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Oct 21, 2012 06:51 AM

Out & About in WNC, pt. 3

West First Pizza in Hendersonville continues to up its game with new pizzas, salads, pasta dishes, and twice as many taps. (Try the Boulevard Double Wide IPA.) Lately, they've also been experimenting with unusual pizza bases, including pureed black beans and creamed roasted corn, both of which are MUCH better than they sound. (Desserts have improved, too, if you ain't scared of some extra extra carbs.)

Storm Rhum Bar has a new fall menu, and the news is both bad and good. The bad news is that they've 86-ed my wife's beloved Cuban sandwich. The good is that there's a fantastic beef belly entree that is like some platonic ideal of a fall pot roast. Also lots of squash, pumpkin, and brussel sprouts in evidence. Caveat emptor: Avoid the soggy roasted veggie sandwich at all costs. Oh, and service is MUCH improved these days.

Dinner at The Admiral the other night. Wanted to see what it would be like when Chef Moss was off. Know what? Cooking and presentation did slip maybe half a notch, but not so's anybody but regular (or a picky bastard like me) would notice. Crispy sweetbreads. Coastal shrimp over polenta with a kind of smoky roux. STILL the best restaurant in Asheville and one of the best in the south.

Had some lovely cocktails at the new MG Road cocktail lounge on Wall St. It's owned by the Chai Pani folks, so the artwork/decor is vaguely Indian, but in a distinctly modern sense. They also have some interesting looking small plates and desserts, too. (We had just eaten--maybe next time.)

Screaming fresh beers on the deck at uber funky Wedge Brewing is a quintessential autumn in Asheville experience. Now, if they would only stay open later and have some live music...

Still having trouble chasing down the El Kimchi truck, but we'll keep trying! (Do they ever come to the Wedge?)

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  1. Still having trouble chasing down the El Kimchi truck, but we'll keep trying! (Do they ever come to the Wedge?)

    They were there last night!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Leepa

      Oh, snap! (Wife had to work this weekend.)

      1. re: Jeff C.


        Thank you for the info. Do you know MG Road's hours? I have tried to find this info with little luck. I had the Admiral Sweetbreads a couple weeks ago and thought they were delicious. I especially liked the smaller format of the sweetbreads themselves (I had to have a Dark & Stormy as obligatory ritual at The Admiral).

        Did you ever make it to Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine. I recall it was one your list. We live closer to K&F than to AVL and go pretty frequently. Last week the Chef did a roe, molasses whipped cream dish with radish was insane and beautifully presented.

        I am hoping to try The Owl this weekend.

        Thanks much for all of the continued info.

          1. re: winefuhrer

            Still haven't made it up to Spruce Pine to try Knife & Fork. Still very much want to.

            Let us know if you try the food at MG Road! (Drinks are awesome and mostly not super-expensive.)

      2. Followup visit to The Junction last night: Excellent service and cocktails. A pickled fried green tomato app. that stands with any I've had anywhere. Then came the beautiful to look at but underseasoned entrees--a fall vegetable stack on top of bland squash puree, a lovely coastal pan seared flounder, again woefully underseasoned. Verdict: Still good not great, and every single item (including the stellar cocktails) is priced a buck or two over what you'll pay at comparable restaurants. So, for now, I say go early, have cocktails and apps., and go elsewhere for dinner. (Unless you like the sweet tea brined fried chicken--I find its sweetness cloying.)

        1. Word on the street in the River Arts District is that the restaurant that is being planned for The Wedge Building is going to be opened/run by the same people who are at The Admiral. It's supposed to be on the back side down near the tracks adjacent to the brewery.