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Dec 11, 2010 02:32 PM

Boca, Asheville

We are going tonight to check it out. I'll report back tommorrow. Has anyone been yet?

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  1. been watching it coming together. I know you're going to dinner and I'd like to hear about that, but I'd also be very interested to hear how breakfast is if anyone goes.

    1. Please do. Both menu and space look very promising...

      1. Ok here is the report:

        Overall we really liked Boca. The menu (which is online) is inventive but still comforting. The atmosphere while feeling very clean and well decorated, was loud and rather cramped. It is not somewhere I would go if I were wanting an intimate evening. The services was ok, drink glasses were left unfilled for too long, second round of cocktails were not offered, but overall fine.
        As for the food, we were quite happy. The cocktail list is creative and plenty. I had a blueberry ginger mojito which was fresh and had a nice amount of spice. The stars of the show were without a doubt the appetizers. We had cornbread with jalepeno jelly and the ear of corn with cilantro and lime. The cornbread was two large slices of thick sweet bread, grilled on each side and served with a lightly sweet and spicy jalepeno jelly. It was very good. As for the ear of corn, it was also grilled with this amazing sauce on it, saltly with lime, cilantro and some cojita cheese. I did not know corn could be that amazing. Delicious!
        For entree' I had the stuffed pepper with beef, pork and lamb. I asked to add goat cheese to the meal. The pepper was presented perfectly, just a beautiful dish. For me, had I not added the cheese, the meal would have been far too sweet for my taste. There was a lot of indian flavors (cardamom comes to mind) that I had not expected. The meat also had small white grapes which added to the sweetness. It was good though I think next time I would order something else. My boyfriend had the korean pork tacos. He was over all pleased though he also felt the dish was overly sweet and really wanted something (maybe a citrus slaw) to give the flavor some depth. My boyfriend felt, and I agree that the entrees we had while good, fresh and well prepared lacked layering of flavors. A little depth would have taken the meal from good to outstanding.
        For dessert we split an eclair which came with mexican hot chocolate for dipping. This was very tasty and the portion was huge! I'd be curious to know if it was made in house.
        For ALL of this food ( it was a ton, we left waddling) the tab was $67. So 2 cocktails, 2 teas, 2 app, 2 entrees and a dessert, not bad at all. We will surely be back to Boca, I really look forward to trying the scallops (looked great) and the lamb (which the table behind us raved about!). I also really want to try breakfast, the menu looks great and the ingredents are so fresh I think it will be a winner!

        4 Replies
        1. re: caiogirl

          Thanks for the detailed review, Caiogirl. Opening week glitches aside, Boca sounds like it has potential. I'm wondering if at least some of the overcrowding might've been due to the fact that this was Christmas Jam weekend?

          1. re: Jeff C.

            Boca wasn't terribly crowded people wise, just awkward table placement which felt crowded. Again not somewhere I would go to have an intimate conversation with someone but still a great additon to Asheville dining. We wouldn't hesitate to go back!

            1. re: caiogirl

              We tried it for lunch today, and overall we were pretty pleased. What really stood out to us were the amazing prices and value...our total bill was just $15 including tax. I can definitely see it getting very loud in the evening hours as the space is cramped. When we arrived the hostess tried to seat us on a bench right next to a family with two young kids who were going wild despite the fact that there were plenty of other seats available away from all that action. I'm not usually picky about where I sit but my husband and I both looked at each other and he quickly requested another table since we literally would have been sitting *with* this family - the table was that close.

              As for the food, I had the Santa Fe burger (avocado, cheese, green chiles, pickled onions) with a housemade black bean patty instead of the meat. It was served with some great sweet potato fries. The patty was large and was a tad underseasoned (could have benefitted from some cumin and salt, maybe) and the texture was a little mushy, which didn't bother me but I could see some people not liking it. The chiles were very mild poblanos and the mashed avocados could have used the zip of a lemon or some salt. It wasn't bad, and it wasn't TOO bland, but any bite without one of the pickled onions just seemed to be missing a little something.

              My husband fared better with the chicken enchiladas - three corn tortillas filled with tender chicken and topped with a very flavorful duo of red and green chile sauces. His rice and beans were also very good...they seemed to have nailed the seasoning on these.

              This is my kind of menu, as we love New Mexican and Mexican cuisine, and the breakfast menu looked especially appealing. My opinion is if they can have a little heavier hand with the salt and seasoning on some of the plates it will really be a great place. The patio space is going to be a slam dunk in the summer...I am sure they will do well based on that alone. Our service was good despite the part about the seating (which we were very nice about and the hostess was happy to accomodate). I'm interested to hear more opinions. And with the prices being as reasonable as they are, we will definitely be back to try more.

              1. re: miss piggy

                Thanks for the reports. I'm looking forward to trying it for breakfast when we get back next week!

        2. My husband and I had dinner at Boca last Friday night, and we did not have a good experience. Granted it's new, and every seat was filled (we sat at the bar) so we expected slower than usual service as well as some possible hiccups, but what we got was unseasoned, cold food, and in my case not even the food I ordered.
          My husband ordered chicken mole enchiladas. The enchilada was just chicken in tortillas, no spices whatsoever, it was flavorless and cold. The mole sauce was decent, it had some flavor, but nothing like what I would expect a mole sauce to have. It was at least warm, in fact it was the only warm component on the plate. The dish was supposed to be accompanied by cilantro rice, but it was just plain rice, no cilantro or spices, and again, it was cold.
          I ordered the Huevos Motulaenos. It was supposed to be over easy eggs with tortillas, black beans and sausage, fried plantains, feta cheese and tomato jalapeno salsa. What I got was over easy eggs with tortillas, black beans, ham and peas. So I checked out the menu when we got home, and it turns out there is a breakfast dish with the same name, it has the eggs, tortillas, ham and peas, but it also has fried plantains, queso fresca and tomato jalapeno salsa. So basically they gave me the breakfast dish, but left off anything that may have added some flavor to the plate. The dish I got was bland, no flavor or spices at all.
          I do need to say that we did not alert the staff to the issues. It did take a while to get our food (I'm not complaining, we expect that with a new restaurant) but by the time the food arrived we were very hungry, and even though I realized I got the wrong dish, I figured it should still taste good. I was wrong. But I don't feel comfortable complaining about the dish after you've eaten it (although I guess that's what I'm doing here!)
          Also interesting to note, the gentleman seated at the bar next to me was also served the wrong dish He ordered the pork chops and was served lamb. Maybe the staff is not familiar with the food they are cooking and serving? I don't know, but I don't think we'll be going back anytime soon.

          6 Replies
          1. re: mags delicious

            I'm sorry to hear about your experience. One of the responsibilities of the restaurant is to serve you what you ordered, cooked correctly, etc. However, one of the customer's responsibilities is to give the restaurant a chance to correct any errors. It sounds like they were so busy and out of it that night that they may not have even been capable of doing so, but I still think they deserved that chance.

            1. re: jla1960

              jla- I agree, which is why I mentioned it. I definitely want everyone to know I did not give them a chance to re-make the correct dish. However, getting the wrong dish was just one issue. All the food we had was also not seasoned and cold. Basically just not prepared well.

              1. re: mags delicious

                We went again, this time for a late breakfast. Both of us were really happy with the food and the service. They have added salt and pepper to the table, and I'm wondering if the management found out about the "bland" reviews and corrected the issue because both of our dishes were very well seasoned (mine had a nice kick of heat that some may have thought was even too spicy, but I love spicy food). My husband had the huevos barbacoa, eggs over medium served with shredded pork, beans and a spanish gravy. The pork was meltingly tender and the gravy was great. I had the migas, and asked for a side of the red salsa ranchera on the side. They were excellent, although they said they were to be served with jack cheese and I couldn't detect any (which was fine...the dish didn't need it and it decreased any grease factor). I loved all the flavors, especially the pops of fresh salsa, pico, and cilantro. Portions were HUGE (we could have easily split a meal) and once again our bill was less than 20 bucks. We will definitely be back, especially for breakfast.

                1. re: miss piggy

                  Miss Piggy, glad to hear the update! We will be moving to Asheville and had this on a list to try. I love that they are vegetarian friendly! Moving to the area soon. Miss Piggy, if you have any suggestions of veg friendly chow worthy places please send me a message. I always love your reviews.

                  1. re: Windsor

                    Aren't you sweet! I will definitely send you a many great options for vegetarians in Asheville. It is a great town...I think you'll be very happy living here!

                  2. re: miss piggy

                    We tried it yesterday for breakfast and were totally pleased. My husband had the Spanish omelette and it was very good and huge. It was very tasty and had a real kick to it. I had the mushroom and goat cheese omelette which was also very good and huge. We could have easily shared one dish, but then wouldn't have gotten to taste both. I found the flavors to be fresh and just spicy enough. The coffee was very good, as well. It wasn't very busy when we arrived, so the service was excellent. When we were leaving it was getting very busy, but the food seemed to coming out of the kitchen consistently. I am looking forward to going back for lunch and dinner. The outdoor space will be great in the summer!

            2. BOCA served us exquisite appetizers of calamari and a ceviche of the day.. dinners at our table were mostly focused on the grouper over shrimp and grits special of the day.. our family are regulars on this item and found this was really good.. bacon and a nice asparagus or brocoli are our usual finishes.. the grits were good but not quite as good as our cream laden chicken broth based locally ground course cut grits from Blue Hill Farm in Madison County.. but the not so secret finger dips in the finish were a tell-tale sign that chef shows mastery of this dish .. how to feed and serve the masses who will come here from such a confined galley will take a lot of practice .. with the excellent redevelopment of the front of the old Vincent Ear's courtyard also ready to open up as weather permits I'd say it's time to consider expanding the kitchen and service operations! Good luck BOCA!