Small Bites

Wayside Bar & Grille: If a former La Paz bartender has his druthers, the old Biltmore Village train depot will once again become a must-stop spot for locals and tourists alike. Mark Harding and his wife Polly last month opened the Village Wayside Bar & Grille (pictured) in the 1894 depot, designed by Biltmore architect Richard Morris Hunt.

“I’ve been patiently staring out the window, wondering what was going to happen to this place,” Harding says of the building, which The Depot Restaurant vacated last year. “I knew Biltmore Village needed a casual, family-friendly environment.”

Harding describes the Village Wayside as an “American grill.”

“It’s a place to have a couple of cold beers and not break the bank,” he says.

The menu is populated by dishes the Hardings dreamt up over a decade of wanting to own a restaurant: Early customer favorites include cabbage rolls, gyros and a turkey Reuben, Harding reports. “It just melts in your mouth,” Harding says of the sandwich. Harding is also a great fan of Southern-tinged dishes such as a house-roasted turkey with a sweet tea brine and a sandwich dressed with Cheerwine barbecue sauce.

“Food quality is huge,” Harding adds.

Village Wayside, 30 Lodge St., is open Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-late; and Sun., noon-9 p.m. For more information, call 277-4121.

Fig Bistro: Further down in the road in Biltmore Village, FIG Bistro this month debuts a $25 early bird special featuring a three-course tasting menu. The menu will be available Mon.-Fri. from 5:30-7 p.m., and includes a starter, entrée and dessert. Diners who eschew the prix-fixe option on Wednesdays can take advantage of another summer promotion: Starting this month, a selection of wines will be offered at half-price every Wednesday to anyone ordering two or more entrées. To learn more about either deal, call 273-0863.

Admiral July 4 Cookout With Homemade Hot Dogs: The Admiral in West Asheville will host a July 4 cookout celebration in a style that matches the bar/restaurant’s unique approach to traditional American fare. The event, which begins and noon and runs until the food is gobbled up (though the bar will stay open until 2 a.m., as usual), will feature not only classic cookout fare but also some unusual twists. In addition to burgers and ample helpings of Wedge beer, the Admiral’s chefs will cook up some of their signature “gourmet-ish” sides. A special treat: manning one of the grills will be Jeremy Hardcastle, a chef at Table who will be making the public debut of Hardcastle’s Hot Dogs — homemade wieners he’s been perfecting for the past several months. The hot dogs are Hardcastle’s recipe, made using prime cuts of locally procured ingredients. And that’s not all: Hardcastle will be serving special toppings, like those on the newly christened Admiral Dog, which comes with bacon, guacamole and mayo.

Flight Wood Grill: Flight Wood Grill smartly doesn’t shy away from small things: Executive Chef Rob Keener has made Twitter a showcase for photos and dispatches from the Hendersonville eatery, which is now pairing its smallest plates with a very small price. According to a recent post on the restaurant’s blog, the bar’s tapas now cost $2. And the same goes for high-gravity beers. While the food and drink lineup may change, the restaurant vows the price won’t: “$2 all the time,” the post says. To learn more, call 694-1030.

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