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Stovetrotters (Asheville) Redux

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I have praised this restaurant for their unique menu and fantastic food in earlier posts, and have even gone so far as to say it is one of the best restaurants in Asheville. We ate there last night and were very disappointed. The menu was short and uninspired. We were the only people in the restaurant the entire time other than "Chef Jenny" (who is also the owner) who sat at the center table drinking cocktails with a gentleman. "Chef Audrey" was cooking that night. Not sure if it makes a difference which woman is at the helm, but the food was really bland and unsatisfying. Soup and ceasar salad apps were OK, both needed salt badly. I had crab cakes which were very meaty but soggy and drenched in a spicy tomato sauce that totally stole away the sweetness of the crab. My husband had a hangar steak served with a "red wine blue cheese sauce" which tasted of neither and also really was lacking in flavor. Both of our entrees were served with bland, bland, bland potatoes and...here is the kicker...a scant portion of greasy carrot slices and limp green beans. It looked like the veggie sides you're served at a bad wedding or corporate dinner taking place in a gigantic hotel ballroom or something. Ugh.

This place has changed hands so much since they opened, the website has not ben updated since the summer (back when the menu was more creative - we had no idea we were about to be offered the b-o-r-i-n-g menu we were presented with last night), the decor is tacky and without the yummy food, the whole place just reeks of having no identity at all. It is too bad, because a prior lunch and dinner I enjoyed there were fabulous. I would not recommend this place anymore. :(

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  1. Huh. that's strange. I had the exact meal you described about a month ago (flat iron steak, with potatoes and veggies) and the thing that amazed me about it was how much flavor every element had (and I hate when a meal falls short in the flavor dept).

    I wouldn't think something that basic could vary so much with two different chefs, but maybe??? In fact, it was one of the tastiest meals I'd had in awhile. I would agree that the dish wasn't particularly inspired (and I don't remember what the other menu choices were), but it was very good.

    Now I'm scared to go back! My husband was out of town when I went with friends, so he wanted to try it. Hmmm.