A creative menu, attractively renovated space and Southern flavored name have been a recipe for success at All Day Darling, a restaurant on Montford Avenue that opened the first of the year.
This venture is a collaborative effort of two established Asheville restaurateurs, Jacob Sessoms of Table, Imperial Life and the former Tod’s and Jay Weatherly of High Five Coffee.
All Day Darling, which is in the same location as Tod’s, has a bright, open ambience that gives diners a feeling of being outdoors. The dining area of the casual neighborhood restaurant has ceiling-to-floor plate glass windows that are open in warm weather and bring in lots of light throughout the year. This glassed-in area has replaced the former space that had a canvas roof and soft plastic sides.
“This space is more hospitable. We’ve tried to improve the flow,” said Robert Belding, the restaurant’s general manager.
Because the building is in the historic Montford district, all changes required advance approval, he said.
“We had to work within the confines of the Montford Historical Society,” Belding said. “We love the neighborhood,” he added. “We have a ton of regulars (The restaurant) serves a great need.”
While Belding and his staff see many familiar faces during the weekdays, on weekends, tourists gravitate to All Day Darling, he noted.
Diners come to a restaurant that serves an all-day menu, is open seven days a week and has lots of options from which to choose from a traditional fried chicken biscuit to bowls filled with kale salad and lentil fritters.
Gluten-free options abound at All Day Darling from breads—all of which are baked in-house—to main dishes and even fried foods.
“We prefer to make it easy for folks,” Belding said. “There are so many people with different tastes and food preferences.”
Menu items include the All Day Breakfast with eggs, greens, toast and a choice of meats and avocado; Shakshuka, a Middle Eastern style dish with eggs, greens, feta spicy tomato and flatbread and the Lox Plate served with a bagel or gluten free roll, lox, lettuces, capers, sprouts, pickled onion and cream cheese.
Just like the other breads, the bagels served at the restaurant are made by bakers in the kitchen of the restaurant, said Belding.
“We’ve gotten the seal of approval from Miami and New York,” he said with a smile, referring to discriminating tastes of people from those locales.
Also on the extensive menu is smashed avocado toast with black pepper, ricotta cheese, veggies and spouts on sourdough bread and the Buddha plate with grilled avocado, eggs, and fermented vegetables served with bamboo rice.
A selection of salads and side dishes including TaterTods and roasted kale are among other menu choices. A children’s section of the menu includes grilled cheese, almond butter and jelly, burgers, beans, greens and rice and a chicken sandwich.
Weatherly has lent his expertise with coffee and other beverages to the drink selections that include espresso, cappuccino, latte and blends of drip coffee. Loose leaf teas that are brewed in cups and sourced from local tea merchants are available, as well.
Selections of unique house tonics, signature cocktails, smoothies, draft wines and craft beers are also offered at the restaurant.
Having recently returned to the restaurant business, Belding said he enjoys the people he meets and making sure they receive good service at All Day Darling. He has known Sessoms for quite some time, having attended Warren Wilson College with him.
All Day Darling, 102 Montford Ave., is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.alldaydarlingavl.com or call 828-505-3701.