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Lexington Avenue Brewery, Asheville

Anybody know if it's open yet? Has anybody been?

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  1. there was an article in the CT today, but details still seem a little sketchy...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Scirocco

      This is similar to what was in The Mountain Xpress...not many specifics. Let us know if you hear anything else.

      1. re: Jeff C.

        Grand opening is Friday. We're going Saturday. I am excited, looks like a really nice space. I'll report back.

          1. re: Jeff C.

            Anyone know if there's a full bar or beer only?

            1. re: JKidd

              We really liked this place. We started with a pizza that was so good that we ordered another one after we devoured the first. Crispy flatbread, mascarpone cheese, portabello mushroom, salami, tomato and whole cloves of roasted garlic. The mascarpone cheese was an interesting twist and was really delicious. We also enjoyed shoestring onion rings that were cooked perfectly - not greasy at all - served with a spicy ranch dressing. The rest of the menu was bar food but not not typical, a little healthier perhaps, a little upscale...examples: kobe beef sliders with blue cheese and carmelized onions, charcuterie/cheese plate, chicken/veggie pot pie, corned beef/tempeh reuben, grilled cheese with lots of differerent cheese and roasted peppers served with tomato soup and a huge french onion soup that looked amazing.

              The beer was great and it is a really cool space. If you like white ale, try it...it was our favorite. I think this is a great addition to downtown Asheville. And they do have a full bar...

              1. re: miss piggy

                great report - thanks! I LOVE shoestring onion rings. I still pine over some at a little drive in back in MA that had great ones. Now defunct. :-( My husband will be very happy about the beer selections and sliders. Pizza sounds very good too. I like twists on favorites. Keeps things interesting.

                1. re: miss piggy

                  Excellent review, Miss Piggy. I very much look forward to trying L.A.B.

      2. Loved it! Went to LAB for dinner last night. It was VERY crowded but we were able to score two seats at the end of the bar, near the kitchen. It is a great looking place, tres chic and very "whose who". The menu as stated is bar food but with an upscale twist. We wanted to grab a beer and a bite so we skipped the entrees. We had a bowl of chili, pretty good and Kobe Sliders which were delicious. We were hesitant to sit next to the kitchen but I'm glad we did because we saw everything that came up, which all looked delicious. We also had a beer flight. The beer was great, we ended up with a growler before the night was over. In all, the chili, sliders, beer flight and two pints and a growler for $45, not bad at all. My boyfriend actually brought his buddies there for lunch today and said it was great again! Needless to say we will be back.

        1. Nice restaurant, a great addition to Lex. Ave. Perhaps the anticipation of its opening made for a bit of a disappointment. The food was ok, except for the pizza appetizer that other reviewer thought was awesome, but our table rated inedible... mascarpone cheese was not meant for pizza in my opinion. The meatloaf and collard greans was really really good! Burger, meh. Fish and chip appetizer fine. Now for the beer. Oh what a disappointment. We tried the flight to get a little bit of an idea of the variety. All of the beer was . . . ok. Nothing at all special, although the rich, chocolate stout was very good. IPA was limp. APA was really hard to tell that it was any different from the IPA. Everything was very drinkable, just not really memorable.
          In general, place was NOISY, cold,VERY dark (couldn't read the menu, or see the food, without a light from a cellphone) wait staff was loopy, read from a notepad of specials and had no idea what a carbonade was, or how to pronounce it, and mixed up order, but I guess that's to be expected from a brand new restaurant.
          Overall, we were pleased with the experience, but we probably won't return until the kinks are worked out.

          1. We went on Friday night and had a beer sampler. I was surprised at how good the beer was. I particularly liked the Belgian White and the Chocolate Stout. Very, very crowed, but our waiter had an awfully good attitude about serving one sampler to two people taking up space.

            Perosonnally, i didn't think the menu looked like anything other than bar food and didn't encourage me to try anything.

            2 Replies
            1. re: danna

              So far I'm thinking it sounds like a better place for beer and munchies than a full-on dinner...

              1. re: Jeff C.

                There is plenty on the menu that would good for dinner. I'm looking forward to going back and trying more. We thought the food was awesome.

            2. Four of us stopped in yesterday, mid-afternoon. Not busy, but that wasn't surprising considering the time of day we were there and a Monday. My husband had the Pilsner Lager and a friend had the Belgian White. Both were reported to be very good. I'm not a beer drinker, so had wine (as did our other friend) and they were fine, nothing special. Not a big wine selection, but I didn't expect one since this is a brewery not a winery. :)

              We shared a cheese plate and my husband and I got the sliders. The cheese plate was good - different. Not huge, but interesting choices of items. But, the sliders....OMG good! I don't know if I was just starving or what, but I loved them. There were 3 and I had planned to share one with our friends, but I just couldn't give it up. They were kobe beef, with crispy shoestring onion rings, blue cheese sauce (might be another ingred, but I can't remember). Even the little buns were so soft and delicious. $7.50. Not cheap, not horrible.

              Then, we got 2 orders of the ice cream sundae to share. It was described as chocolate stout homemade ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces, whipped cream and a cherry. Well, I didn't see much of any sauce. A dribble on top. To me, not a "sundae" at all, but ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry. However, the ice cream was really good. But, I'm a sauce girl, so was disappointed. Especially for $6. I wouldn't order that again.

              Had a great chat with the brewmaster (meister?) who told us a lot about the beer and process.

              Only major complaint was that it took FOREVER for the food to come out. No clue what was going on in the kitchen (or not going on), but it took a ridiculously long time to get our food. I haven't heard anyone else complain about that, so am assuming it was an anomaly.

              We would definitely go back though. There were several other food choices that we would like to try.

              They are getting close to opening a space in the back for a music venue. They said it has a stage, its own bar, and will hold just about 100 people. Might be a great spot for a private party.

              they have a website, but there isn't really anything on it yet: www.lexavebrew.com

              We also went upstairs for a quick tour of the "Sweet Peas" hostel that is somehow affiliated with LAB. I think the rates ranged from $28 - $65 ($65 seemed pretty pricey for a hostel). It was a beautiful space - common kitchen and living areas and had everything from 8 bunk beds in a room (VERY thick mattresses) to a couple of private rooms.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Scirocco

                as always, thanks for the helpful review. I'm going to have to try those sliders. Did you try the Belgian White? I think a wine drinker might enjoy that one, I did.

                funny about the hostel, we paid $60 at the Country Inn & Suites a couple of Fri nights ago...and it came w/ breakfast!

                1. re: danna

                  I know, we said the same thing - could stay at a decent chain hotel for less!!

                  well, the beer thing is not so much the beer taste, but the carbonation. I don't drink soda or champagne either. Just don't like the bubbles! If it's not TOO carbonated, I can get past that so might give one a sip, just to try it. :)

                  1. re: Scirocco

                    Great write-up, Scirocco!

                    You probably know this, but cask ale / real ale is very fresh, low-carbonated beer. All the carbonation in real ale is natural...no forced CO2. You may enjoy it. If you're so inclined, next time you're at a brewery, see if they have any beers on cask.

                    No worries if it's still not your thing; we all have our preferences!

              2. I wouldn't recommend this spot after several brief visits, but it doesn't matter--the place will be swamped every night regardless. For the vege- and flex-tarians in the audience, I'll say that the Tempeh Reuben was 2 parts oil, 2 parts bread, 1 part unseasoned tempeh and negligible amounts of sauerkraut and secret sauce. Granted, I am a home kraut maker and Reuben snob, so depending on your own feelings about the "Glorious Sam'mich," my opinion is liable to be either useless or invaluable to you. As for the Kobe sliders: they were underwhelming when I went. The fries were copious on separate visits, if slightly wet, and I found the beer to be suitably priced for the quality, i.e. relatively inexpensive.

                I'll admit, I'm a little bitter about the joint, for reasons that have nothing to do with their food. Apparently, when bands play in the back room (which is reportedly very comfortable and sonically isolated from the rest of the "very" noisy dining room), they often end up paying the bar for the privilege. Word is, the door man and sound man have a guarantee, and if the door-take doesn't meet that guarantee, the band receives a bill for the difference. To me, this seems especially underhanded since the LAB appears to be doing a booming business. But that's just my opinion.

                1. thought i should post my review of LAB here, not just in the 'burgers in asheville' thread.

                  we watched one of the world cup final games here, and were NOT impressed with the food or the beer. we ordered onion strings (which i generally adore) and they were greasy, virtually inedible. we ordered the sliders, but asked for any cheese they had other than blue. they came out sprinkled with (unmelted) pizza cheese--grated, monterey jack and cheddar, if i had to guess. nothing special, not very good. would have been better if they were hot enough to melt the cheese.

                  we ordered the fries 'well done' after the soggy onion strings, which was apparently also a mistake....according to my husband, who knows about these things, the oil they were deep frying in was too cold, so nothing fried came out right. (he actually went into the kitchen to tell them this, which i can't imagine they appreciated. :) the plates we saw did LOOK good, but based on how what was put in front of us TASTED, we didn't bother to order any more.

                  i don't drink beer; the lemonade i had was quite fine...but my husband panned every beer he tried there. we might head that way on a weekend night for a drink as part of the 'scene,' but it's not a place we'll be spending any time. not that they'll miss us, they're full of tourists and locals(?) regardless!

                  1. Horrid -

                    Sorry, the beer is very poor, some of it is green, some of it is confused and some of it has a bad yeast in it. I've tried four different kinds and I have been brewing excellent beer for 30 years.

                    We had a couple of fried items and it was so obvious that their excess greasiness was caused by too low a fryer temperature (I've been a chef) I walked back into in the kitchen and told them to raise the fryer temp by 50 degrees.

                    We had the small burger sliders, which were OK except that they said they had provolone cheese for the top which came out unmelted and was ground pizza topping cheese.

                    Will not go back or recommend

                    1. I just thought I'd weigh in here: I had put off eating at LAB because of mixed reviews, but finally went for lunch last Saturday.

                      It sucks. My husband is still pissed at me a week later for making him waste a meal. Unappealing menu, poor execution, greasy food, stale bread...the only thing I enjoyed was my Belgian White beer. I had the sliders...can't see why anyone thought they were more than just edible. The little buns were rock hard. My husband HATED his turkey club. I tried my friends' hummus sampler and thought it was all so bland and homogenous that I would suspect they did not make it in house. The waitress refused a request for more pita bread (it came with sparse pitas).

                      The outside dining is attractive, but was so loud I had to yell at my friends. I don't expect to ever be back.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: danna

                        wow. sorry you had such a bad experience. I was one of the ones who LOVED the sliders, but I have not had them recently (sometime last winter was our last visit) and I've only had them twice. When I had them, the buns were fresh, soft and buttery with tons of flavor. Melted in my mouth. Someone else said they had some weird shredded cheese on theirs. Mine was not built that way at all. Everything on the ones I've had were quality ingredients that melded really well together. Sounds like changes are afoot (and not in a good way). so sad.

                        1. re: danna

                          Haven't been to LAB in months, mainly because my last fish taco experience was mediocre, and others have reported a steep decline in food quality of late. And, yes, it is noisy inside, which is why we always asked to sit on the patio. I hope they get it back together again because it's a good location and a nice space...