If the recent rainy weather has you feeling down, head on over to The Bun Hut in Asheboro where you'll feel transported to the Caribbean's sunny laid back atmosphere for a few hours. This eclectic addition to downtown Asheboro is the brainchild of Bahamian Chef Kermit Raymond Mackey or "Chef Ray" who brought this concept to NC from NY in March of 2022.
Address: 132 Sunset Ave, Asheboro, NC 27203
Closed Tues/Wed, open all other days from 11-3, and 4-9.
Vibrant island colors and flags welcome you as soon as you enter this spacious restaurant, with options to dine downstairs or upstairs, where there is a large bar area. On our recent visit, we opted for the upstairs area and loved the relaxing atmosphere.
The staff were friendly and helped us choose some tasty cocktails to start our dining experience. We recommend the sky juice, rum punch (reminded me of a pina colada) and the passionfruit mule! Also, they make their margaritas from scratch and do not use a mix; I love that everything is made fresh. Try the hibiscus lemonade if you're looking for a tasty alcohol-free beverage. They also offer fresh pressed juices which you can purchase to take home for a week long juice cleanse; ask your server if interested in this option.
Next up, we tried 3 appetizers - the Haitian Crispy Griot, Spicy Fries, and the Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken & Sweet Plantain Empanadas. All of them were bursting with flavor and we demolished them in just a few minutes. Fair warning, most dishes here are quite spicy, so if you don't enjoy some heat, make sure to ask your server which dishes are on the mild side. The spicy fries and dipping sauce were delicious but insanely hot, and that's saying a lot coming from me because it takes a lot to set my mouth on fire - I love spicy food.
Growing up in Asia, bao was one of the staple dishes there, so of course I had to try The Bun Hut's take on them. If you've never had them, they're delicious steamed buns that either come pre-filled with meat, vegetables, etc or in this case, you put the meat in them yourself. The oxtail curry was incredibly tender and made the perfect filling for my bao. The pickled onions were deceptively spicy, but they paired well with the island slaw to cool my palate. We didn't have a chance to try any of their dessert, but will absolutely be coming back to try some, along with their famous conch salad and vegan jackfruit options. Note - if you want to try one of their goat dishes, come during the dinnertime hours as they're not usually available during lunch hours.
This creative fusion of Asian and Caribbean flavors definitely won me over and I hope they'll be around for the long haul to delight the taste buds of people throughout North Carolina!