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May 5, 2008 06:27 PM

Curras (Asheville-Woodfin) Nuevo Mex

My husband had trepidations about trying this restaurant because in a former life the building had housed a noted greasy spoon. The small restaurant has about 6 tables in the main area and an alcove with about 4 others plus a bar w/ a few seats. Walls are a burnt sienna that give it sort of an adobe look. Some colorful flags and a few photos and paintings are on the wall. The minimal decor and hard floors make it a bit noisy when crowded.
We started with the queso flameado app ($7) which was just ok - a little bland and forgettable. A large salad ($8?) with pickled radish, cactus, queso blanco and chiccharones was very tasty - though large pieces of the latter made me wonder what the point was. How about crumbling them up into crouton-sized pieces or leaving them off altogether. Next time I'd skip the apps and just go for a salad.
By far the stand outs were our entrees. A ground pork with fruit and nuts stuffed roasted poblano chili was incredibly tasty. The creamy sauce w/ the pomegranate reduction was a perfect compliment and this was a" lick your plate " dish for me. My husband had a peppery grouper that was steamed in an agave leaf (sort of like parchment paper) so it was tender and flakey.
An avocado margarita was creamy perfection and the strawberry was fresh and sweet but not cloyingly so.
1 app, 1 salad, 2 entrees and 3 drinks $90 (tip included)

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  1. Thanks for the detailed review, Leah.

    So, what's the final verdict: Ready to try now, or wait awhile and let them find their footing?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jeff C.

      Give it a shot...they seem to have a very professional and knowledgeable wait staff who aren't reluctant to tell you what is good or not on the menu. Also owner was present and very hands on. Nice presentation....

      1. re: leahinsc

        Got it. May try to get out there this weekend. What is the best way to get to it if I'm coming from Hendersonville?

        1. re: Jeff C.

          I'd probably go 240 to 19/23 east (towards Weaverville & TN) and get off at the Reynolds Mtn Exit (the one just after Elk Mtn) and then make a RIGHT onto Merrimon and it will be on your RIGHT. It is a very small place - if you get to Woodfin Ave you've passed it.

    2. I was searching for something else and came across this thread. I live in Austin, TX and have been eating at Curras for 12 years now. Y'all are pretty lucky to have the only other one up there. The owner is the guy who started ours. Marco. Great Guy and a hell of a cook.

      I don't know if they have the cochinita pibil, mole, or breakfast at yours- if so start there. otherwise, his fish has always been well prepared and the poblano's are great too.

      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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jakistar79

          This is surprising to me. My boyfriend and I have been there 3x and absolutely love it. The chips which we were told are made in house are the best chips I have ever had and the barracho sauce is to die for. I am not and never have been a fan of lamb but my boyfriend ordered one evening and I had a bite and decided the next visit I would be having lamb! The Tuna dish melts in your mouth, I actually crave that dish. I did have lunch there one time...... the menu is very different but just as good. I suggest the entomatadas. We are so glad that Woodfin has a restaurant with a full bar, excellent atmosphere, culture and awesome food to boot! Salute to Curras!!!!