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Friday, August 26, 2011

Meet-and-Three: Raleigh's Mecca

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Mecca, Raleigh’s oldest family-owned restaurant, seems like a tattered, cardigan-wearing grandfather compared to the minimalist hip style of its new down-the-street neighbor, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, a modern meat-and-three. It is. But well-worn cardigans are cool, and Mecca has managed to keep up with the times. Inside the dark, narrow restaurant, a long counter with red vinyl stools recalls Mecca’s start as a lunch counter that served Raleigh’s downtown workers. At the time it was located on Fayetteville and Hargett streets. Five years later, the entire restaurant and its furniture—dark wooden booths and a mirrored-backed drink counter—moved to the current...

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meet and Three: J.C.'s Kitchen in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Hand lettering on the side of J.C.'s Kitchen advertises the restaurant's weekly specials.J.C. doesn’t cook. That’s no news to the slew of regulars at J.C.’s Kitchen, a home-style restaurant in a buttery yellow building on the corner of Main and Fayetteville streets in Durham. But new folks, explains owner Phyllis Terry, often expect to find the namesake behind the counter. “It’s a form of witnessing to say they stand for Jesus Christ,” Terry says of the restaurant’s initials. The definition, if not explicitly explained, can be inferred from the interior of the building, where Scripture and inspirational plaques adorn the...

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meet-and-Three: Hillsborough's Riverside Restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Dorothy and Leon Lea, owners of Hillsborough's Riverside Restaurant. It’s easy to miss the Riverside. Hillsborough’s one-story meat-and-three-style restaurant sits on the edge of Exchange Park Lane, a curvy road that slims to one lane, making it difficult to accommodate traffic or walk-in business. Other than Quintina’s, a hair salon that shares one side of the building with the eatery , the area is void of commercial spaces, packed instead with trees that lead to the Eno River. That wasn’t always the case. When the Riverside opened in the 1940s, Exchange Park Lane was one of the major thoroughfares to...

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet-and-Three: Garner's Toot-N-Tell restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Perhaps you know what day your favorite local restaurant features lima beans on the menu as the vegetable special, or when the chocolate layer cake is destined to make an appearance. If not, here’s your chance to find out, or to broaden your horizon beyond the lunch shop on your block. Today marks the start of Meet-and-Three, a biweekly series on Big Bite that will present, over the course of the next few months, people and stories behind some of the Triangle’s meat-and-three style restaurants. Defined as a place with a plate lunch or dinner that offers a choice...

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: Johnny's of Carrboro closes ... temporarily

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Sadly, it appears that Johnny's of Carrboro is closed this evening due to more than the impending rain. By the look of things, the local watering hole, community spot and haven for an array of food vendors has completely shut its doors. A note on the front door reads, "Closed, Thanks for 4 great years Carrboro." And inside, it looks as though most of the stock and furniture have been removed. No one could be reached at this time to comment. Update 6/24: Jan Halle, who helped co-open Johnny’s in Carrboro over four and a half years ago, reveled...

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Piedmont Grown Launches Local Label and Directory

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Spotting local food just got a lot easier. Earlier this week, Piedmont Grown launched a label that identifies farm fresh foods and artisan products that have been grown and produced within the 37 counties that constitute the North Carolina Piedmont. Noah Ranells, a project manager for Piedmont Grown, as well as a farmer and the Ag Economic Development Coordinator for Orange County, says the new brown and green label can appear “anywhere where food is sold.” Artisan producers who have been certified by the non-profit can place the local logo on their foods, for instance, and complying farms can display...

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jim Anile to open L'Uva at American Tobacco

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Jim Anile, chef and owner of Durham's Revolution, has a new venture planned for the former space of Cafe Zen (410 Blackwell St., Durham) at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. L'Uva, an Italian restaurant and wine bar, is set to open in July, after Independence Day. "I don't want to be there before July 4," he explains, alluding to American Tobacco's holiday baseball crowds. "I don't want to get off on those sort of feet." Anile says the restaurant will feature "simple, straightforward Italian food, all handmade." Weekly menu changes that incorporate fresh, local options will be announced regularly...

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bull City Burger and Brewery introduces the Patty Wagon

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Last week Facebook and Twitter lit up when Seth Gross, owner of Bull City Burger and Brewery (107 E. Parrish St., Durham, 919-680-2333), announced that the restaurant would be "jumping on the bandwagon with a four-wheeled mobile vehicle." Fans were eager for another Triangle food truck. But it turns out that Gross intended his use of the word "wagon" to be read literally. His new venture: a hand cart called the Patty Wagon that will operate within a twohttp://www.bullcityburgerandbrewery.com/BCB&B/Home.html-block radius of the downtown eatery. One of Bull City Burger and Brewery's immediate neighbors is City Hall, where employees, Gross...

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dillard's Bar-B-Q: Back in Moderation

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

There is a way back into Dillard's Bar-B-Q: host an event. The Durham restaurant, which closed in March after nearly 60 years in business, recently announced that it will open its doors for special occasions. "If someone wants to hold an event in the restaurant, we'll rent the restaurant out," says Wilma Dillard, who ran her family's business until it closed last month due to an uncertain economy. As for the new use of the former dining space, Dillard explains, "The building is still ours and it felt wrong to put someone else in it. I don't know how...

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Bull City Burger and Brewery: It's love in a bun

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM

If you have $15 in your pocket, you cannot starve in Downtown Durham: Within a seven-block radius you can find chicken and waffles, paninis and po’boys, venison and veal, salads, scallops and sausage, plus tortas, crepes, pork—and even rabbit liver. But until this week, one of the foodiest downtowns in America did not have a top-notch burger and beer joint. Bull City Burger and Brewery, which opens today, has filled that niche. Located on Parrish Street just off Mangum, the vibrant, locavore eatery mixes old school sensibilities (the grill workers wear two-cornered paper hats) with an urban vibe: High,...

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Dillard's Bar-B-Q Closes Its Doors

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 8:40 PM

On the serving line at Dillard’s Bar-B-Q this evening, a hand scrawled sign hung in sad irony: “New Item . . . Diced Potatoes.” The Durham restaurant, a staple since 1953, served its final customers today—or, at least it tried. Twenty minutes after the restaurant was scheduled to close at 5:30 p.m., Kim Walker, a longtime customer who volunteered to help on the final day, called a winding line of customers’ to attention. “We don’t think we’re going to have enough food for everyone left in line,” she told the crowd. “But that’s just a testament that you’ve been...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Au Revoir, Bonne Soiree! Chapel Hill fine dining restaurant to close at the end of April

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 7:47 AM

Let's get one thing out of the way: Yes, Bonne Soiree is expensive. It isn't a place to dine once a week, or probably even once a month, unless you're of means. Even if you have the money to go there often, Bonne Soiree isn't the kind of place one's senses are likely to be able to patronize frequently. Unlike its nearby price-range competitors like Elaine's and Cypress on the Hill—Bonne Soiree is actually a tad more expensive than either—the atmosphere inside speaks to special occasions. The tiny dining room, elegantly done in light blue and deep purple, with antique...

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eastern Lights' dumplings for Chinese New Year

Posted By on Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Eastern Lights, a venerable Chinese and Korean restaurant in Durham (4215 University Drive, 403-3650, www.easternlightsrestaurant.com), serves a 10-course New Year's banquet featuring particularly juicy and tender dumplings. The recipe descends from Chef Frank Chao's father, who fled from China to Korea to escape conscription during the 1940s. Makes about 25 dumplings For the filling 1/2 cup water or chicken stock, at room temperature 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon Totole-brand Granulated Chicken-Flavor Soup Base Mix (optional)1/8 teaspoon white pepper1 tablespoon ginger root, finely mincedScant 1/2 pound of ground or finely minced pork belly, texture should resemble...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Durham's Fish Shack Closes

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Sadly, Big Mouth Billy Basses—the plastic, singing fish that were popular 10 years ago and thrust back into the light of day on the walls at Durham's Fish Shack (2512 University Drive)—will soon return to their dusty spots in local attics. According to Dan Ferguson, who owns the Fish Shack and its neighbor, the Original Q Shack, the fried-fish eatery officially closed its doors last Sunday due to low sales. "I really loved the concept and thought it would work," Ferguson says of his business. But after a mere nine months, the Fish Shack couldn't survive. "It was just like...

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Durham's food scene earns New York Times mention, again

Posted By on Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Photo with permission by Justin Valas Our 2011 diet resolution? Consume as many calories as possible in the Bull City. The New York Times recently listed Durham among the top 41 Places to Go in 2011. Sandwiched between Kurdistan and Kosovo, and listed among some of the world's most exotic, surreal landscapes and wild cosmopolitan cities, Durham stands her ground at #35. (And one of only four domestic locations.) She's found her cool, all right, exuding from the increasingly famous and vibrant food scene. The story praises restaurants Scratch Bakery, Revolution, Rue Cler and Parker and Otis, as well as...

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Only Burger Celebrates Grand Opening Today

Posted By on Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:34 AM

Only Burger, Durham's mobile burger eatery, has a new place to park and call home. Approximately three weeks ago, the food truck opened a brick and mortar location at Hope Valley Square shopping center (3710 Shannon Road, Suite 118, Durham, http://durhamcatering.com/onlyburger, 919-724-9377). At the new location, the menu is basically the same—$4.75 for single burgers and $7.25 for doubles—except that it has expanded to include beer (and seating). Only Burger will celebrate its grand opening at 11 a.m. today with half priced burgers....

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Choplin's Hot Dogs

Posted By on Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Garret Macario, Willard Andrews, and Mike Elledge at Choplin's Hot Dogs.In just a few minutes, the lights will turn off at the North Carolina State Fair, marking the close of Choplin's Hot Dog's 40th year in operation there. Willard Andrews, who now runs the small hot dog stand across from Gate 9, wasn't there to see the booth's first ten years in business, but he's been at the stand for the past 30 years, running the show since his friend, Elton Choplin, retired seven years ago. Andrews, like many other fair food vendors, doesn't spend his year in the food...

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Apex Lions Club's "Piiiiie"

Posted By on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Horace Johnson in front of his pie-inspired sign at the Apex Lions Club's fair booth.Horace Johnson has a steady presence at the North Carolina State Fair. Though a resident of Apex, he lives with his wife, Frankie Johnson, in a mobile home on the fairgrounds during the 11-day event, rather than commuting the 20 minutes home. And most of his time, he’s front and center, perched on a stool in front of the Apex Lions Club’s booth. For 27 years, he has taken a seat there to bark the club’s pie to passersby, though in Johnson’s words it’s “piiiiie.” When...

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Friday, October 22, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Fresh Apple Cider

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Susan and Jouard Lingg. Susan Lingg was exhibiting watercolors at the State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear nearly 30 years ago when she truly happened upon something from the days of old. Her Michigan in-laws, whom she fondly refers to as Ma and Pa Lingg, gifted her their cider mill, which they’d purchased new from New Jersey in 1928. Luckily for Susan Lingg, she had the right resources at her fingertips for the making of a successful cider business: Jouard Lingg, her husband, who is a third generation ciderist; apples, which grow in abundance near her home in Cullowhee, North Carolina;...

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: The Peanut Factory

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Butch Skillman at his stand, The Peanut Factory. Don’t expect typical fair pageantry at The Peanut Factory. The fair booth, which is located near the twinkling lights and twirling rides of the Midway, is as humble and unassuming as the simple roasted nuts that it sells. As Butch Skillman, the factory’s owner, puts it, “Flash doesn’t go with peanuts.” What does, is antiques. The Peanut Factory’s little white trailer with wood panel backing provides shelter to numerous styles of out of date equipment. Take its 85-year-old roasters, for instance. According to Skillman, the A.J. Deer Company that created those machines...

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: MacLleod Farms' Maple Syrup Cotton Candy

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Carolyn Broggini, right, spins maple syrup cotton candy at the N.C. State Fair. As a child, my family and I didn’t make it to the State Fair every year from our home in eastern North Carolina. We went enough, however, that I was able to get my hands on a bag or two of MacLeod Farms’ maple syrup cotton candy, something that I’ve never quite forgotten, and with good reason. Like most fair cotton candies, MacLeod’s maple variety is made on the spot, and is thus still warm and airy. What sets it apart is the maple’s earthy flavor and...

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Mt. Olive Pickles

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 11:22 PM

Lynn Williams, a spokesperson for the Mt. Olive Pickle Company, stands behind a two-and-a-half gallon jar of tightly packed pickles at her company’s booth at the North Carolina State Fair. A couple of kids wander up and swap guesses with each other over the number of pickles the jar contains. “It’s fun to watch,” says Williams. “You can always tell the engineers. They try to work out an equation.” Behind the pickle puzzle, Williams is one of the few folks near the jar who appears confident. That is, until I ask her how long Mt. Olive has held a spot...

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Monday, October 18, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Hill's Roasted Corn on the Cob

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Todd Carter shucks corn behind his family's 41-year-old business. Rains pounded the state fair in 1969, turning the then-clay midway into mud. In the middle of a downpour, one corn vendor must have looked like he was drowning. “My uncle ran up on a guy selling corn and offered him $600 right then for his stand,” Todd Carter says of his uncle, Hill Carter. “Then he found his brothers and said, ‘Ya’ll owe me $200 apiece.’” The brothers—Dwight and Larry Carter—paid out. The stand, on the other hand, did not. “The next year was the worst year ever with rain,”...

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Ham Biscuits from Westover United Methodist Church

Posted By on Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Fairgoers enjoy lunch with Westover United Methodist Church. Tommy Highsmith sees it as part of his church’s mission to provide good and affordable food to fairgoers. That’s why the ham biscuits from Westover United Methodist Church cost a mere $1.50. “I think it’s the cheapest biscuit on the fairgrounds,” says Highsmith. “We’re over here more or less to be a minister to the people and to also provide a decent product at a decent cost.” Highsmith is a charter member of Westover, which first opened its doors less than one mile away from the state fairgrounds in 1945. “My thinking...

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

State Fair Food Classics: Charlie Barefoot and Sons

Posted By on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Charlie Barefoot's sons, Billy Barefoot and Joe Barefoot, manage their father's hot dog stand, which began in 1949. To find a good hot dog at the fair, all one used to have to do was listen for the voice of Charlie Barefoot. “People would just walk around the fair until they heard him,” says Barefoot’s son, Joe Barefoot, who now runs his father’s business—Charlie Barefoot and Sons—with his brother, Billy Barefoot. Since his father’s passing, Joe Barefoot says nobody has been able to duplicate Charlie Barefoot, who called quick quips like, “How ‘bout one?” to people who passed the stand....

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Catherine - it isn't journalistic practice to include an entire interview in a reported piece, nor is it an obligation …

by Victoria Bouloubasis on With Berries in Demand, Local Co-ops Won't Budge to Support Driscoll's Boycott (Food)

I believe the response that would cater to "affluent consumer demand" would be to only stock local or non-Driscoll berries …

by Liz 1 on With Berries in Demand, Local Co-ops Won't Budge to Support Driscoll's Boycott (Food)

Victoria, Why didn't you post the whole letter carolyn wrote? You are not reporting the story fairly or unbiastly. Catherine …

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People who are boycotting Driscoll need to see the bigger issue here. The fact that there are labor laws in …

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Sorry I missed this. I worked 13 years part-time in pastry production at NSB and knew Jacqueline then (1985-1998). I …

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Catherine - it isn't journalistic practice to include an entire interview in a reported piece, nor is it an obligation …

by Victoria Bouloubasis on With Berries in Demand, Local Co-ops Won't Budge to Support Driscoll's Boycott (Food)

I believe the response that would cater to "affluent consumer demand" would be to only stock local or non-Driscoll berries …

by Liz 1 on With Berries in Demand, Local Co-ops Won't Budge to Support Driscoll's Boycott (Food)

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