Stu Helm, Asheville’s Facebook Food Critic, announces ‘Lunch With Stu’ winner


By Stu Helm

First of all, thank you all for the great suggestions! I got wicked hungry just reading them!

It was hard to decide — and I’m not just sayin’ that — but I managed to whittle it down to few finalists:

BRIAR, who works at the Barleycorn Pub could cause a rule-bending upset with her shining personality and enthusiastic descriptions of the exotic foods!

DOUG suggested Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville, which I’ve heard great things about. I like Doug’s fervor for the Carolina Dreamin’ pizza, and the way he enumerated his qualifications — “I’ve got the time, I’ve got the car, I’m not a restauranteur, I’m not a relative and I’m not a douchebag!”

BEN is a fan of the Main Street Grill, also in Weaverville. I’ve been hearing good things about this place too, and I really liked Ben’s sense of humor. He seems like my kinda guy, and the Main Street seems like my kinda place!

SANTA ( Ho-ho-hold on a minute… THE Santa??? Ok. I’d better be nice.) was all about the Oysterhouse Brewing Company over in West Asheville. Raw oysters are like giant cold boogers to me, and kinda make me wanna vomit, but I love fried oysters a whole bunch, and I don’t get to WAVL as often as I’d like.

JODY F. recommended Azalea on Tunnel Road — by far the worst “restaurant row” in Asheville — but I’m intrigued by the descriptions of yummy sounding food, and Jody’s guarantee that it’s not like the rest of the shit-show on Tunnel.

Mr. ZEAU was pitching the grouper Rueben at the East Village Grille pretty dang hard, and another person — going only by “Z” — seconded that, adding that their menu is extensive and includes something called “Tiger Wings.” Yeah, Man! Tiger Wings.

And finally, JAROD was the first of two people to recommend The Glass Onion in Weaverville. High-end Italian fare for dinner, and a smaller selection including sandwiches and burgers for lunch.

Here’s how it shook out in the end…

Briar, I decided that I shouldn’t bend the rules the first time out, but I will definitely be coming to Barleycorn in the future to eat the great-sounding food, and write a review.

Jarod, I think I’m gonna save the Glass Onion for when I’m going out with Dawn. It seems like too nice of a joint for a dude date.

Doug, as I write this, I’m just not in the mood for pizza. Sorry, Brother, another time, perhaps! The same is true for the rest of you who suggested pizza. I love pizza, good suggestions, but I’m just not feelin’ it right now.

Ben and Jody F., those two places sound great, but the fare is a little too similar to the meal I just went out with Duncan for. I do love meatloaf, burgers and other diner foods, but I think I’d like to switch it up this time around.

So, Eville Grille, or Oysterhouse Brewing?

Santa, you were hyping the Oysterhouse IPA pretty hard, but the truth is I don’t drink, so that had zero appeal for me, and like I said, raw oysters = cold snot… so… why…

On… Earth…

Are you the WINNER?!?

Because I really do friggin’ LOVE fried oysters! Yum yum gonna get me some!

I looked over the Oysterhouse menu, and the BOLT (Bacon Oysters Lettuce Tomato) sounds amazing, as does a lot of the other fare, so we are ON, Santa!

We are gonna pig-the-fuck-out on oysters, Man! I’m even willing to give raw oysters another chance, if someone at the Oysterhouse can convince me that they are awesome. I kind of always wanted to be one of those people who loves raw oysters.



Santa, please drop me a note via my Facebook page, and we will exchange info and schedule our lunch together! I hope you can pick me up in your sleigh!!!

I’ll be writing and posting pictures of our trip to the Oysterhouse, and giving a fair review to the food, service, and venue.

Sorry, Mr. Zeau, it really was very close. You seem like a super nice guy, and I think we would have had a fun at lunch together, but the lure of fried oysters was over-powering. The Eville Grille will always be there, so I’ll give it a proper review one day soon! Thanks for your great suggestion!!!

Yay! That was a lot of fun for me, and I hope it was for you guys too!

Thanks for ALL of your suggestions! You rule for participating, or just for reading! I will do my best to get to as many of the venues that got mentioned as I can, and I’ll keep you posted on our trip to the Oysterhouse.

Screw that one guy, though, who was all, like, “It’s not my life’s ambition to have lunch with you blah blah blah…” Gee whiz, buddy. LTFU… which stands for Lighten The Fuck Up.

Stu Helm is an artist and writer living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing restaurant reviews strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook in 2013.


Ben Atkins February 16, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Way to go Santa! The Oysterhouse is really great also. I think you made a great choice Stu. If you do find yourself in Weaverville, you should try to make it to the Main Street Grill. It is a great place. Enjoy your ocean mollusks.

Eric Staford February 12, 2014 - 3:00 pm

The heck with barelycorn!! You missed out on briar!!

Briar February 12, 2014 - 9:25 am

Stu, you minx, you he-devil. The way you toy with my emotions. Only kidding. Can’t wait to read about the Oyster House outing, and can’t wait to see you at the Barleycorn!

Stu Helm February 12, 2014 - 9:50 am

You were SO close to winning, Briar! If you were just an enthusiastic customer, I would have gone for it, but like I said, rules… bending… blah blah. You’ve def put Barleycorn on my radar though!

Also named stew February 11, 2014 - 8:52 pm

The BOLT is amazing, I get it everytime I go to Oyster House. Hope you love it, too, Stu.

Santa February 11, 2014 - 6:53 pm

Ho Ho Ho!! Message sent. Thank you Stu and Ashevegas!! Looking forward to it. : )

Stu Helm February 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Message received, thank you! You’re awesome, Santa, can’t wait!

Melissa February 11, 2014 - 4:44 pm

Good for you, Santa!

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