Small Bites

Taqueria Jalisco: The tacos and tortas featured at West Asheville’s newest Mexican restaurant are rooted in a cuisine associated with a place 1600 miles away, but the eatery got its start a little closer to home: Taqueria Jalisco last month relocated from east Asheville to the Patton Avenue storefront vacated by 28806 Deli and Catering. The busy, no-frills taqueria specializes in street-cartish preparations of grilled beef, chicken, pork and tongue. Taqueria Jalisco is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 225-3889.

Photo by Jonathan Welch

The Thirsty Monk: A monk cannot live on beer alone: The Thirsty Monk, Asheville’s resident Belgian-style pub, recently announced the debut of The Hungry Monk, a full-service kitchen on the bar’s second floor. Chris Aquilino, a Swannanoa Culinary School instructor who served as chef for EarthFare South’s beer dinners, will serve as executive chef. “We’re working on menu design now,” e-mails Monk owner Barry Bialik, promising “an intricate weave of food and beer.”

Initial plans include a daily chef/bartender special featuring a multi-course meal paired with three half-sized beers and small plates made with beer. Bialik writes: “Some of our menu items being tossed around are mini salmon and filet mignon burgers; cilantro matzo balls in saison broth; housemade soft pretzels; cleverly named appetizers such as Warm Monk Nuts; and a line of desserts including housemade chocolate.”

Bialik plans to open the kitchen later this month, but is already sneaking some edible experiments onto his bar menu: Free samples of dishes under consideration are offered every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., a series that kicked off in February with Waterzooi and Carbonnade, two lovably messy Belgian stews.

“I’m very excited about our kitchen coming on line and being an even stronger part of the Asheville restaurant/bar community,” Bialik writes.

The Thirsty (and now Hungry) Monk is located at 92 Patton Ave. To learn more, call 254-5470.

Sunny Point Café: The dishes on Sunny Point Café‘s newest dinner menu are “really fun and yummy,” vows owner Brigett Bolding, who’s particularly excited about an appetizer plate of warm mushroom pate served with Lusty Monk mustard. Other dishes on the seasonal menu include (get ready, Vietnamese food fans) pho, chicken pot pie and Mac and Cheese Woodland style, “dusted with walnuts and love.” Call 252-0055 for more information.

Jack Of The Wood: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, an adage that holds especially true in the British Isles, where the full breakfast—along with the Sunday roast and fish and chips—is a cherished member of the region’s delectable triumvirate. A traditional Irish fry-up will soon be available at Jack of the Wood every Sunday from 12 noon to 3 p.m. “This means a steaming plate of free-range eggs, bangers or vegetarian sausages, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, roasted mushrooms and homemade soda bread,” e-mails pub co-owner Joan Eckert. The food will be accompanied by Guinness specialty drinks, Bloody Marys and screwdrivers. Already-committed customers include the musicians who participate in the pub’s weekly Irish music jam: “We’ll have the session players on hand to round out the ambiance,” Eckert writes. For more information, call 252-5445.

Chef’s Quarter: Three of Asheville’s leading chefs are offering meals at a cut-rate price through the end of the month: Biltmore Village’s Corner Kitchen, Rezaz and Fig have partnered for a prix fixe promotion featuring “three culinary visions, one destination.” Each restaurant has created a $25 three-course menu, available on weeknights through March 31. Reservations are suggested; call the restaurant directly to learn more.


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