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Out & About in Asheville, Vol. IV

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Wicked Weed: Great summer seasonals currently being poured, including a blueberry-infused IPA and a mango-cumin saison. Pub grub continues to improve as well. Try the the fish and chips with brussel sprout slaw, but substitute regular fries for the meh waffle cuts.

Imperial Life: Along with MG Road, currently serving the best cocktails in the downtown area. Lovely second story space where you can sit by open windows overlooking College Ave. Gracious service, too. Anybody tried the food?

Pizza Pura: Finally got in here, and let me begin by stating outright I'm no expert on Neopolitan pizza and have a preference for the the kind of thin, crisp crust best exemplified by Hendersonville's West First Pizza. Still, the crusts and ingredients here are first rate, though I did feel ours could've used a little more pre-baking as they got a little soggy toward the center. Good selection of beers and lighter wines, including some from Italy. Loved the gelato, esp. the Hazelnut with a shot of espresso and the lemon with a drizzle of prosseco. Small but nice deck and very friendly and attentive service, often from owner Ben Mixon and wife.

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  1. I really need to come up. And it's getting hot enough for me to want to ride up the mountain. Thanks for your posts.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sue in Mt P

      Come on up, girl. Would love to hear your thoughts on Ben's Tune-Up and Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder as well.

      1. re: Jeff C.

        It will happen! Maybe I can get danna to meet me.....

    2. Always like these reports! See my recent reviews of Bens, Ambrozia and Magnolia Ray on here...and would like to add that I've heard great things from multiple people about the new Isa's Bistro (where Flying Frog used to be). Looking forward to trying that soon!

      2 Replies
      1. re: miss piggy

        Hope to get to Ben's this weekend. I also hear good things about Isa's.

        1. re: miss piggy

          I tried Isa's Bistro for lunch today and enjoyed it. I sat outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed the people watching. I think this is one of the best outside dining spaces in Asheville. I tried the Spring Garlic Soup ($7) and enjoyed it very much with a glass of Verdejo ($7). The soup was thick and creamy served cool with some nice croutons and finishing oil. For the main course I had the PEI mussels with smashed fingerling frites ($14). The mussels were very good in a nice spicy broth and the "frites" were actually quite good and crispy with a nice aioli dipping sauce. I had a nice dry rose with the mussels ($7). Very nice lunch. The sandwiches and other dishes I saw being served looked good also. This is a nice addition to the Asheville scene.