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

As usual, there’s been quite a lot of action in the food community lately. Restaurants have opened, new food trucks have rolled onto the horizon and culinary movers and shakers continue to generate buzz.

The Asheville Public opened in December in the River Arts District building that housed the long-lived Silver Dollar Restaurant. The building has been renovated in many ways, including the addition of more windows along the front wall, letting more light into the dining room. Charming features, like the rear end of a milk-truck sticking out of the building (it acts as a perfectly functional keg cooler), have been retained. The restaurant brings even more style to an ever-evolving RAD, recently hosting a New Year’s Eve dance party with a special menu featuring items like a foie gras-and-sweetbread-sausage. Have you been to TAP? Let us know about your experience in the comments field, if you’d like.

Speaking of bringing style to the RAD, The Junction kicked off a new brunch menu this weekend (Jan 7-8).

From the website:

“We’ll be open from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday serving up Chef Camp [Boswell]’s delicious take on that wonderful weekend-only meal. Think sweet tea-fried chicken paired up with Johnny Cakes, super local shrimp n’ grits, and a spin on eggs bennie with smoked salmon, braised collards and a mushroom grit cake. It’s belly-filling, super tasty, hearty enough to help you recover from last night eating.”

The new brunch offerings include a number of cocktail debuts for the restaurant, including a special Bloody Mary and something called the Salty Dog with Lukusowa Potato Vodka and freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, served on the rocks with a sea-salt rim.

And, while we’re on the subject of new menus, Blue Water Seafood Company in Asheville is adding dinner for the first time since the market opened last year. Expanded hours begin Tuesday, Jan 10. Both the seafood market and restaurant will be open until 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday — good news for diners and home-cooks alike.

Never Blue on Broadway, an Asheville outpost of a Hendersonville favorite, opened in October. The restaurant recently reopened after a short winter break with some new menu items. We’ve been charmed by the incredibly affordable specials the restaurant offers, like $2 blackened sea-bass tacos and $5 house margaritas. My guess is that this place will become a popular hang, especially when the weather warms (assuming the prices stay low). What say you Asheville? Have you tried it out yet?

Also, work on the West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen (aka WALK) proceeds. The new restaurant, which Xpress reported on earlier this year, is located across Haywood Road from the Admiral and should be open in late winter/early spring.

Meanwhile, sadly, both the White Duck Taco Shop and 12 Bones Barbecue remain closed for winter break until later this month (Wednesday, Jan 18 for 12 Bones and Monday, Jan 23 for the White Duck). According to employees of the restaurant, some of whom report being pretty darn relaxed, there’s nothing sad about the break.

Restaurants in the RAD aren’t the only businesses taking a winter break. Tall Gary’s Cantina reopens on Wednesday, January 11, after a 10-day hiatus. The restaurant/bar will host a grand re-opening celebration with $3 margaritas, $3 draft Highlands and $3 appetizer specials. The AskAsheville blog has more here.

Also, a brand-new restaurant called Latin Flavor is opening on the east side of town. Attempts to contact the restaurant’s owners have gone unanswered, so at this point, we have little to offer you besides a partially constructed website, an address (1360 Tunnel Road) and the knowledge that one of Denzel Washington’s former chefs is involved.

Oh, and in case you missed it, we’re pretty excited about a new Korean-Mexican food truck called El Kimchi.


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