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stone ridge tavern (asheville, nc)

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stone ridge tavern (asheville, nc)

mark | Dec 22, 2005 07:56 AM

decidedly mediocre.

i've eaten there four times now (one time too many) and i can't imagine i'll be back.

first visit i had the greek pasta. nice idea, but poorly executed. pasta with olive oil, garlic, kalamatas, feta, etc. slapped together with little discretion. poorly balanced flavors. the killer was the whole thing was dry. served with out-of-the-bag garlic toast.

second and third visit i had steak (ribeye on one occasion, strip on the other). both steaks were good, and on the plus side they do a very nice job cooking them (perfectly medium-rare on all occasions). the drawback is the price. steak prices are in the $15-$25 range. steaks are of decent quality and size, but not quite enough for the price. also, they have a bunch of add-ons (black & blue, chipotle, crab cake, shrimp, etc) which can easily push the price into the $30 range. for less $$s i can pick up a better quality slab-o-meat at greenlife, toss it on the grill, and have an equally or more enjoyable experience. for not many more bucks, i can go to a better place and get a much superior steak.

most meals come with a side and salad/soup. i've had the ceasar twice. it's a run-of-the-mill ceasar knock-off. not bad, but not a ceasar. of the sides, i've tried the asparagus, garlic-mashed potatoes, baked potato and steamed veggies. all were fine, but none stood out.

the last visit, i had the black and blue salad, in this case a greek salad with marinated and grilled sirloin on it. the salad was fine, but the dressing is a far cry from greek (more like a low-quality olive oil and vinegar, with an herbal note). the steak was cooked just right, and tasted fine, but had been marinated too long and had a mushy mouth-feel.

i've also tried a number of apps. none stood out, so much so that i can't even recall which ones i had.

cocktails have been on the wimpy side.

portions are large, but even so the prices are a little high for the quality. somehow, i wind up paying about $10 more than i feel the meal is worth. little odds-and-ends just seem to rack up on the bill.

it's a decent option if you're in that area and don't want to get in the car. the place isn't bad, it's simply pedestrian. but a little driving will pay dividends given proximity to downtown. if you go, i'd suggest a steak. but don't expect to be impressed.

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