Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Jess Dawson
In the South Slope District of Asheville, up on a hill past the mesmerizing Wake sculpture (which, if you watch it long enough, makes the smallest, slightly unsettling moves, and is on display through September 2021), sits Burial Brewery. You can stop at the front for brews to go, or head straight through on the left into the brewery, which has a good number of picnic tables sitting under cherry trees.
We do the latter, and head straight to the ordering window, where they’ve already run out of the wings. This is probably for the better, since everything sounds delicious, and this makes it slightly easier to choose.
Everything that comes out of the kitchen is impressive for anywhere, but especially a brewery. First, the Fig Toast with triangles of house-made black bread that are slathered with a butter made with caramelized black garlic and onions. It’s layered with slices of watermelon radish, thick pieces of fig, chunks of pear, truffle and spiced nuts. The many flavors work nicely together.
Ivan’s Salad is a lovely mix of things that I’ve never heard of, like “forced radicchio,” “spent pickled hazelnuts” and “mushroom duxelles.” It also has things I have heard of, like whipped fromage, fresh herbs and bacon vinaigrette. Yes please. It mostly tastes delightfully fresh.
The winner is the Trout Katsu Sandwich. The bread here is more traditional and hero-like, and amply holds beautiful pieces of local trout that are lightly fried and delightfully flaky. The spicy mayo is generously applied, and complements the fish, tangy kimchee, kohlrabi (a German turnip) and cilantro. The golden fries are crunchy and salty and delicious.
Burial started as a one-barrel system that grew to 10 barrels in a year. The now-popular Asheville go-to has a production facility, barrelhouse and taproom brewery, where we are now, with a beer menu that includes a tempting variety of mild ales, hoppy IPAs and bold Imperial stouts. There’s even a stout slushie situation that I have to try and that’s quite boozy, frothy and yummy.
The kitchen focuses on “Asheville terroir in comfortable American dishes,” and is designed by the taproom kitchen manager, Mike Achberger. It’s closely connected to local farms and products from nearby Camp Grocery and Forestry Camp Bar and Restaurant.
This places feels extremely comfortable and local, even for us tourists who don’t live here (yet). It was opened by Jess Reiser and her business partner, who left Seattle’s booming craft beer market for a more friendly neighborhood (the number of local breweries here are edging toward 40). But even with so many, Jess has shared that it’s less competitive and more supportive. Burial currently distributes to North Carolina, Georgia and New York.
It could be easy for us to stay the entire afternoon, try every dish and beer on the menu. There’s no rushing here, and everyone loves to stop at the mural—Sloth from “The Goonies” and Tom Selleck with their arms around each other, naturally—before heading in to join us at the tables.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Late Night|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|