1) Battery Park Book Exchange – I could hide among the book shelves and drink coffee forever in this place. It’s not so much that I love books (which I do), as it is that I love hiding… and coffee. Others might enjoy the wine. The food menu is a little skimpy and the baked goods tend to be boring as fuck, but the coffee is french press, and the decor is hard-core book-nerd eclectic-hippy-intellectual antique shop meets curio cabinet. It’s the kind of place where Gandolf might go to discover the truth about the One Ring, while pouring over dusty tomes and sipping a pinot grigio with his gal-pals from the office.
2) Dobra – Chicks always wanna meet at Dobra Tea House. I hate tea. I keep trying to order a coffee at Dobra and they keep telling me they don’t have coffee, so I end up ordering some fucking tea that I fucking hate. Also, I hate taking my shoes off. WTF?!? And I hate it even more when other people take their shoes off!!! ARGH! Leave your shoes on, please! Hate hate hate. Despite the fact that Dobra won’t serve me a got-dang cup of coffee and they request that their patrons remove their shoes, I gotta give it up: they have awesome atmosphere. Also: Very tasty baked goods.
3) Katmandu – Oh, what can I say? I guess I’m just a trippy-dippy hippy at heart after all, because I am a stone-cold sucker for that whole Indian/Tibetan design motif. I love it! Katmandu is so cute and cozy and has all the right little deets of design that make my hippy heart go squish. Intricate wooden carvings, brightly colored, heavily patterned sheets, and images of deities hanging on the walls… y’know, stuff like that. Add the fact that the staff is super friendly and the food rules the roost, and I am one happy motherfuckin’ hippie!
BEST BACHELOR CHOW
1) Home Grown – People might think of Home Grown as a family place, and that’s great, but I am a childless loser who lives alone most of the time, and yet, I need more than just a toaster-oven cheeseburger every night to sustain me as a human being. This is where Home Grown comes in. Do I know how to cook collard greens? Fuck no. Can I roast broccoli? Sure, if I wanted to, I think I could figure that one out, by why should I? The good people at Home Grown are more than willing to do that for me, and serve it up with a smile. Thanks, Mom… er, I mean… Home Grown… …embarrassing… Freudian slip.
2) Posana – “Wha?!? But don’t bachelors eat at Hardees and all-you-can-stomach buffets?” Not this one. Fuck that shit. When I eat out, I like to eat something made with high quality ingreeds as often as I can, and Posana has some of the highest standards in town as far as I can tell. Plus, everything I’ve ever eaten there has been tasty as fuck and generally on the healthier side of the scale. Also: Gluten free menu from top to bottom? Sure, why not? Personally, I’ll eat the shit out of some gluten, but when I can avoid it, and still eat awesome food, then you bet. Deglutenize me, Posana!
3) Storm – It’s dark and manly inside of Storm and I like that. They make a great burger. I like that too. When I go there alone, it feels really bachelory. When I go with the GF, it feels kinda romantic. Yeah, Man. Gonna get laid.
1) Rise and Shine – It’s good ol’ breakfast eats at a reasonable price, in a bright, sunny space, served by friendly people who are happy to see ya. What the fuck more could you want than that, Asheville?
2) Sunny Point – Don’t even try on the weekends. Too many people. Not enough seats. But squeeze yourself in during the week and have anything from the heuvos to the breakfast salad to my all-time fave shrimp ‘n’ grits.
3) Early Girl – Again, the people-to-seats ratio is tough to deal with sometimes, but if you can manage to wedge yourself in for some of their tasty standards and unique specials, you won’t leave dissatisfied. It’s a little spendy, so just be prepared for that before you get there and you won’t have to complain about it a hundred times while we’re eating.
1) Mamacitas – Tasty, fast , and affordable. We all know it. Best bang for the buck for a healthy, filling, and consistently delicious lunch. Mamacitas takes care of us, and we appreciate them for that. Right? Yes. We do.
2) Chestnut – Lobster Bisque and an heirloom tomato salad make for a lunchtime break that really feels like you ate something worth eating, and it won’t hurt your wallet… too badly.
3) Loretta’s – Depending on the soup, they have the best fucking soups in town. I personally recommend the very tasty New England clam chowder, and I’m FROM New England, Y’all! Add 1/2 a sandwich? Hells yes! Awesome possum.
BEST OF THE BEST
#1 – Reza’s – Several of the best meals and most enjoyable dining experiences I’ve had in Asheville have been at Reza’s. The casual-dining side is fun and open and contemporary, with hightop tables and bar seating, and a limited but excellent food menu. The fine-dining side is clean, classy, comfortable, and old-school, without being stodgy. The food, and service are some of the best anywhere. Sitting at the Chef’s table at Reza’s was a very unique and romantic experience, like no other I had ever had. Request it if you can. They do a beautiful steak at Reza’s, and my mom goes ape-shit over the calamari salad. Just about everything I’ve tasted from their menu has been top-notch awesomeness made with quality ingredients, and presented with a subtle flare that doesn’t annoy the eyeballs. Bring your wallet to Reza’s, and make sure it is chock-full-o’-money, because excellence doesn’t come cheap, My Friends, but is so worth it.
UPDATE – We had a bit of a clunker at Reza’s the other day (December 2nd 2013), but hey, everyone is allowed a miss every once in a while.
#1 1/2 – Zambra – For years this has been one of our go-to dinner-date places. The lights and music are low, the food is fucking excellent, interesting, and ever-changing. The atmosphere in general is very conducive to romance, especially on the bar side. The staff has always been great, and there’s this one waitress in particular that we really love. Zambra is one the original awesome restaurants in Asheville, and although some people think less of it now than they do of other, newer, venues, it has sustained us for years and continues to deliver. Well, not literally. They don’t deliver, like a pizza place delivers pizza to your door. Except for maybe through Valet Gourmet? I don’t know, but don’t get Zambra delivered for fuck’s sake. Go there. With a date.
There you go, Em-Effers! That’s some of what I think about some of the food and such in this town. You may or may not agree with my opinions, and I may or may not give a shit.
Oh, and I hope you know that, despite all of the swearing and insults, I love you guys to bits and pieces. That’s just how I talk. Lots of swearing and insults. All for fun. It is perhaps not the most charming of personality traits, I will admit, but what can I say?
Happy Fucking Holidays, Motherfuckers!