Stu Helm, Food Critic Blog: Preview of Ghan Shan Station in Asheville fails to impress


Stu Helm, food critic, recently attended a preview of the new Ghan Shan Station coming together on Charlotte Street just north of downtown Asheville.

Lots of folks are excited about Chef Patrick O’Cain and the food he’s bringing to north Asheville.  So Helm checked it out, and wrote it up for his new blog, Stu Helm: The Food Critic. Click over to read the full review.

A five-course dinner paired with wines and was hosted at Metro Wines. Helm tried it all, and was impressed with a smoke trout salad and beer tartar served on “a crispy rice thingy.” But he wasn’t a fan of a terrine dish, and he didn’t approve of a another dish featuring black rice congee with a poached egg on top:

I did not enjoy this very much at all, and found it to be completely out of place at this tasting. The portion was way too large, and the over-all feel of the dish was very breakfasty. The time was, maybe, 8pm by this point, we’d been eating various small plates of weird food all night, so I simply wasn’t anywhere near in the mood for a big ol’ hearty bowl o’ breakfast.

I also found this dish to be very “low brow,” which can be fine, even preferred in a different setting, but not here at the wine shop. Congee is, essentially, and Asian version of grits, and people eat it for breakfast the same way that we eat grits down South or they eat Cream of Wheat up North. There’s nothing exotic, or exciting to me about a bowl of Asian grits with an egg on top.

Here’s Stu on his overall impression:

I was pretty disappointed in general, to be honest, and while I feel as though Gan Shan Station will be a huge asset to that neighborhood and I’m very very super duper glad that it is opening up and replacing the empty rotting nightmare BP Station that has stood there for so long, I’m personally not super stoked to go eat there when it opens. Dawn wants to go though, so I’ll be there too, keeping a positive mental attitude, and hopefully enjoying a wonderful meal.

Click over to read Stu’s full review, as well as the other cool stuff he’s posting at Stu Helm: Food Critic.


Big Al April 11, 2016 - 2:29 am

I am pleased to hear about this. The only way I will eat Asian food is if it is “breakfasty”. One of my favorite early lunches (I doubt it would qualify as “brunch”) is egg rolls and egg drop soup.

Jo April 10, 2016 - 12:50 pm

Hey did you ever check out Good Stuff on Bailey Branch Rd in Marshall? They do brunch on Sunday’s, lunch, dinner, fabulous menu and live entertainment. The site is
You should check them out

David Nelson October 26, 2014 - 5:18 pm

Stu, just keep it up, expletives and all! It is unique in published journalism, and it keeps you real to what I would suggest is a rabid and grown readership. I have sent links to Ashvegas and your blog to friends from Colorado to Louisiana to Delaware and even eastern North Carolina ( a former place I lived as a pimple-faced teen know-nothing). It’s without reservation I say you are the one purveyor of restaurant opinion I value most in this town, and I have not had a bad meal at a place you have lauded. My wife is a keen fan, and has read your blogs out loud to me, barely containing her teary-eyed laughter and professing profound love of your attitude. While I love her recitations, I have since taken to reading your critiques directly and derive much satisfaction from your wit and your unbiased truth in dishing up the dishes I should and perhaps should not order at my next soiree in that unequaled, unrepentant, wonderful, wonderful Asheville. God bless you, sir, and keep it going — hold nothing back!! Blue skies, David.

James McGarvey October 23, 2014 - 10:26 am

Love the info on the restaurants but am tired of the gutter language.

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