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“China Blue Ridge”
Review of Ben's Tune Up

Ben's Tune Up
Ranked #256 of 789 Restaurants in Asheville
Cuisines: American, Japanese
Dining options: After-hours
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“China Blue Ridge”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Friends told me about this place but what I found exceeded what I expected to find in this lightly converted mechanics garage.
Being February, the open air enclosed courtyard was empty but a little imagination and one could see it would be a great place for live music.
Finding a raised booth in a warm corner away from the open door, we took in the exposed arched iron trusses and the vintage hotel chandelier.
The menu surprised and delighted us. it felt like a Chinese restaurant menu from decades past.
Chinese ala North Carolina. Pulled pork dumplings.
I ordered Peking Duck which came on a big serving board with kim che and delicious scallion pancakes and a garlic aioli. Friends ordered steak and ramen dishes. The flavors were great. how fun to have Chinese comfort food in a deconstructed garage. Very Asheville.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank raven46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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143 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fun atmosphere for a night with friends!”
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Had heard this was a great new place and sure enough, it was! Enjoyed dinner and drinks with friends. The black bean burger with white cheddar and avocado was A+. Husband had one of the ramen dishes and enjoyed it very much. Our server was personable and knowledgeable about the food and drinks. We were not disappointed. Can't wait to go back when the weather warms up so we can enjoy the cool outdoor atmosphere.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sammyjohnson3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere for drinks!”
Reviewed 11 February 2014 via mobile

I found this place because my waiter recommended it...I was not disappointed. We had a little trouble finding it, but once we did, had a blast. It's a piece of true hipster Asheville, built in an old car garage, with a giant jenga set in their gorgeous outdoor area, and fires in metal barrels heating their gathering areas, hobo style. We went on a night when there was a jug band playing and just sat and took it in. Absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different. We didn't try it, but someone next to us got the ramen and it smelled incredible.

Helpful?
Thank Smiticks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Still small servings, but love the atmosphere!”
Reviewed 31 December 2013 via mobile

One of the coolest restaurants in Asheville as far as set up and atmosphere. I've heard the previous menu had very small servings and was expensive for what you got. Happy to see they have reworked it. We got the pupu platter for 2 and loved the flavor and selection, but still felt like it was on the skimpy side for the money. Would rather have gave up the crab legs for a few more dumplings or something. I have a number of friends who are happy to know they can go eat there again now that the menu is better because they loved the atmosphere but hated the small amount of food you got previously.

Helpful?
Thank Thebarnnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
599 reviews
322 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 417 helpful votes
“Much improved menu, miss the outdoor atmosphere”
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We had tried Ben's Tune-Up a couple of months after it opened this summer and were, like many others, less than thrilled by the eccentric Asian-Southern fusion menu but taken by the open air, creative "courtyard" setting.

Our visit tonight was something of the opposite experience: Most of us really enjoyed the new menu, but sadly the courtyard isn't really an option due to the winter weather.

A few people braved the cool December weather in the courtyard, but nearly all the customers ate inside or in a couple of areas walled in plastic and warmed with electric heaters. Which is a shame, because the outdoor walled setting is extraordinary.

On the positive side, the changes in the menu under the new kitchen regime -- basically going from Japanese-Southern-eclectic to Chinese-Southern-eclectic -- are a big improvement. We had the pu pu platter appetizer ($26 for two, but plenty for the four of us), which was full of tasty treats and the Pickle Plate ($7). My General Ben's Chicken -- seared chicken with sesame seeds in an orange sauce with rice -- was fabulous, and a filling deal at $12. The only complaint is that it was a little too heavy on the salt. The Dan Dan Noodle bowl ($10) was good, as was the Bamboo Steamer salad ($8).

Service was friendly and prompt. Drinks are reasonably priced.

We look forward to further tweaking of the menu and the return of the outdoor seating with the coming of warmer weather.

On a Sunday evening, the restaurant stayed pretty full all evening.

In short, it looks like Ben's Tune-Up is going to make it.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LanSluderBelize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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