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Jun 26, 2008 07:17 AM

Asheville Area- Dining out despite economic downturn

We have been trying to watch our nonessential expenditures but still enjoy dining out. Please share any special deals for Asheville area restaurants that you are aware of or good spots to have a fairly nice dinner at under $25/per person - with one glass of wine or beer.
-Curras Dom (Woodfin) - watch for coupons in Asheville/Weaverville Tribune and Mtn Express for 15% off whole meals or individual entrees
-Frankie Bones - early dining specials
-Star 104.3 ( go to Dine like a star and they offer $50 coupons to restaurants (this week Flying Frog, Thai Basil and South Side) for only $25 (
)-Asheville Indep Restaurant Assoc - is still offering their buy one get one free coupon books which are good through December - though there are some limitations.
-Bouchon - Mon, Tues and Wed - all you can eat mussels and frites for $12.95 - haven't done this in a while but should go again as it was very tasty
-Fiore's - Tues and WEd - Family nite menu for only $35 for 4 people - need to try this place again.

Our other less expensive(depending on what we order) favorites
Stoney Knob (Weaverville
)Tomato (W. Asheville)
French Broad Taqueria (Marshall)
Asheville Pizza
??Stone House Market - noticed they have expanded their seating area.

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  1. tomato (as you noted) is one of my faves for a cheap meal. i get a pupusa, a tamale, a gringo salad, and a beer for roughly $12.

    you might try nine mile. they're fairly inexpensive anyway, but they offer lunch-size portions (not sure if you can get them during dinner hours) for a few bucks less.

    i understand that the admiral is doing some small plate stuff/apps that might put them in the approachable range, but i haven't been in to check them out.

    the special at lucky otter is generally good & usually priced around $8 (had a pulled pork-grilled corn quesadilla with ancho-cream sauce, collards & red beans on the side and a tomato-vinegar dipping sauce last night that was quite good).

    i adore the carnita torta at papas&beer.

    if you haven't checked out the wnc insiders card, it's a better deal, in my opinion, than the air offering.

    if there are any chains that you like, they often have early bird specials (texas roadhouse is one example).

    i'm looking forward to more responses on this thread as we've been redirecting our cash flow, and pretty much any place over $25-30 for 2 is completely off my radar at this time. i think the recession might actually be good for the asheville dining scene and its presence here as many of the cheaper places don't seem to get a lot of play, despite turning out good stuff. i think most of what gets discussed here is pretty over-priced. for me, i think it's time to start a serious exploration of the area tacquerias.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mark

      Mark - I agree with you that the recession may actually turn out to be a good thing. I think the strong/good will survive and become more creative and cost conscious internally and externally in the bargain.

      1. re: mark

        oh, forgot to add one love to the list of inexpensive places.

        1. re: mark

          What do you think of Ianucchi"s in South Asheville. I always enjoy ithe specialty pizzas and can usually get out of there for around $35.00 with wine and dessert. Great cannolis
          Has anyone eaten at PJ CHANGS in Biltmore Park. I tried the other night and there was over an hour wait..The menu looked good and reasonable. I know they are a chain but I have never been to one.
          Where is 9 mile?
          I have to agree with you my husband and I pretty much do not eat if it is over $35.00. for the 2 of us.There are alot of inexpensive restaurants that just do not get mentioned. I use my WNC Insider card all the time I too think it is the better option over AIR.. Restaurant .com is good as well.

        2. Sugo has early dinner specials mon-fri, 4 to 6:30 I think, and 1/2 price bottles of wine on Tuesdays. They also offer smaller portions of their pasta dishes, but it's not on the menu, so ask.

          Small plates at the Admiral range from $7 to $10, and the portions are really plenty of food if you get or even share an appetizer.

          The Mountain X also has their annual 'Eats & Drinks' guide that just came out.

          1. I noticed several closed restarants along Tunnel road, between the tunnel and where it connects with I-240. Places that I've never tried because they looked un-interesting. Maybe people are just stopping in the new Ingles Taj Mahal version at the old Walmart site and buying form their deli.

            Outback has added some new items, and they're in the price range you mentioned. We hadn't been in a long time....and were happy with the new additions and choices.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. We also love Stoney Knob, especially for lunch on Saturday. We can usually get two really good, really filling meals for around $20.00. Carabba's is another place we can eat fairly inexpensively, because most of the time we split an entree and add an extra salad, or we split a couple of apps and order salads. A few weeks ago, we split the bruschetta and shrimp scampi appetizers, then got a couple of salads. It was plenty of food, and it only cost us about $25.00.

                During the week, we generally don't "dine in" at restaurants, just get takeout, so that saves money, as we're not paying those astronomically high prices for drinks. (For our family of three, tea or soft drinks can add up to as much as $7.00 to our bill, forget having a "real drink.")