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Jun 21, 2007 03:37 AM

Asheville - Frankie Bones/Citizen-Times review

I know others have been but I haven't

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  1. This review is much more favorable than comments posted here. Rick McDaniel is also the weakest of the AC-T restaurant critics, IMO.

    1. i went once...

      ... and it's possible i hit them on an off night. i'm not going back to find out. even if the food & service had been perfect, the place is just way too expensive for what it is.

      jeff, i'm with you regarding rick mcdaniel. for the longest time i couldn't figure out why they let him review. it's not that his taste is bad, he can usually recognize the truly awful, it's just that he's not very discerning. then i read the "best of" supplement to the citizen-times a few weeks back; the reader selected "bests" were completely in line with mcdaniel's tastes. the "bests" were very heavy on chains and food-service-dependent establishments, with absolutely glaring omissions from the local food scene. now i get it; mcdaniel is ideal for the citizen-times as he perfectly embodies the collective taste of the paper's readers. as far as i'm concerned the only valuable information in his reviews is the simple fact that he lived to write it; at least you know you probably won't die from food poisoning.

      14 Replies
      1. re: mark

        hey guys, I've heard a bit more about that new Italian place in W. Asheville. Seems the owner/chef was former partner to Eric at 28806. It might be worth a try...Jeff? Mark? I know you are still trying to fit in La Bastide and the new place in Brevard since you are our designated taste testers.

        1. re: mark

          "the only valuable information in his reviews is the simple fact that he lived to write it"

          OK...that's in the top ten most clever things I've ever read on CH.

          My experience w/ newspaper "best of"s is that they give a whole lot of extra ballots to business who advertise with them. Form your own judgements.

          mark & Leah, have you tried the pasta dishes at West First yet?

          I'll be in Asheville Sat. night for Smashing Pumpkins. I considered trying Stone House, but didn't I read something about the chef being out of the country? I'm trying to think where else is only open for dinner that I haven't been yet. Also, I'll be coming through Asheville tonight late after a bike race in Marshall. Is Urban Burrito worth eating? I have a gift card. Isn't there a location on Patton that's not far off the interstate? Thanks

          1. re: danna

            Danna - I like Urban Burrito - they do have a new location off Patton. As you head away from Asheville on Patton you'll go up a bit of a hill and there'll be an intersection for Haywood Road. Look LEFT and the Urban Burrito is in a little strip of shops near a Sonic and an Aldi's.
            Haven't been to West First.
            I heard Stone House won't reopen for dinners til August.
            Other thoughts...seems like there are a plethora of new sushi places downtown now - 2 per block on Biltmore Ave.
            For Saturday night - Have you been to Corner Kitchen in BV?
            or Bouchon downtown?

            1. re: leahinsc

              Thanks for all the Urban Burrito input, but we wound up at Modesto again. I had assumed the husband would be looking for something fast and quick, since it was late, but instead we had a really nice dinner outside on a beautiful evening.

              Modesto's pizza has definately improved, (I had duck confit and artichoke) and we had non-weird service for the first time in a while at one of Hector's side-by-side ventures. Jeff's tuna was fresh but a poor cut. Risotto was extremely delicious. Bartender gave me 3 different reds to taste while we waited on the table.

              I have not been to Corner Kitchen because mark didn't think much of it in his early reviews. I have noticed the reviews have improved lately. Do they have outdoor dining? I'm seriously thinking I may go to Chorizo again...the menu looked great last night when we walked by, I'm thinking I want the scallop ceviche w/ peaches and the shrimp gazpacho.

              1. re: danna

                Danna - I probably walked past you last night! We were w/ some friends at Thai Basil - they were craving Thai. Modesto smelled great just walking by.
                Corner Kitchen does have a really nice outdoor patio that you'd probably enjoy. Have fun at the concert.

                1. re: danna

                  for what it's worth, corner kitchen is back on my list of places to try due to good reviews here over the past few months. i'm really hoping they just had a rough half year after opening, and have ironed out the kinks.

                  unless life intervenes i plan on trying nona mia this weekend.

                  leah, glad to hear the stone market chef is safe & sound & following his dreams. much better than my supposition.

                  a side note, my wife brought home leftovers from her lunch yesterday at one love. holy crap! those are some good eats (i had jerked chicken, greens & some sort of meat-stuffed empanada/pasty/popover - she couldn't recall the name). if 6-hour old, cold leftovers are that good, i can only imagine how good it will be fresh & hot. jeff, i finally have reason to envy h-ville residents. keep the h-ville tips coming; my wife & her coworkers are my vicarious tasters, and are loving the chow tips that flow through me.

                  1. re: mark

                    You really should make the trip out to Hendersonville to One Love, Mark. It's not much to look at on the outside, but the service well may be the friendliest in WNC (the chef usually comes out to greet diners toward the end of the meal also) and, well, you now know how good the food is...

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      my understanding is they're open to 8:30p? if so, then next time i visit the in-laws in cola, sc one love will be my dinner destination.

                      man, am i looking forward to it.

              2. re: danna

                aw shucks... thanks for the compliment.

                yeah, i don't place a lot of stock in "best of" lists either, but it was still shocking just how corporate the citizen-times' was. it would make sense if they let their advertisers stuff the ballot box. then again, i had a gift card for applebees that i used a few months ago (yeah... ewww! & thankfully i was able to use it for beer), and was appalled to see a line out the door when i knew those people could have gone to any number of better, nearby places & been seated immediately. maybe the c-ts' list really is representative.

                to my dismay, i haven't made it to west first at all. however, my mom (you may recall from my past posts that i'm italian & grew up on the good stuff, including mom's hand-made pastas) tried them and said the pasta she had (sorry i can't be more specific) was very good. i trust my mom's taste, take that indirect input as you will.

                the chef at stone house is indeed out of the country; i believe until august (i'm guessing military; if so, who knows when he'll actually get back). they are open for lunch, which is all sandwiches, but i don't know how the chef being gone affects that. they seem pretty quality conscious, i doubt they'd stay open if they couldn't maintain their standards.

                to me, urban burrito is a good place for a decent, hearty, inexpensive lunch. two people can easily make a light lunch of one burrito. ingredients are usually fresh & there's a nice variety of salsas. for comparison sake, in the pantheon of american/san fran/mission-style burittos in asheville, i'd rank rio burrito tops (also the most creative), urban burrito second & mamacita's (they have the most options to customize things) a close third. the patton location is in a little strip behind sonic & aldi. please note, this is based mainly on my experience when i had time to eat lunch in asheville; i haven't been to any of these places much in the past year or so.

                enjoy the pumpkins!

                1. re: mark

                  Mark - I heard through someone who talked to his wife, that the chef at Stone House was actually attending some sort of cooking academy in France/Italy....

                2. re: danna

                  Danna, I had the West First pasta dish with shrimp and sundried tomatoes in it the other night. (Can't remember the name of it!) My lord, they do pasta right...practically melted on my tongue. I'm afraid they've ruined me for the dried kind.

                  Would love to get the opinion of someone from an Italian background, though. (Hint, hint, Mr. Mark.)

                3. re: mark

                  Couldn't agree more, Mark. Call me "picky" if you want, "elitist" if you must, but I actually laughed out loud at some the AC-T's reader's choices (Red Lobster, anyone?). And, as you point out, some of their "critics choices" weren't much better...

                  On a related note, this week's Mountain Express has its annual Blue Ridge Flavors dining guide insert, which features much more astute critics' and readers' picks. They did miss two of my Henderson County faves, West First (see above) and One Love, but they managed to squeeze in most of the better Buncombe County places in various categories.

                  Here's a link to the online version:


                  1. re: Jeff C.

                    We went to Frankie Bones about a month ago, the food was overpriced and mediocre at best, service was terrible. We are young professionals with $ to spend and were treated horribly. I would not go back, I cannot believe this idiot compared the quality of Frankie Bones to Zambras. Shame.

                    1. re: Ellery

                      He didn't compare Frankie Bones to Zambra. He said Zambra used to have a steak marinated in coffee.

                      The two times I went to FB, I thought the food was pretty good. Not great, a tad pricey, but pretty good.