Best of Asheville 2006
Mountain Express (mountainx.com) our weekly free entertainment paper, released its best of. All very subjective of course. Some of the votes I totally agree with and some I don't. Glad to see that Lobster Trap beat out Red Lobster as best seafood - the first couple of years I was here Red Lobster was always 1st. New restaurant Mela's made it on for best Indian which I would agree with but hate to see Carrabas (chain) get #1 spot for Italian beating out the independents.
We went to Marco's (#1 Pizza) recently and must have hit them at a bad time...no water ("repairing dishwasher, it'll be back on in a few") and our pizza was burnt and bland and though we mentioned it to the waitress (admittedly after we ate a couple of slices)she apologetically returned with the bill and said the manager would just take off $8 (little less than 1/2 the cost)- of course we had no leftovers and only one slice each....
Carrabas aside I can find little fault with most of the Mountain Express readers' choices, although I am disappointed Limones didn't at least place in the Best Brunch category.
Haven't been to Marco's in a couple years but don't remember their pizza as being anything special...though it's certainly not bad.
re: Jeff C.
We order Marco's about once a week. Give it another try...big blobs of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and marinara so good I order extra and dip my crust in it. Yum. I agree with Leah on Limones...so good for brunch and dinner. My compaints were: all choices above 28806 for best sandwich (28806 is the best in town), Usual Suspects for best cocktail (every time I have ordered any mixed drink there it tastes like they put maybe one drop of alcohol in it), and Early Girl for brunch. I really don't get the Early Girl thing. I applaud the use of the local/organic ingredients, but I have been there twice and have never understood what the fuss was all about. Seems like all the egg dishes on the menu are something I could have whipped up at home (and received much larger portions of, and not had to wait in line for 45 minutes for). I am ordering the wrong thing there?
I so agree w/ Miss Piggy about Early Girl. I think it is totally overhyped. I've been there for lunch and it was packed but I didn't have anything that made me think it was anything special. Also don't like having to walk past a throng of their chefs/cooks smoking outside the front door when I walk down Wall Street.
I guess I'm the lone dissenter when it comes to The Early Girl, but here's my two cents...
I've now eaten there about a dozen times (including as recently as yesterday), and while it's certainly better for breakfast or lunch than dinner, I have had some decent dinners there as well. While the recipes tend to be pretty basic, the freshness of the local ingredients (love their stone-ground grits) compensates in all but a few exceptions (the fish dishes tend toward the bland).
While I suppose The Early Girl can and should be faulted for not being more ambitious, I think it has carved out a place for itself along side Tupelo Honey as a better than decent purveyor of neuvo-Southern cuisine. (The wait for Sunday brunch yesterday morning was 45 mins., so they are obviously giving their clientele what they want.)
I have only been to Early Girl once, and that for breakfast. I got something fairly plain, so I really can't critique the cooking. However I want to mention that they serve jam from a local producer who sells their products in the open air market outside grove arcade. That stuff is SPECTACULAR. I believe the blend we get is called Berry Best...it's blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry. I wish I could remember the name of the jam maker...starts w/ and I, perhaps.
I appreciate Early Girl giving us the good quality stuff!