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Asheville Trip Report

hal2010 | Apr 2, 201408:55 PM

We had 2 nights and 1-1/2 days during a cold snap in Asheville in March. Stayed at the aLoft hotel, which was very good, but this ain’t Tripadvisor….

First night we had no reservations for dinner and didn’t feel like traveling too far so we went up the street to Doc Cheys. They do a pretty good interpretation of Asian comfort foods. Nothing’s quite authentic but it’s fresh and well made. The place was slammed on a Sunday night. Service was very efficient.

Chai Pani had some of the best Indian food I’ve had in a while. Nicely spiced, layered flavours. A real treat. The lunchtime serve yourself program seemed a bit pointless as there were 3 or 4 servers there anyway just hanging out and chatting at the bar. The chai was bad. No cardamom. Sort of a thin, ginger-flavoured milk. Bhel puri, saag paneer and butter chicken were good.

Seven Sows was a let down. The limited menu was further reduced because they were out of lamb of all sorts. The rockfish was actually steelhead trout but the waitress assured me it had the same flavour. I’ve never had rockfish but I doubt a white sea fish tastes like trout. I found it difficult to order a few dishes that actually went together. The food was good but nothing too memorable. I’d read that the Brussels sprouts were incredible. They were grilled Brussels sprouts with some pancetta. Service was indifferent, almost bored. Two of the 4 desserts were out as well. The deconstructed PB+J sandwich beside the butterscotch pudding didn’t really work as a good pairing. The crème brulee was good.

Stopped in at Wicked Weed for some beer, but not food. The beer was very good but I thought there were too many that relied on added flavourings. The minority were malt and hop concoctions. The majority had fruit added or were aged in bourbon casks or had been dreamed up in a staff contest.

Breakfast on the way out was at City Bakery across the street from the hotel. Very good breakfast sandwiches on savory biscuits. Good coffee. We also had breakfast at the aLoft hotel and their steel cut oats with pralines, coconut and pineapple are excellent.

Up next: Savannah, then Beaufort then Charleston.

Chai Pani Asheville,
Wicked Weed Brewing Pub,
City Bakery
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