I was about to kill this whole website. Frankly, I’ve just not had the energy or the time to do much of this sort of thing since my dad died. Between raising kids, taking care of my mom, and working full-time, there just isn’t a lot of breathing room. However, I feel like I need a little outlet for my writing or my skills will all start to atrophy. What issue, you may ask, is pressing enough to make me start writing again? Barbecue in Asheville.
I have had a long-standing gastronomic relationship with 12 Bones, here in Asheville. Our relationship began long before it was cool to eat there and years before President Obama made it chic. I loved the food and it was close to work. Never mind that they weren’t open for dinner. Ignore that they didn’t have enough seating. Their food was excellent and the waiting line and atmosphere were well in line with what one can expect from a good barbecue restaurant.
Over the past several years, our relationship has begun to suffer.
First, Jake, their best customer service providing cashier moved away from Asheville. Jake was awesome. He had good tattoos and a great disposition. His not being there makes me sad.
Second, their corn pudding recipe changed when a member of the kitchen staff left. If you think that it has always been the same, you are wrong…it used to be better…much better.
Third, the original owners (who used to really get in there and work their business) sold out and went to start a BMW motorcycle business. My dad sold his auto parts business in Asheville to another guy once, now there is no AAA Auto Parts of Asheville anymore. Correlation? Probably not, but it makes my point that the original owners of successful businesses are best. Maybe that’s hyperbolic or an overstatement, but that is my opinion.
Finally, and most importantly, there is the most vile and pervasive problem that has risen in my relationship with 12 Bones: All of the stinkin’ tourists. The rudeness and sheer number of these people is not to be believed. They line up like cattle, happy to be in line for as long as it takes because they are on vacation and this is a destination for them. Me? I just want some barbecue for lunch; lovely, familiar, and well-smoked pork, chicken, or beef. Did I mention that I work for a living and that I only have about an hour for lunch?
I went there a couple of weeks ago with my friend who moved up here from Atlanta and I thought Genene was going to kill at least three tourists…maybe four. Apparently, tourists can’t read the sign on the door that says to keep it closed because of the air conditioning. As an aside, they have the same problem at White Duck Taco, so that apparently is a wide-spread issue. However, I digress. I should get back to my main point.
I have finally realized that it is time to end my relationship with 12 Bones. It is not that any one big, huge issue is driving a wedge between us. The simple fact is that we just have a lot of little problems that are adding up to a breakup conversation.
12 Bones, it’s not me…it’s you. I would like to be able to stop in and get lunch, but you need your resources to better serve the tourists. Me? Oh, I’ll be fine.
I’ve found another barbecue place. It’s on Patton Avenue, the blue-collar part and it is also less than five minutes from my house and work. It’s even open for dinner and they even had the good sense to hire my buddy, Wes, so that their bar side would have someone with some actual music and bar experience. I dropped-in for lunch today and had a wonderful chicken sandwich, with wonderful house-made sauces and sides. All this came with air-conditioning…and not one single tourist.