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The Great Late Plate

September 3, 2008

Asheville’s late night food scene has erupted all around us, catching on faster than a California wildfire.  Here are some of my new favorite late night food haunts.  I beg you Asheville, as the seasons change, don’t let the chill keep you from the hard day’s night.  Here are four reasons not to collectively hibernate for the months of Dec.-March.  We need you to keep these bright new joints alive, these inspired ventures offering new hope for the late night marauder.

 

The Flying Frog.  Their dining room gourmet style has finally come to the Frog Bar!  I jumped for joy when I read their new and improved bar menu of kobe sliders, bbq pork sliders, salads, Indian plate and. . . wait for it. . . kangaroo!!!  Somehow the kangaroo disappeared before I was able to sample it, but I heard it tasted alot like beef, just gamier.  I don’t exactly know how grilled kangaroo ended up on the Frog Bar’s new late night menu, and while I’m all for the novelty of it, aren’t kangaroos cuter than bunny rabbits?  Hence, I self-consciously unveil the great hypocrisy of the carnivore:  We don’t like to eat anything we’ve decided was cute as an adult.  The point is that I’m thrilled with the Frog’s new late night eats, and you will be too.

 

Sugo.  Still stuck on the 5pm-7pm gastronomic stimulus package, I still haven’t made it to Sugo for late night.  But the word on the street is that from 11pm-2:30am, they are serving the best of drunk food!  I’m not sure what that means exactly.  For me that would mean Velveeta mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese served on white bread with a slice of American, Egg Mcmuffin, or skinny cheese burgers.  Are you noticing a theme?  But what does “drunk food” mean to a gourmet Italian restaurant?  Meatball subs, pasta with parmesan and butter?  I’m just unclear.  There’s only one way to find out though, so I would appreciate it if you would visit them and report back to base.

 

Mo’Daddy’s.  My partner-in-dine fell fast and he fell hard for this new Asheville music venue.  The owners of Mamacita’s have taken the late night scene by storm, with their triple threat of inventive cocktails, (mostly) great music, and an exciting menu.  I listened to a some college-age warblers with banjos singing Pixies songs while munching on chicken-and-waffles and drinking a grapefruit mojito.  I wasn’t crazy about the drink, but the chicken-and-waffles dish was fun and flavorful.  Their ancho syrup combo was the perfect compliment to their juicy, extra crispy fried chicken.  That was all I sampled on my first visit, but I was thrilled by promise of the ever-trendy beef slider, fresh cut fries and more.  Plus, the vibes at Mo’Daddy’s are all right. (Next to Mamacita’s on Biltmore.)

 

The Usual Suspects.  I can’t write this post without recognizing that old standby, “The Youj.”  The steak salad with leeks and goat cheese never disappoints at 1:00am.  Their lightly breaded pork chop is a rock solid choice for either beer or wine drinkers.  And who, after their fourth cocktail, won’t eat a crab rangoon, that staple of chinese buffets everywhere, fried wontons filled with dollops of cream cheese and a teaspoon of canned crab meat?   Their goat cheese figs are delectable, and no matter what hour of the night, I can always find something tasty at the most pleasantly reliable bar in town, the Usual Suspects.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2008 4:15 pm

    I deeply love U.S.’s steak salad too. Also, have you tried their goat-cheese stuffed figs wrapped in bacon? Now that’s late night food at its best.

    What’s with all the sliders all the sudden? I sampled Jack of the Wood’s lamb sliders a couple weeks ago. Too much bread, but otherwise delicious.

    I remember having beef sliders at my Uncle’s restaurant on the coast of Georgia about three years ago. Is Asheville just now catching on to the slider trend?

  2. September 4, 2008 3:07 pm

    Sliders are America’s trendiest food since sushi. I think it has something to do with Wolfgang Puck trying to personally influence our culture enough to get everyone to start paying over $8 for something they could get at White Castle for 50 cents. Next, all the A-list stars will be noshing on ants-on-a-log at upscale eateries that all have single-word, single-syllable names, like Snack or Lick.

  3. the dj permalink
    September 7, 2008 10:17 am

    Gotta tell ya GG you’re really finding your voice out there in food land. Great post!!

  4. queen kirstifa permalink
    September 9, 2008 6:18 pm

    i don’t even know what a slider is, perhaps cause i’m too poor to get out much these days, but your analysis of the trend cracks me up. it’s funny because it’s true!

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