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Fun and Funky in Asheville

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I'm looking for a restaurant recommendation for next Saturday night in Asheville. Something fun and local, and not expensive. Bonus points for a fun neighborhood to walk around in after dinner... Thanks!

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  1. lucky otter. on haywood (west asheville) between state & louisiana. almost exclusively local and their guests. cheap food. mainly burritos (signature ["don't be a jerk", "white trash bbq", "thai me up", "satay it to me softly", & "lesson of the sage" are all good] or build-your-own), quesadillas, fish tacos (ask for double tortillas to make it less messy), the special is usually very good (especially if it has hummus, pulled pork, or the thursday [sometimes it carries into the weekend] jamaican special - the collards are excellent). strong, tasty & cheap ($3.50) margaritas, mimosas, 6 or so local to regional beers on tap + pbr, small but well-priced wine selection. there's a deck to hang out on. afterwards, turn left (as you face the street from the restaurant) and head down to westville pub (drink, but don't eat there!), which is about 3-4 blocks away on the right for live music in a local scene. i know you wrote saturday, but if you can be there friday, there's the "walk-in movie" behind the pub & adjoining video store; they're showing "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" next friday around 8:30-9:00p.

    10 Replies
    1. re: mark

      Damn, you made that sound good, mark. We have to get there. hard for me to go past Sunny Point, though.

      I would have said Salsa, fun and funky and cheap(plus best food in town, IMO), then drinks at Flying Frog bar ....where there are usually some street muscians.

      Speaking of funky on the West side...do you know any of the scoop (pun...haha!) on why Ultimate Ice Cream opened a location at Haywood Market for a couple of weeks and then left?

      1. re: danna

        for the price, lucky otter's a good place. nothin' fancy, but good solid fare. my biggest complaint is that burritos with lettuce in them are often heavy on the lettuce to the detriment of other ingredients. on the plus side for you is that they open at 11:30a and serve through the afternoon.

        salsa's a good one, too. didn't suggest it 'cause i figured others would cover the downtown spots. caveat is that it's not inexpensive if one wishes to drink, although the food is reasonably priced.

        another i just thought of is havana in battle square. decent to good cuban. i should note i've only been to the downtown store twice; the one at asheville mall was(is?) consistently good.

        damn! first i've heard about ultimate. lack of sales would be my guess as to why they left since even i didn't know about it, & i try to keep up with things like that on the west side. wish i'd known as i could probably keep them in business singlehandedly (not really, but close). there is a sorbet/gelato/ice cream place opening in a not-as-yet-begun development on haywood (where the catholic church thingy used to be); maybe ultimate didn't want the competition.

        1. re: mark

          Well, for a couple of weeks they had a sign up at the normal location that said..."now opened at Haywood Market - you can now get twice as much ice cream without being recognized."

          The chick I asked at Haywood market said she didn't know, but her demeanor implied something had "gone on". Based on my dislike of that store and the general attitude I've seen in there, I have my on theories.

          Oh yeah, Jeff C. is right. Rosetta's is the place if you want to get REALLY funky (and possibly smell funky too).

          1. re: danna

            What? You don't like patchouli and armpit? :-)

            (Why do you think I always sit outside!)

            Still, not a bad choice if you're looking for a decent cheap lunch in an interesting place.

            1. re: Jeff C.

              Do they still allow smoking on that outside patio? Such a nice space...but I'd rather breath insense than smoke....and I don't mean a little smoke...I mean like the place is on fire!

              1. re: danna

                That's a good question. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. All I know is no one has ever smoked on the patio (or anywhere else) when I've been there. (Vegetarians/vegans don't tend to smoke anyway.)

                1. re: Jeff C.

                  Oh, they must have changed the rules. We tried a couple of times to sit out there and it was horrendous with smoke.

                  Veggies may not smoke, but hippies do ;-)

                  1. re: danna

                    True dat. They be smokin' all KINDS of smelly things!

      2. re: mark

        Thank you for your suggestion! We ate at Lucky Otter over the weekend and enjoyed it very much!

        1. re: imgould

          you're welcome & very glad to hear that!

      3. I like Laughing Seed on Wall St.
        Right downtown - tons of walking options -
        Also the Noodle Shop on the corner of Pack Square - great people watching with a few street performers to boot!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jbyoga

          i like the noodle shop, too, but have to say that i only go on weeknights/lunch as i've had consistently bad service when they've been busy. personally, i wouldn't suggest it for a saturday night (at least not during tourist season).

          1. re: jbyoga

            I second all of the above, but would personally substitute Doc Chey's for the Noodle Shop.

            Also, if you want REALLY cheap and funky vegetarian/vegan, there's Rosetta's Kitchen. (Love dining on their enclosed terrace, too.)

          2. where ever you decide, I agree on most of the suggestions above, The Town is kinda quiet in September, gearing up for leaf season, so I wouldn't be too concerned about restaurants being way too busy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: WNCfoodie

              I might add Mela - fabulous Indian food, large portions and most dishes are less than $15. The decor is beautiful, it will be busy and loud, you can sit by the window and people-watch, and most nights they have belly dancers, which is good for a laugh. (They always make me a little nervous, so I have to laugh.) Plus it's on a great street for walking and window-shopping.

            2. I had a very good dinner at Bouchon recently. They describe it as French comfort food and I think that's accurate. Country pate and a cheese plate to start. Roast chicken, frites, salad all good. Friends had steak and frites. Decent and not exorbitant French wine choices. It's downtown on Lexington Street near lots of funky/trendy shops etc.

              1. hotel tupelo. best shrimp and grits i've ever had. then you can go over to the chocolate shop (i'm blanking on the name) and get a treat to enjoy while you walk around town afterwards.