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White Duck Taco - Asheville

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Lots of things happening in Asheville lately. White Duck Taco in the River Arts District is opening today.

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  1. Had lunch there today. No time to write a full review, but I give them 4 out of 5 stars! First day open and service was prompt friendly and the food was very good. That's a good sign. They are off to a great start.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jbaucom

      Ate there for the first time yesterday and I must say this place rocks. I will definitely be heading back very, very soon. Tacos are $3.50 each - my husband and I each had three but next time I'll stick with two - portions are large and I was stuffed. I had the shrimp (fried and served with a sticky-sweet sauce and pickled cucumbers), carnitas (shredded roasted pork w/slaw) and roasted potato-mushroom (w/ cheddar and sundried tomato salsa) and he had two steak and cheddar and a jerk chicken. Mine were so good that I wasn't overly willing to share so I didn't have a bite of his but he loved them. They have guac, queso and a salsa trio that's only $3 or $4 each (we had the salsas - all excellent) and after we ordered I saw a bowl of fresh cubed watermelon and mint that looked great (only $1.50). They have seating inside and out and the place had a line out the door but service was quick. Definitely give this one a try!

    2. I have heard lots of good things about this place. Great food, great prices, great service - it's the restaurant trifecta!

      I just forget about it as I'm never in that particular area.

      found their website:

      5 Replies
      1. re: Scirocco

        Hope to try it this weekend. Am looking forward to it.

        1. re: Jeff C.

          It looked like a cute place w/ a good vibe when we drove past last week. I hope the food is good, because free parking and late afternoon on Saturday hours are two BIG plusses for me!

          wonder why they close at sundown?

          1. re: danna

            I know, that's a little strange. Makes for a mighty short service during the winter! I nominate Jeff to find out while he's there this weekend... :-)

            1. re: Scirocco

              Actually, I just sent them an email this morning asking that very question. (No answer yet.)

              1. re: Jeff C.

                Here's the reply I received from one of the owners: "As for Sunset, right now it is around 8:30. We open from 11:30 until Sunset 5 days a week and have Sunday lunch. I expect these to be our Summer hours and we will re-evaluate in the Fall and again for Winter. We tend to stay open a little later Friday and Saturday (8:45)."

      2. I think we're going to end up here this weekend too. I told my husband about it and he was all ready to go jump in the car! lol

        Jeff, did they tell you WHY they close at sunset?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scirocco

          Sort of... "The real answer to the Sunset question is that we just want to close
          early. After years of working late we have decided it is not for us
          anymore, particularly with this concept.

          Eventually people catch on that we are good for an early dinner. If
          we were downtown we'd consider staying open later ..."

          1. re: Jeff C.

            hey, I'm all about slacking off at work!! Mainly, I just wondered if the real answer was "what? stay in this neighborhood after dark? are you crazy?"

            I hope to have lunch there this Sat or the next. Then rotate my way back through Storm and the Junction. I'm thrilled because we had kinda gotten to a place where there was nothing we were overly excited about for lunch anymore, especially if Sunny Point had a long wait. (once I've been off the bike for 45 min without food, you don't want to be around me)

        2. I hate that it closes so early, but, we are going to try to make it tonight for dinner. I'll report back if we make it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: caiogirl

            ya, we can't wait either. lol we're going up later today.

          2. Ok, so we just got back from our first (and not our last!) visit to White Duck. Loved it. Funky atmosphere, good food and service, and prices that can't be beat. We were there when it was quiet (3ish), so can't speak for busier times. Nice outdoor area, but too hot today.

            For drinks, my husband got a Natty Green's beer and I got a watermelon sangria. Refreshing and delicious. Goes down a little too easy...haha. For food, we got four tacos total ($3.25 each) - two fish tacos, a jerk chicken and the gyro. My favorite was the gyro because the tomatoes and veggies were so fresh. My husband really liked them all, but I think the fish one was his favorite. I wish they would use a different fish though (they use Tilapia - aka The Fish of the Decade). But, I'm guessing it's the most reliable for their cost. But, it was tasty all the same.

            Then, because I'm about all things sweet, I got the Horchata Creme Brulee. That was delicious too. It surprised me with an almond flavor. THE White Duck (yes, I met her!) flagged me down and asked me how the creme brulee was. She said it's new and I was only the second to try it... I told her it was great but that I wasn't expecting almond and she said that there are different types and she went the more almond route (didn't taste like Horchata to me, but I've only had it in Mexican restaurants). It was creamy and had good flavor though.

            We plan to make this a regular stop. :)

            Will attempt to add some pics...the outside, menu, our drinks and our tacos

            5 Replies
            1. re: Scirocco

              Hard to tell with all the toppings but are the fish tacos fried or grilled/griddled?

              1. re: Leepa

                they appeared to be pan fried/grilled with generous spice rub (no breading/coating). definitely NOT deep fried.

                1. re: Scirocco

                  Good! Looks like they may be lunch tomorrow.

              2. re: Scirocco

                Great review and pictures! I agree with you on the fish, we found it a little bland about half way through. It would be amazing with some halibut and a squeez of lime. But I guess the tilapia keep them in the 3 dollar range.

                1. re: caiogirl

                  yes, I think lime and maybe a little salt (?) might do the trick on the fish.

              3. I don't have much to add to Scirocco's great review(and pictures!) but we too went tonight. We got there around 10 after 8 and were glad it was still open. Not only open but very crowded. They had sold out of many types of tacos ( their signs had been taken down). We waited in line to order for about 10 mins. We got 2 fish tacos, 1 jerk and 1 shrimp. All were different and very good. The shrimp had a sweet almost anise flavor, but mild and creamy. Sadly, they were out of chips so we were unable to get the salsa trio.
                Since it was so crowded we decided to get our food to go, all the tables were full inside and out. It took quite a while for them to make our food, and the owner (male) brought us a couple of beers on the house. We really enjoyed this place and look forward to going back to try more,including the awesome sounding watermelon sangria.
                Word to the wise, the restaurant is not air conditioned so it might be best for take out on these hot days, or just drink lots of cold beer :)

                4 Replies
                1. re: caiogirl

                  Glad you were able to make it today too. And ya, I thought it seemed kind of warm inside!! The sun does hit it square in the face in the afternoon. It appeared to have a wall a/c unit in the indoor room where we ate, but it seemed to be having trouble keeping up or maybe it was just a fan unit? My husband was comfortable, but I was a little warm, but then I always get warm when I eat and drink! haha

                  If you do get to eat inside some time, it's got lots of great fluffy pillows along the full wall bench. Perfect for that post-taco nap! :)

                  1. re: Scirocco

                    Wow. 'Hounds be mobbin' the White Duck...

                    I too was there yesterday evening, around 6:30. No line when we were there, but the tables outside were full. Only two tables inside were taken, and we took a third. Yes, it was a little warm, but what place outside of a meat locker isn't right now?

                    About the food (that is why you're reading this, no?): Flank steak and jerk tacos are excellent, BBQ Carnitas taco are a nice mix of sweet and savory but could use more heat. Fish tacos are super fresh but also a little bland--could definitely benefit from salt, lime, and probably more chili powder in the sauce. (In fairness, there's lovely bottle of Mexican hot sauce on every table.) We also tried the salsa trio, the queso dip, and chips. All uniformly fresh and good, but the queso especially is bland. We finished up with the Horchata Creme Brulee, which is more pudding than custard but delicious nonetheless. (Our batch tasted more of vanilla than almond.) Limited but nice selection of beers, including $2 Tecate for us cheapskates. We ran out of belly space, so no watermelon sangria and, alas, no gazpacho. Maybe next time. Your host's name is Ben--great guy, and very responsive to customer feedback. Verdict: Good, sloppy, cheap eats. We will be back!

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      I forgot to say yesterday, that on the menu, it does say, "if you like it spicy, just ask!" Not sure if they meant just the salsas or the tacos too?

                      I agree, the creme brulee was a little loose, but I prefer it that way over too custard-y.

                      The White Duck's name is Laura (blond lady in the kitchen) and she too, was very interested in feedback (good or bad) on the food. So definitely speak up if something doesn't seem up to snuff.

                      Can't wait to try more of the menu!

                      1. re: Scirocco

                        I didn't see that notice, but that's good to know. Thank you!

                        P.S. Mark, if you're still out there, I have a feeling this is your kind of place. Give it a try sometime.

                2. Finally made it on Saturday. Love the vibe of the place, they did a good job with that. Line almost out the door. I had the bankok shrimp and the duck mole (upcharge). I was just so-so on the duck (cold onion rings on top?) but LOVED the shrimp thing. The actual shrimp themselves were kinda nothing, but the full combo with the pickled veggetables was just genious. Can't wait to try more stuff there, and hopefully al fresco weather will return for awhile so we can enjoy the outside seating!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: danna

                    The Bankok Shrimp is my favorite. Try the carnitas taco, too.