Dining in North Asheville has its limitations with many thinking of heading downtown Asheville to find what they are looking for when eating out. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great dining spots in North Asheville – just not a lot of them. So we need to take note of the ones that are there.
I finally made it to Avenue M, on the corner of Merrimon Avenue and Gracelyn Road where Usual Suspects used to be located. It’s been open for a few years at this point but since North Asheville is out of the way for me these days I kept forgetting to get over there and try them out. I regret not getting there sooner because my wife and I had a really good experience.
It was cold so no one was able to take advantage of the outdoor dining area which is pet friendly. It was good to see that they were busy which required us to wait a few minutes for a table. That gave us an opportunity to soak in the environment and grab a drink at the bar while we waited. Still very much the same as it was as Usual Suspects but with perhaps a little more comfy atmosphere. The silent movies still play on the wall in the back dining room! Love this, it reminds me of a pizza place we used to go to when I was a kid that showed silent Laurel & Hardy movies.
Service was good and the atmosphere inviting and comfortable. We were sat in the back dining room and I enjoyed watching bits of the silent movie during our conversation at the table. The menu has a lot to offer so it’s open for a variety of palates.
We started our dinner with the Blue Crab Rangoons ($8.95) consisting of crab meat, cream cheese, scallions, fried in a wonton wrapper with a hot and sour sauce. Perhaps a touch over cooked they were still delicious. I would have to order them again on my next visit.
My wife order the Seared Hanger Steak ($17.95) topped with caramelized onion gorgonzola cream sauce and served with mashed red potatoes, sautéed veggies and spring greens salad. The cream sauce was outstanding on the nicely cooked hanger steak, a very appealing combination. If a hanger steak isn’t marinated, I like to have a good sauce with it and this fit the bill pretty good even if it wasn’t my entrée!
I like to try fish tacos but usually wait until I find a place that sounds like they know what they’re doing with them. The description on the menu was a good indicator to me so I order the Blackened Fish Tacos ($15.95) which were listed on the menu as spicy. I had my choice of salmon, mahi or shrimp so I went with the mahi. It also came with Cuban black beans, jasmine rice, fresh tomato cilantro salsa, guacamole and of course tortillas. This was a great choice for me. The spice was good but didn’t overwhelm the taste of the mahi and the combination with the beans, rice and condiments were just what the doctor ordered. I love it when a plan comes together and I eat well!
Avenue M is a good dining spot on Asheville’s north side but you don’t have to live north to take advantage of it. Give them a try – I recommend them.
791 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina 28804