Small Bites

The downtown Asheville location of Rio Burrito, the pioneering California-style joint that perennially finishes near the top of the burrito heap in the Xpress’ “Best Of WNC” poll, has served its last overstuffed wrap. The restaurant, at 11 Broadway, shuttered last Wednesday after 12 years of providing Asheville’s health-conscious hippies with a beans-and-rice-based status symbol. “People are very upset,” Assistant Manager Tami Leaven said. “I’m very upset.” Rio consistently drew a diverse group of hungry downtowners, many of whom may now start making the trek to the burrito shop’s South Asheville location (1950 Hendersonville Road), which will remain open. Leaven refused to comment on the reasons for the closure—“They’re personal,” she said—but shared a tasty tidbit concerning the future of the space: “I do believe a couple from the Coast is opening a burger joint,” she said.

You shouldn’t have to wait too long on your order of a dozen raw at The Lobster Trap—assuming head chef Tres Hundertmark is doing the shucking. Last month he finished eighth in the 2007 National Oyster Shucking Championship, shucking two dozen oysters in two minutes and 19 seconds. While his time was on par with the top finishers—overall winner William “Chopper” Young took two minutes and 12 seconds to complete his shuck—he was sunk by penalties imposed by the professional waterman judging the contest. Competitors are penalized for leaving their oysters uncut or attached to the shell. “Next year, I’ll be cleaner,” Hundertmark vowed in a release.

Quelle joie! The annual fundraiser for the Asheville Downtown Association est arrivee! The association hosts its 13th annual Nouveau Night on Thursday, Nov. 15, to celebrate the release of the latest crop of Beaujolais, France’s famed light, fruity wine with the limited shelf life. The gala affair at the Haywood Park Hotel features music, wines—Beaujolais and otherwise—and food from two dozen local restaurants. Tickets are $40, and may be purchased at the Weinhaus, Asheville Wine Market, The Wine Guy or the Asheville Downtown Association Office. For more information, call 251-9973.


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