Rita’s Cantina: A brand new restaurant in Biltmore Village is putting the Tex in Mex, with square footage befitting the Lone Star state. Asked to describe Rita’s Cantina, owner Chip Ladigo immediately says: “We’re a 9,300-square-foot restaurant seating 250 people.”
Ladigo moved from Florida to open the eatery in the 2 Hendersonville Road location formerly occupied by Trevi. While Ladigo previously ran Italian restaurants, Rita’s is a thoroughly South-of-the-Border endeavor. “We have fajitas, chili rellenos and barbecue nachos,” Ladigo says.
The menu also features a lengthy roster of margaritas, including the Mambo Taxi, a frozen lime concoction doused with sangria. The drinks, Ladigo asserts, are the only things frozen at Rita’s. “We have no freezers in the entire restaurant,” he says. “The only thing we have in a freezer is ice cream. Everything is brought in fresh every day.”
Rita’s Cantina opens for dinner every day at 4 p.m.; the restaurant plans to debut lunch service next week. For more information, call 251-1833.
Warren Wilson College: Serving organic food in a college cafeteria no longer merits environmentalists’ attention, but Warren Wilson’s innovative organic-farming program earned the school a runner-up mention in Plenty magazine’s recent green-campus ranking. According to the article, more than 1,000 schools are now purchasing organic produce. But Warren Wilson students grow their own, each devoting upward of 15 hours a week to raising the beef, pork and vegetables served in the school’s dining halls. Top honors in the Greenest Cafeteria category went to University of California at Santa Cruz, where six alumni-organized cooperative farms grow 25 percent of the campus’s produce.
Kosta’s Kitchen: Kosta Vlahakis says his regulars didn’t hesitate to follow him when he recently relocated his popular eatery from Sweeten Creek Road to the Skyland Crest shopping center, citing “too much overhead.” Although the venue has changed, “we’re still serving like we’ve been doing for 27 years,” Vlahakis says. Kosta’s at 1950 Hendersonville Road is open every day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. To reach the restaurant, call 684-0279.
A-B Tech: There aren’t too many restaurants in Asheville where a reservation is an absolute must, but it’s impossible to score a seat at one of A-B Tech’s Hospitality Education dinners without one. The start of the fall semester marked the return of the department’s popular buffet program, designed to give students additional experience in food preparation. Themed buffets are offered at the Magnolia Building on all but five Thursdays between now and Dec. 4. The buffets—which include appetizers, soup, salad, entrees, side dishes, desserts and beverage—are priced at $11 to $15 for lunch and $15 to $17 for dinner. Sound good? Listen closely: Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 254-1921, ext. 244 after 10 a.m. on the Monday preceding the Thursday the meal is served.
Hendersonville Curb Market: The Hendersonville Curb Market on Church Street is preparing to roll out the wood stoves for its thrice-yearly Ol’ Timey Day, a celebration featuring crafts, old cars and breakfasts of ham, sausage, biscuits and gravy cooked the old-fashioned way. The Saturday, Sept. 27, event runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 692-8012.