Food news to go: Asheville area restaurant news in small bites

Though the big news this holiday weekend is the Christmas snow, area restaurants have a lot on their plate as well:

Viva sandwich!
Viva Deli (the new incarnation of Viva Europa, formerly located on Montford Avenue) is opening at 625 Haywood Road the first week of January with expanded seating, hours and overall space.

According to Stacy Kropp, who’s opening Viva Deli with partner Peter Callahan and Glenn Goldberg (her brother), the kitchen will be now large enough to allow the Culinary Institute-trained Goldberg to expand his menu.

Goldberg plans to roast many of the eatery’s meats, including corned beef, beef brisket, chopped liver, roasted turkey and hot, medium and mild Italian sausages. A number of house-made cheeses will also be featured. Expect to find house-made Ricotta, various flavored cream cheese schmears and a house mozzarella. Additionally, Viva Deli plans to feature house-baked breads and sandwich rolls, as well as pastries, bagels and desserts.

Beer and wine will be available once the eatery is able to obtain a license, which (by law) will be after the venture has opened, says Kropp. So be patient, West Asheville. It’s coming.

Viva Deli will be open 7 days a week, staying open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.

For more information, call 575-2055. The website is not yet live, but will be

Free chai for you!
Chai Pani has lots of news for 2011, says owner Meherwan Irani. The Battery Park Avenue restaurant will now be serving its funky brand of Indian street food seven days a week, starting Monday, Jan. 3. The eatery will also offer free chai with meals all winter long. And, in what is great news for those of us that work downtown, lunch delivery will be offered free of charge on weekdays in January. “If it’s too cold to go out we’ll bring some Chai Pani warmth to you,” says Irani.

Also, says Irani, the new year will bring “dosa Sundays.” A dosa, he says, “is a crispy, thin, savory crepe made from a rice and lentil batter with a variety of stuffing inside — spicy potatoes, scrambled spicy eggs, balsamic glazed onions, etc.” I had a chance to sample one recently, and I can attest to the fact that they are delicious.

Chai Pani will offer daily $5.99 lunch specials, Monday through Friday, all winter long. Also, says Irani, the restaurant will feature an expanded dinner special menu that will showcase some of the more creative Indian/world fusion items the kitchen has been toying with lately. Tandoori pork chops, anyone?

Chai Pani has also launched an online merchandise store. Some of the items featured include “tiffins,” cute stackable metal tin lunchboxes of sorts. Check ‘em out.

A hog hiatus:
Both the south and the Riverside locations of 12 Bones Smokehouse have closed for the restaurants’ annual winter break. Those addictive ribs will be available again on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

From the blogosphere:
Via Ashvegas, Salsa’s is moving to a much larger space than the cramped quarters it’s occupied for over a decade. Hector Diaz’s flagship Mexican/Caribbean eatery is moving to Broadway in the space that once held the Old North State, a business that has since moved to Battery Park Ave.

Also, via Ashvegas, Barley’s is repeatedly haunted.

Local food blog, A Spicy Perspective, offers ideas for what to do if trapped in the snow, which some of you undoubtedly are: bake. Here’s to hoping you managed to get to the grocery store before the weather hit.

She also offers a recipe for molasses spice cookies with toasted marshmallow that look pretty fantastic.

Stay warm and toasty folks. Happy holidays.


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One thought on “Food news to go: Asheville area restaurant news in small bites

  1. thedj

    Glad Viva Europa’s in the W. AVL hood but they’ve got to do something about that sign out front. It looks like an Ed Hardy digestive system diagram.

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