termite's Profile

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Cheap Soul Food in Durham/Chapel Hill area?

Liberty cafe (I always knew as Liberty Diner) was pretty good. I believe it's closed now. It was for a while at least.

The Know Bookstore is pretty cool.

Oct 22, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Wine Authorities, Durham, NC, Discussion Thread

If you're coming from out of town, drive another 10 minutes to Twisted Noodles. Much better Thai than Thai Cafe. Worth the extra few minutes.

Oct 21, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Durham, NC-- Coma Rico!! Pupusaria?

I sort of like the name TransAmerica...good movie, anyway.

By the way, it's Vaquita, not Vaquito

Oct 19, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Durham, NC-- Coma Rico!! Pupusaria?

I'm going to try to get there this weekend. Will report back after :)

Oct 18, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Anyone read the article in last months Gourmet about the taquerias in Durham?

Just to clarify: I in no way see americanized as negative if the cooking's good.

Oct 17, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Anyone read the article in last months Gourmet about the taquerias in Durham?

From what I've read, the fifth is the most americanized, though that says nothing re quality (and it's also second hand).

Personally, I like all four I've been to. The chorizo is best at Lopez, ditto for seafood. I love the lengua at La Vaquita. I had a good menudo at El Pariso. Haven't been to Los Comales in a while.

Oct 17, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Anyone read the article in last months Gourmet about the taquerias in Durham?

Lopez, Los Comales, El Paraiso, La Vaquita and Fiesta Grill. I've been to the first four and they're all great :)

Oct 17, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

Man, you gotta try it. It's something else!

Oct 10, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

My lunch review (from the usual place, click on my name, then on the link to the blog):

And so to my fourth visit to Watts Grocery since it opened twelve days ago…

Yesterday, I invited my friend AR out to lunch, naturally suggesting we go to Amy Tornquist’s new neighborhood star. We got there somewhat late in the lunch hour (around 1pm) to find the restaurant at about 40% occupancy, still quite bustling given its 110-seat capacity. We were greeted by Zavi, the front house manager who somehow knew my name by the second time Durmonion and I showed up there 10 days ago for brunch. I’m not much of a stickler for the minutiae of service, but the personal touch is emphasized at a place like Watts, and that’s to be appreciated.

Anyway, to the food. We were told upfront that they were out of the reuben and the yellowtail tuna sandwich, though Zavi did go back to check on the former, which turned out to be available again. By this time I’d ordered a sweet ice tea (can’t get enough of their ice tea, it’s quite literally awesome) and a coffee, and had pretty much settled on a burger (for AR) and the Pan fried Sweetbread Sandwich w/Mushroom duxelle Mayo, Tomato, Aged Sherry Vinegar and Napa Cabbage on toasted Sourdough for me.

(I just had to put in the full description of that sandwich here…it’s a rather crazy idea for lunch. I tend to go for the stranger things on menus, just to give them a shot.)

The sandwiches came quickly while we were busy having a lively discussion on some small detail of our belief systems, as AR and I often do. Taking one bite from his burger, AR proclaimed that it was indeed as good as I’d described it to be. My sweetbreads sandwich was also marvelous. I’d only eaten sweetbreads once before, at Magnolia Grill last year in a very different gastronomical context. The sandwich had a great balance of ingredients, tastes melding together well. It was rather rich and filling for a small sandwich and kept me happily going until dinner many hours later.

A certain tongue-in-cheek attitude shines through in the idea of serving this very unusual and somewhat luxurious cut in a sandwich. As I’ve said before, I appreciate that attitude. This restaurant has an excellent gastronomic philosophy, as well as great execution. Now that I’ve eaten there for dinner, brunch, late-night and lunch, I can happily proclaim Watts Grocery to have easily made the list of my favorite Triangle restaurants.

Kudos to Amy and the entire team!

Oct 10, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Bacon Brittle

Made this today. It's freakin' awesome. I've been looking around for pork-based deserts, so this just made my day. Nice one!

Oct 07, 2007
termite in Home Cooking

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

We went (yep, again!) to check out their late-night offerings last night. We were rather impressed.

I put up a full review in the usual place, which linking to apparently gets my posts deleted (fair enough). Click on my name below to find a link to the blog if you want, but here's the write up:

Last night we decided to go check out the late night offerings at Watts. We pitched up around 11:30pm to find a small number of people hanging out at the bar. Amy was just departing, leaving behind the friendly bar staff and a few others. I got a sidecar, which I was informed by a guy sitting at the bar ‘wasn’t ordered much these days’. I’d never had one before and it seemed like a nice way to start a late meal. I agreed with guy at bar that it was good to see classic offerings being put on the menu. On a side note, the caiparinha was deemed awful by everyone else apart from me, and was no longer available.

I was rather hungry, having had oysters at Fishmonger’s many hours earlier and nothing after that. Durmonion and I decided to split a burger and I ordered the creole deep-fried gizzards…

There’s a story here: My mother’s side of the family is from Eastern Europe and was never particularly wealthy. As such, I ate gizzards, chicken hearts, livers, beef tongue and so on as a kid on a very regular basis. Both my mum and my grandmother cooked the most wonderful hearts and gizzards stew. I have many happy memories of a plateful of it on mashed potatoes. It’s strange to me that most people here have more than a little reticence regarding innards. It’s a serious limitation on taste and texture. When I first saw the Watts menu, I was thus delighted to see gizzards on there.

So anyway, back to the evening. I was enjoying my sidecar, Durmonion her usual bourbon-and-ginger, A his local Durham beer, and S an ice tea, when the huge tray of food came. Spiraling metal conic serving devices (for lack of a better phrase), with brown paper cones filled with goodies began covering our table, accompanied by delicious-looking sauces. Farmers cheese hush puppies, buttermilk onion rings, creole gizzards and hand-cut fries came with basil mayo, chipotle-blue cheese sauce, garlic mayo and catsup. Plus the burger. You can imagine the smiles…

So, to the food itself. The gizzards were tasty, though I do prefer my grandmother’s soft stewed gizzards over the chewy fried ones. Good stuff nonetheless. The hush puppies were by far the best I’ve had: large, light and fluffy, damn-near perfect with the basil mayo. I liked the onion rings very much too: crunchy rather than soggy and not overly battered. I would have never really thought of teaming blue cheese with chipotle, but the sauce really was excellent.

The burger was great. Tender, flavorful meat, just as a good burger should be, served on a very lightly charred bun. Durham is full of good burgers - from the Fed, through Wimpy’s, to Cookout- at a wide range of prices. This one was certainly on the expensive side, $8 with cheddar, but I think it’s worth it, at least once in a while.

So, we happily munched away on all the late-night food, chatting and generally having a good time until after 1am. Watts’ late-night opening hours are certainly a welcome addition to the Durham scene.

Oct 06, 2007
termite in General South Archive

You Are What You Don't Eat

What do you call someone who only eats vegetarians?

Oct 04, 2007
termite in Features

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

Some of the menus aren't up yet (thought last time I checked the dinner one was up). You may need to enable pop-ups in your browser.

We're going tonight, I'll report back tomorrow. If their menus are printed on paper like Piedmont's, I'll ask for one so I can share :)

Sep 28, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

It's now open. Just got an email.

Sep 28, 2007
termite in General South Archive

anyone got the scoop on Watt's Grocery?

Any update? Are we going to see an opening this week?

Sep 25, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Za'atar

The baked za'atar pita is called mana'eesh. You can fill it with ground meat too. Yum!

Sep 18, 2007
termite in Recipes

Brunch at Milltown (Carrboro)

the food is pretty good, but the beer selection is incredible. That's my main reason to go there.

Sep 17, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Dried Chipotles in Durham

Try Compare Foods

Sep 16, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Larry Craig's Wiener in a Spud

It serves the purpose of being funny and rather ironic.

Seriously, get a sense of humor.

Sep 16, 2007
termite in Features

anyone got the scoop on Watt's Grocery?

the menus are up on the website!

Sep 15, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Larry Craig's Wiener in a Spud

I think people should show up at the court, spread out picnic blankets and have a nice Super Tuber dinner!

Sep 14, 2007
termite in Features

anyone got the scoop on Watt's Grocery?

Sep 11, 2007
termite in General South Archive

anyone got the scoop on Watt's Grocery?

I've been looking forward to this place opening for ages. Anyone have any updates?

Sep 10, 2007
termite in General South Archive

21st birthday celebration in Chapel Hill

Doh! I can't believe I forgot Piedmont. Strongly seconded!

Sep 02, 2007
termite in General South Archive

21st birthday celebration in Chapel Hill

You'll have hard time finding stuff open on Sunday. All the better places I can think of are closed. If you could celebrate a day early and want something really special, head over to Magnolia Grill in Durham. Closed on Sundays, though.

Sep 02, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Cooked Tripe in the Triangle?

Actually, I'm looking for pre-cooked tripe for a recipe, rather than just to eat some. A variety of sources say I should be able to get it pre-cooked from a butcher.

Detlittlechef: don't you ever sleep? Thanks for the meal last night, it was fantastic. Good to meet you.

Sep 01, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Cooked Tripe in the Triangle?

According to my wonderful Hungarian cookbook (by Lang): "In almost every civilized country you can buy cooked tripe."

So, are we in the triangle civilized (despite not being a country)? Where can I get the stuff pre-cooked? I feel like a bit of a gastronomic adventure, but really don't want to make the entire house smell terrible by cooking a bunch of tripe for five hours....

Aug 31, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Italiano in Durham Chapel Hill

I never understood the Cinelli's fan base. I think it's below-par expensive food aimed at Duke students with little taste and lots of money....

(That's not a comment about all Duke students...)

Aug 31, 2007
termite in General South Archive

New Durham food blog

Eh. Tried it last night. Not bad, but a little on the watery side. Not bad, but could be better. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to watching (tasting) them develop.

Aug 30, 2007
termite in General South Archive

Fantastic Experience at Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill

How much did it come to, if you don't mind me asking?

Also, what's the dress code? Quite how formal is it?

Aug 30, 2007
termite in General South Archive