HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


Papas & Beer V. Papas & Beer

Alright Asheville area Hounds, which of the two locations serves the best Cali-Mex? (I've only been to the Hendersonville one.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. can't say which is the best. i've been to the h-ville store a few times and liked it, but don't often make the drive. i'm thrilled to have the asheville location close-by.

    we ate there saturday and were happy. i had the sizzling enchiladas (1 each steak, cheese & chicken). steak & cheese were good, although the cheese could've used more of the tomatilla sauce served with it. the chicken was just ok. beans that came on the side were very good. salsa bar is set up similar to h-ville. beer is cheap, but somewhat limited; they have highland on tap for $2. they don't have their liquor license yet, but it's pending.

    in short, i wouldn't drive from one town to the other for either location; but if you happen to be in town already, and you're hungry, it should satisfy.

    happy 420!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mark

      tried them again this past weekend. i had the mexico city tacos; 3 soft flour tortillas with 1 each of steak, pork/carnitas & chicken. steak was the best, followed by the carnitas. the chicken was better than my last visit, but still the weakest of the three.

    2. Went to A'ville today - very good! Very nice decor as well...check it out!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jbyoga

        Well, I can now answer my own question as my wife and I dined at the Asheville location Friday night. The menus are EXACTLY the same at both places, but the decor at the Ashevillle Papas & Beer is MUCHO nicer (except the heavily lacquered tabletops look like they were produced by a high school woodshop class). Service at both places is prompt and friendly. Same yummy items on the salsa bars at both. Same very limited but cheap beer selection (Negra Modelo for me, Corona with lime for her). I don't know if it was the shrimp dishes we ordered or what, but the food at the Asheville location is noticeably spicier. (Warning: The Shrimp Rancheros dish is HEAVY on Jalapenos!) All in all, I would give the Asheville location the edge for its spaceousness and decor (and the heat in its dishes), but both restaurants serve good-if-not-quite-great Cali-Mex.

      2. Where is Papas & Beer on Brevard Road..... I know near Sardis but which side/corner is it on??? Thanks

        2 Replies
        1. re: jberryl

          In the Kmart center....where Los Volcanes was....

          1. re: jbyoga

            Hey thanks yogaman - I heard that Los Volcanes was a good Mex restaurant - and am surprised they are gone... too many aliens?

        2. ok, tried this place for lunch today. It was PACKED with lots of working guys and Mexicans. My food was just ok. I had a shrimp fajita salad ( I know, not the best representation of Mexican food) I did like the grilled vegetables that were on the salad. I've had LOTS better at Cocina Latina. I did notice that the Mexicans (speaking only in Spanish to the waitress) had a totally different menu so I may have to ask for that next time and see what the difference is.

          2 Replies
          1. re: leahinsc

            I've not been to the Asheville location, but I was totally unimpressed with the H'ville one. Yes, it's better than run of the mill Mexican...but not by a whole lot. Maybe, as you point out, I ordered off the special "loser" menu. ;-)

            1. re: danna

              ok, good, I'm glad that you said that because husband and I tried the Hvl one about a year ago and found it very mediocre. He went to the Avl recently and thought it was fairly good and inexpensive...Next time I'll ask for the Spanish menu and see how it is different and practice my Spanish.

          2. Note this review...as usual, the headline and the article are out of sync. The review seems to indicate that it is just OK.

            4 Replies
            1. re: leahinsc

              That is not exactly what the review said - I think you're projecting your impressions upon the reviewer. Here is what it said in summary:

              "Papas & Beer isn’t haute cuisine, but it is a big step up from most of the Mexican restaurants you’ll find in this town.

              The food is authentic, fresh and reasonably priced. I’ll definitely be back soon."

              I'll give you my review tomorrow.

              1. re: jberryl

                P & B was probably the best deal for the money in town - at least that is the opinion of my brother and that I have. We especially liked the Beef Tamale, the chile relleno and the salsa bar. Service was good and since we tried five dishes (plus the chips) we were stuffed. The food seemed very rich. Four beers, five dishes, 38.00 - not bad!

                One comment my brother had is that while Limone is good, you don't feel you dollar goes very far there. Perceived value is much higher at Pappas & Beer..

                1. re: jberryl

                  Comparing Limones with Pappas and Beer is like comparing a Mazada Miata with a Geo Metro....both convertibles but otherwise they are nothing alike.

            2. Coming from Arizona which is about as close to Mexico as you can get, P&B is actually the best mexican food in the Asheville Area. You know it is good when almost everyone there working or eating is Mexican. It means it's the real deal. If you actually ate "authentic" Mexican food you would be in the restroom for a couple of days!!! It's the best in town even if they are having an off day. To many people in the south think Taco Bell and Don Pablo's is actual mexican food, which is sad!

              6 Replies
              1. re: azgirl

                We just ate there tonight. I ordered spinach enchiladas, which said they contained fresh sauteed spinach, but in fact, it was canned. You know the canned taste, it didn't even look like spinach. The enchiladas didn't have enchilada sauce and were completely soggy. The chicken in my fiancee's enchilada was guh-ross. The bean sauce was not good, either. Overall very unhappy that we spent $20 there. On the plus side, good service.

                1. re: jakistar79

                  ate at the bar for the first time at asheville location. Weak food, drinks, service. One of the most disorganized bar service situations I have seen in a long time. SHEER CHAOS.

                  1. re: chizow

                    Which Asheville location? Brevard Road or Tunnel Road?

                    1. re: Leepa

                      FYI: All three area locations are under different management. Having tried them all, the Brevard Road location is the only one I currently recommend. I like the flautas, tortas and the "street tacos" more than the Americanized combo platters and would urge my fellow 'Hounds to avoid the place on weekends as it tends to get a leetle CRA-ZEE and the food quality slips a bit as a result. Otherwise, P'n'B Brevard Road still has the best cheap Cali-Mex in town.

                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        good to know
                        I went to tunnel rd location last night

                        1. re: Jeff C.

                          I knew that. Actually, the Hendersonville store and the Tunnel Road store are owned by one branch of the family and the Brevard Road store is owned by another. Brothers-in-law to be specific.

                          I had lunch at Brevard Road today. They weren't as busy as usual which I was sad to see. I sure hope the convenience of the Tunnel Road store doesn't do in the Brevard Road one.