We just visited Asheville for four days from the DC area. Despite all the great sounding restaurants, picking was a little tricky with three kids (ages 12,8,5) and one of us with gluten intolerance. We wanted to eat local and avoid chicken fingers. Luckily, online menus and Chowhounds made picking easier.
We really liked eating at the Sunny Point Cafe, in West Asheville. They seemed to have a bigger breakfast selection than the other breakfast placed in town. They have a large number of interesting choices for omlette fillings, and the omlette was *great*. We also really enjoyed the grits/shrimp/roasted tomatoes dish. They have a good kids menu (yogurt and fruit, for example), plus regular menu items kids like such as a cream cheese and jam french toast sandwich. And...oh yes...*real* maple syrup on the tables.
We also really like 12 Bones Smokehouse, on Riverside Drive. It seemed to have gotten lukewarm reviews on Chowhounds, but when we got there at noon the line was snaking out the door. Guy in front of us said it was always like that - even in the rain. We have a full rack of brown sugar ribs (they have four other flavors that vary day by day), pulled pork, corn pudding plus other sides, and sweet tea - what could be better? Only wished we had gotten another half rack.
Ate at the Laughing Seed for lunch one day. Food is a little much for our kids, *but* the day was saved with grilled cheese sandwiches on high-quality bread that they all liked - leaving us to order whatever we wanted.