Ever crave a burger? Chances are the answer is yes and while millions often go through the drive-thru of chain after chain of questionable mystery meat sandwiches, we had another idea. So many choices (of non-chain, independent restaurants) that we needed a little help to narrow down the search for us. With so a quick look on Urbanspoon for burger joints in Asheville and we found what we needed. The number one choice was in Hendersonville and we were starving so number two it was - Universal Joint!
Lucky for us that at 7pm on a Friday night, UJ was having a busy but not completely packed evening. We parked in the bank parking lot across the street and walked in the first door we saw which was on the side. There were a couple open tables but because they are so close together we decided to sit at the bar. It wasn't until later that we noticed what appeared to be a host stand preceding the out door seating in front of the restaurant. I guess it's a good thing that we didn't help ourselves to a table. The staff didn't seem worried so we didn't either.
A nice list of mostly local draught beer was presented to us by the bartender but there is a large board offering the same selection for diners to easily see. I ordered the Lone Rider (Raleigh, NC) Hefeweizen ($4.50) and my wife ordered the Asheville Brewing Company Rocket Girl Lager ($4.00). We also ordered the Pimento Cheese Plate ($8.50) starting us out with a large portion of pimento cheese, hummus, grilled ciabatta bread accompanied by lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumbers. This was too much for just us but it was a good start to our dinner.
There is a nice variety of foods on the menu making it tough to reach a decision with so many items sounding like a perfect match to our burger craving. Between the U Joint or Steinbeck burgers, Blackened Tilapia Tacos and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich I finally picked the chicken. Burgers and sandwiches include choice of fries, tater tots or small spinach salad. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich ($8.25) is grilled Buffalo chicken with Blue Cheese sauce and I went with the tater tots. My wife ordered the Cheddar Bacon Burger ($9.25) offering smoked bacon and she chose the fries with her meal. All was very good and gratifyingly satisfied our hunger pains.
Another cool option that I noticed the person next to me request when he stopped in to pick up his order to go was a half beer which comes in a smaller beer glass. I loved the idea and thought it was a nice additional option.
784 Haywood Road
Asheville, North Carolina 28806