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Jun 17, 2008 05:14 AM

Black Mountain - Asheville, N.C. Help

My family (wife and I, 19 and 22 year old sons) will be attending a wedding in Black Mountain this weekend. We are open for a dinner and also breakfast and lunch. Looking for regional fare (barbecue?) and anything else done well. Not looking for $$$$. My wife and I will stay on for a couple more days to explore the Asheville area so recs there would be helpful. I note on this board a place called Salsa - is this still recommended?

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  1. I tend to go to Berliner Kindl in Black Mountain. I have not been for lunch and dinner closes early IIRC around 8pm. Price is reasonable, nice selection of German wursts, always tasty. Often can find a good coupon in the Mountain Express - this areas freebie on whats going on.

    Western NC (WNC) is not the BBQ hotbed of the state. That said, 12 Bones in Asheville is very good, casual, lunch only M-F. They get very busy, so there is often a line.

    There is a new BBQ place on Hwy 70 between Asheville & Black Mt., around Swannanoa. Can't recall the name, but seem to remember a favorable review on this board. It shouldn't be hard to locate though. There is also a Salvadoran place on this same HWY, set back from the road on the North side. This has also had favorable reviews - I haven't been able to get by to try either yet.

    Salsa's is in downtown Asheville. Small, can be noisy. You will find extremes in the opinions - they have been there awhile and have had ups & downs. I am not a fan, but many feel otherwise.

    I am a fan of Mamacita's, also in downtown Asheville. They are across from the French Broad Food Coop, South of the Square. Very tasty, casual, reasonable priced, quick, creative offerings. Their Margarita specials (not a bar though) are refreshing too.

    Regional fare is tricky to find, but the strongest culinary forces in this area are local and vegetarian - not necessarily together in the same place. Many menus highlight the local provider of their veg, cheese, meats. Slow Foods is very active in the area too. There are some great restaurants in the area!

    28806 in West Asheville is a good example of this local focus and they have reasonable priced small plates at dinner and more of a deli focus at lunch. It is in a little strip center by the Post Office on Patton - small place, good food!

    If time allows a short drive with a food destination, then there are two I would recommend that allow a greater feel for the area. In no particular order:
    1) From Asheville take River Road to downtown Marshall and try the small but unbelievably delicious taqueria. Nice drive, if you go further to Hot Springs there is rafting and hiking opportunities galore.
    2) Take the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville and eat at the Pisgah Inn. Beautiful drive, lots of hiking available. Restaurant has stunning view and the food has always been quite good. Usually have local trout too.

    If you find yourself in Biltmore Village and want inexpensive meals there is the Hot Spot for great breakfasts and The Depot has really good burgers. They are within a 2 min. walk of each other.

    Spirits on the River is definitely "Asheville" - quirky, unique - food is good, focus on Native American foods, pleasant, peaceful location. Problem is they are a little hard to spot (no problem if you can read maps, but not everyone can) and their hours can be erratic. But if you find them & they are open it is not the type place you come upon often and the food has been interesting and tasty.

    Enjoy your stay - it is a beautiful corner of the world!


    2 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Note on above ~ Hot Spot in Biltmore Village has closed.

      1. re: NANCY

        Oh no! When, why? It was always so busy...They had one of the best short order grill guys I've ever watched. Looked kind of like "Mr. Clean" from the commercials - perfect efficiency of movement. You learn a lot from watching a good short order cook!

        Any word on what will go in, or is this part of the new "master plan" of upgrading the Village?

    2. My Father's Pizza in Black Mountain is very good! Casual, not expensive and nearby to some other interesting spots in BM.

      1 Reply
      1. re: atruebluedevil

        Que Sara in Black Mountain had a wonderful Sunday Brunch. I haven't had their evening menu. They are across from Black Mountain Primary.

      2. I lived in Asheville for about 7 years, and the place I miss most is Tupelo Honey. It's sort of creative, kind of nice southern food, but not really expensive. I used to highly recommend Early Girl for breakfast as well, but last time I did I heard it had gone downhill a little since the days when I lived there.
        One more: RIO BURRITO.

        I went up to Piscah Inn once and was highly dissapointed. It was like cafeteria food! Like Cracker Barrel, but honestly, not as good.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hollyd

          Rio Burrito-downtown on Broadway/Merrimon? If so I read on this board a while ago that it closed. It was really good!

          I agree on Tupelo Honey, but it has become so popular that it can be very hard to get in. I agree re: Early Girl too. Last visit the food was off and the staff could care less.

          Excellent breakfast in W. Asheville: Sunny Point! I had a oatmeal/ricotta creme brule several months ago that I am still craving! They are open for dinner too, but I have not tried anything but breakfast.

          Pisgah Inn may vary, just open for the season so I suspect a fair amount of staff is new each year. I've had excellent meals, I have had a few adequate meals. Reports on this board over the last year have been positive though.

          1. re: meatn3

            fyi, tupelo has changed ownership. now owned by stephen frabitore. at this point there seem to be no plans for major changes. hope it stays good.

            1. re: meatn3

              we went to early girl a few weeks ago and would not recommend it. but cucina 24 i would recommend for dinner.

              1. re: Spreadhead

                this seriously saddens me. An asheville staple. Last time I was visiting I noticed Blue Moon had closed, Beanstreets, Vincent's. These are Asheville institutions! It is sad to see places that are so closely associated with a place close.
                Oh well. can't stop progress I suppose. I will miss my black bean and cheese.

                1. re: hollyd

                  Blue Moon has been replaced by another local bakery - City Bakery - they have their original location on Charlotte St. Vincent's has been closed for over a year but there are a plethora of locally owned coffee shops/bars springing up around town. Beanstreets has been closed for over 2 years. There are all sorts of new places springing up in Asheville - it is a dynamic restaurant community.

            2. There is a terrific little spot in Black Mountain called the Red Rocker Inn.


              I have had two dinners there that were truly excellent. They have a constantly changing menu, but your meal always starts with homemade biscuits and apple butter, then excellent soup and fresh salad. (If you're lucky it'll be the collard green soup and broccoli salad - Amazing!) I've tried their Prime Rib and their Crab Cakes, both of which were superb, but it's the Almond Trout that I'll be getting again next time I'm there. It's just a beautiful fillet of mountain trout prepared perfectly with breadcrumbs and almonds.

              The desserts, while exercises in pure gratuity, are not to be missed. A towering Coconut Cream Cake is simply sublime, as is their 3 Berry Pie. This little place, housed in the first floor of a cute little Bed and Breakfast, is a true treasure and not to be missed. Have fun in WNC!

              1. How was your trip? Would love to hear what your family enjoyed!

                3 Replies
                1. re: meatn3

                  Thanks for everyone's help. Due to an accident on I-75 which closed the highway for 3 hours, we did not get to Black Mountain in time for dinner on Thursday. Hunger and fatigue caused us to stop at a Ruby Tuesday on the road. I know, I know. We found a great coffee place in Black Mountain - the name escapes me but they have a location in Asheville as well. We had lunch at the BBQ place you mentioned on 70. Not sensational but it satisfied our craving. The pork was better than the brisket. My wife and I had a wonderful dinner at Table in Asheville. The scallop entree is superb. The lamb was very good but needed a sauce. We had a very nice lunch at the Mexican (probably more Caribbean) place on the outside of the enclosed mall downtown. I believe it is owned by a local well known guy (Hector?). Very good, intersting combinations of flavors. I should have written this sooner when my memory would have made it more helpful. We hiked in the mountains and spent one day at Chimney Rock park, which was fun but impinged on our eating quality. We obviously have a lot of great places to try on our next visit.

                  1. re: sam o

                    When the interstate is bad, it is really bad. I think the coffee place might be The Dripolator. Thanks for the info on the BBQ place, I haven't tried it yet. Generally, in NC pork is the BBQ meat of focus. Beef is not that traditional in the area, so you have to get pretty lucky to find a good BBQ brisket.

                    1. re: meatn3

                      It was The Dripolator. Great coffee, it was a lifesaver. Only a 2 block walk from our hotel in Black Mountain. We also had a late dinner in Doc Chey's which I gather is a local chain. It was across the street from the movie we saw (Priceless with Audrey Toutou, great for a light hearted summer evening on vacation) I am sure there are better Noodle/Thai places in Asheville. We definitely look forward to returning. My wife is a ceramic artist so she was in heaven. I will bring my golf clubs next time.