My Husband and I took a trip this past weekend to Asheville with some friends of ours. We had been telling them about Luella's for days and we all decided that we would be having dinner there Saturday night (we are HUGE BBQ FANS!!) We got there around 5pm and had no problem getting in. He and I had eaten at Luella's back earlier in the year and absolutely loved it. But this time....not so much. I'm not sure if we built up the quality and taste of the food from talking about it so much or if it had to do with the fact that it felt like everything was different. The pork slider was bland, no smoke, no flavor. The chicken slider put us in mind of boiled chicken tossed in BBQ sauce ( and it wasn't a very good BBQ sauce at that). The brisket slider was good, not as good as we remember from our last visit...but it was the best out of the 3 sliders we had. I ordered the brisket chili cheese fries.....TOTAL let down. I was expecting this heaping pile of fresh french fries, covered in the wonderful brisket we had on the brisket sliders earlier in the year, then smothered in chili and lots of cheese. Yeah, there were about 12 fries in a salad bowl/plate type thing, completely covered in chili, a couple tiny pieces of brisket meat and then covered in shredded cheese, that looked like it was placed in the microwave instead of in the over or under a burner to melt and get all bubbly. Our friends ordered the sliders to share and were unable to eat them, because they were lacking in flavor and over all appeal. They also ordered a garden salad topped with the smoked chicken (i.e. the boiled chicken tossed in some yucky BBQ sauce). My Husband ordered the smoked sausage plate with slaw, and beans. The slaw was so ground up it looked like mush....soupy mush! The beans weren't cooked enough and were tough. But the real kicker was the sausage. This looked like the sausage you can buy in the grocery store (not some kind of homemade sausage, smoked out back with the rest of the BBQ meats), they were hardly room temperature and so tough and the casing was so chewy that after one bite my husband had to spit it out. (Note the waitress came by shortly after and asked if he needed a box and he said NO. I've waited tables in my time at different restaurants and if someone left a whole plate of food and didn't ask for or take a to-go box, I would have been checking to see what was wrong with their meal). The only upside to the dinner was the chicken wings our friends ordered..He said they were hot and fresh and very flavorful....we didn't try them. By then, we were done...we had, had enough!!!
So again, we aren't sure what happened during this visit to Luella's; did the menu change, did they change owners, was the boss out of town, did someone loose the recipes for the awesome BBQ sauces we had there previously???...Seriously though, what happened??? We had been looking forward to and planning our next visit to Asheville and we just knew we had to go back to Luella's. Yeah, we're not sure we'll be doing that again any time soon. Between the cold, flavorless and less than impressive food we ordered and the totally unfriendly, unconcerned waitress we had, we'll have to look for another BBQ place to visit in Asheville the next time we're in town.