Hands down North Carolina is one of my favorite states for BBQ and side fixin’s. It’s easy to see why if you’ve ever had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into some handmade BBQ sauce rubbed onto some slow cooked smoked ribs, but for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing some good North Carolina BBQ or good BBQ in general, I have an excellent recommendation. Here in Asheville is a little place infamous for it’s food. Most days the place is packed as people gather for the deliciousness that is 12 Bones.

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Started in a squat building located in a flood plain, the structure isn’t exactly what you’d think of when you picture your ideal restaurant. It’s more what you’d imagine if you were stuck on some back road, way out in the country, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular with the locals. Us southern folk weren’t intimidated in the least by the lack of “amenities” this small town joint had to offer. We didn’t come to be entertained, we came to eat good food and that’s exactly what attracted us to 12 Bones from the beginning. Their food began making a reputation that they would ultimately use to build a solid foundation for their business. People who might have been unsure in the beginning quickly began lining up around the corner, waiting for their chance at some the freshly prepared food waiting inside.

12-bones-smokehouse

There are two locations. The original restaurant is located on Riverside. The Riverside location does have indoor seating, but most opt to sit at the outdoor picnic area due to the crowds of people. Their food is so good in fact that they bring in a steady profit with only keeping the hours of operation between 11 AM and 4 PM Monday through Friday at the Riverside location. I can remember being impressed at how busy they were the first time I visited and then noticing their short hours. It was a place recommended to me by a co-worker and we decided to go there one day on our lunch break. I can remember my colleague insisting on us getting there early before they had even opened. I was confused initially as I couldn’t imagine there being a place I’d never heard of in my home town where arriving 30 minutes prior to open was still cutting it close. Upon arrival, I could see why he had insisted our early departure as the line was already around the building. They kept serving food that day until they ran out which was well beyond the 4 PM mark.

Cryptome12 Bones left a lasting impression in my book as it has many other people. Even President Obama couldn’t resist the temptation of the good southern cooking and the impressive blend of flavors taken as inspiration from all over the country. Their passion for food and service has made a mark on the Asheville community and it’s paid off. They now have a second location open in Arden, NC. The South Store as it’s referred to has different operating hours than the Riverside location and their food can be enjoyed from 11 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday with take out only available from 4 PM to 6 PM. Whether your near Riverside or Arden, be sure to stop by and check them out. You won’t regret it!

12 Bones

5 Riverside Drive
Asheville, NC 28801

3578 Sweeten Creek Road
Arden, NC 28704

 

Riverside drive

5 Bones Riverside

5 Riverside Drive
Asheville, NC 28801

sweeten creek

5 Bones Sweeten Creek

3578 Sweeten Creek Road
Arden, NC 28704