Posts Tagged 'jimmy mcdonald photography'

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/

Cajun Burgers in Bryson City N.C.

When I read an article about Jimmy Macs in a previous edition of Our State Magazine, I knew that I had to plan a visit.  The menu offering 20 different variety of hamburger made me want to be there to sample several.

We arrived just before the lunch crowd and the place filled up soon after we took our seats.  I was tempted to try a pasta meal, although I had my mind set on a hamburger.

There were plenty of styles of burgers listed on the menu. The article Our State mentioned a cajun burger that I was certain to order. I did!  It was delicious as expected.  I enjoy spicy foods and could not wait to see how much of a kick the burger would provide.  It was just right.  Not too much to take away from the flavor of the burger.  I think that I made the correct choice.

cajun burger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Mac’s Restaurant

121 Main Street
Bryson City, NC 28713

(828) 488-4700

Offering both lunch and dinner in a casual and inviting atmosphere on Main Street, Jimmy Mac’s features a full menu including soups,salads, appetizers,burgers,steak, seafood and more.

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

Lunch

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

Dinner

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

Lunch

Closed

Dinner

Monday thru Thursday 5:00-9:00

Friday & Saturday 5:00-10:00

Tapas & Bar Menu

5:00-9:00

Piano Music

Thursday thru Saturday starting @ 6pm

www.thequarryrestaurant.com

 

 

 

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 (rick@36thstreetbakery.com)

web – www.36thstreetbakery.com

view a pdf file of their menu here

 

 

Poundcake, creamcheese icing and strawberries = sugar high!

I love pound cake.  I enjoy cream cheese icing.  I can’t enough of strawberries when available.   Put all three together and OMG!!  Strawberries are just one of many reminders of Spring and I try to take advantage of this wonderful fruit when avilable.

I took a moment to search the internet to check out recipes for this wonderful combination of sweetness.  I was overwelmed by strawberry recipes.   There are a large amount of ideas on the web for anyone to try.

This is not a dessert for anyone on a diet, but who cares?  When something tastes this good, it doesn’t matter if it’s healthy.   Good food should not be avoided!

Strawberry Poundcake

A Kool Kake!

I am a big fan of Bambi Provenzano’s art work and business called Kool Kakes.   I’ve seen photos of cakes in the form of guitars, beer coolers, disney characters and farm animals.  I would feel confident in saying that there is not a theme that Bambi cannot produce in cake form.  I recently ordered a cupcake cake for my wife’s birthday and was surprised at the size of the final product.  It weighed atleast 15 lbs and one could probably gain 30lb if they were able to eat all of it.  The most difficult part of the order was deciding on the flavors.  A partial list provided include the following:

Vanilla
Chocolate
Funfetti
Strawberry
Red velvet
Vanilla rainbow
Carrot
Brownie
Peanut butter cheesecake brownie
Raspberry filled brownie
Jalapeno
Chocolate coffee stout
Campfire kakes (s’mores)
Vanilla peppermint
Chocolate mint
Red hot red velvet
Bailey’s and cream
Mountain Dew
Chocolate covered strawberry
Root beer float
Key lime
Italian butter cookie
Banana walnut
Butterscotch schnapps
Strawberry shortcake
Pina colada
Coffee
Butter pecan
Lemon

 

 

 

Bambi also make other goodies.  A favorite of mine is the Lollicake that is a brownie on a stick with various decorations on top.  This is a great treat!

From the website:

Hours
Mon – Sun: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
About
Kool Kakes is a home based business that I started over four years ago. I love making kids 3-D cakes, but also enjoy making wedding cakes! My fondant is handmade, fresh for every cake. Each cake is made to order, every detail is up to you!
Email
koolkakes@gmail.com
Phone
910-461-243

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.

 

Good food, television, live music, games….oh my!!

I’ve recently found a new favorite restaurant.  I have many.   The Hickory Tavern located in Pinehurst N.C. has a great menu of items to choose from.    I usually have one, maybe two favorites at the locations where I like to dine, but after 3 trips to Hickory Tavern, I want to try new items.  The  Hickory Tavern has a great atmosphere and is large enough to handle the lunch and dinner rush.  Imagine a sport bars without the smoke, dozens of television screens,  game room for the kids, outdoor patio areas, special events including Karaoke and live music.  All of this with delicious food served!!!     This could be heaven!!

Below are a few of the items I have had the pleasure of eating:

  • Tavern Potato Chips – Homemade chips served with Mexi-Ranch dressing
  • Pepper Jack Chicken Sandwich – Grilled Chicken Breast, Pepper Jack Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Jalapenos, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions
  • 12 oz Rybeye!! YUM!!!!
  • Smothered Chicken Chicken breast topped with mushrooms & onions sautéed with white wine garlic butter, Jack cheese & two sides
  • Tavern Tower!  (Shown below)  The is not just a piece of cake.  It’s a ultra, large, mega serving built for 4-6 people.

From their website:

 

About The Hickory Tavern

The saying goes . . .

. . .that you can’t be all things to all people. Well, we’re not so sure that’s the case. Hickory Tavern is the perfect place for a business lunch – or – lunch with the girls. It’s perfect for dinner after the kids’ baseball game – or – date night with that special someone. If you’re looking to celebrate the day’s victories at Happy Hour then Hickory Tavern is right up your alley. And look no further than Hickory Tavern if you’re in the mood for an all-out party night. Did we mention game day? If you want to watch the game, any game, then you can’t beat Hickory Tavern.

9735 US 15-501 Hwy
Pinehurst, NC 28374

910-235-3850

www.thehickorytavern.com