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southside cafe, Asheville

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To preface this, my husband bought us the promo package that Asheville Ind. Rest. Assoc was offering; Main course dining, which has 29 Buy one get one free coupons at local independent restaurants. So over the next few months, expect a lot of reviews! So for brunch today we went to the Southside cafe. This restaurant is suffering a severe identity crisis. The interior is in dire need of a remodel.. Styled in "classic southern" (think mauve and country blue). But there were some modern touches that left one confused. The glassware and plateware were rather stylish, but the silverware was the old "sea shell a la holiday inn banquet". I noticed that the wallpaper in the ladies room was the same I had in my living room when I was a kid...25 years ago. I know to some people details like this don't matter, but for me its a package deal. The menu was overloaded with egg dishes, the only non-egg dishes were pancakes and french toast. A few of the specials ( the one lunch dish) also excluded eggs. I opted for the California Benedict (15$) which was a toasted piece of sour dough bread, spreaded with goat cheese, topped with arugula, tomato, asparagus, and poached egg, with avacado and fruit on the side. The dish was quite good.( actually got an appropriately cooked egg) My only complaint was that the avocado was brown, and the plate had not been pre-warmed ( a necessity when it comes to eggs and hollandaise IMO) so halfway through the meal, my dish was ice cold. Service was average. not bad, but not a skilled server. We had to ask about the specials, and a few items on the menu which she had to go ask the kitchen about. Also when I told her about how it would have been nice if the plate would have warmed, she said "yeah, they usually are" Not sure how I felt about that reply. Our bill came to about 35$ with the coupon not including grat. ( throw in a bloody mary on there as well) All in all an average meal. The place has a lot of potential , the food, as I said was quite good, but it seems the owners lack motivation to keep it up.

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  1. Dinner is better. Stay away for lunch the parking lot is like the demolition derby, very popular with the over 70 crowd

    1. We had dinner here last night and I would totally agree with Beth's comments about the decor...dark walls and green carpet...I got the feel I was in a dark, hunter green cave. Ceiling tiles overhead don't improve this. Our food however was very good. We had the seafood risotto which was very rich and creamy with plenty of seafood and the aged steak - husband loved it - for me it was just a big piece of meat. I did think the big potato wedges it came perched on were a nice touch but when I tasted them I would bet they had been frozen before cooking as they had a bland, mealy texture. They were only able to name 2 made in-house desserts and one was a rich brownie w/ coffee ice cream on top. Nice, but nothing special. With 2 glasses of wine and tip it came to around $82.00 One note, the wine by the glass is pretty pricey by Asheville standards - starting at $7.50 but they do bring it in a flask and then pour it into your glass so the pour is more like 8 oz.

      2 Replies
      1. re: leahinsc

        ?????they brought your wine in a flask?????? why? was there only one wine by the glass?

        1. re: danna

          hey danna, no they have it by the bottle, but when you order by the glass they bring out these little flasks, actually they look more like beakers, which were kind of cool.

      2. We ate at this restaurant not too long ago for my birthday. I will not go into the details, however, there was a problem with my entree and the owner was so RUDE to us that I swore that I would never spend my money there again. I do not see how they can treat patrons as such and stay in business. I guess that we were not "regulars" from Crowfields, so he did think that he needed or wanted our business.

        1. If you like a good Caesar salad, do NOT order one at Southside Cafe. They serve something that's more like Caesar salad slaw. The romaine is chopped so finely, you'll wonder what it is you're eating. The dress is a little better than average, but a Caesar salad served without anchovies? And without cracked pepper?