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Mountain Xpress Best of Asheville 2007

Jeff C. Oct 18, 2007 06:25 AM

Our local free weekly paper is out with its annual reader's survey of the best restaurants in Asheville, and it's a real mixed bag, as usual--though I'm happy to see Tomato Cuchina Latina finally get a mention in the "Most Underrated" catregory.

Thoughts, anyone?

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  1. l
    leahinsc RE: Jeff C. Oct 18, 2007 01:25 PM

    Jeff, saw it -- some I didn't agree w/ but a lot I did - certainly more than the Citizen-Times. At least some of my fav's (28806, Tomato, Stoney Knob) were mentioned.

    1. s
      stephw1 RE: Jeff C. Oct 18, 2007 02:59 PM

      Would someone please enlighten me as to why Apollo Flame always rates #1 in these polls? The few times I have eaten there, the food was HORRIBLE. The Greek dressing has absolutely no flavor whatsoever, and their red sauce, whether it be for pasta or pizza, has a distinct flavor of cinnamon, which is very off-putting to me. I think red sauce should be savory, not sweet. I agree with Stoney Knob being on the list, although IMO it should have been closer to the top. We eat lunch there approx. 3 times a month, and we have always been thrilled with the food.

      5 Replies
      1. re: stephw1
        Jeff C. RE: stephw1 Oct 18, 2007 03:10 PM

        I agree with you on Apollo Flame. The only possible explanation is that they really hype the vote to all their (mainly elderly and overweight) regulars and they stuff the ballot box.

        Stoney Knob rocks--although I'm not sure it really qualifies as a Greek restaurant anymore. It's pretty eclectic.

        1. re: Jeff C.
          stephw1 RE: Jeff C. Oct 18, 2007 04:45 PM

          I have heard for years from a friend in the restaurant biz that the Greek-owned restaurants have their patrons stuff the ballot box. Otherwise, how in the world does the Citizen-Times poll consistently rank places like Cornerstone and Provence 620-YUCK!!!- at the top of various categories? BTW, they're both owned by the same family that owned Poseidon, possibly the most overpriced, overrated restaurant in Asheville history. I believe they also own Stone Ridge Tavern-double yuck. I agree that Stoney Knob is not authentically Greek, except for the owners, but their diverse menu has a little something for everyone on it, which is why we love it.

          1. re: stephw1
            Spreadhead RE: stephw1 Oct 18, 2007 05:02 PM

            stuff the ballot box huh??? why have I never seen one of these "ballot boxes" you speak of, around town??

            1. re: Spreadhead
              carolinadawg RE: Spreadhead Oct 18, 2007 05:16 PM

              Are you serious?

              1. re: Spreadhead
                Jeff C. RE: Spreadhead Oct 19, 2007 05:13 AM

                Well, technically it's a "virtual" ballot box since all the voting is now done online, but it IS possible to vote multiple times using multiple names and from different computers.

        2. k
          kjen RE: Jeff C. Oct 18, 2007 05:25 PM

          I was disappointed to see quite a few chains win above the locally owned restaurants...

          A couple of months ago I asked about Greek restaurants and the response was unanimous Stoney Knob is the best. I couldn't believe it when I read they were 4th...

          5 Replies
          1. re: kjen
            Jeff C. RE: kjen Oct 18, 2007 06:04 PM

            What's REALLY pitiful is that Starbuck's placed third in the Best Coffee category. And I'm not being PC about their less-than-spotless business practices, either--I just think the coffee sucks. It always tastes burnt to me.

            1. re: Jeff C.
              peetoteeto RE: Jeff C. Oct 19, 2007 06:41 AM

              Hey, it could be worse -- Starbucks placed first in the Triangle's Indy "Best Of" this year...ahead of 3 Cups, Cup a Joe, Shade Tree...

            2. re: kjen
              leahinsc RE: kjen Oct 19, 2007 04:30 AM

              I didn't see that many chains as I see on the "best of by Mtn Express"...Fuddrucker's, Carrabas, Subway, Red Lobster....some regional ones like Bonefish and Doc Chey...
              I think this speaks more to the demographics of the Mtn Xpress reader and perhaps there is some virtual ballot box stuffing or at least encouragement by various restaurants.

              1. re: leahinsc
                miss piggy RE: leahinsc Oct 21, 2007 12:25 PM

                The one that kills me every time is Usual Suspects - best bar, bartender, cocktail - geez. They have the worst mixed drinks I have ever tasted in a bar. Unless you like no alcohol in your $8 cocktails.

                Speaking of Stoney Knob, we had brunch there today and they have revamped their Sunday menu. New items include huevos rancheros, several different omelets, shrimp and grits, frittata, and many more lunch items. We all tried some of the new stuff, and it was all excellent.

                1. re: miss piggy
                  Jeff C. RE: miss piggy Oct 21, 2007 12:51 PM

                  I need to get out there for brunch sometime. What is the price range?

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