Okay, I’m going to be brutally honest here. Although I love the concept – Bakery, Sandwich/Soup Shop, Eat-In, Take-Away, Market, and Cooking School – and view DOUGH as having huge potential, it may need a few tweaks.
The building is gorgeous inside and out. I followed this couple and their adorable red-headed babe in for lunch.
We walked past impossibly delicious-looking breads
and rediculously desserts
and pre-packaged soups, salads, and sandwiches.
to order from the behind-the-counter blackboard menu.
I had made a beeline for DOUGH after seeing on Facebook that Shrimp and Corn Chowder was soup of the day. The only size available was one pint, which was priced at $4.99. Thinking I should try a sandwich, too, I ordered the Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Chips ($7.99).
Some issues encountered this day may have been due to DOUGH being newly opened. The person behind the counter started putting the Curried Chicken Salad in a container because she was not aware it could be ordered in a sandwich until I directed her attention to their board behind her. She also failed to ask if my order was to-to or dine-in, packaging it to-go. Understandable, I guess, because a lot of people do stop in and pick up a meal to take with them.
Seating is limited to a couple smaller tables and one larger, communal table. Love the natural, rustic nature of this table set against industrial design.
By the time I sat at the long wooden table, it was pretty full. I moved to a single seat in back so the couple and their daughter could sit together. Only two seats were left, so it was a little awkward with “Red” taking turns eating in Mom’s lap and then Dad’s. DOUGH isn’t overly family friendly for eat-in.
The two phone company linemen sitting next to me were talking about DOUGH pricing. An issue that’s sometimes relative to what one is used to or expects, each of you will have to decide value here for yourself. My take: the sandwich and soup, although more soup than I wanted, were priced well. The bakery bread seemed a bit high at, for instance, $2 for a dinner roll. That being said, I didn’t try a dinner roll. Maybe it’s worth $2? The bread holding the curried chicken salad wasn’t anything special. In fact, although I wanted a sandwich, I ate the salad and not the roll.
That brings me to the curried chicken salad. The curry was hiding somewhere in there along with the three or four small pieces of apple. More of either would have improved things.
It photographed well, but the soup was a huge disappointment. Not sure what they used to thicken it up (oil?), but whatever it was, it was way too much. Both linemen, one of whom goes out to eat frequently with his wife, thought it was great. Another “you’ll have to decide for yourself” situation.
Epicurean Notes: I WILL try DOUGH again, just in case this experience was a fluke. With impressive credentials behind DOUGH, I expected more.
All that being said about lunching at DOUGH, I’m hopeful about their cooking classes. The space and equipment are impressive and they are bringing in talented guest instructors like one of my favorite locals, Ashley English.
In case you’re wondering, if all the dining room seating is taken, permit rules prevent sitting in the teaching kitchen.
Cooking Class Release ~
DOUGH offers options for all interests and experience levels including classes on knife skills, sauces, handmade pasta, chocolate desserts and seafood. More classes will be added to the current schedule.
“I can’t wait to get back into the classroom,” says DOUGH Owner/Chef Brian Ross, a former head culinary instructor at L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, D.C.
In addition to Ross, look for other regional chefs to join the teaching roster. Local cookbook author Ashley English will teach a series of classes starting in April:
• Pie Dough 101, April 20
• Sweet & South (jams and pickles), May 18
• Home Dairy, June 14
Ross is also implementing a volunteer Classroom Assistant Program where budding chefs can expand their culinary horizons and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a cooking class. “I got my start in a program like this,” Ross says, “and I look forward to providing the same experience for others who want to turn their passion for cooking into a career.”
The space will also be used for events such as:
• Birthday Parties
• Wedding/Baby Showers
• Team Building
• Monthly Dinners
DOUGH is a chef-driven market in North Asheville designed with the food lover in mind, specializing in comfort food-focused fare using high quality ingredients. More at doughasheville.com.
372 Merrimon Ave
Asheville, SC 28801