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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

Fearrington

Some years back I was lucky enough to celebrate a birthday with a night at Fearrington. We had a great room, the grounds were beautiful and we walked in to dinner with high expectations. What followed was one of the more disappointing meals of my life. It soured me for some time and I had no desire to go back. Since then, there is a new regime in the kitchen, a new beverage crew and Joris (one of the world's great maitre d's) returned. I've had two very good experiences there since and decided to redo the birthday night.

We had magical weather and thoroughly enjoyed the property all afternoon. Had a great Fullsteam custom brew while sitting outside listening to acoustical music, then got dressed and headed to the House. What followed was one of the best meals of my life.

We were immediately greeted with Champagne by the incredibly knowledgeable and gracious sommelier Max. We decided to let him pair wines and the kitchen cook for us, as we didn't want to make any decisions. Canapes hit the table, and we realized at some point we want a whole meal of these little bites. Latkes with carrot caviar (spherification done very well), chicken mousse with fresh chevre and crisp prosciutto (their take on chicken cordon bleu) started things off. Then came a raw course of Yellowtail (fresh horseradish, black quinoa) and scallops (vanilla tapioca pearls, fresh orange). Seared wreckfish with carolina rice and shrimp butter was cooked perfectly. Caramelized parsnip with barley could never sound as great as this tasted. This was also my favorite wine pairing, as Max served us an almontillado sherry that interplayed with the parsnip so well you couldn't figure out if you were tasting the wine or the food. We also were able to taste 90 BV Latour with wooly pig and squab thanks to the coravin system. Lightly smoked pork belly with apple was just phenomenal. There were multiple elements to all these dishes and the plating was ornate.

Dessert started with a caramel foam with yogurt powder and candied orange zest. Then coconut, with multiple coconut textures and dark chocolate. And finally and amazingly light chocolate souffle (somehow gluten free).

I know I'm forgetting some details and dishes, but the gist of it is this kitchen is completely kicking ass right now. Service was superb in every aspect, and we walked out on cloud nine. Hands down the best meal I've had in NC, better than my one meal at Per Se, and in the top ten in my life.

Apr 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast
1

Stanbury: Raleigh, NC

Yes it was Vietnamese-style. So good. As far as the sweetbreads are concerned, they were fried perfectly and by themselves were tasty. I wasn't crazy about how the bonito flakes worked and our dish was bombed with qp mayo. Minor quibble in a fantastic meal.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Poole's

Stopped by Poole's for a drink and a few snacks before dinner. I've always liked their beverage program, so we will do this whenever we're staying downtown. Ordered tuna carpaccio, lamb neck tart and brussels with mushrooms and sherry. I've had mixed results with their food in the past (nothing bad, just average to very good), but on this night everything was killer. The lamb tart was unreal, and I literally have dreamed about it. Best food experience I've had at Poole's.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

The Latest Poole's Downtown Diner-Raleigh

Stopped by Poole's for a drink and a few snacks before dinner. I've always liked their beverage program, so we will do this whenever we're staying downtown. Ordered tuna carpaccio, lamb neck tart and brussels with mushrooms and sherry. I've had mixed results with their food in the past (nothing bad, just average to very good), but on this night everything was killer. The lamb tart was unreal, and I literally have dreamed about it. Best food experience I've had at Poole's.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Stanbury: Raleigh, NC

We had a great meal at Stanbury recently. I'd been dying to eat there since they opened, and after getting shut out a few times finally made it happen. The feel is comfortable and casual, and nothing like what I consider a dive bar. We dined on a nice night and the garage door was open, which I loved. Our server was friendly and did a great job pacing the meal.

I love the way the menu is set up, with a bunch of small plates and a few large plates. We opted to order small plates until we couldn't eat any more. Highlights included beef tartare (my favorite dish of the night), swordfish crudo (fresh, tasty, pretty), marrow bones (no brainer), fried oysters (perfectly fried), crisp pig head (fried gelatinous meat), roasted beets, duck breast and a sliced steak dish (can't remember the cut, do remember liking it). The only dish I wasn't jazzed about was crisp sweatbreads, but everything else was delicious.

Apr 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Lemon pepper with garlic and onion

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but parsley tames garlic.

Apr 05, 2014
veganhater in Home Cooking

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

There's always a chance skylight could run out, but it's highly unlikely. As for blackbeards, it continues to be solid. Mess burger, barbecue, all soups, liver and onions and most vegetables are recommended. I'm not crazy about either slaw and I'd steer clear of the tossed salad (field greens) as they tend to be gritty.

Mar 31, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Low Country Road Trip

where have you booked in Charleston?

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

"True Cue" BBQ Certification in NC

Thanks. Great link. Blackbeards in Conetoe needs to be added to this list

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Maybe they should call it hot pate instead

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Hamburger = Ground beef

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Pate = cold meatloaf

Mar 25, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Chef/Owner of 18 Seaboard To Open Restaurant in Durham

Sweet. I wish I could read the menu from your pic. What else was on the menu?

Mar 23, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Straw Valley Cafe in Durham to get redesigned by chef at Il Palio

I've only had a few plates at the bar, but enjoyed One quite a bit. The food was beautiful and delicious, but totally different than Straw Valley. Definitely some tweezer usage in the plating, and portions lean towards tasting menu's. The room was nicely done, but still can't fully escape the strip mall location. Very different restaurants

Mar 14, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Seeking Wilmington, NC, recommendations

Tower 7 is fun Cali-mex in wrightsville, brasserie du Soleil in lumina station just outside of wrightsville, and +1 for cd's recs

Mar 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

I'm agreeing with the NY Times on this one, not tooth tooth. The food and drink are great and it's possibly AC's best effort. The prices are in line with many other brunch options around, including some you mentioned. If you're this worried about paying $12 for a brunch plate, it's probably not the place for you. Maybe you should call Ashley up and explain to her you know how to price her menu better than she does, and see if she could stop piping in the imaginary "forced hipster vibe" you sense. I'd certainly go out of my way to eat here, especially for the unique biscuits and gravy. Many others seem to agree as it's been busy on every visit (3).

Mar 12, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

We will have to agree to disagree. I thought everything we had was delicious. $14 for shrimp & grits is a good deal in my book. The ny times seemed to think highly of Joule as well.

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

I love the croissants. Let them rise overnight and bake in the morning.

I don't love the Bolognese sauce.

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Chains

Joule, in Raleigh

I found the dish to be an interesting riff on biscuits and gravy. The gravy had a deep, beefy flavor and was chock full of short rib. I will admit I like when chefs play around with peasant dishes (Keller's pork and beans and apdc's foie gras poutine come to mind). Regardless, the rest of the menu doesn't qualify as fancied up basics, unless you consider nicoise salad, eggs benedict and heirloom tomato salad as basics. I find a plate of NC shrimp and stone ground grits at $14 to be a good deal. Ditto for the Nicoise salad. I also thought the coffee prices were reasonable considering what they serve. $4.25 for an 11 oz cappuccino and $2 for a 12 oz. drip coffee seems fair.

The reality is, after eating there I was surprised at the negative comments. I would kill to have Joule where I live. I wasn't in a rush to check the place out partly because of reading this thread, but it may have replaced Scratch as my favorite brunch stop in the Triangle. Where are y'all going for brunch that offers up great food and coffee that's so much better of a value?

Mar 11, 2014
veganhater in Southeast