Hello Asheville!

How the fuck you doin’? Good? How’s 2015 treating you so far?  All good? Good. Me too.

So…  let’s talk foood!

BrooklynBrosMenu
Brooklyn Bro’s! I didn’t get to meet the Bro himself, but I got the feeling that he and perhaps his staff are authentic Brooklynites.

BROOKLYN BRO’S
Arden, NC

I don’t get out to Arden much, but the other day I was riding with my Asheville Flyer for Kids partner, Tim Arem, out to Biltmore Village, and we got to talking and I wasn’t paying much attention to the road, and I guess neither was he, because we ended up in Arden!  I asked if there were any good places to eat around here, and he said, “Let’s try Brooklyn Bro’s.” He’d eaten there before, and said they had pizza and pasta and such, made by authentic New Yorkers.  Yeah, man!  Count me in.

I ordered a small, cheese pizza, for $7.99, which I thought was a very decent price.  Tim got lasagna, and we opted to split an order of garlic knots.

Let’s start with those…

BrooklynBrosKnots
These gar-knots were great! I took an extreme close-up, because I wanted you to see the parm and herbs really good… and Tim and I had already decimated the plate by the time I remembered to snap this picture.

Garlic Knots w/ parm and herbs – Just in case you don’t know what a garlic knot is:  It’s, like, a piece of bread dough or pizza dough that’s rolled into a long rope, cut into pieces, which are then tied into little knots, and baked with olive oil (or butter), garlic, and if you’re lucky parm and herbs, and served with marinara.  We were lucky.  These knots were great!  The marinara they came with was really good too.  I ate, like two or three of them, but didn’t wanna fill up too much before my pizza arrived.

BrooklynBrosPizza
Brooklyn Bro’s pizza: The cheese, the sauce, the temperature, and the brown on top were all good. The crust, however, didn’t really do it for me.

12′ Cheese Pizza – I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect North East Coast style pizza.  I grew up in Boston, eating pizza that ranged from really good, to really great, to fanfuckingtastic.  Around here, I’m lucky if I can muster-up a “that was fine.”  For artisan style, I like All Souls and Marco’s, of course, but for olde-school, aged mozzarella, thin, greasy, triangles of awesome, yeah, no, no stand-outs so far.  The pizza at Brooklyn Bro’s was good, but it did not satisfy my pizza palate entirely.  The cheese was great, and it came out SUPER hot, which I like.  The sauce was good too, but it was the crust that just wasn’t doing it for me.  It was a little too soft, not densely doughy enough, not salty enough, and kind of run-of-the mill.  I’m fucking fussy as fuck when it comes to pizza crust.  I enjoyed this one, but I won’t be going all the way back to Arden to get more.

Lasagna – I would, however, make a special road trip out that way, just to get more of Brooklyn Bro’s lasagna!  Tim gave me a slice off of his and it was really good!  It also came out piping hot, still bubbling in fact, inside of it’s little pottery dish.  I shot a video, but stupidly held the camera in “portrait view,” so it sucked and I deleted it later.  I’m telling you, the whole dish was a-bubblin’ and a-boilin’ like a mad science project, G, and it looked awesome!  The taste and texture were as great as the appearance, and I immediately had lunch-envy after one bite.  It had ground beef, and plenty of it, plus loads of sauce and cheese, and the pasta was crispy on the edges and not mooshy in the middle.  It was a well constructed and delicious pasta dish!  I’d def go back for more of it!

Salad – Tim also got a salad, I asked him how it was, and he said, “Salady.”

So, in conclusion, for those of you who need really super concise breakdowns:

Garlic Knots:  Good.

Pizza: Not as good.

Lasagna: Really good.

Salad: Salady

I would go back to Brooklyn Bro’s for the lasagna and knots, as well as to try some of their other pasta dishes. I hear the eggplant parm is “addictive!”

When it comes to that perfectly done East Coast pizza, I’m still like 1970’s Leornard Nimoy, Yo. Mufuckin’ in search of.

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WHOLESOME COUNTRY CREAMERY MILK
Various Grocery Stores

It had been a looong time since I drank a glass of milk.

Wait, let me start over… I drink an assload of 1/2 & 1/2.

Okay, hang on… I’ll start from the very beginning… I drink gallons & gallons of coffee.  

I take 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee, and I even like it a bit on the light side. I buy 1/2 & 1/2 by the 1/2 gallon, purchasing a new 1/2 gallon of 1/2 & 1/2 about every week & a 1/2.

I 1/2 to! I’m addicted.

So, one day I’m at Katuah Market and I go to buy my customary 1/2 gallon of 1/2 & 1/2, only to find that some comeplete and total asshohhhle has purchased the last 1/2 gallon. Should I buy a pint? That’ll be gone in, like, two seconds at my house.  That’s irksome to me. I was irked. Irk.

That’s when I spied a 1/2 gallon of Wholesome Country Creamery, 100% grass fed, vat pasteurized, unhomogenized whole milk, from Hamptonville, NC.  It looked really really really good.

Thick, rich, creamy… it was more cream-colored than white, and even had fatty deposits all up around the edge.  I bought it.

Zero regrets!

And as I was saying… it had been a looong time since’t I drank a glass of milk, but when I opened this baby up at home, I had an overwhelming urge to pour myself a glassful and gulp it down like a thirsty 7 year old, and it was so fucking gooood!

I’m back with my true love 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee now, but I really enjoyed my tryst with that stray 1/2 gallon of whole milk that wandered into my fridge and my heart.

If you like milk, I highly fucking recommend this milk.

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FUDDRUCKERS / KIDS EAT FREE
North Asheville

Did you guys know that kids eat free Monday thru Wednesday at Fuddrucker’s? Y’know what else kids get free at The Fudd? That’s right, Childhood obesity. Seen it. With my own eyes. Many many times.

I used to live near Fudd’s in NAVL and it made me feel so sad and sick inside every time Bikey and I rode past it, and saw the mutli-generational obesity — from little kids with back fat to very slow moving older people with walkers and breathing apparatus — I never saw so many drastically unhealthy people in one place in my life, outside of a hospital. Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I’m not trying to be funny here, and I’m not in any way trying to judge the people themselves, I only despise the corporate model that seeks to entice entire families into a lifetime of unhealthy diets that inevitably lead to drastic, chronic, sometimes incurable and even fatal health issues down the line.

I always wished I could do something, anything, to combat the lure of Fuddruckers’ Kids Eat Free policy, and now, as the Food Critic and the publisher of Asheville Flyer for Kids, I think I might be able to!

I’m asking local, independent restaurants who have one or more “Kids Eat Free” nights per week to private message me through my Food Critic FaceBook page, and please tell me the night(s)/hours/menu, and whatever other info you want to give me.

You can do that, by clicking HERE.

I want to gather a list of ALL the good alternatives to Fuddrucker’s and the other evil food pushers, to publish for everyone on our AFK web site and in our paper. The paper version will be perfect refrigerator/magnet material. A big, colorful, easy-to-read “poster” that kids will love looking at, and parents should find super-useful.  That’s my dream.  Help my dreams come true, Yo.

We print and distribute 10,000 copies of AFK every month.

Let’s do something together to combat the perpetuation of bad eating habits by giant corporate interests! They market their poison to little kids. That’s. Fucking. Horrible.  If you’re a restaurant manager or owner, and you want to let the world know that you have a healthy/local/indie Kid’s Eat Free policy, please contact me.

I’m gonna ask the general readership not to contact about this, only because I want to hear the info directly from the source.  Because, y’know, I don’t wanna print the wrong info. Gotta get the kids the right info.

I’ve actually eaten at Fudd’s three or four times.  It was literally right up the street from where I lived for 8 years.  I’d never heard of it before I moved here to Asheville, and I mistakenly thought that it would be a good place to bring my young nephews.  The last time we ate there as a little family unit, I was particularly saddened by the enormously obese teens, pre-teens, and little kids, not to mention the adults, sitting at tables near us.  Again, I am not judging or making fun of the people, I’m only thinking of the health issues, and the corporate model that perpetuates them.  As I sat lost in my sad thoughts, my youngest neph looked up from his disgusting cheeseburger and said, “This isn’t very good, is it?”

We never went back.

QQs_003_MikeMoore_KidsMenu
Here’s the kids menu at Seven Sows. Mike Moore is one local chef who answered the call! Thanks Chef Mike!

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External links:

THE FOOD CRITIC [blog]

The following posts were added to my blog recently…

• GOT THAT GET GIG – Will Work For Food II  – Grey Eagle Taqueria.  “Maybe you didn’t know — I didn’t know until recently — that the chef at the GET has a pedigree which includes praise-worthy local restaurants like Fig, Cucina24, and Rhubarb.”  Read more HERE

• WILL WORK FOR FOOD – Part one, West Village Market, just in case you missed it: “It was a spinach and ground sausage-based soup that was so savory and cooked so perfectly, that if I hadn’t just ordered 2 half-sandwiches, I would have made my entire meal all about it.” Read more HERE

THE FOOD CRITIC [channel]

I’ve created a Food Critic channel on the YouTubes.  I’m gonna use it to post all of my food related videos.  There are a few up there already, some are old, none are particularly awesome, but please check them out anyways.  Someone has already “disliked” the one of me looking so soops unhaps at Wicked Weed!  Ha ha ha!   Watch my videos HERE.

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9 Comments

  1. I find the offering for kids menus sad and pathetic. My kid doesn’t always want a greasy burger/chicken/corn dog and french fries, especially if we are eating really lovely fresh food. I think one of the exceptions might be Tupelo Honey, who offers lots of fresh sides to kids. I will absolutely check out Seven Sows and any other places who say they offer decent kid food.

  2. Silly correlation attempt. Just like Thanksgiving doesn’t make you fat, an occasional Fudd burger isn’t either.

  3. Wonderingaboutdisappointingfood says:

    Stu, can you check out Green Sage on Hendersonville Rd. I used to love eating there but recently I have had non- tasty chicken on salads, dried out quiche, slow service, cool wimpy sweet potatoe fries… new owners…don’t care? Thanks!

  4. sgt. stadanko says:

    If you are concerned with quality of food and calorie count for kids’ meals you may want to find out what the restaurants are using to make these dishes. You may be surprised at the actual calorie or fat count.
    What type of oils or fats are being used? Are the proteins hormone/antibiotic-free? Just because independent restaurants are locally owned and run does not mean their kids’ meals are automatically healthier

  5. This is “Beer City, USA”, so shouldn’t kids drink free, too?

  6. We live in Arden and eat at Brooklyn Brothers. Food is very good not great. Try Angelo’s. Great pie.

  7. Yes to KIDS EAT FREE. As a father of Three, financially, sometimes ‘Kids eat free’ is the only choice if we are eating out. Buyint five meals puts a big damper on eating out sometimes. $50+ at the least. A compiled list of kids eat free locations and days would be fantastic. So for example if its a Wednesday, I don’t feel like cooking, or its a late work day, etc. I can say ‘I wonder what places have kids eat free tonight’ and vuala – there we go…

  8. I used to enjoy Fudd’s as a kid in the late 80s. We would go there occasionally. In retrospect the food wasn’t that good, but since we seldom went out to eat, it was something special.

  9. I’m really digging your initiative about the kids menus. Many of the restaurants in Asheville have some great choices for kids. Having all of that information in one place would be awesome!

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