eat sashimi as I don't think white rice is all that good for you.

                        To be honest I don't think there is any place in Asheville that compares w/ the top five places on East Blvd. in Charlotte. Sole, Brixx, the Chinese place behind East Blvd Sundries (used to trade them live chickens for lunch), Taste of Thai, Price's Chicken Coop or Phatt Burritto (last two aren't on East Blvd but within a stone's throw)...ok I've got six but didn't even bring up Southside Brewery (pizza or nachos), Mr. K's or Mantis (a standard meat and two Greek place).

                        I'll give Asheville another chance but I have been traveling the area for thirty years and have two friends from grade school that live there that agree Asheville is not so good for food.

                        I now have to go shovel pig manure to our trees...makes them grow so well.

                        1. re: michael b

                          Michael...one nite take your friends into downtown and get them away from Tunnel Road and Hendersonville Road(even though there are a some bright spots there)...start at Limones and have ceviche and a margarita...go up to Salsa's and sample one of their day's specials...burrito maybe and a high gravity beer - but just one - plates are huge....then walk around for a while and sit at the bar at Zambra's for a glass of Spanish wine and some small tapas plates....we don't do desserts too well downtown except at restaurants so maybe try the ice cream place over on Tunnel Road. Alternatively try Cocina Latina for ensalada gringo and paella and a dos equis or two and then go to Sweet Heaven in Montford for ice cream...
                          you just need to hang out with the folks who know.

                          1. re: leah

                            I shall do so. I'll follow your plan as closely as possible. I'll even include my preacher who was "run out" of China Grove to Asheville but I still see every time I'm in Asheville.

                          2. re: michael b

                            tell me you're not talking about Brixx the pizza chain.

                            1. re: danna

                              This IS a chain store. However I was eating in this place thirty years ago when it was a Huddle House. It changed to Tio Montero (WAS the best Spanish place in Charlotte for many years until the owner got greedy) and then Brixx bought the place.

                              Saving grace is a wonderful lady who is the pizza chef. She is about 4'10" so the chain designed oven is too tall for heer. She tosses the pizza into the oven and stands on a stool to get them out. A chain but one local employee makes it a wonderful place.

                              Patou's French bistro took over the old Red Star Bar space kadycorner to Brixx. Wonderful place.

                2. We recently went to Tupelo Honey Cafe after having read about it. We were not disappointed. The service was snappy, and the fried brie appetizer with garlic, figs, and apple was excellent. Nut crusted anything on the menu is great. All the food arrives piping hot. Would definitely return again.

                  1. i crave for Vietnamese food and very picky. The CF Chan tries to be everything and ends in nothing. I miss the chinese or Vietnamese of NY and CA. Anybody knows a scret place to eat vietnamese? there used to be At Luna's???

                    1. sadly, no Vietnamese grub here yet...IMHO Noodle Shop is the best bet in town...