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Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

Huh. Not my experience at all (and I'm a bike-ridin' yankee). Nice people, decent food. Nothing to get excited about, but just fine.

Jun 29, 2014
kagi in Southeast

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

Thanks for the pronunciation link. I would agree with the above assessments -- the pork was good, not outstanding. Not as good as Skylight, Bum's, or B's, and all the sides were way too sweet. Especially the vinegar slaw and the hush puppies (disappointed in the lack of regular, non-fried cornbread, too). I understand that a lot of Southern cooking uses sugar in ways that non-Southerners might not like, but this seemed way out of line with what I've come to expect at places like Bum's, B's, Lee's Country Kitchen (never seen it mentioned on this board, by the way, but it's a nice little place to stop in for fried herring, not far out of Greenville), Abram's...pretty much everywhere else around here. Next time, I think I might go for a burger or some fish, and see if I can get them to ease off on the sugar in the veggies.

By comparison, I rode out to Bum's today (doing a lot of biking to barbecue, lately); great pork, even better fried chicken, outstanding yellow squash, and nice salty non-sweet cornbread.

Jun 28, 2014
kagi in Southeast

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

Hey, Naco: school us on the proper pronunciation of "Conetoe"? I've heard "kah-NEE-tah" and "ko-NEE-toe."

Planning to ride my bike out there from Greenville this weekend; psyched to try Blackbeard's.

Jun 19, 2014
kagi in Southeast

Lunch near GMU-Arlington, Clarendon, Virginia Square?

FWIW, to follow up: we went to Ma La Tang, since it's on the same block as the GMU building. Verdict: Meh. Not terrible, but it's no Peter Chang. I don't think I'd go back.

Lunch near GMU-Arlington, Clarendon, Virginia Square?

Hi. I'm going to a conference at George Mason U.'s Arlington campus.

Any suggestions for quick-but-delicious lunch spots in close proximity to Founders' Hall (3351 Fairfax Dr.)?

Thanks!

Landmark Mediterranean Market in Greenville, NC

Always happy to report something new in Greenville, NC: the Landmark convenience store on Landmark St. (off Greenville Blvd., back behind the Greenville Hilton) is now carrying a nice range of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean groceries. I've been cooking a lot of stuff from the Ottolenghi cookbooks lately, for which I was able to get sumac, pickled lemons, and Valbreso French feta. They've got decent pitas and Halal meat -- both frozen, though. The owner is a really nice guy. It'd be easy to miss the place, though -- it looks like a regular kwik-e-mart, with a tiny yard sign that says "Mediterranean Market." I hope it does well.

Jan 04, 2014
kagi in Southeast

Eggplant Parm- a question of thickness

Thanks, Will -- I'm gonna bet it was Finelli's. Good to know!

Jan 04, 2014
kagi in General Topics

Eggplant Parm- a question of thickness

Where in Greenville, NC? This town isn't exactly known for its Italian specialties. I'd love to know where you found it!

Dec 30, 2013
kagi in General Topics

Recs for 24 hours in Baltimore?

Follow-up: Thanks, y'all!

I went to the Helmand for dinner. Just as delicious as the last time I ate there, 12+ years ago. Pumpkin appetizer, mushroom main dish, and paneer-with-pomegranate dessert were all standouts. Plus, one of the best cups of coffee I've ever had.

For lunch the first day, I hit the Jamaican stand in Lexington market (south wall, near the stand-up tables). I'm not an expert, but I thought the curry chicken was delicious.

For lunch the second day, I went to Kader's Cafe Mocha. I didn't feel like curry chicken again, so I got the veggie burrito. It was good, but I get the feeling that the Caribbean stuff is a better choice there.

For apples, Mill Valley General Store was great. I got some excellent local Empires and Staymens, neither of which is available where I live in eastern NC.

I can't wait to go back to Baltimore and eat again!

Recs for 24 hours in Baltimore?

Bump.

Recs for 24 hours in Baltimore?

Hi. I'll be in Baltimore for about 24 hours this week -- two breakfasts, one lunch, one dinner. Not looking to spend a lot of money.

I'm bringing my bike on Amtrak, so I'd prefer places within 3-4 miles of Penn Station.

For dinner, my vegetarian friend will be along. For breakfast/lunch, well, I like everything.

Also, I'd love to get some good local MD/PA apples. Any good places for local produce, close to downtown, on a Thursday in November?

Thanks!

Greenville, NC: Como en Casa and Dingbatter's.

I stopped in at Dingbatter's for some fish tacos after buying some flounder next door. They were good. Definitely not what any Mexican person would recognize as a fish taco -- salsa and tortilla straight outta Harris Teeter -- but the fish was fresh and cooked well. The menu is kind of interesting -- they don't seem to do your traditional piece-of-fish-on-a-plate-or-basket, but they've got a lot of good-looking sandwiches and baked oysters with interesting toppings. They have a massive seafood-feast combo that would be fun, if you came with a whole family.

I also recently tried the Boiler Room, which is Chef and the Farmer's spinoff oyster/burger bar in Kinston. I'm somewhat religious about the months-with-Rs thing, so I didn't have any oysters, but the burgers were excellent. The butterbean burger is sort of like falafel made out of the butterbean hummus they serve at C. and the F. They've done a really nice job with the space. All in all, I'm not sure it's worth it as a destination trip from out of town, but if you happen to be in Kinston, it's pretty nice.

Sep 02, 2013
kagi in Southeast

Greenville, NC: Como en Casa and Dingbatter's.

I haven't tried either one, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm always happy with the fish I buy from Shore to Door, so if they don't get too ambitious with it, I don't see how they could go wrong.

Aug 28, 2013
kagi in Southeast

Where in the Kinston surrounds for excellent food?

Just to follow up on Soco: it's excellent. They still do the "chef's table," but they've got a regular dining room now, too (in a very cool converted tobacco barn). Having heard that the chef used to work at Chef and the Farmer, we were concerned that it might be more of the same -- but it's not. He's working on a much smaller scale here, and the attention to detail shows. Standouts included smoked pork shoulder with banana risotto (!) and peanuts; Scallops with creamy grits and fresh soybeans; asparagus bisque with crab; lamb meatballs; even a simple salad was delicious, with super-fresh lettuce, beets, and local camembert. We'll definitely be going back.

Apr 20, 2013
kagi in Southeast

washington, nc

Can anybody update this list? Sr. Naco?

Feb 07, 2013
kagi in Southeast

Foodies Visiting Michigan (Grand Rapids, Central MI, Detroit)

OK, thanks for all the recommendations. We started with Wei Wei Palace in Grand Rapids -- delicious duck, squid with peppercorn, snowpea shoots. My friend who's marooned out in Alma for the year was pretty happy to find the Asian supermarket in the same building, too.

The next day, we stopped by Zingerman's on the way down to Detroit. I can see how people would get annoyed with the scene there, but the food is great. I really enjoyed the smoked whitefish salad on rye.

For dinner that day, we went to the Polish Village in Hamtramck. Everything was good -- but people should be warned that the wait to get in on a Saturday night can be a killer. In any case, the soups were all excellent, and the mushroom cake was particularly interesting.

On the way back to the airport in Grand Rapids, we stopped at Founder's brewpub. The beer was excellent; the food was not. Peppercorn ale, though -- yum. So, thanks everybody!

Jan 22, 2013
kagi in Great Lakes

Foodies Visiting Michigan (Grand Rapids, Central MI, Detroit)

Great! Keep 'em coming!

Jan 17, 2013
kagi in Great Lakes

Foodies Visiting Michigan (Grand Rapids, Central MI, Detroit)

Thanks for the recs. Can anybody recommend a specific Middle Eastern place in/around Detroit?

VTB: yeah, we have pretty good barbecue around here -- but we don't have Polish, so if you've got a good recommendation, let me know!

Jan 16, 2013
kagi in Great Lakes

Foodies Visiting Michigan (Grand Rapids, Central MI, Detroit)

A friend has a one-year job in Alma, MI this year, so my wife and I are visiting here there this weekend. We're flying into Grand Rapids just in time for dinner, then spending three days in the middle of the state, on one of which we'll probably go to Detroit. Any can't-misses in those three areas? We're pretty adventurous. Probably not up for super-duper fancy, but any price range is OK. Thanks!

Jan 14, 2013
kagi in Great Lakes

Eastern NC Taqueria/Authentic Mexican thread

Interesting that this thread has never mentioned Mario's at 5th and Memorial in Greenville. I popped in there the other day. All I had was three barbacoa tacos, but I really liked them -- the tortillas were fresh and fried up nicely, and the meat was juicy and flavorful. I'm gonna say that they're the best tacos I've had in Greenville (though I'd put El Rancho on top for tortas and birria, and El Azador for chicken).

Jan 11, 2013
kagi in Southeast

Where in the Kinston surrounds for excellent food?

I went back to Chef and the Farmer on Wednesday. Delicious as always (standouts: wood-fired clams and oysters with sausage, kale/orange salad, speckled trout with ham hocks and collard rice). We were surprised, though, to find a film crew circulating among the tables, shooting footage for a documentary TV series about Chef Vivian and her restaurant. It wasn't too intrusive (but then, they didn't stop at our table). We were told it has been picked up by PBS. I'm looking forward to it.

Dec 14, 2012
kagi in Southeast

Do Americans Go Out for Pizza Anymore?

This does raise a question: is there an official name for the kind of college- or mountain-town pizza joint that is exemplified by the Mellow Mushroom? You know, the kind of place that has a lot of veggie options and craft beers, and where the waitress will almost certainly have cornrows? The wife and I call it "hippie pizza"; we almost always end up in a place like that when we're skiing or hiking.

Sep 10, 2012
kagi in General Topics

Where in the Kinston surrounds for excellent food?

Meh...On the Square is just fine. A little better than Starlight Cafe in Greenville, but nowhere near Chef and the Farmer. I wouldn't drive all the way from Kinston for it. I would, however, eat at Chef and the Farmer as much as possible, if I were you.

The taqueria thread Veganhater mentioned is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/523769 Most of those places are pretty meat-oriented, though.
Barbecue has been well covered on this forum, but I'd add that my favorite, for both meat and vegetables, is Bum's in Ayden. Much better than Skylight Inn, says I. The butter beans are something special.

In the spring, you should definitely make the drive to the Cypress Grill in Jamesville for fried herring. It's only open from January through April.

If you're gonna eat Indian in Greenville, Kasturi is quite a bit better than Dale's. Not outstanding, but very competent.

Sep 10, 2012
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Just tried the new Vietnamese place, EC Pho, in the Kmart shopping center. Unfortunately, I can't say anything good about it. The pho itself was lackluster -- flavorless broth, stringy meat, and a real lack of garnishes. The portion of noodles was a little stingy, too. I ended up ordering a house special fried rice, too, and it was pretty flavorless. Server was sweet, but clueless -- I was there with a vegetarian friend (bad idea, I know, but she was up for it) and the server mixed up the spring rolls and gave her the meat versions, which she didn't realize until she'd eaten half of one. Oh well. I really wish this place were better.

Jul 03, 2012
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Just thought I'd mention, since nobody else has, that the folks from Jerusalem Market have relocated to West 5th St., under the name "Munchy's." And they're only doing the Jamaican, though they've got a lot of Middle Eastern groceries. Same stuff: jerk chicken, curries and roti on the steam tray (pretty good) and frozen beef patties (which I kind of like, in a perverse, Hot Pockety kind of way). I wonder if they'd make some of their other recipes, if you asked.

Also noticed on West 5th, though I was there too late to check it out: the Gold Post Cafe, open for breakfast, lunch, and fish fry on Fridays. Looks intriguing!

Apr 05, 2012
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

I tried Pop's; I gotta disagree with you. I thought the burgers were WAY overcooked -- dry, pucklike -- , the buns were cheap, the slaw and chili toppings pretty flavorless. Not even remotely close to Five Guys. Decent fries, but nothing special. Maybe I went on a bad night, but I can't say I was impressed.

So, I think this calls for a Best Burger in Greenville discussion. I'll go with Five Guys, but is there a better local option?

Feb 16, 2012
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Anybody heard any news from Chef and the Farmer? That fire was a major bummer. Here's hoping they get their business up and running again soon. Good luck, folks.

http://blogs.newsobserver.com/food/ki...

Jan 15, 2012
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

I just found your blog, ForagingFoodie. I didn't know about the Nile Asian Market and will definitely check it out. I generally agree with your judgments -- keep up the good work!

Dec 14, 2011
kagi in Southeast

New in and around Greenville, NC

Good description of the Scullery -- they make the best coffee in town, IMO, and the homemade ice cream and lemonade-type drinks are great. The sandwiches I've had were just so-so.

I also hear that there's a new chef at Atlantic Grille and he's both better and more ambitious than the last one. Haven't tested that claim yet, though.

As for fro-yo: Local Yogurt is pretty good; Peppermints, not so much. I have been happy to see the Local Yogurt truck at a few events around town -- we could use more good food trucks 'round here.

Nov 08, 2011
kagi in Southeast

Where's Chang?

Just went back to Peter Chang's in Charlottesville -- the last time we were there was May 2011, and in the meantime my wife visited the Atlanta location. We also ate at the old C'ville Taste of China location on 29N a few times, so we're pretty familiar with what he does. This time, while the food was definitely still tasty, we noticed that the spice level seemed to have been turned WAY down. Usually the dry-fried eggplant / bamboo fish is delicious, but just about as hot as I can take; this time, it barely registered as hot. Has anybody noticed this change? I did have a big group of conspicuously white people with me this time, but dang, it never stopped 'em before.

Also, I've got a new favorite, which was on the specials menu this time: cold shredded chicken and cucumbers in spicy mustard sauce. OMG.

Nov 08, 2011
kagi in Mid-Atlantic