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(South?) Asheville area one restaurant challenge

Will be at the Hampton Inn Asheville - I-26 Biltmore Square, needing a place for a Monday (more challenging!) afternoon meal finishing about 5:30pm (ideal, then, if the restaurant is open before 5pm). Closer better, but 10-15 minute drive is okay if for something special, but not sure I'd want to be downtown trying to rush out at 5:30pm. Solo diner, alcohol no consideration, looking for something regional/unique that's non-chain and bonus for bold flavors, adventurous ingredients, and chef's counter. Or as close to all that as possible. Thanks!

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  1. 12 Bones or Tupelo Honey's South locations would be good choices - although I think 12 Bones closes around 4-5p so check hours. 131 Main is a small regional chain that's good and right there in Biltmore Square Park. If you're so inclined to head the 15 or so minutes to downtown or Biltmore Villagedon't worry too much about heavy traffic. There's not much here - it's a small town!

    1 Reply
    1. re: miss piggy

      Thanks...12 Bones' south location would have been my top choice, but it's completely closed on Mondays. Like the Boomtown Rats, I don't like Mondays (as a food lover).

    2. I think they will be at the Hampton Inn near the Biltmore Square Mall, not Bitlmore Town Park. But i agree that 131 Main is a good choice in that direction and not far.

      I'm with Miss Piggy that Biltmore Village or downtown would yield much nicer choices and not far from the Mall area where you will be. Both are 10 mins or less from your hotel. Parking garages downtown are easy to use and cheap (free first hr, $1/hr after). Just avoid the ones near the civic center as they sometimes charge more for special events.

      We really enjoy eating at the bar a lot and would highly recommend that for solo diner at any of the good restaurants. Some restaurants close between lunch and dinner, so that may limit your choices. Be sure to check hours.

      There is some "rush hour" traffic, but we always refer to it as "rush minute". It's not that bad. :-)

      1. This IS a challenge because of the time of day and the day of the week! I'm thinking somewhere in West Asheville would be best, but I have yet to locate just the right place. At first,I thought of Sunny Point Cafe, but they're only open til 2:30 on Mondays:(

        1 Reply
        1. re: Helind

          These are probably not as upscale as you would like, but I found two possibilities, both are open on Mondays. White Duck Taco Shop in the River Arts District, hours 11:30am to 9pm. Oyster House Brewing in W. Asheville, hours 3pm to 11pm. Make sure you call before you go.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Thanks, all, for the suggestions so far. I'm compiling and will research them. Combined with my research on other places, I'm not yet blown away by anything.

            I might make an appeal for more time. If I can leave Asheville at 5:45 instead of 5:30, I might be able to consider a place that opens at 5pm. Get there right at opening, order quickly, and eat. Not ideal, but if it gets me better food options, might be worth it. That would possibly put Seven Sows and Storm Rhum in play? I like what I see on their menus. Offal, small plates, etc.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dimsumfan

              If that's the route you're going to go…I'd definitely put the Admiral at the top of that list…and look at King James Public House too (which opens at 4p).

              1. re: miss piggy

                Yes, I was just about to suggest Bull and Beggar and King James as well. I also like Storm. Bar opens at 4 there and maybe they could get an early start on your food?

                King James also opens at 4, so that might be a more leisurely choice. You can see a sample menu in their pics on FB. I haven't been, but a friend went and liked it a lot. It's relatively new (less than 6 months).

                I've been to SS twice and haven't been blown away. I'd definitely do the Admiral over SS.

                1. re: miss piggy

                  Ah...King James Public House might do the trick. Menu looks interesting, and looks like they actually open at 4. (Bull and Beggar is closed on Mondays.)

                  1. re: dimsumfan

                    haha oops! I looked at the hours, but not the days! hope it works out for you. :-)