I've been browsing through previous posts and have not been able to find recommendations for local, hole in the wall places to eat. i'm talking about the mom and pop places that consistently draw a crowd, rich and poor, and don't necessarily have websites or get reviewed in the local papers.
my friends and are i driving through asheville in mid-June (unfortunately, on a monday evening) and while we appreciate fine dining comparable to big cities such as nyc or san francisco, we don't necessarily want to spend that much money at each road stop! and actually, after having browsed through tons of menus, mostly in the $18-$30 price range, they are not all that different from each other.
we like fresh, locally grown ingredients, if possible, and/or food with local flavor. for example, we've had excellent po boys at a bayou shack in new orleans, great lobster rolls at a roadside stand in wisccasset, maine, and the best roast duck at a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant/take out in the richmond district in san francisco (for under $5!).
right now i'm obsessed with finding a place that serves mountain trout or catfish or fried chicken/bbq/ribs) with the local fixings (and also banana pudding). but i will eat just about anything (fried grasshoppers, monkfish liver, alligator meat, etc).
i can't speak for my friends but for me, flavor trumps service and decor almost every time.
we are also heading to atlanta, memphis and oklahoma city through birmingham and little rock so any recommendations for those areas would be appreciated as well.
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