Asheville is one of my favorite places to visit. It's a "nice town, weird folk" as the saying goes, but good eats should just as well be tacked on to the end. After living there for six years (the longest I've lived anywhere thanks to college and grad school,) I have quite a few favorite places where I always like to make my rounds when I visit. I'll share a few old favorites and some new places I tried on this most recent jaunt.
Marco's Pizza - The best Pizza in Asheville bar none. It took awhile to find good floppy thin crust New York style Pizza in Asheville, but thank god I did. This place has the goods. I like mine straight up cheese (I'm a total purist when it comes to good pizza.) The Greek salads and particularly the homemade greek dressing is the stuff Mediterranean dreams are made of.
12 Bones - A pork lovers fantasy land. Pork smoked out back with an array of gourmet sauces (blueberry chipotle ribs anyone?) homemade sides, and local beer all at a reasonable price. This is western Carolina style barbeque country, so stick with the tomato based sauces and let the vinegar based ones stay back East. My male friends are obsessed with the hogzilla (a monster of a sandwich towering with pulled pork, bacon, a homemade sausage and cheese) to the point where it has become a much loved right of passage. I'm partial to the equally caloric, but slightly less guilt inducing pork plate with jalepeno cheese grits, cornbread and bacon cooked collards. The freshly smoked turkey, bacon, and brie sandwich with pesto mayo is similarly a taste sensation. Even the salads here are amazing (I would eat the spicy ranch dressing on literally anything) and have to the option of being pork laden. If your avoiding meat, as I was this summer, don't let yourself within a five mile radius of this place (you can smell the pork smoking from about that far out) it can make even an ironclad veggie's will crumble. Am I gushing?
My favorite pick is the Sausage and sweet potato scramble with a biscuit and local Berry Best jam.
White Duck Taco - A new hotspot for underfinanced foodies in Asheville located over in the River Arts District. Homemade soft tacos in unique combinations like Lamb Gyro, Banh Mi Tofu, Duck Mole or Jerk Chicken, run around $3.50 or so each. Surprisingly, I was advised against ordering the duck taco, strange considering the name. Popular opinion convinced me to try the Bangkok shrimp tacos which were loaded with crunchy shrimp, fresh lightly pickeled cumcumber slices and a creamy sweet, spicy thai sauce. The margaritas were made with fresh juice and super yummy, but could have benefited from some additional tequila.