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“Nice Place To Visit But Have Dinner Somewhere Else” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ben's Tune Up

Ben's Tune Up
195 Hilliard Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 253-9136
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Ranked #291 of 565 Restaurants in Asheville
Cuisines: Japanese, American
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Nice Place To Visit But Have Dinner Somewhere Else”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

The bottom line – order the small plates, bring ear plugs, visit when the weather is nice.

Visited twice in last month – a Saturday and Wednesday night.
The atmosphere is hip and very Asheville. As one reviewer noted, Ben's has lots of outdoor seating and interesting landscaping.
Hostess – nice.
Service – good, except we had to ask for napkins & utensils after we had gotten our food.
Music – very loud and good. After someone complained, they turned it down but still loud ( & I'm a hard rock fan!). They played new & old alternative. I noticed a couple of Clash songs in the mix.
Busy place even on Wednesday night and some rain.
Order the small plates (appetizers) then go to one of the million eating places within walking distance of Ben's for your main course. I ordered the large plate shrimp dish at $20.00, very disappointing – noodles with some shrimp thrown in. The Cave-Aged Cabot Cheddar small plate was very good. The $6.00 brownie looked great; but, it was very disappointing, also.
Beer selection is just adequate for an establishment in Beer City USA. Only 6 on tap. Generous selection of sake. Mother's mixed drink was excellent.
On Wednesday, the music was Surf Rock and great. Small plates – Japanese Fried Chicken $8.00 nicely done, just the right amount of breading and good sauce. Tempeh Yakitori $5.00 had Saturday also, this time the sauce was overpowering and had to dip the Tempeh in my Japanese Chicken sauce – just right.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Maybe in another 6 months”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Ben's Tuneup is a difficult place to review. It is a really great space if the weather is good in that the vast majority is outdoors and very attractive. It is well located in the hot South Slope of downtown Asheville and seems to have been embraced by 20-something hipsters who are always looking for the next big thing.

In my opinion Ben's hasn't a chance at being that. If it is raining or cold there is very little protected space in which to eat, and frankly why would you? I went with three friends who are in the age group that seems fascinated by this place and 3 of the 4 of us had very disappointing meals. One friend had a dish that was described as a shrimp stir fry. It was a very odd looking concoction with pink noodles (apparently caused by the inexplicable inclusion of thin leathery slices of beet), shrimp and a few other almost unidentifiable ingredients. We all tried it since my friend said she wasn't going to eat it and it was pretty bad.

While the prices are reasonable for this area, bad food isn't and sadly this was bad food. Furthermore, our server, while friendly, was inattentive and uncooperative. Two of the four of our group work in restaurants as servers and are quite well aware of what it takes to accomplish certain tasks like splitting a check 4 ways. They were appalled when our server claimed she couldn't do this because she hadn't written the orders up as split in the first place.

Ben's is apparently one of the many places being opened by ex-employees of The Admiral but at this point it is a big disappointment. If it survives the next 6 months and anyone has anything good to say about it, I might try it again, but for now, I'd advise you to give it a pass.

We all finished and walked over to Storm and ordered another dinner, and it was great.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Loved the food and atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We went to Ben's Tune Up for our anniversary dinner and we loved every moment of it (well except the loud music). The atmosphere was wonderful. The food was filling and the waitresses were very sweet. I would recommend that everyone goes to this restaurant and tries it out.

Visited August 2013
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Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great setting; so-so food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This latest addition to Asheville's food scene has a great atmosphere: lots of outdoor seating, interesting landscaping, marvelous work done with the existing structure that turned a garage into a funky restaurant. They have a vast array of beer, wine and a few ciders on the menu making this a great place to grab a drink. The menu, while interesting is made of of small plates such as Tempeh yakitori for $6 or Orange Marlin sashimi. and while I understand the concept of "small plates" these portions seemed exceptionally small. The Shishito Peppers were tasty and salty with tiny bits of sausage mixed in. The sashimi was beautifully presented but without a lot of taste. The tempeh yakitori-four cubes of tempeh marinated in soy sauce were salty but tasty. The blob of rice on the plate added nothing to the mix. I would definitely return to this place for drinks but don't see it as a dining destination. Maybe the ramen is the way to go...

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Dramatic and Great Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Located in the remains of an industrial building, Ben's ambiance is terrific. Without a roof for most of the establishment, the architects have outdone themselves in creating a very hip, congenial setting. It is very popular and you will run into a line waiting to get in but it is worth the wait.

Our group of four ordered many small plates which were delicious. We got exactly what the description said we would so there were no surprises. Drinks on the other hand were just average. Service was good, we ate inside due to sprinkles. Yes, I would go back again.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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