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Cuban Sandwich in Tampa

I'm heading to Tampa soon and see that this hasnt been updated since 2009. What's the best spot to get a cuban sandwich now?? thanks!!

May 22, 2014
Qball in Florida

Savannah in May. local food

Will be traveling to Savannah in May. What is Savannah known for and where are good places to go? Looking for some good fresh LOCAL seafood too. Will shrimp and crab be in season in May? Thanks!!

Apr 11, 2014
Qball in Southeast

Playa del Carmen local picks

Understand. I'm mostly interested in the tried and true places. Ones that have been around for a while. What's El Fogon's specialty?

Jan 23, 2014
Qball in Mexico

Playa del Carmen local picks

Yeah, I'm getting a jump on the planning. I may stay near some better restaurants. I like to plan early! I have been reading how Maya and Mexican differ and i really wanted to experience some of each. thanks for some tips.

Jan 23, 2014
Qball in Mexico

Playa del Carmen local picks

Hello,
I'll be visiting Playa del Carmen towards the end of the year and I'm looking for a few local places that really define the Mexican/Mayan culture. What food MUST I try and where must I get them? I like authentic places but will be with my family (2 small children) so easier access is preferred. Thanks for any help!!

Jan 22, 2014
Qball in Mexico

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

Thanks, I'm planning on Jackie Hite's and Bessingers for mustard and McCabes and Scotts for V&P. Don't think I'll get around to the other two. Although, if the 4th style is Lexington (JayL), I've tried that in NC.

It seems to me that SC favors the buffet style BBQ. I didn't see that too much in NC. I'm looking forward to it.

Also, looking forward to some good lowcountry in Charleston.

Dec 03, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

Okay mollybelle, this is something that does interest me. I ventured on a North Carolina BBQ tour last year and enojoyed the difference between the east and west. Both good in their own ways, but I don't think I realized SC had 4 different styles?

I knew about mustard (which I haven't tried yet) and the Ketchup style. Vinegar & Pepper I understand to be east. Wouldn't that be McCabes or Scott's?

What is the 4th style?

Dec 02, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

Thanks for the tips everyone! Sounds like I should nix Pawley's Front Porch and possibly Jestine's. Also BBQ King.

possibly add Martha Lou's or Bertha's.

Anything else I'm missing?

Nov 30, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

That's not good about Scott's! I was looking forward to that place the most! hope they are back and operational by middle of January...

Nov 30, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

was actually going to BBQ King for chicken? I did a NC BBQ tour last year.

Hmm... what did they say about Jestine's? i was also thinking about maybe Bertha's kitchen instead?

Nov 27, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Mustard Belt and Charleston, SC

Hello all,

I’m visiting family in South Carolina in January but making a few detours along the way for some South Carolina BBQ (mustard belt) and some good southern food in Charlestown. Here’s my plan so far. Let me know if I need to add/delete any of these places. I’m looking for local, authentic. Can be a hole in the wall or a nice place, don’t really care. The holes in the wall usually offer the most unique experiences. Thanks!!

BBQ King – Charlotte, NC
Jackie Hite’s – Batesburg
Pawley’s Front Porch – Columbia
Bessinger’s BBQ – Charleston
Hominy Grill – Charleston
Jestine’s Kitchen – Charleston
Bowens Island – Charleston
McCabe’s BBQ – Manning
Sweatman’s – Holly Hill
Scott’s BBQ – Hemingway

Nov 26, 2013
Qball in Southeast

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Good advice. I'll just order the catch of the day. How's Nico's at Pier 38? I've heard they have good fresh fish for reasonable prices.

Thanks for the suggestions Karen. I was going to do the pineapple tour but the website site my wife cannot go because she is pregnant. Bummer. I've had pineapples on Oahu but never a Maui Gold. Is there much of a difference?

Dec 18, 2012
Qball in Hawaii

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

The first day I got the white meat chicken. Wasn't impressed at all. Actually wondered what all the fuss was about. Second time, I got the dark meat and it was incredible. Just much more tender and juicy.

I'm fine with the occasional piece of gristle when eating BBQ but there was just too much of it at Allen and Son. Everyone has different tolerance levels I suppose. There's a reason hot dogs are so popular.

Dec 17, 2012
Qball in Southeast

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Any clue where to get some good opakapaka (snapper)? I've heard it's good to eat but haven't seen it on any menus that I've been searching.

Preferably on Maui (my Oahu plate is pretty full already...)

Dec 10, 2012
Qball in Hawaii

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

I agree Guilty Gourmand. A sampling size of only one is not nearly enough to base any real verdict. It could have just been a bad day. Maybe they used a lazy pig ;)

I can say that I've been to B's twice and both times, they knocked it out of the park.

Dec 04, 2012
Qball in Southeast

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Thanks for the recommendations everyone! Keep'em coming. I'm going to have to hit the gym more so I can fit these all in...

I'm going to try and add
Coconut's Fish Café
Ululani's
Palace Saimin
Yee's Orchard
Tamura's
Dave's Ice Cream
Star Noodle - sounds controversial...
Geste Shrimp Truck
Fish Market in Honokowai

We'll be traveling with my 20 month old son so we decided to do the Old Lahaina Luau instead of the feast. I know what to expect out of a Luau and won't be surprised if the food isn’t top notch.

Dec 04, 2012
Qball in Hawaii

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

I went to 6203 Millhouse Road in Chapel Hill. Which one is the "real" one?

Again, I thought the BBQ was good. I would go there again if I lived nearby. It was flavorful, tender and I enjoyed the bottle of sauce they gave me. I just don't enjoy lots of inedible clumps of things in my BBQ. When I compared A&S to other places I visited, it just didn't stack up. Like I said, maybe I expected too much based off of everyone's strong opinions on it. I thought B's BBQ (ENC) and Lexington (Monk's) were far superior.

Dec 04, 2012
Qball in Southeast

Oahu and Maui authentic local food advise

Hello All,
Family and I are traveling to Oahu and Maui in February. I want to experience the Hawaiian culture as much as possible so I'm primarily looking for food that's Hawaiian (Polynesian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, etc). I prefer the local holes in the wall to the fancy resorts but have a few fancy resorts on my list as well. I plan on being all over both islands so I welcome recommendations anywhere. Below is what I have so far (based off of research from these boards and elsewhere) but want to make sure I'm not missing any MUST-eats! Also, anything on my list overrated?? Also, looking for good places to buy local fruits while on the island. Thanks for the help!!

Oahu
Helena's - Lau lau, short ribs
Like Like Drive Inn - Saimin
Leonard's Bakery - Malasadas
Ono Hawaiian Foods -
Rainbow Drive-Inn - Plate Lunches
Mana Bu's - Musubi
Side Street Inn
Highway Inn
Various shrimp trucks - any favorites?
Matsumoto for shaved ice
Taniokas Seafood or Fresh Catch for poke
Shige's Saimin Stand
Ted's Bakery
Boot's & Kimo's for breakfast

Maui
Paia Fish Market
TJs Wharehouse for bentos
Old Lahania Lua
Tom's Mini mart - shaved ice
Mama's Fish House
Merriman's

Nov 29, 2012
Qball in Hawaii

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

Finally getting to my trip report from September. I usually rank my places on the quality/taste of food (obviously) and atmosphere (I prefer the hole in the wall or places with character). I pretty much just got a chopped platter and the usual sides. My wife was ready to kill me after day 5…

Stamey’s – Good to average LX style BBQ. Great sauce and very moist. Nice atmosphere and very friendly staff. Not much to report. I would eat here frequently if I lived close by but nothing earth shattering. 3.5/5

Allen & Son – LX/ENC Hybrid. Probably one of the places I was most excited to visit, which is maybe why it didn’t live up to my high expectations. The pork was really good (nice smoke flavor), as was the warmed sauce however I found lots of inedible bits inside. When I asked for outside brown, I was told that I would get what comes. Thought that was weird being one of their first customers for the day. The actual place is cool but the staff wasn’t too accommodating. Flavorful pork but not my favorite. Guess I expected more... 3.5/5

Lexington BBQ – My favorite LX style by far. Pork was perfectly moist, perfectly chopped, lots of outside brown, great sauce. Slaw was ok. The place just had an overall good feel to it. Seemed like a lot of locals were around which was a good sign. Would definitely make a special trip for their BBQ! 5/5

BBQ Center – Very good LX style, lots of outside brown, good sauce. Got it coarsely chopped. The brown was very good but overall the pork could have been a little moister and more tender. It seemed a tad tough to chew. Very busy atmosphere but a cool local joint nonetheless. 4/5

Cook’s BBQ – Very remote cool little country place. Very friendly staff. Very nice atmosphere but very average dry LX style pork. It was even cold. Very disappointing. Sides were good. 2.5/5

Red Bridge’s BBQ – Far drive but definitely worth it. My second favorite LX style BBQ. Great atmosphere. Amazingly tender pork with lots of outside brown. Didn’t care for the sauce, thought it was too tomato-y but the pork didn’t need it anyways. Was outside snooping around taking pictures and one of the pitmasters saw me. He took me inside and showed me how the BBQ process. Really good people, good experience, good BBQ. 4.5/5

Grady’s – Can’t beat the atmosphere. Really cool hole in the wall. Very moist ENC style BBQ with really good sauce and really good sides. I wanted to like this place more but inedible gristle chunks got the better of me. The local atmosphere almost made up for the gristle but not fully. Would have been one of my favorite joints with less gristle. 4/5

Wilber’s - Probably my second favorite ENC style BBQ. Atmosphere was your typical busy diner but they know what they are doing with their pork. Very tender, moist and good vinegary sauce. Only thing that would have made it better is if my toddler didn’t have a massive melt-down while we were eating. We had to roll out quickly but I can’t blame that on Wilber… 4.5/5

Skylight Inn – My type of place. Cool local atmosphere, you get to see some guy chopping whole hog chunks right there in front of you. This ENC style BBQ was chopped very well, zero inedible chunks and good sauce… but the pork was exceptionally dry. I had to sauce the hell out of it. Kind of disappointing I thought... 3.5/5

B’s BBQ - I wanted to experience authentic NC BBQ on this trip. I’m a traditionalist… Hickory wood coals, whole hog, Eastern Style, Lex style, etc. so seeing the bags of charcoal at B’s was kind of disappointing. One bite later and I can tell you that I could care less what they used. This was the best BBQ I had the entire trip and the only place that I visited twice. Their ENC style BBQ was perfectly cooked, nice smoky flavor, perfectly chopped, perfectly sauced (very vinegary which I prefer). One of the lady’s at the counter even remembered me and my son from the previous day. Don’t sleep on the chicken either. Get the dark meat not the white. The dark is much moister. Go early before the place gets too packed. By far my favorite NC BBQ hole in the wall. 5/5

Bum’s BBQ – Cool small town feel. Good moist, smoky flavor, nice vinegary sauce but it had those inedible chunks in it again that I cannot stand. Bum’s was definitely about the sides. Got the collards and rutabaga. Never had rutabaga before but could eat those quite frequently. My wife was just happy to have a vegetable since this was our last stop. 3.5/5 (4/5 if you factor in the sides)

Nov 29, 2012
Qball in Southeast

Best and worst on the Outer Banks

Lot's of good reccomendations on this board.

I'll be staying in KDH in 2 weeks and I'm looking for some good seafood places or anything that is traditional or regional OBX. What kind of seafood is in season late September? I have no problem driving any distance north or south.

Sep 14, 2012
Qball in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

Thanks for the tip. I'll add Alston Bridges as well. This list did drop from 15 to 13, so I have some room... ;)

Feb 09, 2012
Qball in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

Would love to add this one but it seems to be a little too far south for my route...

Jan 31, 2012
Qball in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

That's some impressive touring Rockbound. I'll definitly report back on my trip. Thanks to all of your input I have tweaked my agenda a tad. Removing RO's and adding Bridges and Blackbeard. Might not make the Pit now either. Ed Mitchell should be coming to NYC for BBQ festival so I can hit his cue there anyways.

1. Stamey's - Greensboro
2. Allen & Son - Chapel Hill
3. Lexington #1 - Lexington
4. Cooks - Lexington
5. BBQ Center - Lexington
6. Red Bridges - Shelby
7. Wilber's - Goldsboro
8. Grady's - Dudley
9. B's - Greenville
10. Jack Cobb - Farmville
11. Skylight Inn - Ayden
12. Bum's BBQ - Ayden
13. Blackbeard's - Tarboro

Jan 31, 2012
Qball in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

You all rock. I appreciate all the suggestions.

Any word on if Ed Mitchell is opening a new place? I heard maybe he was...

Something else... Sandwiches versus trays. It seems trivial but is there any reason one should be ordered over another? I probably shouldn't get both because 15 joints in 5-6 days is enough already.... Was only curious if some places do sandwichers better or vice versa.

..Sounds like I need to add Blackbeards. Been hearing too much good about there... Not sure I'll be west enough for Bridges. May have to keep Grady's on the list to settle the debate ;)

Ha, Mrs. Qball is used to my food obsession by know... We used to do food tours internationally (best gyro's in Greece, etc...) but know we have junior Qball and have to stick closer to home. Buffalo Wings, NYC Pizza/Pastrami, Maine lobster rolls last year and now NC BBQ. As long as she gets a week at the beach to work it off, everybody wins!

Jan 20, 2012
Qball in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

Hello,
I'm planning a NC BBQ tour this fall and have a question for all the locals. I have about 15 places on my list (in no particular order).

1. The Pit - Raleigh
2. Backyard BBQ Pit - Durham
3. Allen & Son - Chapel Hill
4. Stamey's - Greensboro
5. Lexington #1 - Lexington
6. Cooks - Lexington
7. BBQ Center - Lexington
8. Little Richards - Winston Salem
9. Wilber's - Goldsboro
10. Grady's - Dudley
11. B's - Greenville
12. Jack Cobb - Farmville
13. Skylight Inn - Ayden
14. Bum's BBQ - Ayden
15. ROs BBQ - Gastonia

Anyways! Am I missing anything glaring?? Not sure how many more places my wife will let me add, but I may be able to remove a few...

Also, what's the best way to eat NC BBQ? Chopped, coarse chopped, sliced? I've been reading about outside brown. Is that something I should be asking for? Thanks folks!!

Also, looking for some good pimento cheese and shrimp and grits. We'll be staying all accross NC and then a week at the outer banks. Looking for local foods...

THANKS!!

Jan 18, 2012
Qball in Southeast