We first found out about Carmel’s Restaurant & Bar at The Grove Arcade a few years ago on a foodie tour. My husband and I were told about how important that farm-to-fork was to this restaurant. The two of us have meant to go here again, but with so many wonderful restaurants in Asheville, we never were able to find time to have a meal here. Finally, this past week we have dinner with some good friends of ours who were in Asheville, too.
Carmel’s has a decent selection of Asheville beers on tap thus the Asheville Brewing Company’s Ninja Porter (5.60% ABV) was ordered. It was a smooth and delightful way to start our time outside. The tables are on the southeast corner of the Grove Arcade thus there is a lot of pedestrian traffic. For appetizers, we chose the fried green tomatoes, and their pimento cheese. The fried green tomatoes came with fresh mozzarella, arugula, balsamic-bacon vinaigrette, and a basil aioli. They did not last long. What lasted a shorter time was their pimento cheese – a house made blend of cheeses with jalapenos. It was accompanied by some freshly made garlic crostini. The pimento cheese was some of the best we have ever had! My husband tried to purchase some to take home, but apparently Carmel’s does not realize they have a gold mine with their pimento cheese thus none was taken home.
For my entrée, I had their Hickory Burger. It is local free-range beef from an excellent Buncombe County farm. The burger came with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. On the side were sweet potato fries. My best friend thought they were excellent as she took quite a few of them off of my plate. Despite the warm temperature outside, my husband ordered their meatloaf. It is grilled with Hickory Nut Grove farm meats, topped with a light and creamy mushroom sauce. Mashed potatoes and baby green beans were served on the side. As soon as the plate was at his place, my husband dove in to the bright and crunchy green beans. The green bean’s sweetness was in every bite, making for a gastronomical delight.
Carmel’s is not the best restaurant in town, but it is up there. It has some very tough competition with Cúrate, and Bull and Beggar being the two best in town (see our reviews for both). Since we are always in downtown Asheville, we will make sure that Carmel’s is on our list. Put it on yours, too.
If you own or manage Carmel's Restaurant & Bar at The Grove Arcade, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.