Food news to go: News of the Asheville-area food scene in small bites

Anyone interested in a little Ethiopian food?

Martha Kibede has visited Asheville several times over the past year, and thinks this might be an ideal location for an Ethiopian restaurant. We tend to agree. Kibede’s food is spectacular (she brought some to the Xpress offices so that we could sample it), and we’re hoping that she chooses our city for a place to set up shop (she’s also considering Birmingham, Ala.). Here’s a link to the restaurant she operates in Atlanta, Enat Ethiopia Café. There’s a contact page on the site, so if you feel inclined, shoot her a message to help her feel like she’d be welcomed and supported in the Asheville area.

Asheville Pizza expands …

How well does Asheville support local? Well enough that at least one local business has been able to take over a building recently abandoned by a struggling chain restaurant. When a Domino’s Pizza location in south Asheville closed, the owners of the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, a beloved local business with a loyal following and a burgeoning empire to show for it, pounced on the opportunity to take over the restaurant. The Asheville Pizza crew, it seems, knows a good opportunity when they see one.

The newest addition to the growing Asheville Pizza family (the restaurant currently has a location on Merrimon and another downtown on Coxe Avenue) is located off Hendersonville Road in the Gerber Village. The location will offer only delivery and takeout; the old Domino’s building doesn’t have the facilities to accommodate dine-in eating. On the plus side, however, the building is almost ready for business as is. “The location is perfect for us, and it’s pretty much all set up already,” says Doug Riley, brewer and owner of the Asheville Pizza Company. “It already had a walk-in [refrigerator], a hood,” he says. “We just basically have to buy a make-line and some ovens, and we’re ready to go.”

To start out, Asheville Pizza south will only offer pizza and beer — in growlers and cans (when they’re ready) — but what more do you really need?

Riley says that the pizza location could be ready to open as early as December.

“There’s so many apartments and houses down there, it’s kind of a no-brainer.” says Riley. “The only delivery [in that area] now that Domino’s is gone is Pizza Hut. We’re going to be almost the only game in town down there, which will be nice.”

Information about the new location will be posted at http://www.ashevillepizza.com as it becomes available.

… but Simma Down doesn’t fare so well

Not everyone’s thriving in the local food scene.

The buzz on Twitter early last week was that Simma Down, the Jamaican restaurant on Eagle Street, had shut its doors. Xpress has repeatedly stopped by the restaurant to talk to the owners, but we’ve found no one there. The operator of a nearby convenience store reports that the owner of Simma Down feels that struggling through the impending winter season is just “not worth it.” However, no one has been able to confirm whether the shop will stay shuttered for good. The Ashvegas blog noted today that the restaurant’s Facebook page indicates that the restaurant is closed for “the time being.” We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

 

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