When my friends want to meet at a bar, I always ask…
“Is there food?“
It’s a well-publicized fact that I don’t drink… any more. I used to drink a lot if you know what I mean. Then one day, I fell over, and when I got back up, I totally didn’t drink any more! Nice. These days I bring it up in my writing with frequency, mostly because I don’t want people constantly offering me drinks, which they very generously did when I first starting blogging about food! After turning down several drinks in one week, I recognized the pattern, and I also saw how frickin’ disappointed people were when their generosity was met with a polite, “I’m sorry, I don’t drink,” plus then they would always feel bad, like they had tempted me, or broken some sacred unspoken rule. So right away I was, like, “I gotta let the fuckin’ world know that I don’t drink.” So I did, and I do.
Aaand the whole point of that long intro was just to get around to saying that despite the fact that I don’t drink, I still go to bars on a pretty regular basis. Mostly because A. My friends and GF, Dawn still like bars, and duh,The bars around here usually have great fucking food, from the award winning burgers at The Vault, to the high-end fixin’s at Sovereign Remedies. The bar scene in Asheville is a true part and partner of our excellent food scene!
A Nice Nosh at Little Jumbo
Now, I had heard a while back that a cool new bar called Little Jumbo opened up on Broadway, and I had three immediate thoughts:
- “I fucking love that name.
- “That part of Broadway needs more shit like that.”
- “I hope they have food.”
When I asked some of my cool young friends if Little Jumbo had a food program, they vaguely mentioned “little bites,” and “boards,” and were clearly more into the cocktails than the food. I can’t get pumped-up for vague bites ‘n’ boards, so I let it sit, until Dawn and some friends wanted to meet there recently. When I whined to Dawn about food, she said that she thought they had sandwiches, so of course I agreed! I love a good sandwich. Woof woof!
I was super-hungry when we arrived, so I asked for a menu right away, and inquired of the young person checking my ID (which is so cute, since I’m exactly one giant conical hat away from being Gandalf-aged) if the food was any good, and what their favorite sandwich might be. “The food is really good, I eat here every day!” they enthused, and went on recommend the “veggie sandwich with turkey.”
I ended up getting the turkey sandwich, actually, which had veg matter involved, so, y’know. It just seemed easier to order and like a real good choice for me at the time. And it was! Fuckin’ yum! While Dawn and our friend-pod sipped they fancy dranks and chatted about art and politics and feminism and pornography, I devoured my food faster than the family dog, and also had a soda pop. I may have been the least sophisticated person at the table — or in all of Asheville — that day, but holy fucknuts, I enjoyed my grub and cleaned my plate. Like, I literally used my fingertips to pick-up stray bread crumbs off the plate and eat those. Mmm… bread crumbs.
This was a basic, yet beuatiful turkey and brie sandwich, with arugula, tomato, and balsamic onion jam, served on toasted Annie’s Bakery organic whole wheat bread, and accompanied by salt and pepper chips from The Gourmet Chip Co. I love Annie’s breads (hence the crumb-harvesting), and hey man, if you can’t make chips in-house, use the fuckin’ Chip Co, right? Genius! The chips were fucking great of course, and added very much to the enjoyment of the sandwich, which was fresh, flavorful, light yet filling, and made me feel good and happy after eating it. I was dubious about that balsamic onion jam at first, but y’know what? It was key! Tangy and sweet at the same time, it really made the sandwich something special.
The soda was a carbonated lemonade called “Future’s So Bright” made by Devil’s Foot, a local soda company that has been taking the food and beverage scene by storm lately! I love their products, and it seems like everyone else does too! As a non-drinker who still goes to bars, it is a stone-cold DRAG to drink club sodas all night long, and regular soda pop has so much sugar, high fructose corn syrup, coloring, chemicals, and bio-hazardous bull-shit in it, they make me feel weird after drinking just two of them.
I might drink a Cheerwine here and there… Gosh, I do love me some Cheerwine… but the lower-sugar, “drier” local sodas like Devil’s Foot really give me a beverage experience that I can thoroughly enjoy, and feel good about, because I’m supporting a local business, and not killing myself with chemicals. Yay! This carbonated lemonade was fucking great and not only enhanced, but was an integral part of my meal for sure.
The Sandwich, chips, & local soda were the perfect trifecta of awesome.
So, yeah, I recommend Little Jumbo for a nosh and a drink, alcoholic or not. The space is cute, the atmosphere is mellow, the service was great, the plates and glasses were eclectic and fun, the prices were in keeping with my expectations, and the food and beverage I ordered were fucking great!
“Neighborhood watering hole serves up classic cocktails & house concoctions, plus select bites.”
Address: 241 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 417-4783
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Stu 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.