Asheville good pub
i know there are a ton of good pubs in Asheville, but is there one that has better than average food with a good beer selection?
No, not really. Not yet at least.
It seems a lot of the great beer places are happy serving justokay food. That's probably going to change with a proposed gastropub in the river arts district, but that's in the planning stages last I heard.
There's also a Belgian beer bar slated to open in September called The Thirsty Monk, but I think that food will be limited at first.
Very true, most pubs in town are in the booze business and food takes a back seat. The Reuben at Hannah Flannigan's works. Skully's is good but smoky. If you want eat well and can do a bar - not a pub then go straight to Usual Suspects. It's got local feel in a cool room with really good food and the service is always on.
I like Jack of the wood for the Beer selection. They have their own brewery "Green Man". The food is just so/so--irish inspired, however it is Non-smoking, a huge plus in my book. A new Irish pub is slated to open on the west side soon I think.
BUT...I think Usual Suspects has the absolute worst mixed drinks! I have ordered them there on three separate occasions and swear there was no alcohol in my drink each time (and no, I had not been drinking yet, so could not be "cut-off"!). Which is too bad because otherwise that place would be perfect. Good food, near my house, decent patio, cool interior, darts...I'd probably live there.
What about Westville Pub? I have always been curious. There are two or three new pubs opening soon in that part of town. One is UJ - Universal Joint - from Atlanta - and it was one of my favorite bars when I lived there.
I agree with the Hannah Flannigans comment. We had terrible service there once...probably the worst I have ever had in my life, truly (I won't bore you with the details)... and then to top it off when I got my CC statement the next month they had double-billed me so I had to deal with that hassle. Won't be back.
the west side is my stomping ground, so i'll chime in...
westville's food is very middling. the wings are generally good (get the hot ones, they have a really good sauce), but everything else is either inconsistent or mediocre/bland. believe me, i wish they were better as it's the closest bar to my house (2 blocks). as you note, though, it is a nice place to hang out and, on the right nights, listen to music.
on the west side, lucky otter is a better bet for decent food paired with beer (note, this is not a pub/bar, although one can do plenty of drinking there). their beer selection is only 7 taps, but with a nice variety, and they have a decent selection of bottles. food is mainly burritos and quesadillas (the thursday jamaican special is also good); most of the signature burritos are pretty good, or you can build your own. tofu/tempeh, chicken & fish are all better bets than beef. the $3.50 margaritas rule!
burgermesiters (also west side) is a good place for a patty melt and a brew, but i don't recall them having a large selection of beers (definitely not many on tap). some of their other sandwiches are good, but i don't care for the burger buns. i usually just drink pabst when i'm there.
all bars on the west side are going to be full of locals, we don't see too many tourists over here, although they are quite welcome.
as to other places mentioned, here's my $.2...
jack of the wood - their beers have improved recently, but the food has never been very good, and service has been bad (at best, it's hit atrocious a few times).
hannah flannigans - i refuse to go there as my worst ever resto experience occurred there, and it was handled exceedingly poorly by the staff/management. (note - not to be confused with hf in hendersonville, which is ok, and i believe unaffiliated with the asheville hf.)
bier garden - it's been fine the few times i've gone, but, for whatever reason, it hovers below my radar and i rarely think to go there.
usual suspects - no firsthand experience with this one, but friends i trust tell me the food is fine. many more friends also confirm, as miss piggy notes, that the drinks are very weak.
charlotte st - haven't been in years, but, for what it's worth, it used to be a solid place.
barley's, which hasn't been mentioned, has a very good beer selection, but i think the food has gone downhill over the years. it used to be pretty good pizza, but the last few times it's been oddly sweet and bland. nothing else on their menu ever impressed me.
sorry jeffbatl, good food and drink in a bar/pub atmosphere aren't easy to find around here.
Jack of the Wood has locally brewed Green Man ales and is a great place to hang out. I've never actually had the food, but it certainly looks better than the run of the mill pub grub (not that that is saying much).