Depot Street

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The other night my husband wanted to take me out to celebrate the release of Historic Inns of Asheville, which was super sweet, but we have a resolution to only eat at new places since there are so many great restaurants in Asheville we haven’t tried. This makes things a little harder. I wanted steak, but ask around and its hard to pin down a steak place in Asheville (if you ask around most people will name chains). Great hamburger? I could name a dozen local places. Vegetarian fare? absolutely. 3 great Indian places within a few blocks. But steak? We couldn’t decide. We played on Urban Spoon for a while, and then asked everyone working at the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar (where they have signed copies of my book!) and we finally decided on the Junction on Depot Street. What a great pick!

The food was fantastic, and so were the drinks – they have wine for $5 a glass, and Kris got a fig cocktail that “tasted like fall.” My steak was perfect, and Kris told me to “hush” while he was eating his Ossobucco – it was that serious.

The best part though – there was a train! The freight trains still go through this area, although the passenger trains, and the grand passenger depot that used to be across the street disappeared 40 years ago. It’s easy to imagine though, sitting in an old exposed brick building with the rumbling train slowly creeping by, the hay day of Depot, visitors pouring from the depot to board a tangle of street cars headed for downtown, the street lined with hotels and restaurants and shops catering to people from New York and Florida – descendants of those sitting in these new shops and restaurants now?

Its nice to see such great things come from an area that lay neglected for years. Even the Glen Rock Hotel, opened in the 30s but for years abandoned, is being renovated for commercial and residential use. There are multiple restaurants, shops, and art galleries on this side of town, that is worth spending some time in.

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