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Raleigh to Winston-Salem Breakfast rec

not a fan of the biscuits @ Mary's of Course. they substitute size for all other qualities. i like a nicely browned (dredged in butter or lard is best, before baking) biscuit top, and a fully cooked interior. jes sayin.

1 day ago
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Good Food in Charlotte/Concord area.

this is the restaurant i was talking about: http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/res....

i have been curious about Halcyon, and wondered how it held up after opening chef left. i really would like to go there. one of my problems is that, for most of the year, i am a single diner. my gf lives in Scotland and is here only 3 months out of the year (and she claims she's not coming back any time soon, though she has been known to change her mind). i should have mentioned Bistro Le Bon, which i have been meaning to try. i do like the Plaza-Midwood area. and i know that Passion8 Bistro is over there too.

there used to be a restaurant called something like Crocodile Cafe, over on East Blvd, or somewhere. i liked that place. they had great funky sign.

Mar 11, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Asheville Valentine's Excursion

we enjoyed St. James Public House on a recent trip. i would definitely recommend it: good food, a relaxed atmosphere, and interesting Mick Jagger art.

Mar 09, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Three Days in Winston-Salem

could i just put a plug on here for sitting @ the bar @ Milners? this is at night; i can't speak for during the day. it's that the bartenders are great people. i can't remember the young woman's name who is often tending bar, but Mr. Fox (aka John) is a great favorite. they make excellent drinks, and they are just the most personable, welcoming people.

the food @ Milner's is always consistently excellent. not flashy, a menu that doesn't change a lot, but i've never been disappointed.

i like Breakfast of Course, but the biscuits go for height at the expense of proper browning and flavor. Olliie's Bakery is closed, but the pastries and the bread @ Camino downtown are every bit as good, if not better. there's a whole lot more seating, and they sell The New York Times (coffee's better too).

Mar 09, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Good Food in Charlotte/Concord area.

i mentioned Customshop, lynnlato. told a story about a guy @ Vin Rouge telling me i should try it. and i am intending to try it.

i don't like corporate and i don't like slick. the places i like around the state are relaxed and informal. i like The Admiral (not quite sure if the cooking is what it was when that Moss fellow was there). to me, Curate and Mateo Tapas are polished, but they aren't off-putting in the way a place like 5 Church is. the food @ 5 Church wasn't bad, but i wouldn't go back just because that's not the kind of atmosphere i want. i'd rather go to Lulu (yes, i know, it's closed now) because i always felt welcome there. the food was decent, nothing to drive out of your way for, but the welcome was always fine. i doubt the food @ Lang Van is great, on some scale of great Viet Namese food, but the welcome is extraordinary.

you tell me about an Italian restaurant in Charlotte that is as casually stylish as Gocciolina, with food that good, and prices that reasonable, and i'll be happy to go to it. i'll try this Stagioni, i'll give it a shot. i'll put on my Impartiality Cap and see What's What.

but here's the thing: there is a Charlotte Esthetic, and certainly places that are packed elsewhere would never fly in Charlotte. Edo's Squid, for instance (in Richmond). maybe a restaurant like that could work in Plaza Midwood. or the Knife & Fork (in Spruce Pine). where is anything in Charlotte remotely comparable to Knife & Fork, or The Admiral? they're funky, but they're great. that's what i want: funky and great.

and i think you're more than a little defensive about the Charlotte scene, and i think that defensiveness is part of the problem. it's not just me that doesn't get excited about Charlotte. the James Beard people aren't falling down in wonder. Bon Appetit, Esquire, The New York Times (they struggled to find places to recommend during the Democratic Convention) aren't in awe. a Charlotte restaurant a few years ago was singled out for being noteworthy (can't remember the name), and not all that many months later, the concept had flopped, the chef was gone, and a more traditional tack was adopted.

that's my point. Charlotte is whitebread, middle-of-the-road, and the risks are being taken elsewhere.

i think i'll drive over to Davidson and try Kindred. and then i'll go up to Hickory and try Highland Avenue. and yes, i will try RockSalt. that's one place i know how to get to.

Mar 09, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Good Food in Charlotte/Concord area.

several of these places look worth trying. Fahrenheit got raves for the view; the food, not so much. i am excited about ROCKsalt, which is coming in the spring.
http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Char...

Feb 14, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Good Food in Charlotte/Concord area.

well, it may be snark, brentk, but i think most NC Chowhounds who do not have a home court bias would agree with me. there is no restaurant in Charlotte that has anywhere near the reputation of Curate in Asheville, or Poole's Diner in Raleigh, Mateo Tapas in Durham (all places i've eaten and thoroughly enjoyed) i think that Ms. Schwartz will be setting herself up for disappointment if she comes to Charlotte with high expectations that she will anything worth a detour, or anything worth a large outlay of cash, if she has New York, or San Francisco, or New Orleans, or Charleston as her benchmarks.

that said, a bartender @ Vin Rouge (a favorite of mine in Durham) begged to differ with me when i dissed Charlotte, at least in regards to one local place. he said he had had a great cut of meat, prepared in an innovative way @ Customshop, on Elizabeth Ave. i don't get out a lot, so i've never been there. i have been to Carpe Diem, just up the street. the service there was underwhelming, to be honest.

i do really like Lang Van, a Vietnamese restaurant that is in a part of town some might find a bit dodgy. but what i like about Lang Van is the wonderful welcome and the extraordinary service. i doubt that anyone who has great experience eating @ Vietnamese restaurants elsewhere will be blown away. so again, it's all about managing expectations.

the Peruvian chicken places in Charlotte are supposed to be good, and i do hope to go out to one of those (and not spend a lot of money) soon.

Charlotte is not the place to eat barbecue in North Carolina, so you probably shouldn't go looking for that.

two places of note in the Plaza/Midwood area: Bistro La Bon, and Soul Gastrolounge. i've eaten @ Soul Gastrolounge and enjoyed it --- loud, youthful vibe, small plates. i have not eaten @ Bistro La Bon, but do hope to someday.

i like real, relaxed, low-key, and informal. the dominant notes in Charlotte are slick, corporate, and whitebread. there are a couple of soul food places that people talk about: Mert's Heart and Soul (downtown area) and Floyd's. the guys i worked with @ my hotel out by the racetrack (where i was the banquet chef) always said they were going to take me Floyd's, for the real stuff.

Feb 14, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Good Food in Charlotte/Concord area.

go to The Triangle.

Feb 12, 2015
mrwaterslide in Southeast

A little visit to RTP. Suggestions please.

Scratch in Durham, crowded, wait possible, probable, limited menu choices, but wonderful execution. not sure when they open. Big Ed's in Raleigh for a more traditional breakfast.

Dec 10, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Owner of Geer Street Garden Opening Italian Spot in Durham

re the portion sizes, suse. yes, the starter portions are small, but they are so nicely priced, and so delicious, that you can get one or two more than you might get elsewhere, and try that many more different tastes. the pasta portions were more than ample --- my gf didn't finish hers, so she could save room from the fish course. we left extremely satisfied.

Dec 09, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Owner of Geer Street Garden Opening Italian Spot in Durham

no love on this board for Gocciolina? a bartender @ Vin Rouge recommended it to us, and it had been reviewed (and highly recommended) in the News & Observer this week also. seemed stellar to me, fairly-priced, excellent cocktails, decent wine list, outstanding pastas. lots of veggie sides. place was full-up, perhaps due to the review. service might have been a little slow, but it's not a restaurant you want to rush out of. it's in north Durham, Guess Road.

Dec 07, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Chinese food near Concord, NC

thank you.

Dec 05, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Chinese food near Concord, NC

can anyone recommend any decent Chinese in Concord, or near Concord?

Nov 29, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Recommendation for the Concord, NC area

Chocolatier Barrucaud is the one place in Concord, or perhaps the first place, i would take someone who likes expertly-prepared food. i'm not sure about Cabarrus Creamery --- it may be fine. But in Concord, Barracaud is the only first-rate establishment i personally frequent. the pastries and the chocolates are excellent. not sure why they don't get more love on Chowhound. i wouldn't call Barracaud a bakery, however. you won't find bread.

Nov 29, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Hard boiled Eggs in Gravy

my Piedmont North Carolina Aunt did this to her turkey gravy. it wasn't particularly good gravy to begin with, but sieved hard-cooked eggs totally ruined it.

Nov 24, 2014
mrwaterslide in Home Cooking

Best Pizza in North Carolina?

Lilly's may sell pizzas for a living, but they're not serious about pizza. it's a fun place on a relaxed night when beer and friends are your priority. pizza is just an after-thought.

Apr 04, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Charlotte? will be visiting for a week middle of April 2014, whats good?

actually, Nick & Jim's BBQ is out by the speedway, and it's really pretty decent. i know it's a chain, but they don't have that many restaurants, and they do a more than adequate job. i'd go there over the "exceptional" Customshop any day of the week. unless, that is, you like your waiters to lean in close with intense cigarette breath. my gf and i did like Soul Gastrolounge a lot. note that it's a loud, high energy place.

Lulu, Lang Van, and Good Food on Montford are all very nice places. the service @ Lang Van is extraordinary (the food is very good but my experience of other Vietnamese rests. is limited, so i have little basis for comparison.)

5Church is okay, if soulless corporate & slick are your bag.

if you think you're gonna get any sort of food love like the food love one finds in NO, you're gonna be disappointed. there is no restaurant in Charlotte that will make you want to go to church on Sunday and say "thank you, baby Jesus."

Feb 20, 2014
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Miller & Kaspers Hot Dogs, Gastonia, NC

i was over in Gastonia @ Mary Jo's Cloth Store, so drove up to Main Street to hit a couple of antique stores. there on a corner was this little crisp looking hot dog joint. tables on the sidewalk outside, but inside, stools and some high shelves along the wall. five or so hot dog variations (counting maybe a bratwurst), but i just asked the owner what dog i should get, since it was my first time. he suggested the one he said was "all-the-way," the standard Dixie Dog (in my lexicon): mustard, onions, slaw, and chili. "we make our own chili, and we make our own slaw."

i was gonna get a Stewart's Orange Cream Soda, but the owner said i should have some other off-brand of orange soda, which was cane sugar and not corn syrup, like the soda.

he hand sliced the onions onto the bun @ the counter(which was kinda weird --- everybody else has pre-diced onions), and then went back into the kitchen and finished the dog.

and out came this over long dog, with the ends sticking out from the bun, delicious natural-casing dog, great slaw and chili, just the best hot dog i've had lately. can't wait to go back and try the rest to the menu.

the restaurant gets it's name from, or is a tribute to, Miller's Packing Co., in Oakland, California. that's where he gets his dogs. and the Kaspar the owner said was a famous hot dog stand in Oakland.

all in all, a spiffy little hot dog joint, an extremely friendly owner, and a wonderful hot dog experience. Tony's Ice Cream is the famous hot dog in Gastonia---i strongly suggest you get your dogs @ Miller & Kasper and then walk down to Tony's (it's right around the corner) for your ice cream dessert.

Aug 29, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Charlotte Chowhounds

while a couple of the posters here have recommended a couple of restaurants that sound decent (Customshop and 131 Main), places i'd like to give a try, no one has challenged my thesis, which i can put quite simply: in Michelin terms, there is no restaurant in Charlotte that is worth a detour.

Aug 21, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Charlotte Chowhounds

what's to say about Charlotte restaurants? i have no doubt there are some good ethnic eateries out there, and there are some restaurants that are pleasant enough experiences. i like Lulu and Lang Van, and i had a good meal @ Good Food on Montford. but apart from Lang Van (and i have no way of knowing how the food rates, on an absolute rating of American Vietnamese restaurants), where i am treated like royalty, there isn't a Charlotte restaurant i'd send an out-of-towner to and say, "this is special." no Charlotte restaurant made the Southern Living list of Top 100 restaurants. that's the whitebread list; Charlotte doesn't even exist on the hipster list. 5 Church to me is everything i don't like about Charlotte restaurants. it's corporate, w\out soul. i would never go back there, even though the food was decent. Poole's Diner, Curate, The Admiral, Vin Rouge --- these are restaurants i want to go back to.

Charlotte restaurants, not so much. i think most chefs in
Charlotte are looking over their shoulders to see if they can get the Bank of America seal of approval.

Aug 19, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

D. Ryan & Kim Floresca, from The Meadowood in Ca, coming to NC?

have to answer my own question: http://www.one-restaurant.com/

Aug 09, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Sunday lunch in Charleston, West Virginia

anybody have any suggestions? i've eaten @ Bluegrass Kitchen, which is funky but decent.

Jul 25, 2013
mrwaterslide in Mid-Atlantic

World's Longest Yardsale, Crossville, Tn to Frankfort, Kentucky

any World's Longest Yardsale recommendations? i'm staying in Rugby, Tennessee for four days, and then heading north on 127 into Kentucky.

Good Food (Charlotte, NC) is pretty good.

last year (fall) they were just getting around to stocking the bar w\ rye whiskey. kind of a latecomer to that scene, i'd say. yes, the food is decent.

Jul 25, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

D. Ryan & Kim Floresca, from The Meadowood in Ca, coming to NC?

i follow Ulterior Epicure on Twitter and Flickr, and he has a tweet to this effect. wondered if anybody knew anything about this.

May 18, 2013
mrwaterslide in Southeast

Sunday night in Columbus, not Vegetarian

me, i never stopped in Columbus. gonna have to be next trip. we drove on to Toledo, where we ate, not disappointingly, @ a Mexican place that was kinda like a bus station, a couple of blocks from our hotel.

Dec 01, 2012
mrwaterslide in Great Lakes

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

Bar Cento was very nice. sat at the bar, ate apps and had some nice drinks. the charcuterie board was as nice as any i've had. have to admit that we had as much fun, or more, @ Delmonico's Steakhouse in Independence. it was just down the hill from our hotel, and we didn't feel like driving that night. it's a slick, manicured expense account kind of place, more Wall Street Journal than Village Voice. but we had two great, old-school waitresses who worked as sort of a tag team. one took our drink orders and then made us nice stiff libations and then the other took our orders from the dinner menu. i had a steak and Fiona may have had the crab cakes. nothing fancy, but very well done, cleanly plated, well-timed, just all around professional.

while you're @ Delmonico's don't miss the Jorge Amado prints that line the walls in the main dining room. taken in the right spirit (say, maybe after your second drink), they're very amusing.

the only other place we ate was Provenance Cafe, an informal outlet with well-done higher end food @ The Cleveland Museum of Art. I guess Provenance itself is a sit-down operation. they have both just been open since the end of October. @ Provenance Cafe, we had a claybread sandwich with grilled lamb, harissa, etc. fries, very nice. fruit smoothie hand made, very nice. the traffic flow seemed awkward to me, but what do i know. i was encouraged enough that i would eat @ the presumably higher-dollar white-tablecloth sitdown place. and, uh, yeah, the art is nice, though you have to walk around to see it.

if you're in Cleveland Heights, watch out for the cop sitting down the alley in the school zone.

Dec 01, 2012
mrwaterslide in Great Lakes

Sunday night in Columbus, not Vegetarian

we can drive anywhere, and we don't need a vegetarian menu. we could do brew pub, gastropub, or upscale funky. upscale formal, not interested. what's are our best options. thanks in advance.

Nov 09, 2012
mrwaterslide in Great Lakes

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

thank you for such a detailed post, stuart. we're looking for American-style breakfast food, more Midwest-centric. not someone trying to do grits and biscuits, necessarily. Bluegrass Grill in Charlottesville is my standard for breakfast potatoes, btw. those chicken thighs wrapped in prosciutto sound great. anyone who serves dark meat chicken is okay in my book.

Nov 04, 2012
mrwaterslide in Great Lakes

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

Just sort of passing through on my way to rural Michigan. don't have a lot of money to spend, me and my girlfriend, we like to eat high and funky but good and wild. like The Admiral in Asheville, Poole's Diner, Leon's Full Service, places like that. and some good cocktails too. which way to go for our splurge?

Nov 04, 2012
mrwaterslide in Great Lakes