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Nov 6, 2011 10:40 AM

Asheville area Updates - November "11

I suspect that soon Asheville or Western NC will warrant its own tab on Chowhound.......

Storm Rhum bar(behind Orange Peel) - have heard consistently good reports but alas, have not been
Junction (River Arts) - have been there for lunch a few times and dinner once...always very good with good flavors and presentation. Service is a little slow but enjoy your housemade drinks - it's worth it!
Wild Duck Taco (Riverarts) - Inexpensive, creative and casual
Jack of Hearts Weaverville - has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Their daily specials seldom disappoint. Good beer selection and nice wine/drink specials

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  1. As a resident of Weaverville and who has frequent Jack of the Hearts( 3 times), I disagree with your assessment of Jack of the hearts
    Basically overpriced, lousy food . Small portions and a disservice to the Weaverville community
    Ask anybody, it really sucks
    We all wanted to have a venue like this in our town
    BUT NO

    4 Replies
    1. re: mustardgirl

      Always SO negative, mustard girl...sheesh!

      Thought Storm's food was good, drinks so-so, service poor. I'd be willing to give it another try though. I enjoyed the Junction and White Duck the first time and have had good experiences on subsequent visits.

      We tried Posana for the first time the other day and I was quite impressed. We had a late breakfast there on Saturday - no wait, good service, excellent coffee, juice and food in a beautiful yet slightly formal space for the early hour. Still, we will happily return since it's one of the few places we can get a weekend brunch meal in town without a long (if any) wait, and I'd love to try them out for dinner.

      If you haven't been to the Chop Shop yet and want to cook your own dinner, definitely give it a try. My husband has been frequenting the butcher shop several times a week since they opened and last weekend he grilled the best steak I've ever eaten - one of their locally sourced filets. They are very helpful and are happy to fill custom orders too.

      Also had an unexpectedly delicious lunch at LAB the other day. Their fall menu is very creative - nothing really "basic" on it - and the truffled frites that came with my sandwich were to die for.

      I'm interested in trying the Never Blue on Broadway soon...

      1. re: miss piggy

        We also really like Junction for lunch and dinner. If you're ever at Posana and they have the blueberry pancakes on the menu, do try them. They're delicious.

        Posana Cafe
        1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

        1. re: miss piggy

          I've enjoyed everything at Never Blue except the Shrimp and Grits and the Lamb
          Shrimp and Grits are not traditional shrimp and grist and the Lamb was overcooked when we went on Friday.

          But I still love Never Blue for their fish tacos, sangria pitchers, and delicious desserts. We had the kahlua cake and it was great.

          Good to hear Posana is good. They catered a wedding we attended a couple weeks ago and it was pretty solid.

          Never Blue
          119 S Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792

          Posana Cafe
          1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

        2. re: mustardgirl

          Sorry, disagree, we're there about 2-3 times per month and find the portions more than adequate and prices good. Have frequently been wowed by their specials. Gladly many don't feel as you do as the place is consistently busy. I love that they also feature local musicians.

        3. I'll cover the "area" part instead of the "Asheville" part this time...

          I live way out in the Maggie Valley/Waynesville neck o' the woods, and we've actually had some positive developments in the past year, foodwise, which is worth noting for folks who like to head west for the hiking and wish there was more there for the eating once the hiking's done.....


          THE TIPPING POINT--supposedly at some point, they're going to start brewing, too, but for now it's one of the few non-upscale joints in town where you can get a variety of regional brews. The grub is bar food, but really, really d*mned good bar food. I'm hoping that their popularity will convince other places in town to start carrying non-macro beers.

          THAI SPICE: (NOT related to Thai Spice Hendersonville) Holy moly. Seriously. Who'd have thought? A Thai restaurant opened on Main Street in Waynesville. I feared blandness and watering-down for the sake of an unfamiliar populace. Shut my mouth. Instead, this place whips the pants off most Asheville Thai ranks up there with Little Bee and it's a lot easier for me to get too. They opened strong, and have just gotten better and found their pace with the food and service. If you're already comfortable with Thai food, always err on the side of ordering one level hotter than you normally would, though. GREAT depth of flavor to everything I've tried, and super-nice folks, too. Prices are pretty standard ($10.99 and up for dinner) and much cheaper for the same amount of food at lunch (just a hint). Can't find any website link...

          MAGGIE VALLEY:

          Frankie's Italian Trattoria--Another new place doing gangbusters business. I know they do pasta and stuff, but for our house, it's all about the pizza. YES. A real Italian pizza joint, RUN BY ITALIANS! Thin crust, good ingredients, fresh mozarella available as a topping, AND very reasonably priced....It's really good, flavorful, non-chain-inspired pizza. Still need to try the sandwiches. My only gripe would be that the homemade sausage is surprisingly bland, but that's a minor complaint when I have the option to toss prosciutto on as a topping instead. ;) That meatball ricotta pizza is killer. We're here for takeout about once a week, and the dining room seems nice, too.

          I've also heard really good stuff about Frog's Leap Public House in Waynesville, but we're waiting for a fancy occasion to drop cash there....when i saw a menu, it seemed a bit pricey.

          10 Replies
          1. re: dingey

            Great to know about the Thai place in Waynesville! We tried the FLPH and it was very good. Ciaohounds!

            1. re: dingey

              thanks for this dingey - we have friends in Waynesville and we're always wondering where to go.

              1. re: dingey

                We really enjoy all of dingey's restaurants and are super happy to have more choices in our neck of the woods. Frog's Leap is actually our new favorite spot. We don't find it that pricey, but maybe it's because we usually order a few small plates and share. And I couldn't agree more with Thai Spice. Their tom ka guy (I know I killled the spelling) soup is as good as the best I've had anywhere.

                Thai Spice
                220 S King St, Hendersonville, NC 28792

                1. re: pilches

                  Ah, good to know about Frog's Leap! We'll try it and stick to small plates. We tried to go one night when it first opened and was INSANELY busy, so I took a very speedy look at the menu because I was feeling claustrophobic. Probably missed the small plates all together. Duh. Are a couple of small plates generally enough to eat for two? That's usually what we do at the Admiral, and we're more than happy with the size of the grub! AND YESSSSS, so glad to hear somebody else is nuts about Thai Spice. I've been soooo pleased to see how well they seem to be going over. We couldn't even get in a few times during tourist season! I haven't even tried the soups yet. Oh, lordy.

                  1. re: dingey

                    HOLY MOLY! We finally tried Frog's Leap and i feel like a fool for not trying it sooner!

                    Went for an early Valentine's Day blowout on Saturday night and were well and truly floored by the food we got. I figured it would be "good" to "really good," but I was not prepared for greatness. Seriously, I was very, very pleased. We got angels on horseback (bleu cheese/bacon/fig) appetizer, as well as an order of fried green tomatoes that had some sort of bacon marmalade on top. For dinner, my husband got the meatloaf (which looked like a gigantic slab of ribs when it arrived) and I ordered a scallop dish, which comes with bacon/corn risotto and a nice arugula salad.

                    I know, it all sounds like pretty standard, straightforward fare, but they really know what they're doing with flavors here. There were some pretty stunning moments throughout the meal.

                    I still consider Admiral my favorite place in the area, but I've gotta say....Frog's Leap jumped up to a HIGH-ranking spot somewhere just below it, based on one visit!

                    1. re: dingey

                      Frogs Leap is a VERY welcome addition to the Waynesville reataurant scene. I'm glad people are discovering it. Hopefully, it won't get so popular that we can never get in!

                2. re: dingey

                  We had an amazingly good meal at Thai Spice tonight. After explaining to the waiter/owner that we have been to Thailand and know what we will get when ordering Thai Hot ,our dishes were spiced just right. The beef salad was a nice appetizer. Good quality beef that appeared to have been cooked to order. The curry duck was a truly great dish. The duck was crunchy and the curry was perfect. This is a restaurant not to be missed....

                  1. re: dingey

                    I agree! Thai Spice on Main Street is a very, very welcome addition to Waynesville ding. Faultless, in my opinion

                    1. re: dingey

                      BUT WAIT! here's a 2013 update--One Love Jamaican restaurant will be opening in the former Granny's Chicken Palace next to Lake Junaluska in the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area by sometime in May. For those of you who know One Love, you know it's worth driving wherever to get some curried soul food. For those who don't know, One Love has moved from hendersonville to Canton and now to Waynesville--hopefully they'll find their niche here with the always busy dining scene in this little neck of the woods. They're a fantastic, very reasonably priced, very friendly outfit that specializes in deep flavors. They're happy to accommodate vegetarians, too, so bear that in mind! Perfect post-hiking grub!

                      1. re: dingey

                        Just another kudo to Thai Spice in Waynesville. 4 of us had dinner there on Saturday and each meal was perfectly seasoned and prepared. Really, really great!

                      2. Great service and a good vibe in this place. We went on Thanksgiving so I'd like to give it a try on a "normal" night.

                        5 Replies
                          1. re: Leepa

                            Didn't think it warranted a new thread, and this seemed like the best place for it:

                            anyone been to Table recently? Headed there for dinner on New Year's Eve, and was just curious how well they're being received these days. Thanks!

                            1. re: JKidd

                              We had dinner there on Sat night and it was good. My scallops were perfect but the side with them was not memorable. Staff was excellent - we had a large group and closed the place down and they were still kind. Have fun - Happy 2012!

                              1. re: cooking4watts

                                which place did you have dinner? I love scallops!

                                1. re: Scirocco

                                  Had them at Rezazz's on Friday night and Table on Saturday night and both were done to perfection. Sides were better at Rezazz's!

                        1. OH! Just to add to the Waynesville area part of the discussion...there' s a farm-to-table place in Hazelwood (west adjacent to Waynesville) called Bourbon Barrel Beef and Ale that we saw and tried for the first time last night. Apparently they've been open for about six months (where have I been?!) and seem to be doing good business. Granted, we've only been once but the food was really good. My husband got the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and I got a pan-roasted chicken with sweet potato succotash, sauteed mushrooms, and a cheesy grit souffle thingy. Super tasty, very nicely cooked, and locally-sourced wherever possible.

                          There's also a brewery officially opened in Wayneville called Frog Level to try it tonight.

                          AND City Bakery's opening in Waynesville sometime soon. Are we becoming an Asheville exburb? Bring it on!!! :)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dingey

                            So excited!!! Can't wait to get back in the spring. Please, keep checking these places out and keep on posting!!!

                            1. re: pilches

                              OH HEY! A few more updates for the Waynesville/Maggie area: ANOTHER new brewery: Headwaters Brewery has opened in Waynesville. Their stuff is really super good. The only food they have is peanuts, but it's well worth a visit for the brews--it's in a weird part of town, but when did that ever stop a suds-head from seeking out somethin' new?

                          2. Interesting article in todays Citizen-Times about several chnages to the downtown Asheville dining scene:

                            The owner of Fiore's is opening an italian restaurant in the old Tingles/Never blue space.

                            Sazerac is getting a face lift and a new small plate menu

                            The owner of the former Flying Frog is opening a new place

                            Chai Pani is expanding

                            Mamacita's is opening in the former MoDaddy's space

                            And more...


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: carolinadawg

                              thanks for the link, dawg! several interesting things there: I don't think I would dare open a restaurant in the (cursed?) Tingles space. Sazerac small plates menu: although I think of it as a bar, i was surprised by how good some quinoa affair was a while back. I guess that's across from the Admiral? I didn't see much that appealed 'til I got to the bottom of the menu and saw all the veggie options - kale, beans and rice, grilled veggies. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do like vegetables and it's often hard to find any in a restaurant. I don't count a basket of french fries as vegetables, NOR do a appreciate being given 3 petals off a brussel sprout in upscale joints. And finally, do you think Rosetta's last name is REALLY Starshine?

                              1. re: danna

                                Heheheh. I had the same thought. "Is that really the name your mama gave you?"