Asheville: Stoney Knob, Well Bread Bakery
After all these years, we finally made it to Weaverville this weekend. SInce so many of you like Stoney Knob, I'm going to try to be tactful in my review.
Yuck! What are you people thinking? Oh, wait....that didn't work...let me start over....
Stoney Knob is an EXTREMELY cute place. The exterior and interior are charming, comfortable and unique, and everyone seemed very friendly. We went for lunch...perhaps that's not their best meal. I had the Michaelangelo panini. The fresh mozzerella and pesto were both fine..the grilled chicken was ridiculously tough and stringy, almost inedible, the very worst of low-quality chicken. I had to floss afterward. For my side item I choose the black bean chili. It had the most grease floating on top that I think I've ever seen. If you left your spoon in it for 30 seconds, a pool of orange grease would form. Horrid.
Husband had the shrimp wrap. I thought it was OK. He hated it. It was completely wet inside with some unexpected, really sweet sauce. For his side, he ordered fried okra. Maybe that was overly optimistic - we both expected lightly dusted w/ cornmeal, pan fried okra like my mother makes. Instead, it was heavily breaded and deep fried...like the worst of cafeteria food.
The coffee was good.
Then we went to Well Bread Bakery. It's full of gorgeous desserts. I was a little concerned because the theme there appears to be HUGE. Everything was massive. Creme Puffs the size of my head, Cookies bigger than my mousepad, etc. Often, I find an emphasis on quantity is bad news for quality. Fortunately, this is not the case. We shared a (massive) piece of carrot cake and it was really good. I took home some of their toffee, which I am going to try to put out of mind so I don't become obsessed with it. I also took home a chocolate macaroon that was very chocolatey and quite good. The whole wheat raisin bread was another winner.
That night, we went to Zambra. I had considered trying Corner Kitchen, but after lunch, we wanted to go somewhere that was a known quantity. Seared scallops w/ apple and radish slaw were very good. Grilled octopus was good. Fig wrapped in proscuitto stuffed w Cana de Cabra was VERY GOOD. Salad w/ pears and manchego good. Fried calamari was a little too greasy. That was a disappointment since we usually love their calamari and the green garlic sauce that goes with it is wonderful. We were sitting next to people with three very well behaved little chow pups eating mussels and the like!
I have to concur, after hearing all the raves about it on this site we made a trip up there for lunch. The greek platter was just OK with a very bland tzatskiki sauce and chicken on the dry side. I ordered the foccia feta burger and a side of pesto pasta. pasta was tasty and but chewy and the burger was a bit small. The foccia was the tastiest part of the meal but the size overwhelmed the burger. For such an eclectic decor I had hoped our meals were going to be a little more exciting.
My hubby and I were also at Stoney Knob Saturday for lunch, which is somewhere we go at least twice a month, if not more. I had the crabcakes for the first time, with a salad and broccoli casserole. He had the ribs, also for the first time, with a salad and fries. The crabcakes were good, but kind of strange, as they had tons of diced carrots. They were fairly tasty, not overloaded with breadcrumbs and red peppers, which I despise. The broccoli casserole was, however, disgusting, unlike any I have ever tasted. It was swimming in some sort of cream sauce studded with diced red bell peppers, which, as I mentioned, I despise. How this fell into the casserole category, I'll never understand. The ribs were St. Louis style, so they were more like beef ribs than the baby backs we like, but they were very tender, and the sauce was good. Both were things we had wanted to try but were skeptical about, so now we know that we'll never order those items again. Every other thing we've ever had has been delicous, though, so maybe we all were there on an off day. The roast beef panini is my choice of those selections; my 10-year old daughter loves them so much, it's what she always gets. You should try it again before you write it off.
I think I've done Stoney Knob 2x for lunch but probably go 1x/ a month for dinner. We were there last Fri and hubby had a beef tenderloin w/ a chimichurri type sauce,w/ grilled shrimp atop....he licked his plate. I had the Greek Nachos which I'd never had before...very tasty but didn't work w/ Cab Sav - should have ordered a beer. Sorry you had a bad experience....I'm beating myself about the head and shoulders now Danna!!
Well, poo, Danna. (Sounds like that's what your lunch tasted like.) I have only been to Stoney Knob twice and only for dinner. It was good both times. Perhaps you dined there on an off day, or maybe they have different cooks at lunch and only bring out their "big guns" at night. Jeez...I don't know what to say other than I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.
P.S. I have only been to Corner Kitchen once, for dinner, and it was very good but not stellar. I would go back, but based on your comments above I would be hesitant to recommend it based on just one visit. (Will report back after my next visit when I can better gauge the consistency of the kitchen.)
i like stoney knob for breakfast (should note, haven't been in some time), but lunch has always been very hit-or-miss for me (i won't even bother with that meal anymore). haven't been for dinner.
i agree regarding the toffee at well bread. it's the best i've found around town, and almost as good as enstrom's. one word of warning, if you buy pre-packaged bags of it around the holidays, take a close look at it. they pawned off a bunch of edge pieces without any chocolate on them by packaging it last year; didn't discover 'til i got to columbia, sc (had to make 1 good bag out of the 3 i had with me - it wasn't awful having to eat the remnants, but i was still peeved). i enjoyed the huge cream puff last time i was there, but it's too big; i can only eat 1/2, not that that bothers my wife. i've found the sweet stuff to be better than the savory.
i really don't get the appeal of zambra. i went this past weekend, and while it was fine, nothing "wow"ed me (i didn't have a thing i couldn't make as good or better and far cheaper at home). and the prices for their tiny portions are just ridiculous.