Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
Apr 13, 2008 04:27 PM

Curras (Woodfin/Asheville) - anyone?

Has anyone tried this place in Woodfin on Merrimon?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is this the place across from the Farside Farms produce market? If so, I didn't know they were open yet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Leepa

      yes, I saw an article about them in the local paper and they had written that they are using organic and local ingredients and had some interesting sounding Mexican entrees.

      1. re: leahinsc

        I see their other locations are in Austin, TX. Interesting. I'll give them a try this week, hopefully.

        Thanks for the heads up!

      2. re: Leepa

        I went to dinner there with my husband and another couple and we all thought the food was FANTASTIC!!!! In fact we can't wait to go back! I had the Crepe Mole and it was divine. My husband had the Carne Asada and said it was the BEST steak he has ever had. And...the desert of Tres Leche is a MUST...we split it 4 bite is all I needed...HEAVENLY!!!!! This is Interior Mexican Food...and I have not hesitated to suggest to all my friends. Those who have gone on my suggestion and passed the word on to there friends. A wonderful addition to the Asheville dining scene!

      3. I have a friend who used to live in Austin, but I don't recall her mentioning it. Based only on the website it appears to have the menu and pedigree of what could be a primo "interior" Mexican restaurant. Please post your thoughts here if/when you go.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Jeff C.

          Well, it didn't take me long. When I typed up the comment a bit ago I hadn't started dinner yet so I decided to give them a whirl. Hmmmm. We'll don't go expecting what you see on their menu. It's completely different and a bit pricier. And I'm not so sure about authentic. I don't claim to be an expect on authentic Mexican food (though I have a friend who is and rest assurred, I'll check with her) but what I saw seemed to be Nuevo Mexican. And not the state either. I had one of their lower priced entrees which was a chicken mole crepe. Crepe? It was quite good and accompanied by some so so rice, some of which was pretty al dente, and some unremarkable sauteed carrot and beet planks. It was good but I'm not sure it was worth the price tag ($17). I think they're catering to the folks who live up on Reynolds Mountain. There was also rack of lamb on the menu which I'm not sure is authentic either. Again, I'll check with my friend. Most of the entrees were >$20, salads, iirc, were $10-15, and appetizers were <$10.

          I'd probably go back at some point, but I'd be a regular customer if they had the same menu as on the website. Too bad they don't.

          1. re: Leepa

            If this is in fact a sister of Curras in Austin then that is great news! Curras in Austin is a fave...

            1. re: jbyoga

              Has the Curras in Austin adopted a new more upscale menu?

              1. re: Leepa

                dunno - used to be a hipster type joint - I just checked the website and it is in fact a sister resto....hope they stay true to their roots!

                1. re: jbyoga

                  Ok, this was the write up to announce opening in Asheville C-T. I saw website but there aren't any menus on it....
                  Marco Garcia, an Austin restaurateur, opened Curras Dom, a Mexican fine dining experience, on Weaverville Highway.

                  The restaurant takes traditional dishes and puts “a real sophisticated, modern twist” on them, said Amy Garcia, Marco’s wife.

                  The seasonal menu features dishes from regions across Mexico, including chicken mole crepes, grilled lamb with a pistachio mole or shrimp in a pasilla sauce.

                  “Not everyone eats rice and beans,” she said.

                  The restaurant serves seafood, meat, vegetarian and vegan entrees.

                  The space also features original art and photography of Mexico.

                  Curras Dom is at 72 Weaverville Highway.

                  For more information, call 253-2111

                  1. re: leahinsc

                    Click on the link above, and you will see a tab on the right side for the menus. (Doesn't nec. mean they will have the exact same menu in Asheville, I realize.)

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      Whoops! Make that the LEFT side.

                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        The menu for the Asheville store is completely different with no resemblance to the menu for the Austin stores. I couldn't find any dishes that I recall seeing on the menu last night on the Austin menu.

                        1. re: Leepa

                          Too bad. The Austin menu looks reeaally good.

                          1. re: Jeff C.

                            We had lunch there yesterday. First of all, the margaritas are fantastic. Better than Limones, even. I watched them being made - my husband's top shelf had 2 parts Herradura, 2 parts Grand Marnier, 1 part Cointreau and 1 part fresh lime juice. Delish. I had the house which was three parts Sauza to one part lime. They were fresh and potent! We each had 2. For lunch I had chicken enchiladas with a tomatillo sauce topped with swiss cheese. The swiss made for an interesting, if not slightly odd flavor combo - perhaps a white cheddar would have made more sense. The chicken was free range, and was very tasty but a little dry. The sauce was tangy and delicious, I just wish there had been more of it. Same for my husband...he had enchiladas wtih picadillo (beef) and a borracho (tomato-tequila) sauce, and the whole thing was tasty but a little dry due to lack of sauce and lack of, well, grease. That's the thing about this place - it is definitely not sloppy Mexican food. I think most Mexican restaurants dip their tortillas in oil before rolling them into enchiladas? Curras definitely does not. So while it was a great ensemble of fresh flavors not drowned in grease, it still needed a little something to take care of the fact that it was all a little dry. More sauce would have done the trick. Both dishes were served with a pretty meager portion of yummy refried black beans and rice. A heftier dollop of beans would have been nice. Fresh tortilla chips were brought out before the meal (and I mean fresh) and were served with some really good salsa.

                            Total bill for two at lunch (both around $8 each), complimentary chips and salsa and 4 very strong margaritas was $52. My margaritas were about $6 each and my husband's were more like $8.50 or so. It's a nice space. We looked at the dinner menu and it was completely different and high-end - all entress over $15, most closer to $20. It will be interesting to see how this place does. The location is a little strange.

                            1. re: miss piggy

                              Miss Piggy, was the lunch menu more like the menu at the website linked above?

                              1. re: Leepa

                                Hmm, they are a few similarities, but not many. The Austin menu has the following listed:

                                "Two Enchiladas with your choice of fillings & sauces. Served
                                with rice & beans. Choice of filling: Cheese, chicken, beef or chilorio
                                Choice of sauces: Pasilla, Green, Red, Borracho or Chipotle."

                                At the Asheville location they have this option only the fillings are cheese, veggie, chicken or picadillo, and the sauces are pasilla, borracho and chipotle only.

                                They have three or four specialty enchiladas, but none are like the ones on the Austin menu.

                                And they have a list of tacos - as I recall, they were chicken, fish, shrimp, picadillo, maybe a veggie and one or two more. These aren't on the Austin menu.

                                Some of the appetizers are the same, including the QUESO FLAMEADO (Melted Monterey Jack cheese, with rajas & chorizo), CURRA’S MOLLETES (Bolillos topped with chorizo, black
                                beans & Monterey Jack cheese) and CURRA’S PAPS
                                French fries sauteed with chorizo or veggie chorizo & chipotle sauce,
                                toped with Monterey Jack cheese. *Sorry for the caps, just copied off website and am too lazy to retype.

                                Looking at that appetizer list again I might be tempted to go back and have a slew of those great margaritas and some apps.

                                1. re: miss piggy

                                  Thanks for the info. I'll be giving them a try at lunchtime one of these days.

          2. I have been there twice now and the food is quite good, pricey but good. I was not sure what to expect, as I had not seen any ads about them but I was curious (drive by it on the way to work) so I thought I would give it a try for dinner. I assumed from the name, the cuisine would be Mexican/Spanish, but judging from the outside I would not have thought they were shooting for "upscale." I have had the same dish twice now and both times it has been different. Sauteed snapper with sauce Veracruz. Both times the fish was cooked perfectly, however, the first time the entire dish was right on target but on the second try a week or so later, the rice was way too al dente and they left out the green olives. The appetizers my dining mates had were very good and the Tres Leche was delicious. Wine list has way too many $35-40+ selections, which in my opinion keep people from ordering more than one bottle at dinner. The service is attentive and knowledgeable, no complaints there. In general, I think it is a great addition to the North Asheville area, but I think pricing on the entrees may keep people from making it a regular spot, same issue my friends and I have with Savoy. As mentioned in someone else's reply, they are hoping to pull from Reynolds Mtn. and I am sure that has influenced the menu pricing. The dishes are alot like Limones but they are not quite there yet and the ambiance is no where close. They are still in the early phases of establishing their mark and I look forward to seeing them just get better.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. It's great if you like bland food!
                I can't believe Hannah Raskin gave them a good review, obviously the XPress is still castrated by the AIR.
                I will say, the drinks were great, but it ended there.
                What she listed as the "signature dish" was the stuffed peppers. I'd been craving stuffed peppers all day when we visited.
                The stuffed peppers said on the menu that they were stuffed with "pork and beef". When they came out, they contained ground beef and what appeared to be chopped salad ham. The portion was ridiculously small, and the bland beef and ham was sauced with an herb walnut dressing and balsamic vinegar?? No spice at all, this is confused Latin food for white people.
                The queso dip with chorizo that we ordered as an app had no spice either, in fact, we had to ask for salt, it was completely bland. Also, the sausage was ground, and could have easily been ground beef with ancho, there was no flavor at all. It was topped with a gob of slimy melted cheese.
                My fiance's dish was cooked well, but so bland that we had to ask the waitress for salsa. When the salsa came, it was completely mild, no peppers, just tomato and onion. We sent it back, and the chef actually chopped some jalapenos and put them in for us. This salsa was decent, but by the time it arrived, his expensive food was cold.
                The service was good, but the food was just terrible, and we found it absolutely laughable when Raskin's review appeared days later.
                As a side note, if you do some research, food reviewers generally try to remain anonymous, not sit down with the restaurant owners. Also, food editors aren't supposed to be bosom pals with the organization that advocates for all the restaurants they review. This is because they're supposed to have the experience in a restaurant that any Joe from the street would have, not receive the special treatment. Xpress, you're still wayyyy off here.

                6 Replies
                1. re: jakistar79

                  unfortunate experience? Change in chefs? We've eaten there 4 x - 3 dinner and 1 lunch and liked everything except a queso dip on our first visit which we found too bland as well. We enjoy the roasted taste of the salsa, not like the bottled flavor of many other places. Your stuffed peppers don't sound anything like the ones I've had 2x and found myself wanting to lick the plate. Our last visit there we had a whole snapper that was baked with a salt crust and was incredibly moist and flavorful...

                  1. re: leahinsc

                    very reluctant to try again, because it was a terrible and expensive experience.

                    1. re: jakistar79

                      I did not really think that the x-press review was all that great....
                      every time I've been there, the portions have been generous and all the food was cooked, seasoned, and spiced just right. The duck, tamales, whole fish, and the stuffed peppers are always good. Their location is terrible and they could use a couple of cheaper bottles (as was said before) to sell as 2nd's. I feel like if they had a better location, they would pretty easily be better than Limones.

                      1. re: starchild000

                        I can't say enough about this place. As a resident of Woodfin, Curras is a blessing! Lunch is reasonable, dinner a bit pricier but worth it. My favorite lunch is Enchiladas Tomatados with cheese and I ask for extra heat. The signature soup is perfect for hangovers. I can't remember the name, but it is obvious on the menu. Killer margaritas (which probably explains the hangover soup!) Anyway, bland is not a word I'd use to describe this place and they'll pretty much kick up anything they serve as far as I can tell. Love it, love it, love it!

                        1. re: Woodfinian

                          THanks for chiming in...I love the place to. I am always impressed that the owner has been there every time we have dined there. Obviously this is more than just a hobby or investment for him!

                          1. re: leahinsc

                            We had dinner here on Thursday night. Again, margaritas are fantastic. We stared with the queso/chorizo dip and thought is was only OK. Too much meat, not enough cheese, and it would have been better if the cheese had been smoother or creamier, more like a dip. Instead we had to kind of scoop it up with the fork and put it on the tortilla. My husband had the stuffed peppers and really enjoyed them. That cream sauce is delicious. I had the scallops with a tomatillo buerre blanc, creamed cauliflower and sauteed kale. The kale was actually really bitter...something about it didn't taste right, almost like it was tinny or something. The cauliflower puree was amazing, obviously loaded with butter and cream because it was so rich, but I have to tell you I was really disappointed in the portion. It was a very faint smear of the puree, just a few bites. Topped with only 2 scallops (which were very, very fresh and cooked perfectly), it was a bit of a joke for $22. We agreed that the food was all presented and prepared well, but I still think all of the entrees are overpriced for what you get. Total with tip for 3 house margaritas, one app and 2 entrees was $80, and that was using our 15% off coupon. I would go back, but probably not if I was picking up the tab. I think there are other places in town where you can get more bang for your buck (Sugo comes to mind for a nice dinner out with substantial portions). But it is good!