We've got friends coming up the next few weekends, some of which have never been to Asheville before, so we're looking for a few places to go out to dinner. Food must be good, drinks are important, must be casual and not too pricey, but the main thing is that it should be a fun, lively place to kick back with a few drinks and spend time with friends.
We usually take people to Mela, but I'd like another option in case they don't want Indian. But Mela has what we're looking for - it's always bustling, entrees are under $15 and the beer and cocktails are good. We also thought about LAB and Jack of the Wood (I like the food better at LAB, atmosphere better at JOW...I guess it would be a toss-up.)
I love the Admiral and Curras but last time we went to each of those for a 'casual' night out the bill ran $80+ - too pricey for this crowd. Zambra and Limones are two of my faves but will be too pricey as well. Doc Chey's, Salsa's, Barleys and BierGarden all fit the casual/lively request but the food is sub-par, IMO. Nothing in West Asheville seems special enough.
So what am I missing? For such a laid-back town all of a sudden I feel like everything is too expensive or too "fancy" for people looking for good food in a casual, fun environment.
Jack of the Wood
95 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
13 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801