Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy holidays!

Hey everybody we just wanted to say happy holidays.  We have a ton planned for the new year but we’ve just been too crazy busy during the holidays to post. 

Tony and Julia

Stumbling Along Tobacco Road

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As a diehard fan of the Green Bay Packers fan living in North Carolina, I pretty much have to go to a sports bar to catch their games so I often find myself plopped down on barstool watching a game.  As we have mentioned in earlier posts, we are big fans of Manchesters on Leesville, which is our usual game watching venue.  We went to Tobacco Road shortly before the actual football season after  we had heard it mentioned that they served duck confit as part of their game day cuisine.  We love our bar food, but to have duck confit as part of a food that normally consists of hot wings and bratwursts seemed like Tobacco Road was trying to take football eats to the next level. Continue reading

Swedish Meatballs: When Pickles Attack

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Ever since I got my new Droid X a month ago, I have been searching for ways to use it that would never have been an option with my old “dumb phone”.   So when I decided to cook Swedish meatballs for dinner one night, I naturally grabbed a random recipe app and decided to give it test drive. I searched through the archives of “Favorite Recipes” and finally found a meatball that did not include any veal (for priciness, not ethical reasons). Assured that technology had saved my life, I zoomed off to gather my ingredients.
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Another Day, Another Deep Fried NC State Fair

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There is part of me that will always love the gaudy over the top character that is always part of the fair experience.  It’s all about the bright colors of the fairway, the blasting 80s hair metal at the rides, and of course, the wafting smells of the of the smoke from the foodstands.  I have always thought of the fair as an event that happens in the dog days of summer in the last week of August, as it was in Illinois.  It is weird to me not to be uncomfortably hot as we take a death march down the fairway toward rides and food.  Though the weather is different and there are no beer tents dotting the surface of the landscape,  the October North Carolina Fair very much reminds me of the fairs that I went to as a kid.

As it usually is, the main event of the fair was the hunt for which food vendor would serve the best and hopefully, most creative fair treat.  After fighting our way through the entrance and the heaving masses. the first item we stumbled on was the Krispy Kreme doughnut burger stand.  I have to say I was rather surprised that almost everyone I talked to about sampling this bizarre concoction was almost universally grossed out.  I mean, come on people I know it’s not foie gras but what’s not to like about doughnuts, burgers, and bacon? I think for both Julia and I this was the holy grail of the fair so as soon as we had them we tucked in and didn’t really stop until there was nothing left.   I will admit that the idea of ketchup or any other condiment on top of the burger grossed me out a bit, so I went with lettuce tomato pickles bacon and cheese.  I loved the great sweet and savory combination of the sugary doughnuts and the burger and salty bacon.  It also felt both interesting and a bit strange biting through the gooey outer doughnut bun into the warm inner core of burger meat and bacon.  I really would have been fine without the cheese which turned out to be cold and unmelted and sort of a waste of dairy products.  Don’t get me wrong though, this burger was excellent and I have already started listing new spins on the burger that we can try at home.  Here’s to hoping they don’t cause a coronary.  Blueberry doughnut bleu cheeseburgers anybody? 

Number 2 on our “stuff to try” list was the Kool-Aid pickle, which is a southern delicacy  in which a pickle has been brined in a Kool-aid and vinegar mixture instead of the traditional straight vinegar.  Finding them at the fair was a lot of work, for they seemed to appeal only to the very adventurous palate, which meant the stands that carry them were few and very far between.  I think we were both very hesitant about this one so we ordered only one order for us to share. It was a good choice because we were both instantly struck by the rather alien, unappetizing appearance of slick red pickle slices. Admittedly, there is something odd-looking about all pickled veggies, but I think the red Kool-Aid dye amplified that a million fold. One bite brought a taste that was like an overly tart cherry flavored sweet dill pickle but slimier and less crunchy. I’m really not sure what I expected but neither one of us were particularly fond of this weird slimy cherry-ish veggie.  It just seemed like an odd combination that didn’t quite work me, and it kind of left me wondering if it would have been better with Blue Berry Blast Kool-Aid.   But I guess we’ll never know.

I know that this is probably the most important part, but we did indeed make our way over to the deep-fried stand during our little fair outing.  This time around I went with the new deep-fried Chips Ahoy and Julia decided on the more classic fried PB & J.  Mine was great, with the heat of the fryer and breading managing to melt the cookie and making it super soft and doughy as if they had been freshly taken out of an oven.  Julia however was not as fortunate with her PB & J which turned out to be rather sub-par.  After putting it through the fryer the deep-fried professionals had dumped about a gallon of powdered sugar over the top of the unsuspecting PB &J.  Julia said that after she dusted it off it was sorta tasty, but it was also too big and almost impossible to eat because of its odd size.  It almost seemed that if they had been of the “on a stick” or “bites” variety, it would have been a much more appealing and edible snack. 

As usual, the fair introduced us to food we would never eat in any other situation but turned out to be amazing.  I am already wondering what fried goodies the fair will have in store for us next year.

Chili Con Carnival Hell’s Kitchen style

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We had been looking for an opportunity to hang out with twitter chum and fellow Hell’s Kitchen fan Kim, but we had somehow missed each other until the very end of the last Triangle foodie tweetup.  Luckily for us, she heard about a chili contest coming to Holly Springs that was to be judged by Hell’s Kitchen contestent Andrew Forster, who decided it was a great idea to walk away in the  midst of a heated episode of the show.  Needless to say, we were excited by the prospect of chili and Hell’s Kitchen craziness, as well as finally getting a chance to hang out with our Kim.

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Buggy Delights: The 2010 Bugfest

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This was the 3rd time we have visited the North Carolina Museum of National Science’s Bugfest, and after having enjoyed it quite a bit the past 2 years, we were excited.  This annual family event that is billed as an educational event meant to provide kids with an entertaining approach toward entomology.   We both love the fact that local restaurants get together and make dishes that incorporate insects as ingredients and let the public taste them.  The resulting dish isn’t always all that great, but there is always one or two dishes that takes us by surprise.  On a personal note, I love the fact that Julia’s mom was shocked that I had forced her little girl to eat bugs the first time we went to Bugfest. Continue reading

Fullsteam ahead!

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We had both heard a lot of great things about the Fullsteam brewery in Durham, but neither of us had the pleasure to actually sample their wares until a few weeks ago at  Flying Saucer in Raleigh.  After one sip of the Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale, we knew that we had to take every opportunity to both get our hands on another pint and to support the brewery that made it.  Luckily, we were not disappointed as the grand opening of the Fullsteam Tavern was only a week away and we were looking for a cool place for a drink.

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Top Chef Season 7, Episode 12: Ground Control to Major Tom…Collichio

Well, my fellow Top Chef fans, we made it through to the final 4 reveal. Does anyone else feel slightly…blasé? Last year, the fighting Voltaggio Brothers, the seriously sultry (or sultriously serious?) Jen, and the loveable Yukon Cornelius (Kevin Gillespie) promised a showdown. This year’s final 4 promises that Angelo will mutter at least two or three sexual metaphors when describing his dish in the finale. But first, two great tastes that taste illegal together, drinking and outer space travel!

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Triangle Foodie Tweetup: Part Deux

We both had an awesome time at the first Foodie Tweetup, so when we heard that they were planning a second one, we were both excited to get another chance to hang out and try out a new local restaurant. 

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The Market and the Farm: A Pictoral

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So, I loved some of the pics that I had taken last year when we went to the farmers market, so I thought that I would bring the camera along for our last visit to the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh.   We always end up with some great produce as well as some amazing prepared food whenever we make it to the Farmer’s Market.  And of course, you all should go to your local Farmer’s Markets and support local farmers.

-T