The atmosphere here is chill but still energetic, the conversations lively without being overwhelming, though three televisions were playing a basketball game the night Bar Beat visited. Over at the bar, two gentlemen were huddling over a half-finished plate of nachos having a particularly energetic one that goes something like this:
"You don't use electronics?! What is your f**king problem?"
"You know they make the iPhone overseas?"
"Bulls**t, it's in California."
"No, they make 'em in f**king Thailand!" (The phone is actually made by a Taiwan-based company, though the manufacture takes place in China and a number of other locations -- not Thailand though.) But who ever let facts get in the way of a good bar rant?
Boudreaux's does have good barbecue, though the vegetarian side of their menu gets plenty of positive word of mouth too. The bar is impressive, considering that many restaurant bars seem to play second-fiddle. The considerable beer selection includes a personal favorite, Rasputin's Imperial Stout, a rich, wonderful beer that's made even more excellent by a particularly haunting picture of old mad Grigori himself staring at you from the bottle. Best consumed while listening (or singing, if it's that point in the night) Boney M's disco classic "Ra ra Rasputin."
Speaking of things from the former U.S.S.R., the bar manages a very respectable White Russian for $4 on Wednesdays (yes, you read that right). While cheap White Russians are nothing new, this one is actually quite good, and the bartender even thought to add a maraschino cherry -- a rare but excellent touch missed by too many who dish out the creamy concoction.
Boudreaux's takes its New Orleans flavor seriously, and that's a good thing, as they've bought in a cocktail from that drink-happy region that needs more attention: the St. Charles.
A variation on a gin and tonic, the St. Charles adds the juice and peel of a lime (muddled) and Peychaud's bitters, all-too-underused ingredients that give the beverage an extremely unique flavor.
They also serve it in a pint glass. It's a beauty to behold and drink. A nice touch for a bar that's about more than just barbecue.
ED Boudreaux's Bayou Bar-B-Que is located at 48 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville. For more information, call 253-5812.