Posts Tagged 'downtown'

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.



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


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.


Lime & Basil

200 W. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Southern Prime

Great dinner, great dessert and wonderful sweet tea.  What else could you ask for?  The atmosphere was very nice and I loved the music playing over the house speakers.   When walking in the first thing to notice is the impressive wine collection on display.   The food was delicious and service was on top of things at our table.  Southern Prime also offers outdoor seating that I will request during my next visit.





A word from Southern Prime Steakhouse:   We are a fresh breath of class and style in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Located in Southern Pines, we offer an atmosphere of relaxed elegance and sophistication, where steak is our specialty. We have an extensive wine cellar featuring 3500 bottles, 20 of which we are pouring by the glass.

Southern Prime Steakhouse

270 Sw Broad St

Southern Pines, NC 28387

(910) 693-0123

I had an appetite as big as T-REX

T-REX Café is a dinosaur-themed family eatery serving lunch and dinner amid prehistoric creatures, fun displays and merchandise.   This is one of the newest eating locations in downtown Disney and worth a visit.  Fortunately we had reservations and waited a minimal 5 minutes before being led through a prehistoric world of caves and frozen rooms to our table surrounded by animated dinos.  There is a lot going on in this restaurant and plenty to look at.

The large menu includes items such as Brachiosaurus Bruschetta, Supersaurus Sampler, Layers of the Earth Lasagna, prehistoric pizzas, the Gigantosaurus Burger, sandwiches, steaks and seafood.  There were many items that I wanted to try and decided on the Supersaurus Sampler because I liked the name and all of the items that were included.  I also had to add a side of ribs because they offered them at a discounted price.  The menu items had great pricing for a themed restuarant.

The sampler is listed on the menu as: For an appetite as big as T-REX! Spinach and pepper jack queso with tortilla chips, Brachiosaurus Bruschetta, T-Rexadillas and Onion Rings.  I just happened to have a T-REX appetite this day and ate nearly everything provided.    I may have even had dessert, but cannot confirm since there was not a photo for proof.

View  menu

Demos is a must while in Nashville.

When I first learned that I was heading to Nashville the first thing that I thought was “I am going to Demos!”   Of all of the restaurants in Nashville, Demos is my favorite.    I am a fan of sweet tea. Very sweet tea!  North Carolina is probably the sweet tea capital of the world.  Once you are out of N.C. it is a bit difficult to find tea with a large amount of sugar added.  Demos has a solution to this problem.  Just ask for some sugar water when you order tea.  The thick sugar syrup addition to a glass of tea is great!  All of the meals that I have had at Demos have been delicious.  I usually order a pasta dish, but this time I was craving steak.  Then, I started craving chicken.  So, I ordered Steak with chicken. To be more specific I had A seven-ounce cut of thick sirloin with grilled chicken tenderloins.  As in the past I was pleased with the meal and was tempted to lay down and take a nap.  Instead of the nap I chose to walk around beautiful downtown Nashville to site see.   I look forward to my next rip to music city.

Read Demos Story HERE

Demos downtown Nashville Location:

300 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 256-4655

We excavated some fabulous items from The Quarry.

I did some online research before heading toward Brevard, N.C. during a recent family trip and noticed The Quarry Restaurant & Piano Bar on several websites.  Food wasn’t on the top of my list during  the brief visit to the busy mountain town, but we just happened to be hungry for a good lunch when we arrived.   I had forgotten about the restaurant until I saw the sign while we were driving around deciding where to eat.  The available parking across the street made it a no brainer for us to choose The Quarry.

As I walked into the dining area I suddenly mellowed and felt very relaxed.  The atmosphere was very nice and inviting.  This was a great location to settle for a while after a long drive.

The decor and murals by a local artist kept my eyes occupied as we  made our way to a table.   Fortunately there was the same amount of thought put into the menu and food preparation as with the restaurant.

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla


The lunch menu offered an attractive selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and a few additional items.  Being a big fan of just about anything with chicken I chose to try the Grilled Chicken Quesadilla.  The flavor was satisfying and the quantity was just enough.  I really enjoyed the cheese blend and salsa with the chicken.  All of the dishes were very well prepared and were enjoyed by all.


From their website:

“With enough swank to make Miles feel at home, The Quarry brings casual fine dining and elegance to Brevard. With a menu comprised of American cuisine, with a flare, from the kitchen of Executive Chef Craig Gosnell, the stage is set for you to enjoy the sound of local musicians massaging the keys of the baby grand piano. The wine list and after dinner drink menu speak for themselves, so for those of you who enjoy sipping on the rich flavor of a cognac, accompanied by the smooth sounds of live music, sit back and relax because The Quarry is the place to be.”

14 S. Gaston Street. Brevard, NC 28712
Reservations: Are recommended, not required

In Season April thru October


Monday, Wednesday thru Saturday 11:00-4:00


Sunday thru Thursday 4:00-9:00

Friday & Saturday 4:00-10:00

Tapas & Bar Menu (at Bar Only)

5:00-6:30 &9:00-10:00

Piano Music

Daily starting @ 6pm

Off Season: October thru April




Monday thru Thursday 5:00-9:00

Friday & Saturday 5:00-10:00

Tapas & Bar Menu


Piano Music

Thursday thru Saturday starting @ 6pm




We make EVERY event delicious!


36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering

I had the pleasure of visiting 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering in Lincolnton, N.C. while driving to the  Blue Ridge Mountains.  As soon as I opened the door the aroma of fresh baked items attacked my senses.  I was immediately drawn to the pastry case.  I checked out every item like I was visiting a museum of sweetness.   It was obvious to me that I was going to enjoy this visit although it wasn’t easy choosing just one item.  There are several items on the menu that I would have enjoyed if it had been lunch time.  This was an early morning visit and the scent of the baked items required me to enjoy something sweet.  I finally decided on a cinnamon twist and enjoyed every bite.    I am rarely in the area and am not sure when I can visit again, but going out of my way on the next trip to western NC would be worth the time.  Linconlton is lucky to have this bakery and cafe in it’s beautiful downtown area.

Besides bakery items and catering, 36th Street also offers Murder Mystery Nights and Wine tastings.

Open Monday-Saturday from 7am until 9pm.

Weekly Entree Specials are W, Th, F, Sat from 5pm until 9pm.
E-mail us if you want to be included on the list (

web –

view a pdf file of their menu here



Godfather’s Returns!

During the early 1980′s my hometown had a delicious pizza joint called Godfather’s.   It was the place to be after high school football games.  I remember playing the table top Pac Man video game while waiting for our pizza to be prepared.   I do not remember when Godfather’s closed and there were enough pizza restaurants in town to satisfy.  However, as time passed we began to miss Godfather’s.  The thick crust, greasy pizza with more cheese than most places allow was nothing but a memory.  On occasion I was able to get a Godfather’s pizza out of town at a ball game or at the beach.  These places were not quiet the same.  Their style was more fast food, pre built pizzas that were basically heated up or nuked to get us moving out of the door with minimal waiting.  This convenience is something I am willing to sacrifice to have a slow baked pie with two times the ingredients.

Godfathers pizza

Recently a new Godfather’s franchise was offered in Rockingham.  The word spread quickly and opening week was crazy.  Talk of long waits and a pricier menu floated around.  These were really not complaints.  The quality of pizza is worth the wait and price.  The pile of toppings is just the way I remembered and a smaller amount of grease that the original was present.   Godfather’s has returned and instantly has become a popular place to meet for great pizza. FYI- The sweet tea is SWEET tea.  just the way I like it.


From the Godfather’s website: Who would have ever imagined that a little pizza shop that opened in Omaha, Neb. more than 30 years ago would become the legendary pizza chain that it is today. The secret to our success is a rare combination of a commitment to excellence, an obsession with great-tasting pizza, dedicated people, and a desire to have a little fun.

Our mission: To profitably provide consistently good food and great service. Abiding by this simple mission statement for more than three decades has earned us a reputation that we intend to keep for several more. This commitment to excellence has helped Godfather’s Pizza grow and expand to more than 600 restaurants in more than 40 states.

Our product: Not just an ordinary pizza

A Godfather’s Pizza isn’t like any other pizza you’ve ever had before. We make pizza the way it was meant to be – with an incredible crust, delicious veggies, hearty meats, and a ton of 100% real cheese.

The best part is, at Godfather’s Pizza you’re the boss. First, you choose from our thick, rich, original crust, our buttery, pan-style golden crust, or our light and crispy thin crust. Then you tell us what veggies and meats to pile on, and we’ll take it from there and smother the whole thing with 100% real cheese for a pizza that’s absolutely irresistible.


I got burned in a good way at Mellow Mushroom.

Upon a recent visit to Columbia S.C. I found a wonderful area located downtown that was full of restaurants.  I drove around several blocks checking out the signs and trying to figure out where I wanted to eat.  Unfortunately I had time for just one meal and wanted to make a good choice for dinner.  I saw many places that I wanted to try, but due to limited parking on this evening I didn’t stop as soon as I had wanted to.  When I finally decided that I would pay $5.00 at a Vista parking lot, my selection was easy.  The nearest place was the Mellow Mushroom located on Gervais Street.  I grabbed a camera bag from the trunk and rushed through the parking lot to the front door.  I had a late breakfast and skipped lunch knowing that I would probably have a good dinner.  Being later than planned, I was starving and needed food in a hurry.

Within five minutes of entering I was sitting at a table sipping on some good sweet tea.   I had glanced at a menu online prior to venturing out and had an idea of what I wanted to eat. Since I am a fan of hot and spicy food I ordered a Jalapeno Kicker pizza with ground beef added to the toppings.   The ingredients consist of minced Garlic into their Tomato base, top it with Sausage, White Onion, Feta, Mozzarella and lots of JALAPENOS!!   WOW!!! It lived up to it’s name.  It kicked me for three entire pieces before I had to stop.  I do not usually eat pizza crust (the bones) but I did during this meal.  Garlic was everywhere and everything was very fresh.

I probably drank a gallon of tea in an attempt to cool my mouth down.  “Hotlicious!” was how I described this when my waitress asked my if I was enjoying my meal.  She smiled and poured more tea.  A couple of hours later my lips were still tingling from the peppers.  I have already decided what my choice will be during my next trip to the Mellow Mushroom.  The Hawaiian pizza is what I want to sample when I get a chance.

The Jalapeno Kicker Pizza kicked me and I liked it!

The Jalapeno Kicker Pizza kicked me and I liked it!

The Mellow story:

Mellow Mushroom opened in 1974 when three college students founded a business that reflected their eccentric philosophies. They saw pizza baking as an art form, and wanted to bring joy to others by exercising their art. The first store was created out of an old liquor store on Spring Street near Georgia Tech. To accommodate the long lines and gaining popularity, more Mellow Mushrooms sprung up around Atlanta. By the late 80′s, we began opening our first franchises. The idea wasn’t to get big, but nothing succeeds like a great idea as our reputation for the very best pizza grew, so did we, and it continues to this day.


The Mellow Mushroom family has grown over the last 35 years to encompass 100 stores in 16 states. In 2008-09, over 25 new stores have opened in ten states. We have projects under development in Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, and North Carolina. By year end, there will be over 105 Mellows open.

Mellow Mushroom

1009 Gervais Street

Columbia, SC 29201

You can view the menu here. (.pdf file)

I trust the locals more than I do online reviews.

When I travel I like to search the internet for local eating establishments.  If I get the chance, I also like to get recommendations form the locals.    During a trip to Fort Wayne Indiana some locals suggested Don Halls Old Gas House for dinner.   Not being familiar with the area, I searched the Old Gas House on the internet and found several negative reviews.  I was hesitant to take the advise of the locals, but I have never been steered wrong in the past.  This place has been in business for more than 50 years and they must be doing something right to remain in business that long.   Don’s Old Gas House building houses two restaurants.  Don Hall’s Takaoka of Japan is located on the second floor and Don Halls Old Gas House is on the first.  The Japanese food is very noticeable when you walk into the building.  I didn’t venture upstairs but I could tell that a large amount of fish was being served up there.  Once seated the fish aroma left me and I was able to enjoy the music from the jazz guitarist playing in the far corner.   Service was one of the complaints that I read about online and I was prepared to run out of tea and possibly wait awhile before placing an order.  This wasn’t a big concern since I didn’t have any plans after dinner and wasn’t in a hurry.  To my surprise, two waitresses kept my tea glass filled and the food was ordered and delivered promptly.  I wondered if I had read reviews for the wrong restaurant.  This place was great!!!  Live music, fast service and a good selection on the menu, but how good is the food?  Bland was a word to describe the food on a few online reviews.  So far the reviews were incorrect, but I was still thinking about what I had read earlier.  Instead of ordering a steak as planned, I chose the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken and a Caesar salad.  The salad arrived with less dressing than I prefer, but it was a good salad.  So far so good.  Not bland.  Next, arrives the Fettuccine with beautiful pieces of chicken on top. They know how to make a presentation on the plate, but will it have the taste to match?  The answer is “Oh yes!”  To date, Don Halls Old Gas House has the best alfredo sauce that I have ever eaten. Nothing bland at all about this meal.  I hope to eat there again in the future.  Unfortunately for me, it takes approximately 7 hours or more depending on weather to fly to Fort Wayne, so I will not get to visit there often.

Don Hall's Old Gas House Restaurant

Don Hall's Old Gas House Restaurant

Don Hall’s Old Gas House Restaurant   (260) 426-3411
Conveniently located in the heart of historic Fort Wayne, the Gas House is the place for downtown business people and office workers at lunch hour. The Gas House’s casual atmosphere and friendly service also makes it the perfect destination for a leisurely afternoon lunch with friends.

Since 1957, The Gas House has been serving Fort Wayne exceptional food and drinks in a friendly, casual atmosphere, and from steaks and lobster to sandwiches and salads, the Gas House has an option for any taste or appetite. Enjoy your visit in our family dinning areas or come down and relax in the warm, neighborhood atmosphere of the famous Gas House Saloon. Just blocks from uptown attractions, a visit to the Gas House makes a complete evening with a concert or performance at any of Fort Wayne’s uptown theaters.