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Food at Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville

I know the beer is good, but how's the food? We have tried to eat there twice now, and both times the wait was over an hour.

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  1. Was in there on Monday and had a great bratwurst with Lusty Monk mustard and good kraut. The burger I saw the guy next to me eating looked very good also.

    1. Thanks. Maybe the lines will lessen after the new wears off.

      1. I had a fried chicken and kim chee sandwich with miso mayonnaise there today for lunch. Sounded more interesting than it tasted, frankly. My dining colleague had the black bean burger with pimento cheese and fried okra and thought it rather bland.

        Based only on those two items, I would say that the menu sounds more interesting and creative than the delivered product, though I would say the sample size was too small to deliver a definitive opinion.

        1. I had the bison burger, hubby had the short rib - both excellent. Beer is fantastic, service was great, space is cool...this one is a winner in my book.

          1 Reply
          1. re: miss piggy

            We've been twice more since my last post (kind of addicted to this place!) so here are some more food updates. I was not a fan of my black bean burger - it was mushy and bland. Shoestring fries that time around were a little cold and undercooked too. My husband had the bratwurst - big and juicy, very good. Yesterday we had the pulled pork sandwich and the fried chicken. LOVED the chicken - that miso mayo was delicious and really different. Pulled pork was good too, and the thin, crispy bread that both sandwiches were served on was excellent. Again, fries were ever so slightly undercooked but we still wolfed them down. It's not the best food in town but it's pretty darn good for a busy bar. The beer is phenomenal. And next time I want to try the cheese plate - it looked really nice.

          2. Finally got in the place yesterday, though I had to go at four in the afternoon to do it. Sampled four different beers, from a brown ale to a double I.P.A., each
            exemplary. As for the food...the pulled pork sandwich, though obviously very fresh, had no smoke flavor whatsoever. (In fairness, it is not identified as "BBQ pulled pork.") The truffled popcorn snack was stale. The rosemary marcona almonds, however, are a perfect accompaniment to the beer. The best thing I ate was an odd but delish med. burger topped with short rib meat ans crispy shallots. The shoestring potatoes that come with the sandwiches are forgettable. Verdict: Get the almonds, try a couple of those spectacular beers, and, for now, take your dinner money elsewhere.

            1. Followup visit: At the end of the bar, enjoying some almonds and beers. On a return trip from the bathroom, a server turned and ran right into me with a tray full of beers, spilling some in the floor and a little on my arm. I stopped. He stopped. And just looked at me like he wanted to punch me in the face. No apology. No "Did I get any on you?" Nothing but stink-eye. Then he just walked off...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Jeff C.

                Nothing unusual there. Just another day in the Asheville dining scene. The town has more than its share of servers with attitude,

                1. re: brentk

                  I can only hope service like that isn't a regular occurrence. I've lived here for twelve years, and that kind of hostility is a first for me.

                  1. re: Jeff C.

                    Hi Jeff. Hope that server was just having a bad day, but still not excusable. I've had two salads: arugula + apple + pecan + brule-feta + black pepper honey and the black kale + northern beans + merguez + grilled halloumi. Both were good, but the black kale was outstanding! Also had the sticky toffee pudding + cardamom anglaise + orange chutney. Very good, but a little too much caramel for me. Wouldn't stop me from getting it again.

                    As for the beer, I'm not a big beer drinker, but tried 2 or 3 and loved all of them. What does that mean? Even people that don't go much for beer like their brew? Seems like beer lovers in Asheville are all raving about their beers, though.

                     
                    1. re: Carolina Epicurean

                      The beer is the show, no doubt. They've really raised the bar for local microbrewing. Still, as I indicated above, the food feels like an afterthought. And I will NEVER sit at the end of the bar again.

                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        Sorry to hear the server made you feel uncomfortable, Jeff. I've actually had excellent service here every time (2x at bar, 2x at table) - in fact we've commented on how friendly and attentive everyone has been especially considering they are always slammed. So hopefully a one-off.

                    2. re: Jeff C.

                      I was just in Asheville a few weeks ago and had an experience with a waitress that I was characterize as passive aggressiveness. I left the restaurant it was so bad and went to another place where I had a great waitstaff experience. I think in Asheville, some servers have an attitude of cool disdain for those they don't perceive to come from the "alternative" social strata as they do. It may not be widespread but I have heard others complain about it as well. BTW, I really enjoy visiting Asheville and most of the time my trips pass without incident.

                2. I also love that kale salad! The fried chicken sandwich is great too, and the cheese plate divine. To echo what myself and others have said earlier - I'm also not a *huge* beer fan and every one I've tried so far has been awesome. I think I may have tried them all . :)

                  1. I had the bison burger which I thought was really good. My boyfriend had the fried chicken and kim chee sandwhich, he didn't care for it at all...Service was pretty bad. I'd go back for the burger though :)

                    1. Followup to my followup visit: Actually, I think this is the fourth time we've been, but anyway...recently they posted on their Facebook page that they were going to be closed for two days for what was described as "employee retraining." Now, I'm vain but not enough to suggest that my comments below had a thing in the world to do with this. However, I am pleased to report that the service last night was exemplary. In fact, the whole crew--from the young man in the open brewing area downstairs explaining the brewing process to the waitress who served our apps and bison burgers--could not have been more friendly. And, because I know the hopheads are wondering, the hot beers to try now are a saison made with kumquats, another made with French Broad Chocolate Lounge chocolate and raspberries, and the exemplary smoked maple porter. Finally, they have installed sweet gas-powered fire pit in the front courtyard and hope to have an outdoor bar installed by summer for those of us who prefer to get our drink on outdoors. Yet another reason to hope warm weather returns soon...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        That FBCL saison is amazing! And the porters (i tried the regular offering as well as the special "Johnny Cash Hey Porter" on Saturday). I may be addicted to this place, seriously. Their beer is just too good. That said, I still say opt for the housemade chips instead of fries and don't go into it thinking that its going to be an amazing meal. It's good bar food done pretty darn well. Agreed, bison burger is money. We've had excellent table service through and through but the front of house is abysmal. We were thoroughly entertained on Saturday at the communal bar table watching the surly seater consistently tell patrons that there would be a 20-30 minute wait as 4-5 tables sat empty in the small dining area. People on the list would wait for a bit, staring at the vacant seats, then go up to her and say "is that table ours?" and she'd finally seat them! Asheville.

                        1. re: miss piggy

                          Thanks for the heads-up on the chips. The fries are limp and undercooked--serving them in a tin can just makes it worse because they steam. And, now that you mention it, the hostess was rather surly when we asked if we could have a booth. But she was the exception. "Bar food done pretty well" nails it. But when the beer is this good, it goes down pretty easy...

                      2. I should preface by saying we've always enjoyed WW during the day/late afternoon. Fun patio, decent service, good food, awesome beer. But at night it is a different beast. They really ticked me off this weekend.

                        4 of us visited around 8:45p on a Friday wanting a late dinner and beer. We were relieved to see the front patio half empty and several tables available inside as well. We were stopped by a bearded bouncer who said they were at capacity and that we would have to wait until 4 people left before we could go in. My visiting friend politely said "oh, but there are open tables on the patio?" to which he robotically replied "We're at capacity. You can wait until 4 people leave or you can go." Incredibly rude tone. I was shocked, but stupidly we decided to stay. Here's the thing...I'm a local, so I know that there is a tasting room downstairs. So I can understand that if there are lots of people down there it could throw off the capacity. I explained this to my friends, not the bouncer. A visitor has NO WAY of knowing this...and the bouncer did nothing. I'm not upset about the capacity rule...I get it. But you have to explain to people the reason for it, especially when the front patio is 50% empty. It's simple customer service.

                        We waited for about 10 minutes for 4 people to exit. During that time it was absolutely infuriating to watch the same scenario churn over and over again: People approach door. People are denied entry. People look over at empty patio, then back to bouncer. "At. Capacity." he replies with no explanation. Totally rude, totally ridiculous.

                        Once in, we approached the hostess stand where three young ladies were chatting. We were ignored for a minute or two and then finally one of the girls, quite annoyed that we had interrupted her conversation, asked me how many in our party. 4...and we'd like to sit on the patio please. She asked my name so she could put us on the list. "There's a wait?" I asked, looking out at the 10+ available patio seats (set and ready to go!) and long wall of seats at the big window (ALL EMPTY!). "Yes. There is a wait." Huh. To which I replied "Ok, we'll just sit inside then" and gestured towards the half empty dining room including the vacant 4-top by the front door. "Ma'am. There is a wait." she curtly said, voice raised.

                        I am 35 years old and HATE it when people call me ma'am. I am not ma'am, my mother is. And this whole thing is now beyond ridiculous. I took a deep breath and serenely asked how long the wait would be. "45 minutes." 45 MINUTES?? I'm sorry but I laughed in her face. Now it's my turn to be an a-hole like the rest of the staff here. "So...when are you going start calling some names off the list?" "Ma'am...we are going to start paging these people any minute now." Really??? Wow! OK, I'd like to see that!

                        There was no paging. There had been no paging in the 10 minutes we had been waiting outside with the jerk bouncer. Not one table had been sat in that time. I'm not sure there was ever even going to be any paging. Complete and utter nonsense.

                        Maybe the kitchen was backed up? Short-staffed? Again...fine...I get it. But just tell me. Something...anything...please. A little peek into the amazing business strategy that apparently is keeping the dining room half-empty for all patrons to see, including those on the 45 minute wait list, and never seating anyone. Insanity. We left.

                        Wicked Weed should use one of those day-long "staff meetings" that they so proudly boast about on Facebook to educate their incredibly rude staff on the importance of being polite and courteous. Make an attempt to explain why the train is off the tracks...who knows, folks may even stick around.

                        Instead we went next door and dropped $200 at Seven Sows on amazing food, creative cocktails and excellent service. It pays to treat your locals right.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: miss piggy

                          You should post this on their FB page.

                          1. re: miss piggy

                            I'm sorry that happened to you. A reviewer on Yelp had a problem with the bouncer too. I was thinking about going over there after tourist season, but I'm rethinking that idea.

                            1. re: miss piggy

                              There is simply no excuse for this. You should call and ask for the G.M.'s email address and send a copy to him/her.

                              1. re: miss piggy

                                Unbelievable!! I'm glad you warned me, that sort of thing would have flipped me out. You really should let someone know. A business owner is at the mercy of the people who are the "face" of the business, and sometimes they just don't know. You'll also be able to judge from their response whether this attitude was actually instilled by management.

                                let's face it, it's a cute place w/ decent food for a bar, but PLEASE...it's not all that.

                                I have to add though, i can't believe you could live in the south long and have that attitude toward being called ma'am. It's an expected show of respect. I call everyone ma'am that looks like they're old enough to have a drivers license.

                                1. re: danna

                                  I sent them a private message on FB and got this response back almost immediately (I cut and pasted directly so the typos are hers not mine):

                                  my name is Abby and I am one of the owners at Wicked Weed Brewing. I am 27 and also, like you, enjoy the chance to live in Asheville. I love seven sows and am glad you had a grey experience there. I often go over there when I am done work.
                                  As far as our business is concerned, I apologize that you had such a bad experience. We deal with capacity issues and I can see how frustrating it would be to have empty tables when you are told there is a 45 minute wait. We do our best to train our employees, including hostesses and I know they do the best they can but sometimes they mess up. Your case may have been one of those times. I am sorry.
                                  We are a young business, now only 9 months old, and are still learning to how to handle our size and volume in our space. We are obviously not always correct in how it is handle, but I assure that with 90 employees we are doing the best we can.
                                  Thanks you for taking the time to write to us and we will take everything you have said into consideration.
                                  Best, Abby Dickinson

                                  And Danna it's interesting to hear your take on using the word "ma'am." I grew up in south Georgia so of course was raised to use that word often in a respectful manner. And I still do call women ma'am routinely, but only if they are older than me. I don't know...maybe I'm just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I probably look like an old hag to the kids that call me ma'am at Fresh Market or this 20-something twit at WW, ha! And I think in this case it was her condescending tone that set me off the most rather than her use of the word. But ugh...can't help it...I still think of myself as young and fabulous and at the ripe old age of 35 just detest being called ma'am!

                                  1. re: miss piggy

                                    Seems pretty sincere, despite the atrocious spelling and grammar. Good on you for following through.

                                    1. re: miss piggy

                                      That's a very nice reply from Weeked Weed, thanks for sharing it. I would seriously hate to try to find 90 employees in Asheville that didn't have an attitude. or Hep C. Ok, i'm just kidding....i went there for the comedy. mostly.

                                      See, the "ma'am" problem starts with using it for women "older than me". Cause that's a moving target ;-)

                                      I'm starting to have a hard time with being called "young lady". It's starting to seem like sarcasm.

                                      1. re: danna

                                        Had our first experience with the bouncer and "at capacity" last night. We were meeting some friends downstairs around 7:30 and were told we had to wait until some people came out. We hung out on the sidewalk and waited along with several others. They told one group they could go to the patio without waiting if they wanted to, BUT that they would not be allowed in the building until someone came out. They did choose to do that.

                                        I heard from those who go there frequently that they have been harassed by the fire marshals about being too crowded. I have been in there before when there were a LOT more people in there and no bouncers, but a) it was in the summer - perhaps easier exiting with all the doors and windows open? and b) perhaps that was before the fire marshals got after them.

                                        It WAS very busy last night. Both upstairs and down were hoppingl. We were also told an hr to 90 min wait for a table and were actually seated within about 30 mins. So if they tell you a long wait, it probably won't be that bad.

                                        Have mixed emotions about the policy. While it's annoying to have to wait when there seems to be room, I do feel for the bouncers as we watched them having to deal with some upset people, one of whom was incredibly obnoxious to them. They are only the messengers and I thought they dealt with the jerk pretty well.

                                        I would've been much more upset if it had been like Miss Piggy's experience where there was clearly plenty of open seating inside. And nothing annoys me more than employees who don't at least acknowledge me standing there. Our service last night across the board was exemplary and actually went above and beyond.

                                        By the time another friend joined us about 8:00, he said the bouncers weren't outside any more. So it must be hit or miss when you encounter that.