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Jul 16, 2008 01:55 PM

Gift certificate in Asheville for my picky brother!?

My brother just passed his nursing boards (yay!) and I want to buy him a gift certificate so he can go relax and eat. The problem is that he's been in Aville for 20 years, pre-tourist boom, and he's really picky about where he goes and he doesn't love the tourists at all. He likes the restaurant that Hector from Salsa opened that has pizza, he likes the taqueria in W Asheville...he hates Laughing Seed but likes Early Girl. No chains, local owners and local produce highly preferred.

I'm thinking Zambra...or Rezaz (sp?), but I see this place 28806 that looks really good to me...what are your suggestions? He's able to wear decent clothes (no ties though!) but not stuffy, a place where he can get some good drinks, a good wine list. I was thinking I'd get him a $75-$100 gift certificate.

thanks for your help!!

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    1. re: jakistar79

      jakistar - you're usually so descriptive....can you please explain why you made that comment about 28806?

      1. re: leahinsc

        i just had a terrible (terrible, i suppose, in comparison to what I was expecting from lunching there before) lunch there recently,
        and after that heard some gossip through the grapevine that i cannot verily repeat.
        i'd go with rezaz before zambras, zambras seems so unimaginative in their menu. it's full of fancy stuff, but no vision that holds it together.

        1. re: jakistar79

          I am just curious because I know they had cut dinner service hours a while ago to just Wed-Sat and they don't seem to be moving forward on their downtown location....though I have seen a fair amount of their advertisements lately..

    2. I think both Zambra or Rezaz would work...

      1 Reply
      1. re: leahinsc

        I think it's going to be Zambra, I know he likes it there at least!

      2. So, since he likes Early Girl, why wouldn't you do that? It seems to meet all your criteria - it's not a chain, has local owners and insists on and promotes local produce. It isn't touristy. It's laid back. Not stuffy. Not fancy. Plain decor. The food is sort of updated Southern. The pastries, I thought, were outstanding.