Recommended diversions

The Grey Eagle

Over the last four years I have had the great opportunity to work with David Holt in his band, the Lightning Bolts.

Though we have been together since 2002, the band only recorded and released its first CD this year. We have played many times since the band was first formed, but it wasn’t until late 2005 that we went to Nashville and spent a week laying down tracks and refining what we do live to put on a recording.

In December 2006 we had a CD release show at the Grey Eagle in Asheville; David rarely if ever plays in clubs, let alone in Asheville, but we were ready to try something a little different. So at the recommendations of three of the band members we booked the Eagle.

All this is to say that of all of the clubs and music rooms that I personally have played, the Grey Eagle is one of the nicest, most inviting, and acoustically superior spots for musicians and audiences alike.

With sofas and easy chairs up front, the bar off to the back so as not to interfere with the performances, and a great sound system and engineer running it, I would say to anybody who loves live music — keep your eye on the schedule, and when some act comes along that you want to see, go down to the river and support the Eagle. They get a wide range of musical groups, they have good beer AND great food, and you couldn’t ask for a better venue.


It’s always nice to have a restaurant in your neighborhood that you like to patronize; it saves on gas (both kinds) and allows you to familiarize yourself with their menu over a relatively short period of time.

In the coming year, I will be moving to an east Asheville address but have been eating at Coculas on 70E for a couple of years now.

It is a short drive from where I will be living, and it stands out (at least to my palate) as a really good Mexican eatery. A friend of mine who moved up here from Austin says that it is a good Tex-Mex restaurant for mountain sensibilities. My partner loves the frozen margaritas, and enjoys practicing Spanish phrases with the patient staff.

We have our favorites, including the shrimp fajitas quesadillas and the quesadillas Coculas, but everything that we have tried has been good and worth the price.

Some nights of the week there is even a traditional Mexican trio that circulates amongst the tables and serenades the patrons with sweet harmonies and beautiful melodies.

If you are coming into Asheville for a meal and are having trouble deciding which of the many Mexican restaurants to eat at, we suggest giving Coculas a try.

— By David Cohen

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