Posts Tagged 'food'

Still craving a steak

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After I decided not to get a steak during my visit to a steakhouse last week, the craving for a grilled dinner reappeared. A trip to Texas Roadhouse seemed appropriate on this Saturday night. We managed to arrive just in time to avoid the 45 minute waits. Fifteen minutes after checking in we were seated and browsing a menu. I determined not to let the descriptions of the non-steak items to distract me again. When my meal arrived it was one of the best looking steaks that I had ever seen. This was meant to be and I enjoyed every bite.

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

 

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/

Zink!

A Facebook friend recently recommended that I try Zink the next time I was in Charlotte, N.C. and I am glad that she did.  I tend to take a late lunch and arrived at Zink, beside South Park Mall, around 3:00pm on evening.  I typically do not have to wait and sometimes have an entire dining area to myself during these late lunch visits.  Upon arriving walked past the large patio area, and would have considered sitting outside if the wind conditions had not been too extreme.  The eclectic interior is primarily modern with a touch of classic. The menu changes with the seasons and offers various items including seafood, poultry and beef.   I enjoy many types of chicken dishes, but have been on a steak crave lately.   During this visit I ordered the Balsamic Glazed Filet Skewer that included Zink steak sauce, Green Beans and delicious pimento fritters.  The steak sauce was very good.  It consisted of tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and pepper.  It went very well with the filet.  The pimento fritters were great!  I’ve never had the sandwich spread melted inside a fritter shell before.   The green stuff is typically something I take a few bites of and move on, but the items on my plate had great flavor and I enjoyed the entire meal.  The lunch was just short of filling me up and required me to order dessert to complete my meal.    I chose the Mississippi mud pie.   The online description lists marshmallow fluff, chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream as the ingredients.  I also cleaned this plate and was finally full and ready to return to work.

My only disappointment was that I couldn’t have sweet tea with  my meal and wine was out of the question since I was driving,. I was offered tea with pomegranate or some other addition. I really don’t remember and it wasn’t a big deal since the meal was as good as it was.  I definitely make a return visit in the future.

4310 Sharon Road, Ste. W01 | MAP
Charlotte, NC 28210
Located at The Village at SouthPark,
and adjacent to SouthPark Mall

704.909.5500
704.370.0107 catering

Complimentary Validated Parking Available

 

 MENUS Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Dessert, Kids Menu, Cooking Classes, Beer/Wines by the Glass, Bar Bites, Bottled Wines

Warming up at the Hickory Tavern.

After standing outside in cold temps with constant wind watching a soccer game, I needed to have a good sit down meal.  I had several options nearby, but chose to drive a few miles out of the way to visit the nearest Hickory Tavern.  I have a few favorites there and the homemade Tavern Potato Chips are high on the list.  These delicious slices are served with mexi-ranch dressing.  I nearly filled up on the chip and sweet tea.

Fortunately I was still hungry enough to enjoy  a burger.  Another favorite is the Pepper Jack Burger.The Pepper Jack Burger is loaded with,  pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes & onions with a side of fries just in case I need more to eat.

Although I was full and finally warm, I still had to order some dessert to go.  The waitress looked surprised when I ordered four Tavern Towers to go.  We had plenty of cake to eat during the following few days.

 

 

 

 

9735 US 15-501 Hwy
Pinehurst, NC 28374

910-235-3850

www.thehickorytavern.com

Things look yummy at the Tilted Kilt.

I was introduce to the Tilted Kilt last summer and have been a frequent visitor ever since. The Irish pub themed restaurant has an outstanding menu of items that are prepared prefect every time.  After my first visit, I described the Tilted Kilt as Hooters with better food.  There is plenty to look at while waiting for your order to cook.  Dozens of TV screens are broadcasting many sporting events to keep patrons entertained.  In addition, the waitresses are dressed in kilts and strategically tied shirts that may have belonged to little sisters.  Despite the miss-sized uniforms, I still enjoy each visit.

I typically find a favorite dish and stick with it, but at The Tilted Kilt, I’ve tried and enjoyed various items.  Several items come with a side of  garlic fries that are very good.    During my most recent visit I chose to eat the Scottish Cheesesteak.  As I’ve explained in a previous post, I like a good cheese steak with extra cheese.  I am happy to write that sufficient cheese was provided with this sandwich.  The burgers and chicken items are also delicious.

Believe this or not, but my favorite part of each visit is the dessert.  I am very fond of the Tilted Guilt.  The Tilted Guilt consists of a large half baked chocolate chip cookie served underneath a scoop of vanilla ice-cream with chocolate syrup.  The entire dessert is sprinkled with powdered sugar.  I’d go just for the dessert and big screen TV’s!!!

From their website:  The Tilted Kilt concept originated in 2003, not in Ireland, not in Scotland, not even in England. Believe it or not, the Tilted Kilt actually came to life in America’s own city of sin, Las Vegas. The idea for a modern American, Irish, Scottish and English sports pub was the brainchild of successful restaurateur Mark DiMartino. His vision saw a contemporary, Celtic-themed sports pub staffed with beautiful servers

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Award winning BBQ from a Hillbilly.

It’s impossible to dodge the aroma floating around the parking lot at Hillbilly’s BBQ & Steaks in Gastonia.   The smell the open flame pit is very inviting and nearly dragged me into the restaurant.   The Gastonia location is the second Hillbilly’s opening in 1991.  The building appears to be a former Western Sizzler or other type of family steakhouse.  As you enter you are greeted and led to a table to preview he menu of  pork, chicken and steak dishes.  I am a fan of shredded pork BBQ and never hesitate to order the BBQ plate.   The hushpuppys and BBQ sauce offered prior to receiving your order is a great start.   During this trip we went through two servings of hushpuppies and fortunately didnt fill up before receiving the meal.  I like lots of sauce and you get plenty at Hillbillys.  To add to the delicious meal, the sweet tea is  always nice and sweet as it should be.

 

 

About Hillbillys:

Hillbilly’s BBQ & Steaks opened its first store in June 1989, which is located in Lowell, North Carolina. In 1991 the second store opened in Gastonia, North Carolina. Gerald Duncan and Chris Earle, two good friends started a dream. Gerald was 21 years old and Chris was 27 years old. As of the year 2000 Gerald Duncan became the sole owner. With the help of family and dear friends Hillbilly’s has remained a place that family and great food is very important. The philosophy from the very beginning was to serve great food at affordable prices. From the very beginning the cooking was done over an open flame pit with mesquite wood and it is still done that way today. Our side dishes are made fresh daily and the customers truly love it that way.  With the help of family and friends we work hard to make your dining experience a memorable one. In the year 2009,  the third stored was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

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Championship Burger at Pinkys.

I have driven by Pinky’s Westside Grill many times and have thought about stopping in and finally did this week.

Pinky’s opened in November of 2010 in the former home of Triple G Automotive.  The signature red white and blue VW on the roof makes the building stand out at the busy Charlotte intersection. The interior has several original artwork piece for sale and a couple of coin operated games if you have to wait for a table.  There was not a wait time today, but I did return to the KISS pinball machine for a game after lunch.

I had checked out the menu online and today was in the mood for a good burger.  Pinkys offers several burger options with plenty of condiments to choose.  I built a five-ounce beef burger with pepper-jack cheese, chilli and slaw.  The burger had more than enough of the toppings went it arrived.  I had to use a fork to eat most of it, but this wasnt a problem to me.  The burger was very good and I also enjoyed the extra chili that found its way out of the bun.   I ordered a side of waffle fries that were also very delicious.

If you have read previous posts you know that I am a fan of sweet tea.  Pinkys scores a A+ on their tea.  I could have drank a whole pitcher.

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Pinky’s location is easy to get to from I-77, I-85, I-277, and just about anywhere in Charlotte, NC. At the intersection of Morehead St. and Freedom Dr., Pinky’s is near every major interstate, making it not only a favorite for Charlotte, but an easy yummy trip for the entire metropolitan area. The decor is fun and light, while maintaining a good degree of suave dignity. There is parking in front of, behind, and across the street from the restaurant. Take a look at the maps, it’s closer than you think.

Pinky’s Westside Grill
1600 W Morehead St
Charlotte, NC 28208

(704) 332-0402

Hot wings at Ci-Ci’s Pizza

Tonight offered a late visit to Ci-Ci’s pizza, but I wasn’t very hungry.  I debated whether or not to order a dessert or just a drink.  The hot wings on the menu caught my eye, so I decided to order a few for tasting.   Somewhere between placing my order and sitting down the ticket never made it to the kitchen and I had to get up to ask about my wings.  Fortunately for me the person working the kitchen made a larger batch to give to me since I had an extra wait.  After tasting the first wing I was very thankful for the missing order ticket.  I didn’t think that I was hungry when first arriving, but once I started eating the wings I couldn’t stop.   The intensity of the hotness seemed to increase as I continued eating one after another.  The large batch of wings and a few glasses of tea certainly topped me off for the ride home.  When I make another trip I will have a tough decision between the wings and pizza.  I am now a fan of both.