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Asheville Updates (Jan 2011)

Lots going on in Asheville it seems...

This one was particularily interesting to me (from Mtn Xpress):

Storm - in old Vigne location - "swanky, sexy" rum bar with what appears to be an impressive list of small plates including ceviches, duck empanadas, etc. Wide selection of craft tequilas and specialty rum drinks. The men who are opening it have partnered in the past with restaurants like Canoe in Atlanta, McCrady's in Charleston and have gathered awards in the past for "best new restaurant" and received Wine Spectator and NYT awards. Sounds like it could be fabulous!

Also:

Viva Deli - 625 Haywood Road - house-roasted meats, house-made cheese, house-baked breads and sandwich rolls, as well as pastries, bagels and desserts.

Bandidos Burritos - near Burgermeisters - "fusion" burritos, tacos, Mexican street food, homemade chips and guac, etc..

Pastabilities is closing, may re-open in new location. Did not renew lease. Isis, a restaurant and music hall, is opening in its place.

Salsa's was rumored to be moving to a new location, this week's Xpress said it was staying put for now, but Hector did purchase 23 Broadway recently to open another concept which is not finalized at this time.

Rocky's Chicken Shack moving to West Asheville.

The Magnetic Field Cafe, Bar and Performance House - River Arts District - offers dinner + show and also has a cafe/bar that the Xpress writer said has interesting offerings, including a sticky rice, fried egg and lardon plate with seaweed and a twist on a Monte Cristo sandwich featuring blackberry preserves.

That's just some off the top of my head. Feel free to add to the list! I am really interested to check out Storm.

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  1. Thanks for the updates, Miss Piggy. Storm in particular sounds very promising. Anybody have any idea when it's set to open?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jeff C.

      The article in the Xpress didn't say...

      1. re: miss piggy

        Thanks for the fabulous update! I am oh so excited to check out Storm. I miss Vinge' often. Is it true that Flying Frog is closing tonight?

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        Flying Frog Cafe
        1 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

        1. re: caiogirl

          Apparently FF is closing, not tonight, but soon according to an article in the Citizen Times.

    2. Heard of a deli? called Bite Me opening in W. Asheville...

      1. wow, thanks for the updates! Have you been to Viva Deli yet? we were just looking at that Saturday and wondering if they roasted their own meat. So many "delis" in the world serving Boar's Head is so disappointing.

        Is Storm open yet?

        This is probably not new to the rest of you, but we went to the Hop West Saturday and I was impressed with the number of cool flavors. And best of all, the server said you could get multiple flavors in any size...even the kiddie cup. So I had "mostly salted caramel with a little ginger sorbet on the side" It was pretty good. (it's not ultimate, but what is?) They also had wasabi, root beer sorbet, and thai curry amoung more common flavors.

        I hesitate to say this, but has anyone been to the Admiral lately and found it to be just ever so slightly less spectacular than usual? My last two meals there have merely been very good, but not awesome. wondering if it's just the wintertime blahs?

        10 Replies
        1. re: danna

          Meatn3: I think Viva Deli's logo says "bite me" on it.

          Danna: Was last at Admiral just before Christmas. It was spectacular, esp. the beef carpaccio. In fact, the only time I've ever had a less than stellar meal there was about a year ago when one of the cooks (my wife and I jokingly call him Headband Guy) was out sick.

          1. re: Jeff C.

            good to hear. we decided to give it rest for a month or so....and actually go somewhere else...we haven't had dinner anywhere else in Asheville in over a year, I don't think!

            1. re: danna

              Understood. Let us know when/if you decide to try Boca--have tried twice now and both times the wait was over an hour.

              1. re: Jeff C.

                I wonder if someone should talk to the owners of Boca. The consensus seems to be that everything needs more flavor or spice. I went in there right before it was going to open (being nosy and the door was open) and looked at the menu and talked to the owner. he said that he had postponed opening because he REALLY wanted to get the food right and he didn't feel it was quite ready. So, point is, he seems to really want to make an effort for it to be good. I wonder if he is being too conservative for American palates? (like so many do) I'm not in AVL that much, but maybe someone who is could let them know what the buzz is so they can adjust? It's a nice space - especially the outdoor patio and the menu looked good. A little different.

                1. re: Scirocco

                  I was at Boca over the weekend - Had the chilaqulies and they were ok. There didn't seem to be much green chili (which was what caught my eye on the menu) and it was just almost to the point where I might have sent it back because it was warm / not hot (which i prefer) The coffee was great however and I'll definitely go back since the plates I saw (mostly lunch items) looked great.

                2. re: Jeff C.

                  honestly, given the reviews on here, I wasn't really planning to try Boca. I *AM* looking forward to the new 80's vintage arcade I read about , though!!

                  1. re: danna

                    80s arcade? Apparently that one slipped by me. What/where is it?

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      This link http://www.cultureofspirits.com/cultu...

                      mentions that they had to include a kitchen in order to have a liqour license, yet allow under-age. Bad sign for the food. Worse sign: where it says they have hot dogs and tater tot nachos. Given that my husband does not play Galaga, drink , nor eat tots...I'm concerned about my chances for getting by there anytime soon. ;-)

                      1. re: danna

                        Hmmm... looks like an interesting place to hang out and drink but not necessarily eat. Let us know if you talk hubby into it.

                    2. re: danna

                      Maybe they're Hardcastle hotdogs? Somehow I doubt it. i'm intrigued, though, because I hear rumors that there's an old-skool photo booth in there. I had a serious photo-booth addiction back in the 80's. Fingers crossed that it's the old black-and-white version!!!!

            2. We were at Corner Kitchen tonight and while the service and food was very good I don't feel it is a value. Granted we're vegetarians and the menu is a bit limited - $17 for linguine? (again it was very good but $17.00? )Just my 2 cents on the scene in Biltmore Village

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              Corner Kitchen
              3 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803

              1. Thanks for the updates, miss piggy! Sounds like some pretty good new prospects on my (west) side of the river! I can't say I'm sorry to see Pastabilities go, we gave up on that place years ago... I hope Isis is a step up.

                I'm looking forward to trying Rocky's, never got by there before they closed. I love some good fried chicken (and spicy food, too), I hope it lives up to the hype.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gnathaniel

                  My husband tried Rocky's once and raved about it, although the owner told him the sides are from Sam's Club! But the chicken was top-notch.

                  I also just read that Steak and Wine had filed for bankruptcy. Beautiful space, so that's a shame, yet while we never ate there, I never heard anything good about the food. I saw plates being served when we were sitting and the bar and it looked really bad.

                  As for Arcade, we went there yesterday for drinks and games and had a blast! We're having my husband's birthday party there next week and the owners were super-friendly and accommodating. It is a great place - all the games are free except for 25-cent pinball and $1 photo booth (which is indeed black-and-white old school). They have a ton of games, Wii on a big screen, original Nintendo at the bar, etc. The owner said they had been at capacity on weekends. She said they are revamping their menu once they get a little more settled. They have copyrighted the term "tachos" (tater-tot nachos...which I actually thought sounded awesome!). Those will stay on the menu but she said they were going to revise the rest and aim for more creative bar-food items. They're also building a double-decker patio that should be open by the spring, which would be perfect as it overlooks the new Pack Square Park. We had a couple of drinks and they were good and not expensive.

                  Oh, and if you're not signed up yet, Groupon.com just added Asheville to their list of cities/towns offering daily deals. They recently offered $7 for $15 worth of food or $20 for $35 worth of food at Corner Kitchen.

                  1. re: Leepa

                    be interesting to see if that survives. I wouldn't think there would be enough traffic for that type of restaurant. guess we'll see!

                    1. re: Leepa

                      I thought that there was already a Ruth's Chris in Asheville! Is this a second location or has the first one closed?

                      1. re: Sam at Novas

                        Theres not one currently, and I don't think there has been one. I can't see it succeeding.

                    2. We tried Viva Deli yesterday. My husband liked his corned beef on rye. My roast beef was piled high, thinly sliced, sorta dry, and totally well done...even though I was real specific about only wanting it if it were rare. I also thought the Ciabatta it came on was Ciabatta in name only...it was very thick, dense, and bread-y.

                      When my husband walked up to the counter to ask if they had any rare beef, they told him no, they were near the end of the beef. So maybe that means that sometimes they have rare. They did offer to make me something else, he declined for me (huh?) I was pretty pissed, but then I take my post-ride food seriously ;-)

                      They said the house=cooked meats were the corned beef, roast beef, and turkey. Other stuff in the deli counter was Boar's Head and Hewbrew Nat'l. Boar's Head cheese, too, which I think is pretty disgusting. I didn't see anything about the house=made cheese, wish I had remembered to ask.

                      I don't mean to slam them too hard, though. They definitely seem to be trying, the owner's Mom was wandering around asking for constructive criticism. My husband is very critical and he liked it, so if you're a corned beef on rye fan, you should give it a shot.

                      1. I noticed this morning that Chameleon Soul Food has closed. They actually lasted longer than I thought they would.