12 Bones Smokehouse
5 Riverside Dr
Asheville, NC 28814 USA
The pulled pork was rich with a touch of smoke *without sauce*.
The rest of this review is gravy. Any smokehouse that delivers tasty meats without sauce is worth the wait. And if you show up after 11.59am, you *will* be waiting. They guy in the bow-tie said so. He also said the corn pudding was great, and that we must try the blueberry chipotle sauce on the ribs. Three for three. Then the people immediately before us who were utterly baffled by the concept of a menu and using their wallet contents became involved. I felt sorry for the bow-tied ex-Decaturian. He drew attention to himself. The blue-haired tour bus horde smelled "authenticity" and converged. We had carefully pulled around the tour bus conveniently parked across one parking lot entrance and deftly deflected their questions by noting that we're not locals. The bow tie? Not so lucky. I think I heard smacking noises. yikes.
We scurried off, found a table, and proceeded to gorge ourselves tick-like on the succulent sauces throughout. Oh, there was one other bit before the gorging: vetting dishes and sides for gluten. The fine folks at the counter have laminated lists of possible allergens in each along with overall notes of "gluten-free" and *gasp* "vegan". In a smokehouse.
Ok, so we sat down… Wait, I'm forgetting another thing. They have multiple sauces just waiting in their nondescript metal squishy delivery devices for you to try them. The nondescriptness was well complemented by descriptions placed next to each. I only tried three of the four on my pulled pork. The spicy vinegar sauce is exactly what we've wanted in a vinegar sauce. The sweet tomato sauce? Yup. Sweet. And tomatoes. Truth in advertising. The spicy mustard sauce was liquified to barbecue sauce consistency. Alas, not with warm gooey delicious pork fat.
After all that, and while dodging the blue haired hordes, we snarfed. Relatively quickly. Our dogs were in the car. Looking at us through the window. Noses a-flare. They knew. They also knew someone else had their loved one with them in the outdoor patio area. We were a tad chilly and sat inside. This did not meet with our pups' approval. Hopefully the rib bones will assuage their annoyance.
Snarf snarf snarf. Ribs? Yummified. Plenty of meat, just the right amount of sauce already on them. Pulled pork? Just enough fat (woo-hoo!) to catch the smoke and coat the tongue. The sauces are a much appreciated bonus. The corn bread's the moist cakey style. I tend to prefer the dry crumbly style, but that's almost like discussing if an Irishman prefers green or orange underwear. Mashed sweet potatoes are exactly that. As are the green beans. It's nice to count on the simple things in life (unless they're your co-workers). The corn pudding was quite corny. I kinda giggled while eating it. The baked beans were fine. Mixed with the spicy vinegar sauce, they were great.
Why four stars? Because we'll be back for more. And, well, the tourist factor. I really have no right to be annoyed at tourists. I'm Florida born and raised. Tourists paid for everything via hotel taxes, luxury taxes, tickets, restaurant taxes, etc. But they still make me twitch. But the locals love this place, too. The local discount may help. Good, cheap butt indeed. Oh, yes, that's another bonus.
Apparently some supposedly famous people have been tourists here, too. That's has zilch to do with the pork's quality. What's better? A WALL DRUG STICKER! I knew they *must* have one, and I spotted it. muahahahaha. Ice water and mechanized Tyrannosaurus FTW!