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Any NC State Fair Reports?

Mustard, chili and onion vaping liquid. Love it. Smoke your own hot dogs

about 5 hours ago
veganhater in Southeast

Any NC State Fair Reports?

No doubt on the kids. Last year was the first year our youngest was old enough for us to take him. Luckily, something came up at work and I got out of going. I don't think I'll be as lucky the next few years.

I'm realizing I sound like a complete jerk. It was fun watching the kids have a ball. They thought it was heaven. I'll continue to take one for the team to experience that, but one can dream of KoKyu and steamed clams with butter.

about 13 hours ago
veganhater in Southeast
1

Any NC State Fair Reports?

I almost stopped there. Now I wish I had.

about 13 hours ago
veganhater in Southeast

Any NC State Fair Reports?

I do hate fairs, but my kids love them and are the only reason I go. Good point on the soda. I understand the nature of the food at the State Fair, I just don't like it and get to whine about it after blowing that much cash. Plenty of people I work with go strictly for the food (no rides or shows)and seem to love it. I had no idea how hard it is to get in as a vendor, but I'd be willing to bet some of the many local food trucks would be interested if given the opportunity. It would certainly be more attractive to me if there were a few options like that instead of the 100th hot dog/french fry booth. Why not?

about 14 hours ago
veganhater in Southeast

Any NC State Fair Reports?

Today's trip to the state fair, while fun for the kids, was a complete rip-off. $250 for 4 hours. Food pretty much sucked. We didn't have to wait in any lines, which was nice. Rides were hit or miss. Haunted house was 40 seconds for 4 bucks. Complete bs. The largest roller coaster was worth it, as were the gravitron and the big swinging ship. BMX show was great.

The food options were mind boggling, but very redundant. So many vendors pushing the same food. We split a gyro from John the Greek for $8, and it fed 2 adults and 2 children. Standard issue, but tasty and the tzatziki was good. Corn on the cob was good, but $4 for an ear with butter. Hand cut curly fries with malt vinegar from the tater shack were delicious. Small order was perfect for the four of us to snack on without over-doing it. We got one large lemonade and shared, since refills were somewhat cheap. Very good. Got fried cheddar from the Wisconsin cheese stand. Tasty, but $8 for a little boat of batter-fried cheddar bites with crappy ranch wasn't worth it. Grabbed a $4 beef patty from Lee's Jamaican. Completely sucked. Sam's club level. Kettle corn from a guy out of deep run was great. Paid $3 for a small coke on the way out. Smaller than a pint. Probably 14 oz.

I would've liked some more diversity. Never found le farme's stand, no steamed clams or oysters, very few local stands (and the few that were there had standard issue options), way too typically bad carny food. In our culinarily rich part of the world, why so few representatives from our food scene? After a great experience at Terra Vita the week before, I was left wondering why the real culinary talent in the area wasn't more represented. I did see a Neomande stand, but outside of that nothing. I'm not trying to turn the state fair into a food geek event, but why not have an element of that sprinkled in to the food vendor scene? Especially here? We should let good cooks, rather than mediocre cooks, rip us off at the state fair.

1 day ago
veganhater in Southeast

Any NC State Fair Reports?

On way to fair... Anything ontht food side that cannot be missed?

1 day ago
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Update

I think you made the right decision booking a table. Spot on review

Oct 16, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Update

Great review by Cox

The Raleigh News & Observer review is out....⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/1...

Oct 16, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Black House or One for Birthday Dinner?

I would do Black House for apps and cocktails in that scenario. Great cocktails, great small plates. Much better ambiance

Oct 15, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Eastern NC cheese biscuits

+1 on that rec

Oct 15, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Eastern NC cheese biscuits

La placita is the place you're talking about. I've had great food there recently. I've also had one visit where we ordered tripa tacos that bordered on inedible. Mostly hit, occasionally miss. Tripa has been the only thing that's missed. On one visit, superb. On the next, not so. If older Mexican women are cooking, you're in business.

Oct 15, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Hong Kong Dim Sum

On our way out of town after a great weekend of eating and drinking, a good friend took us to this Durham dim sum joint. He deserves a serious kiss, as it was just what the Dr ordered. I think they only do dim sum cart service on Saturday and Sunday. Slightly hung over and voraciously hungry, we walked in to this insanely busy (and hard to park at) restaurant. Food was already on the table, and we gorged on great dim sum. Pea shoots, turnip cake, baby bok choy, panko crusted crab claw things, shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, tripe (we preferred the one that wasn't red), pork ribs in ginger, spring rolls, many more I can't remember. If you haven't been here, you need to go. In the context of dim sum joints, very good.

Straw Valley Update

You won't regret that decision. Dang phone wouldn't upload pics, or I would've posted them earlier. We really enjoyed all the smaller plates and sides. I'd probably go that route and make a meal out of it, but you really can't go wrong. Young wine guy named Corey has a great attitude and table presence. Definitely order mushroom and collard sides if available

Oct 15, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Straw Valley Update

Beef tartare, venison carpaccio, bacon and eggs, grilled octopus

Oct 15, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Update

pierogies. sorry these are one at a time

Oct 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Update

Correct, although we started in the beer garden and ordered arancini and duck wings off that menu. I'm having phone and computer issues, but here is a pic of the duck wings

Oct 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Anyone go to Terra Vita in Chapel Hill?

She's sending me a list tomorrow to jog the memory. The first few things I tasted are clear, but the effects of multiple beverages and multiple bites of food clouded things tasted later. General consensus in our group was positive. No real clunkers. Fearrington's was probably the most unique flavor combol

Oct 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Anyone go to Terra Vita in Chapel Hill?

I went to the grand tasting on Saturday. Great line-up of chefs and drinks, and the weather held out until it was over. On the drink side, I loved both beers from Fullsteam, Fishing Creek hard cider, Topo's cucumber cocktail and many different wines (Sour Grapes and de Maison tables in particular).

I'm struggling to remember all the bites and which chef did what, but I'll do my best. I wish I had a list to work off of. Blood sausage crostini (Isaiah from the Eddy), tuna poke wonton (Adam from Straw Valley), smoked pork ribs (Scott from Standard Foods), catfish mousse (Asbury in Charlotte), short ribs with ginger cake (Colin from Fearrington), smoked salmon tiramisu (518), cranberry cake with sorghum ice cream (Watts Grocery), fish chowder (Salt Box) are the ones I can remember. I also remember eating lettuce wraps, boiled peanut chowder and peanut brittle. I liked Acme's dish, but can't place what it was. Lots of food, most of it really good. If I get a list, I'll add the others I liked.

Oct 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Update

Except for a quick lunch, I haven't been able to get back here since they opened. After a great meal the first time, we were eager to see how the restaurant has developed. We were not disappointed.

We started with a drink in the beer garden and then were seated at a great table outside. The setting at Straw Valley is so unique and something I love about the whole dining experience. It really does set the place apart. Luckily, the size of our party allowed us to order a big chunk of the menu and everyone was on board for eating family style. Food easily came out of the kitchen in waves, even though the dining room looked full. The small plates were great across the board. Fried duck wings with Napa cabbage slaw, venison carpaccio, beef tartare, pierogies, grilled octopus with romesco (this was the one dish on our first visit that we weren't crazy about, but they now have it dialed in. cooked perfectly), bacon and eggs, half order of orrecchiette with fresh thyme, half bucatini all'Amatriciana all impressed. For mains, we decided to order steak and sides. Sliced hangar steak with tempura onion rings and strip steak with roasted sweet potato were two great cuts of beef. The sides were a lot of fun. Braised collards with what tasted like red Thai curry, hen of the woods, chicken mushrooms in a tiki masala set-up rounded out the meal nicely. I'm not much of a dessert person, but I did taste a riff on s'mores that I loved. Chocolate pot de creme topped with a graham cracker crumble and homemade marshmallow.

It was lots of fun. I'll upload some pics from my phone to put a face with the name. Killer food coming out of this kitchen right now

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

Had lunch today and our food was very good. Best barbecue I've had there in recent memory with nice smoke hints. Very moist. Chicken pastry and mess burger were delicious. Had a fried squash starter that was good, although the ranch on the side was out of a bottle. Tomato and cucumber was tasty, although a touch sweet. New potatoes and corn on the cob were delicious. All in all, a very good lunch with top notch barbecue. Much better than our last couple of visits. Long list of sides today.

Jul 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Asheville Dayhikes and Beer all set, just need Good Food

What's the word on Table? It doesn't seem to get mentioned often in Asheville threads, but their menu looks interesting.

Jul 10, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

This seems like a theme, unfortunately. We had a few sub-par meals in a row a couple months ago. I don't know what the deal is. Same people running the kitchen. I haven't been back in a month, so I will stop by next week and give a report.

Jul 06, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chapel Hill - Chip Smith of Bon Soiree - At Celebrity Dairy?

Thanks for the link. Good to see they are doing well, although it makes me seriously miss Bon Soiree. The lamb chops, by the way, were cooked beautifully in the picture

Jun 08, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Help w/ Trimming Research Triangle Itinerary

Strange. I've only had waitresses on my dozen or so visits. I've never had an issue with underwhelming food or americanized dishes, although it's been 6 months since I've been there. Reason enough for a visit to see what's going on. I haven't been to Captain J's yet, but rate Superwok a touch above Gourmet Kingdom (which I also love) as the best Chinese option around. Things that I love and order every time include pea shoots, dan dan noodles, every tripe dish, eggplant custard, squid, pork belly with lotus root, fried fish cut like squirrel tail and chicken with three peppers. I hate hearing about any sub-par experiences, but I can say I've been there enough times to warrant them an anomaly.

Along with LulusMom, I'm sold on Straw Valley. Love the food, beverage and service, but what separates the dining experience there are the grounds and dining room. Truly unique experience.

Jun 01, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Help w/ Trimming Research Triangle Itinerary

Solid list. I love Betski's, Mateo and Stanbury. The Pig is great, but would probably skip it with all the barbecue stops (The Pig is not a barbecue joint, but is very porky). Superwok in Cary is fantastic Chinese and should be in consideration. Straw Valley is a very cool space and we had a great meal there during soft opening. Scratch and Joule are my current favorite brunch stops, with Joule holding a slight edge (one caveat, it might be too expensive for your taste. Check out the menu online before you go). Give us a full report.

May 31, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Where is my Carolinadawg at? I'm coming to town!! Looking for some suggestions.......

Chianti South in North Myrtle has been very good in the past. Good wine list, great osso bucco

May 31, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

The Oak in Raleigh

I had to check out their website to believe it. Silly. Someone should also tell them how to spell crostini

May 02, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Blue Moon Bistro, Beaufort [NC]

Blue Moon has been on my list of places to go for many years. Now it's on my list of places to return. We enjoyed a delicious meal here recently and now can't wait to get back. Jerry, our hostess, was extremely sweet and is worth a visit alone. From the outside it seems the feel in the dining room would be elegant and somewhat quiet. On our visit the atmosphere was party-like and pleasantly loud, with the entire restaurant and bar full.

The wine list is well chosen, although not huge. Full bar, decent beer selection and we are off to a great start. We ordered a bunch of small plates and a few large plates for everyone to share. Our server did a great job of coursing things and pacing the meal. Highlights included softshell crab, fried oysters, roasted beet salad, lamb chops (awesome dish) and pork dumplings for starters. Scallops were good, but I wasn't crazy about the penne awkwardly served with them. Entree's included Duck Breast (just fantastic, served with a leek-sweet potato gratin), Triggerfish (cooked perfectly) and Ribeye (really nice steak). All around great meal.

May 01, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Fearrington

I'm not exactly sure what I booked. I called to reserve a room, and the person I spoke to set our dinner reservation. Breakfast was included with the room. We had a discounted rate on the room of $150, so I don't know how much the normal rate is. They have packages available, but I did't look at them because of our promo. Dinner was $125 per for the chef's tasting menu. We decided to let them pair wines, but if you're not into that the wine list is great.

They have a lovely outdoor beer garden (wines too), and an indoor space called the Goat. I don't think there's a bar that serves liquor until one of the two restaurants opens, but I could be wrong. Maybe at the Granary? The included breakfast is great.

Apr 18, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Fearrington

"upscale plantation-style opulent Southern" pretty much nails it. I found it to be elegant without being stuffy. We did have a great table right in the window.

Apr 13, 2014
veganhater in Southeast