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Tom from Raleigh's Profile

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No Rare Burgers for You!

King James Public House in AVL features a "seared, rare burger" that is just excellent. On our recent visit, the burger included gouda and a slice of lardo. It was just amazing.

about 7 hours ago
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Pizzeria Toro in Durham to reopen

I hope they have fully addressed the fire safety issues that have closed them twice before. I'd imagine that the fire marshall would be reviewing them with a fine toothed comb.

We liked the pizza before. We're also going to try the new pizza place from the Bull City Beer & Burgers guy.

Jul 21, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

New Chef at The Federal

I'd recommend we Give the place and chef a bit of time to get his or her feet wet before writing it off. The Fed has been a Durham fixture for years.

Jul 11, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Asheville Dayhikes and Beer all set, just need Good Food

As I posted in the thread referenced below, I loved King James. In fact, I've still been thinking of the meal fondly two weeks later. From reading your post, our tastes sound similar.
I am also a beer geek. King James beer list is pretty good, not great, but then I can't think of a restaurant in Asheville that have a stellar beer list AND outstanding, creative food. I'd define stellar as 8+ drafts, little or no macro, a good selection of local and well regarded national brands, plus some large format bottles.

Case in point, I love the Admiral, but they have a pretty limited beer list (Wedge IPA on draft is all). My solution to this conundrum is to prioritize. At meal time, I'll select outstanding food over a strong beer list. Before/after dinner, I'll go to the place with the best beer.

Keep in mind, most every place in Asheville sells craft beer. I think you have to go to Wedge and Wicked Weed, If you want the best beer selection in town, I'd go to Barleys which I prefer to Thirsty Monk.

Biscuit Head was an awesome breakfast and a great value.

Jul 08, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Asheville - King James Public House

My family of 4 went to King James tonight. It was one of the best meals we've had in quite a while. The fries were simply amazing. Crispy on the outside and a bit chewy on the inside. We had several other dishes. All were good. There are lots of things to try on their menu. We will be back when we return next month.

Jun 28, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Harvest 18 in Durham, NC near Southpoint now open

Harvest 18 was at Farm to Fork. I don't remember their dish, but I remember that it stood out enough to put it om my list of new places to try.

Jun 10, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Farm to Fork 2014 After Action Reports

Attendance seemed solid, but they sold out. It was hard to compare to past years, as the set up was different this year than past years in a couple of ways.

Jun 10, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Farm to Fork 2014 After Action Reports

This year it seemed like the theme was veggies, glorious veggies as evidenced by the site of only two smoke columns coming from grills.

We arrived at 4:15 to the field for Farm to Fork. My wife and son were in ATL for the weekend, so this edition was just my 10 yr old daughter and I. She's an excellent companion and our tastes are very similar, though she prefers sweet, while I prefer beer. We agree on meat. After taking a few minutes to get set up, we began the first round.
Bull City Burger had bresaola on white bread, which didn't do much for me.
Watt's had a quark ice cream that my daughter thought was made with "pork" or "cork" it was tasty but it mind blowing, and I'm only writing about it because of the rhyming.
Cricket cotton candy at the Pancuito/lil farm tent. This was tasty and inventive. They ground up grasshoppers from their farm into a powder with spices and such. It was a dish with guts.
The Eddy in Saxpahaw had my favorite plate of the night. They did a pig ear crepe with greens from their own farm. It was a great mix of texture, color, and flavor. I will tell you that I had three of them. I would liked to have tried it on a tortilla rather than a crepe as the crepe was flimsy, but it was work of genius either way.
Rose's Meat plate: Rose's Meat Market's tent set up wasn't very intuitive. When I asked what they had, their guy offered to make me a plate, which ended up to be two plates of heavenly charcuterie - he put like five different cured meats on each plate along with some pickles and some house made mustard. I ate a lot at Farm to Fork, but even three hours after the fact, my mouth is watering over the memory.

Lantern's dish was tasty. They did a veggies with curds & whey plate. It was bright, but I'll always pine for the pigtails dish they did several years ago. That was a thing of genius. That said, pork prices are through the roof, so maybe that explains the veggie focus.

Garland did a cellophane noodle dish with beef that was quite tasty.

There were a couple of home brewers called Bond Street, I think, who's beers I enjoyed. This year, they put the drinks out amongst the food tents which I liked better than the old arrangement.

Overall, Farm to Fork was fun and we will return next year.

Jun 08, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast
1

help! self doubt about lamb tacos for tomorrow's party

Buy fresh tortillas, warm, from a local Tortilleria, which is, unsurprisingly, a store that makes fresh tortillas. One near me has a machine with a conveyor belt. I buy them still warm right off the conveyor. My local also sells chunks of confit'd pork skin called chicharones that taste like clouds of bacon

Jun 07, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Home Cooking

Los Comales shut down- where to go for tacos in Durham now?

In CH/Carrboro Taqueria Ramierez is the my go to choice. They're at Cliff's most weekend nights and have eye catching blue lighting. There are at least two taco trucks that park at Fitch's. Both are white and I can never remember which I like.

Jun 04, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Mattie B's in Durham

Yeah, we were unimpressed by Mattie B's.

May 22, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Mission quest: Fresh Torillas in raleigh.

I'd also add another tip: eat fresh tortillas the day they're made for the best experience. Get them fresh off the conveyer if possible. They should still be warm when you pick them up. I have been know to make a taco to go with a fresh tortilla and a bit of chicarron when driving back from Miss Tortilla.

May 20, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Mission quest: Fresh Torillas in raleigh.

There are a few places that make tortillas, such as Miss Tortilla in Durham on 98. They're called tortillerias. I don't know of any that grind corn to make masa. Please post your findings here.

May 16, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

CHARLOTTE: Where to find goose or duck eggs?

One Restaurant in Chapel Hill makes a heavenly steak tartare with cured egg yolk. Thanks for passing along the receipe.

May 15, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Soft-shell crabs in the Triangle

Tom Robinson's Seafood in Carrboro has softies. We've already had them once or twice. They also show up at Weaver Street Market.

May 09, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast
1

New to Raleigh & Need Food Options

If you don't mind a drive, come to Carrboro or Durham on a Saturday morning for a top notch farmer's market.

Apr 26, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast
2

New to Raleigh & Need Food Options

D R C,
I prefer my meat to some have fat on it, especially if it's grass fed or grass finished, so I'd have been happy if I received the tri tip you did from Rose's. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just pointing out that not everyone has your preference, so if you want it lean like a supermodel, you may want to make it clear.

Apr 26, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

New to Raleigh & Need Food Options

When we lived in North Raleigh, the Saturday Wake Forest farmers market was pretty good. I'll second the recommendation of Baldwins beef. Is that butcher shop still open in WF? I'm thinking not, based on meatn3's post. If you don't mind traveling to Durham, Rose's Meat & Sweets is top notch. It's a butcher shop that cuts meat to order and also has some of the best sweets around. Going to Durham seems like a long way, but it's not much farther than going to downtown Raleigh from north of 540.

Apr 26, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Garland in Raleigh

The desserts were really interesting! We had the chocolate covered honeycomb, the winter squash jellies, and the pralines. All quite good. The chocolate covered honeycomb was flavorful and rich, just like it sounds.

Apr 19, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Garland in Raleigh

My wife and I had a great meal with friends at Garland on Martin Street last night. The menu is hard to describe, but I would say it has pan Asian influences from Korea, India, China, etc. I'm running out for errands now, so I don't have time for a full review, but I recommend it if you're looking for a place to eat and drink in downtown Raleigh.

Apr 19, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast
1

Where to Buy Turkish Ingredients in CH/Durham?

Fresh simit (sesame rings) in Cary? That's amazing! Thanks, TerryG. I generally avoid bread, but I loved simit when I was in Turkey.

Apr 11, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Where to Buy Turkish Ingredients in CH/Durham?

I know what Harissa tasts like and I have a bottle in my fridge. This stuff is different. You're familiar with tomato paste? This is pepper paste, same consistency without the saccharine sweetness of tomato paste. Prior to the trip, I'd eaten Turkish food at Talullah's and I was not impressed with the cuisine. On this trip, I ate things that I couldn't even fathom. It was a life changing trip

Apr 10, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Where to Buy Turkish Ingredients in CH/Durham?

We just returned from our best food-focused vacation - a two week trip to Turkey and Morocco. One day, we took a food tour with a company called IstanbulEats. It was incredible. Now, I want to recreate some of those flavors at home. What stores carry ingredients from Turkey, Syria, etc? I'm thinking of pepper paste. One day, we had these wonderful meatballs that were served with a tomato sauce that was flavored with this pepper paste. Normally, I think of tomato sauce as being very sweet, The pepper paste had a bitterness that countered the sweetness of the tomato. It was truly mindblowing.

So where can I get some?

Apr 09, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Sam's Bottle Shop to Open In South Durham

I heard from an employee that Wednesday was a soft opening for them, so I'm surprised to hear they're open on Tuesday. I heard they'll have lots of great drafts.

Since I live in Carrboro, Beer Study remains my bottle shop of choice

Apr 08, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Best Pizza in North Carolina?

To me, a "best of" designation implies the rater has tried every other deserving pie in NC, which beggars belief. Lilly's Pizza in Raleigh was good when we tried it, but we weren't blown away

Apr 02, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Piola in Chapel Hill Closed

I liked their pizzas, but it was across town for us, so we only had it a few times. Still sad to see it go.

Mar 27, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Captain J's International Buffet in Raleigh, NC

I stopped by for lunch yesterday and had a great meal. This place is the real deal. I ordered pork XLB, cold beef tendon app, and twice cooked pork. The soup dumplings were tasty. I learned that the trick is to pick them up with chopsticks at the top of the wrapped so you don't pierce the lower part, where the soup is. The beef tendons were tasty. The taste is faintly beefy. There's lots of good stuff in them for our skin and connective tissues. I thought I ordered twice cooked pork, but what I received wasn't what I was expecting. The dish I received was a mix of pork belly, mushrooms, onions, a little eggplant, & peppers. It may have been twice cooked pork through a Shanghaianese lens or it may have been the other pork belly dish one the menu. Regardless, it was quite tasty and I would order it again. The prices are quite reasonable. My entree was $10.99 and it was a healthy serving. They also gave me a $10 off coupon on the way out. I hope to return in April.

Mar 20, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Mind Blowing Tacos at Las Carolinas Grocery & Grill in Clayton, NC

Fu Dee-

The ladies who work there were so sweet when I was there, too. I also loved the fact that I could use my corporate card as my visit was related to a client meeting. I can't wait to go back.

Mar 17, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Asheville itinerary consultation

On a recent weekend trip to AVL, we ate well. Our top meal was at Chai Pani. Great bindi. It was also highly reasonable. We ate brunch at Curate where the potato wrapped sausage dish blew my mind. Excellent bloody Mary's, too. Seven Sows was really good, too.

Mar 16, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast

Captain J's International Buffet in Raleigh, NC

I wouldn't worry. Calabash style seafood is lightly battered and fried. I think any Chinese restaurant worth its salt could properly fry seafood.

Mar 12, 2014
Tom from Raleigh in Southeast