Thursday, September 13, 2012

West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen (WALK) 09/07/2012

 I have actually been going to the WALK since shortly after it opened and it has fast become one of my go-to places for a quick bite and a drink on a night when I don't have kids.  I've actually been a time or two with the kids, but they render any night out a failed experiment, so I try not to waste eating out money on them.

WALK has a great atmosphere and during nice weather the place opens up to allow a breeze.  The thing is, you can get a great meal here for crazy cheap. This particular time, my wife and I split a plate of the street nachos and a basket of sweet potato tots. I also had a beer and we spent under $15. The street tacos are great and almost everything I've had there has an excellent flavor. My wife especially likes the pulled pork sandwich. I've had a Chile Verde special there that was excellent and also recommend the blackened chicken sandwich. i found their chicken fingers to be a little on the dry side, however.

There are a few downsides to WALK. As it gains popularity, the wait for seating on the weekends becomes longer. Sometimes the music is turned up just a bit too loud, but it's still OK. They also never seem to have a beer special, but considering the price of the food and the quality of ingredients, these are trade-offs I'm willing to accept.

**** four asterisks

West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen (WALK)
401 Haywood Rd. , Asheville, NC  28806  (828) 505-7929

West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen (WALK) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Barley's Taproom 08/09/2012

I frequent Barley's weekly and am just getting around to reviewing it - mostly because I've been on hiatus from my reviews due to laziness. I like Barley's because it has one of the cheaper lunches downtown. I have a co-worker who likes to argue that the pizza is inferior to a few other places, and I'll concede, but pizza is pretty hard to screw up and 2 New York slices and a drink for under $6 is hard to fuss about. Sometimes there's a soup and sandwich deal, too.

Barley's has probably the best beer selection in town. Around 40 brews are usually on tap there if you count the upstairs, too, which is only open after 6:00 PM. They have darts and billiards up there, too.

Anyways, the place is dark. The service can be slow at times, but, considering the beer selection and the prices, I wouldn't eschew the place, and I'd definitely include it on any pub crawl in Asheville.

**** four asterisks

Barley's Taproom
42 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC - (828)255-0504

Black Mountain Ale House 08/07/2012

I've been here a few times with my buddy, Steve, because it's the closest thing to a real bar near his house and I don't like going to get him and driving all the way back to town to drink and then having to go all the way back out to Swannanoa to drop him off.

Likes: this bar has an excellent beer selection for such a small room. Lots of locals and craft brews and even usually a beer special. Also, try the fried pickles. They do it the way it is meant to be done - chips, not spears.

Dislikes: Too many TVs, no booths. I guess most bars have TVs to accommodate the sports fanatic. I'm not him. I go to bars to drink and socialize. I just think some booths would be nice if you don;t want to sit on a high stool.

I had a black & blue burger the other night with their potato salad. The potato salad is excellent. It has a smokey flavor that I've experienced with someone else's potato salad before but can't recall whose. The burger was also delicious.

I find the prices decent and the food and drink selection here excellent. If you find yourself in Black Mountain or just don;t mind a drive, definitely check this place out.

**** four asterisks

Black Mountain Ale House
117 C Cherry St, Black Mountain, NC 28711   (828) 669-9090

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Scandals 05/04/09

I show off my Zoolander face with Chloe.

OK, so I figured if I was going to do this blog proper, sooner or later, I'd have to also review a gay bar. Thankfully, my friend, Chloe, was having a birthday on Monday, so late Sunday night (after 12), we went to Scandals to start celebrating. I really rather like the atmosphere as they've put a lot more effort into it than most bars. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's totally gay, but what do you expect?

The drink prices weren't unreasonable, although I'm not used to paying a cover charge to get in somewhere, so there's that. They had free goldfish crackers and peanuts. Also, I was entertained, as there was a drag show. So I guess $5 for admission was fair. I didn't stay too long because, unlike Chloe, I did not take Monday off of work. I still had fun.

**** four asterisks
11 Grove St Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 252-2838

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Asheville Yacht Club 04/30/09

It's amazing it's taken me this long to mention the Yacht Club, seeing as I frequent the place. Maybe it's just because after a night at the Yacht Club, I seldom feel up to penning a review, but I digress. The Yacht Club is by far my favorite bar in town. It has this tiki/nautical theme going despite being 6 hours from the coast and nowhere even near a lake. I still dig it. It is a laid back atmosphere that makes for a pleasant place to meet friends after work, but be warned, around 11 PM when second shift gets out, the place can get a tad noisy.

They have some of the best beers on tap : Guinness, Wedge IPA, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada, Magic Hat #9, French Broad Brewery's 13 Rebels, etc. They also have a great fruity rum drink called "The Pain Killer" which comes complete with a flaming sugar cube. Their Bloody Maria is extra spicy since they use Hoy Fong Sriracha instead of Tabasco, but it adds that extra zing to it.

I have also had to eat there to sober up many a time, and their food is great, too. Their tater tots are the best in town. I've also tried fish tacos there and enjoyed them.

***** five asterisks

Asheville Yacht Club
87 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC - (828) 255-8454

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club 01/09/09

OK, so this is the biggest music club in town and I've managed to live here for over six months without visiting yet. Why? A multitude of reasons: as I've gotten older, being out late inhaling smoke doesn't appeal to me as it once did and Asheville gets both kinds of music (bluegrass & jam bands). Well on this particular occasion, there wasn't a jam band nor was there bluegrass. What there was was a Gun's N' Roses tribute band, so I decided to go - after being coerced by friends from work. The show was great, but I'm not doing music reviews here, ok?

The Orange Peel is a big room, much like some of my other favorite music halls (The Music Farm in Charleston, SC comes to mind). It has high ceilings and ample ventilation, so if this hadn't been a no-smoking show, I think I still could've breathed. But, alas, there was no smoke! There is a huge bar on one side of the room. They have a great selection of beers ranging from PBR for you cheap types to a local micro brew, Wee-Heavy-Er from the French Broad Brewery. I went with the local and got very messed up, but I had a lovely time. My only complaint is that there wasn't a coat check. It was 19 outside but plenty warm inside.

Hopefully some more rock acts will come through and I can check out this venue again!

**** four asterisks

The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club
101 Biltmore Ave - (828) 225-5851

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mo Daddy's 01/09/09

I went into this establishment 2 times over the course of the evening. Once was right before a concert 2 doors down at The Orange Peel. I stopped in to grab a quick bite before the show. The atmosphere is a weird mix of art gallery and road house. There is a stage in the front corner where they sometimes have Blues or Rockabilly bands. The back is dark. There was no band when I arrived, but the stereo was up loud enough to make up for that.

I ordered a "Big Boss" burger and fries. I guess I should have gotten the "Chicken & Waffles" instead, as that is their signature dish. I asked for my burger medium well and got it well done when it arrived. The fries are the shoestring variety that are always too done for my tastes. Overall, I was not impressed with this course.

I came back in after the concert let out because I needed to sober up. I ordered another order of those shoestring potatoes which weren't cooked beyond recognition this time. They were, however, served with a "red wine gravy" that was both hoity-toity for a blues bar and nasty. There was a blues combo playing that were fairly entertaining. I'll give the place that. My friends I was with decided to dare me into drinking a shot of bourbon, which I did. As I recall it wasn't that unreasonably priced.

I could be dragged in the place again, but overall am not terribly impressed with the food. I think it works better as a bar, maybe?

*** three asterisks

Mo Daddy's
77 Biltmore Ave - (828) 258-1550