REVIEW: Table Asheville: A New Champion?


Hello Asheville,

Another super quickie review, but first a confession… I had never been to Table for lunch. WTF? Table is, like, right there in the middle of Downtown, it’s one of the best dang restaurants in Asheville, and I’m always betchin’ about how some other places aren’t open for lunch, so I booked reservations for two at noon on a Thursday and I was joined by my buddy Stephan from Dig Local. This was a bit of a business lunch, though not for me. Stephan wanted to meet Chef Jacob Sessoms, and more importantly Alicia Sessoms, who “writes the checks,” so to speak. My role was facilitator. And eater of things.

“Alicia… chomp chomp nom nom… this is Stephan… chomp slobber gulp… he’s from Dig Local… grrrrrrrr snap bark bark bark chew chew…”

You know how it goes.

Good times.

Great food.

Like, really great food. Ain’t no joke, Yo. I decided to try the shrimp ‘n’ grits, but in my head, as always, was the little voice that says, “Why bother, Chump? Nothing will ever beat the shrimp ‘n’ grits at Sunnypoint,” but whatever, Little Voice. I was sure they’d be good, if not the best.

Oh, but wait a minute now…

Yeah. No. These shrimp ‘n’ grits were super fantastically fucking awesome, aaaannnd, they just might be about to topple Sunnypoint as the A-#1, shrimp ‘n’ grit champs of Asheville. I’m telling you what. Now I gotta go back to Sunnypoint, and do a serious compare and contrast, to determine who’s is better, and therefor best.There’s a fucking Stoobie Award on the line, in a category that Sunnypoint has totally dominated for over 3 years! Gah! Excitement.

Anyhoo, here’s what’s up with these shrimp and grits…


The portion looks small because the bowl was enormous, but in the end, I was just the right amount of full.

Every individual element was cooked perfectly, seasoned just right, and presented with care and artistry. It looked beautiful in the bowl, and each bite was an eye-closer of good flavors, textures, and feelings. The Carolina shrimp were tender and sweet. The grits were creamy, and coarse, and just the right stiffness and texture, especially when combined with the spicy red sauce. The micro greens on top were awesome and packed a powerful punch of fresh, earthy flavor, and probably the most surprising ingredient was the cucumber salsa, which was grilled, and savory, and nothing at all like eating cucumbers. This shit was fuckin’ good all around, Yo, and I wanted to stick my face in the bowl and lick it clean, and I totally would have if not for, y’know… society.

Oh, yeah, before I even ordered my shrimp ‘n’ grits, Stephan and I split an appetizer of “Devils on Horseback,” which consist of an almond, stuffed in a date, wrapped in bacon — like a wee like turducken… or almdacon – and served piping hot. Ho. Lee. Shit. STIIIIICKS! Them little fucks were good. I could have easily eaten a bucket of them all by myself and I burned the fuck out of my tongue wolfing them down like a starving hound. If Stephan wasn’t literally twice as tall as me… and also young and athletic and covered in muscles… I totally would have fought him for the last one.

Here’s a picture…


Are you fucking kidding me?

Stephan got the “Carolina Fish, which he said was outstanding. It looked awesome and he ate every bite.


Yes, those are blueberries, and when I asked Stephan if they went well with the rest of the dish, he knit his brow and nodded his head in a “yes, indeedy” kind of way.

After we finished eating, the Sessomses came over, and Stephan got to talk shop with Alicia, while Jacob and I gabbed about food, and… food. I only ever really want to talk about food.

So, it was a great lunch, and I’m definitely going back to Table for lunch in the future, I don’t know why it took me so long in the first place. Table is usually on my top 5 Restaurants in Asheville list, which does fluctuate a little, and they are always on my top 7 Restaurants in Asheville list. They’re awesome for dinner, and they’ve got great lunch atmosphere: Big, bright, open, with giant windows, and high ceilings. The decor is clean and spare, while remaining cozy and accessible. The staff is excellent, and the service is great. Table is a winner in my book!

But will they win the battle in my belly for Best Shrimp ‘n’ Grits in Asheville?

Stay tuned, Yo.


48 College St, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 254-8980

“Table is a small, seasonal, New American restaurant in the heart of downtown Asheville.”

— END —

IMG_0273Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.


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