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Old Europe Bistro
41 N. Lexington Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
828-252-0001
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The concierge at the Biltmore Inn directed us to the main downtown district for dinner on Labor Day eve, not always the easiest time to find worthwhile noshables in a smaller city. But she recommended this Old Europe Bistro and after wandering around a bit to see if there might be something else that struck our collective fancy, we went on in.

The place is owned by Hungarians (which is why we choose it; Mary feels genealogical loyalty), and it was a pleasant surprise.

The menu is casually eclectic - sandwiches, salads, pasta, some entrees that change weekly (everything from trout to filet). They have a lovely sounding brunch with eggs benedict, bagels, Belgian waffles, and quiche that made us wish we had been visiting on a weekend to try it. It's all very reasonably priced with most things under $10 and the entrees almost all under $20.

A mini crab cake, some bruschetta, a pressed French dip sandwich with melted cheese and caramelized onions and a flatly terrific salad of field greens, wild blueberries, gorgonzola and raspberry vinaigrette, plus two Euro-style pastries made for one of the most satisfying meals of the trip.

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