(continued from my Asheville post)
While we had a great BBQ lunch the day before, I couldn't leave Asheville without another taste. In asking for recommendations, 12 Bones Smokehouse came up repeatedly as being "the best." It usually... ok, always... came with this warning: "The line is always long, but it moves pretty quickly, don't worry." (Probably due in part to President Obama's recent visit there). So we decided to check it out.
Sure enough, at 11:15, there was already a line down one side of the building. It was off the beaten path in an area called the River Arts District, but that wasn't keeping many away. Luckily, the line did move quickly. At the register was one person taking the order and another taking the loot. This place had much more of a typical BBQ joint feel to it. Goofy signs alongside nostalgic advertising, an un-sided Morton shed offering covered outdoor seating, and of course, photos of the current President during his recent visits.
Of course, I wanted to try EVERYTHING. They didn't offer a sampler platter of meats, but they did offer all the meats as sides. So we went that route: ribs with brown sugar glaze, chopped beef brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, jalapeno cheese grits, mac & cheese and, whew, a tomato cucumber salad.
The ribs were tender, flavorful and gone immediately. Raw onion slices accompanied the chopped beef, which provided the perfect crunch and freshness to contrast the smokiness. The pulled chicken and pork, while both delicious, moist and tender, were slightly better when dipped in sauce. Onto the sides: creamy, cheesy, perfectly seasoned mac & cheese (better than I've ever made at home, I hate to admit), the moistest, most flavorful cornbread imaginable, jalapeno cheese grits that were just shy of being too spicy, but softened by the creaminess and a tomato cucumber salad to provide our necessary vegetables (per Rebecca's request). Meat chatter aside, we would consider returning solely for the sides.