Nine Mile

On the way to Nine Mile last night, an awesome Jamaican/Caribbean/Fusion restaurant in North Asheville, AY said dryly from the back seat that he wished he had put his Garlic-Shield up.  I just about jumped up and down in the driver’s seat in anticipation:  Mmmmm, garlic….

Clearly, we’d both been to Nine Mile before and knew what we were getting into.  We’d be walking in to what would seem like Bath and Body Works, if they had a scent called Heavenly Garlic.  I mean that in a good way.

As soon as you walk in to Nine Mile, you realize that this is a group of folks who take their spices seriously.  This is good news for me–not so great for AY.

I had the One Foundation–a delectable dish made with fresh veggies, jerk tofu, grilled pineapple, all sauteed in white wine and tossed in a homemade  Alfredo sauce and some spinach fettuccine.  First we all had salads that were made from fresh, local greens and other veggies.  I had the His Majesty’s dressing–a tangy treat of a choice in salad topping in which I detected what I thought was tahini.  Accompanying the meal was their well-garlicked “Natty Bread,” made with baguettes from the local City Bakery.  While slightly chewy, I find the bread to be seasoned just right, and a nice prelude to what’s to come.

AY – I decided that if you can’t beat them,  join them; so I got the party started with a piece of “Natty” (garlic bread). I agree with Scoops that it was a bit chewy, but not necessarily in a bad way. My salad came with mango dressing which was a little on the sweet side and not too overpowering.

The ambiance was pleasant with low light, Jamaican art on the walls, and a cool purple ceiling. Noise level gets pretty loud, so this may not be the place for romance or intimate conversations. Wait staff was pleasant and efficient and the food was served relatively quickly.

I had the signature dish  “Nine Mile”. I got the mild version (without jalapeno peppers) and that worked well for my sensitive taste buds. Overall the dish was flavored well and easy on the digestive system. I would have preferred more variety of vegetables like carrots and broccoli, but that is not what this dish was about. The main vegetables are squash and zucchini. Nine Mile is a dish I would order again.

Then for my favorite part:  dessert!!  We ordered three desserts (hey, we’re not TOTAL gluttons–we had a third person there) and all shared.  The Coco Crazy Cake (coconut cake) was, in my humble opinion, to die for.  We also had a 14kt. Carrot Cake and what seems to be their signature dessert, the Chocolate Spliff Cake.  The carrot cake was delightful, and even came garnished with a carrot made of frosting with a happy face on it.  (I thought that was a nice touch.)  The other thing that’s interesting is that it came with large pieces of shredded carrot on it, which provided a nice crunchy contrast to the moist cake.  The Chocolate Spliff Cake is an unexpectedly delicious surprise–it is made with black pepper and has a lemon-thyme creme, and is finished with more (cayenne) pepper and cocoa.  If you like pepper and chocolate, you are unlikely to be disappointed with this one.

I agree with Scoops on the deserts. The coconut cake was my favorite, but I liked them all!

For our vegan and gluten-free friends, rest assured you will find many options here.  There are 6 different vegan options on the menu, and even though there are lots of dishes with basamati rice instead of noodles, you can also get any of the noodle dishes with your choice of quinoa pasta or raw zucchini pasta.  I like a place with options!

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