Archive for October, 2012

Custom design pizza by the slice

20121017-104629.jpgOnce again I have my mind and stomach set on a certain type of meal and then end up with something completely different.  Knowing that I was going to be back in Chapel Hill I did some brief research for restaurants serving hamburgers. My intent was to stay in the Franklin Street area and make my final restaurant decision once I arrived. I was fortunate again to find a decent parking space on Franklin Street and began my journey across to locate one of the burger joints I had researched prior. As I was walking down the street checking out local restaurants Artisan Pizza Kitchen caught my eye. A craving for hamburger suddenly change the pizza so I entered the restaurant to take a look at the menu. Among the many pizza options,calzones, sandwiches and burgers.  I noticed that you could build your on slice. Knowing that I really didn’t want to order a whole pizza I chose a couple custom slices with some of my favorite ingredients. I was impressed with how fast my slices are out to the table. These are not your average size pizza slices. They are very large and by the time I finish eating both of them I barely had room for dessert. Maybe I will find a good burger during my next visit to Chapel Hill. I would recommend Artisan Pizza Kitchen for a delicious quick meal when you are in the Chapel Hill area.

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About:

James and Jenkiss met in 1998 when James was running a Manhattan pizza parlor. They quickly became friends and dreamt of one day owning their own business. James and Jenkiss would often concoct their own pizza from the Margherita to the Fresca. One day they began experimenting with alternative pizza sauces: thus the artichoke pizza concept was born.

Jenkiss learned his way around running a business while working with Trains Cafe in Carrboro and Cafe Bazaar at Spice Street. James continued to develop a pizza and sandwich menu for their future business while still living in Manhattan.

In 2008, Jenkiss convinced James that a quaint shop on Franklin Street would be the perfect place to open a pizza parlor. So, James packed everything and moved to Chapel Hill. Thanks to more than 10 years of friendship and a meticulous business plan, James and Jenkiss opened their doors of Artisan Pizza Kitchen in May 2009.

Today, Artisan Pizza Kitchen welcomes thousands of locals and visitors alike to enjoy everything from the signature artichoke basil pizza to our delicious sandwiches made with homemade focaccia bread, salads and fresh grilled burgers.

Dine in, take out or order delivery today! We hope to see you soon at Artisan Pizza Kitchen!

Artisan Pizza Kitchen
153 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 929-9119

 www.artisanpizzakitchen.com

 

Nothing Chili about this meal.

Recently I have been trying various spicy meals.  This afternoon at Chili’s gave me an opportunity for some more of the tongue tingling food.

I am a huge fan of the two for $20 menu items.   For starters we chose the crispy onion strings and jalapenos stack.  The ranch dressing was useful to help keep the hotness down a bit. I had to ask for additional dressing and almost filled up on tea prior to my meal arriving.

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For my dinner I selected to have the red roasted pepper grilled chicken over rice.  Broccoli originally comes with the mail however I chose extra rice instead of the green mess on my plate.  Without the broccoli, this still wasn’t the prettiest presentation I have seen, but it certainly tasted good.

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I remember visiting Chilis during the late 80′s and ordering chili.  Their menu has had many changes during the past couple of decades.   I like being able to cotinue to enjoy a good meal and look forward to future additions to the menu.

Enjoyin grits in the “Grits belt”

Grits has always been a favorite dish in the south. There are many different variations of grits including the traditional grits with butter, grits with cheese, and shrimp and grits just to name a few.   I prefer grits mixed lots and lots of butter with pepper sprinkled on top.  I also like grits with breakfast casserole mixed in with cheese sausage and eggs.  This morning I enjoyed a rather large bowl of grits mixed in with just enough butter to change the color.

Movie Name: My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Quote:

Vinny Gambini: [Vinny and Lisa receive their breakfast orders, Vinny
  looks at his skeptically] Whats this over here?
Grits Cook: You never heard of grits?
Vinny Gambini: Sure Ive heard of grits. I just never actually *seen*
  a grit before.

 

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Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer siftings being grit meal, and the coarser being grits. Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-20th century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn for his fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for his fee.

Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South stretching from Texas to Virginia, also known as the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring:

Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courier proclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.

Grits are usually either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn. Most commonly found are “quick” grits in which the germ and hull have been removed. Whole kernel grits are sometimes called “Speckled.” Grits are prepared by simply boiling the ground kernels into a porridge until enough water is absorbed or vaporized to leave it semi-solid.

Lime & Basil was worth the wait.

20121011-225417.jpgLime and Basil wasn’t the first choice for dinner. The original plan was to grab Chinese for a quick meal before returning home. Lime & Basil seemed to be calling and we made our way across Franklin Street to glance at the menu.  I had never been to a Vietnamese restaurant and was a bit concerned that I would find something on the menu that I would eat.  I skimmed  the menu posted on the window, found the word “chicken” and was satisfied with entering the restaurant to find a table. Plenty of tables were found in this small and popular restaurant.  Many people had beaten us to the tables in the appropriately painted lime green dining area.  We were greeted by a very mellow host who asked if we were on “The List.”   Fortunately to get on “The List” all we had to do was give a name and party size.  We were informed of a 20 minute wait and agreed to be added to “The List.”  The 20 minute wait was extended to 30 as the early patrons were not making plans to exit the building upon completion of their meal. I was curious to know what a gentleman in the corner was doing.  He had an office setup with laptop, cell phone and note pads.   He appeared to be working more than eating.  Finally, the early birds began to wrap up their visit and allow those of us on “The List” to have a chance to eat dinner.

 

After being seated, I didn’t spend much time reading the menu.  I had made up my mind prior to entering. I selected the Classic Lemongrass Stir-Fry with chicken.  Sauteed carrots, onions, and beansprouts with lemon grass and chili in a garlic stir-fry sauce placed over rice.   In addition, I added some Chile sauce to the blend to fire up the meal.  Everything was good.  I could have had a few more pieces of chicken, but that’s normal for me.  By the time I cleaned my plate, there was no room for dessert.   I think that “The List.’ was even longer by the time we finished our meal.  The building was full with more people waiting outside.

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Lime & Basil

200 W. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

http://www.limeandbasil.com/

Dairy Queen Spicy Chicken Strip Basket.

I’ve noticed the commercials for the Dairy Queen Spicy Chicken Strip Basket combo.  I usually order some hotdogs or regular chicken baskets and I typically stay with my favorites at most restaurants.    The commercials and my enjoyment of spicy food led me to give this meal a try.

I could tell immediately after the first bite that I was going to enjoy this meal. The chicken had a nice amount of “bite” to it. The spicy-ness didn’t linger too much after each bite.  They offer a four and a six piece combo.  For me, the four piece with fries, bread and drink is plenty of food.

I’m glad that I let the commercial and craving for spicy food bring me to Dairy Queen today.

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Hickory Tavern!!!!!!

Regardless of the loud, obnoxious West Virginia football fans my meal was excellent.

I tried the smothered chicken for the first time. As expected the chicken with sides of rice and mashed potatoes was delicious. The portions were just enough to fill me up, but I still had to have dessert.

It was a challenge keeping up with so many college football games on the surrounding tv screens.

Another bonus was the milk provided with our Tavern Tower chocolate cake.

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First meal of the day at The Grill at Four Corners

Considering that this was my first meal of the day and it’s 7:00pm this dish has an advantage. I’ll that I’ve had today is a power bar, chewing gum, breath mints, and water. Plate delicious when it was placed on the table. I didn’t give it a chance to cool and burned my tongue twice.

After I gained the feeling back and the food cooled down I restarted the feast. The meal came out within minutes of ordering and I sort of had my doubts about it. My doubts soon disappeared. I received a generous portion and enjoyed the small chunks of chicken. This may have been the first time I’ve had chicken pasta and the pasta disappeared before the chicken.

I will have to try dessert another time I am too full to eat another bite.

I liked the various eating levels and multiple TV screens. The music was good but loud requiring people to yell at each other. Typical sports bar/restaurant. I’ll visit again.

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The Grill at Four Corners
175 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC
(919) 537-8230

http://fourcornersgrille.com

Spankys on Franklin St.

This isn’t my first cheese steak blog, but this is my favorite cheese cake blog.

Usually when I ask for extra cheese I get a fair amount. However at Spankys they really put on the extra cheese. I could easily say that this was the perfect cheese steak. No doubt that I will visit again.

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Spanky’s, is an American Bar and Grill located on the busiest corner of downtown Chapel Hill, NC. A Chapel Hill institution since 1977, Spanky’s is famous for great hamburgers, brown sugar baby back ribs, garden fresh salads and North Carolina BBQ cooked on premise. One of Franklin Street’s most famous landmarks, Spanky’s is a stone’s throw from the campus of the University of North Carolina and a short drive from the Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) and the Research Triangle Park (RTP). The bar is a late night destination for local citizens and students of UNC.

 

Location: Spanky’s Restaurant and Bar
101 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Website: www.spankysrestaurant.com
Phone: (919) 967-2678
Email: spankys@spankysrestaurant.com