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

Elaine's Dueling Piano Bar - The Grove Park Inn 01/08/09

OK, so a friend from work wanted to go here to celebrate my birthday. The website for the Grove Park Inn advertises Elaine's dueling pianos as, "a rip-roaring delightfully naughty good time." Now, I don't know what the ad execs who thought that one up were smoking, but I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that the time I had was either rip-roaring or naughty.

We arrived a little before 9PM when the supposed fun would take place. I asked for a Mojito, which I'd been meaning to try since watching them make them at Salsa's back during the summer. The barmaid inquired if I'd like it with Bacardi or house rum, and knowing I was in a high dollar place and being treated by someone else, I decided to go easy on her wallet and chose the house rum. Now by "house rum", they apparently meant "gin". Either that or it was the worst rum money can buy. After that I just decided to have beer, because you can't screw up a bottle of beer.

Now back to the entertainment, I apparently wasn't drunk enough or in the right crowd, because everyone else in the place would laugh at something periodically or sing along whenever the piano players would do a little call and response during one of the world's most trite cover songs. I just wasn't feeling it, I guess. Maybe if you are in a large group or are very inebriated, you may find it amusing. I dunno. I didn't. But I also don't want to hear "Ring of Fire" played on a piano in a cabaret style.

At some point during the evening, we got sandwiches, which were served "box lunch" style with chips. I had an Italian Sub. The menu touted the packets of mustard and mayonnaise as some kind of bonus. I gotta say, the meats on the sub were actually very fresh and not at all processed meats tasting. I mean it was prosciutto and real Genoa salami.

*** three asterisks

Elaine's Dueling Piano Bar
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
290 Macon Ave - (828) 252-2711