Posts Tagged 'restaurant'

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.

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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Rhett IS an award-winning chef.

I am happy that Rhett Morris, original from the Winston-Salem area, decided to stay in North Carolina and continue his passion in Southern Pines.  We recently had the joy of dining and Rhett’s Restaurant and love the food!  Walking into the quaint dining area the green walls enhance the local art work on display.    Soft music from above and various conversations from other tables make Rhetts a comfortable place to enjoy a meal.

Prior to making online reservations, that I thought was very convenient, I browsed the online menu and chose what I wanted to taste during my visit.  I never order soup, but for some reason the R2 – Roasted Red Pepper Soup caught my attention.  The description of  a truly delightful blend of roasted red peppers and smoked Gouda cheese is very accurate.  I can imagine this as a sauce in Fettucine.   It was delicious and set me up for the main course consisting of a NC Ribeye with Roasted Garlic Risotto Truffle Mashed Potatoes.  It will be difficult for me to try something different during my next visit because everything was too good not to want again.  Fortunately I had a big appetite before arriving and was able to try the Chocolate Mousse Heath Bar Parfait.  WOW!!! It was very delicious!!!  If it wasn’t for a full stomach I would have had to try another.

Rhett adds an additional personal touch by visiting his quests to ensure that they are enjoying their meal.

From Rhett’s website:

“Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef and Catering creates customized Southern gourmet meals delighting individuals and groups. Rhett’s creates hors d’oeuvres, meals and party platters for private dining, cocktail parties and events. We offer take-out lunches and dinners that are healthier than fast food options, and can be customized for any taste or dietary preferences. Additionally, we have weekly specials made from fresh, local ingredients and a variety of fresh baked breads, cakes and cookies. Rhett’s goal is to create a consistent fine-dining experience for our customers to enjoy, either in the home or here in the restaurant.”

“After all, this is my passion.” – Rhett.

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Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef & Catering
127 W Pennsylvania Avenue
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Phone: 910-695-FOOD (910-695-3663).
Email: rhett@rhettsinc.com

Mexican Hardees.

La Cabana, also know as Mexican Hardees, is my favorite Mexican restaurant to visit.   It’s called Mexican Hardees because it is in a former Hardees fast food location.  The current owners painted the building bright green and orange and you notice is as you approach from either direction of business highway #74 in Rockingham N.C.

The popular restaurant serves a wonderful chicken fajita quesadilla.  I prefer the chunks of chicken over shredded that some restaurants serve.  The chips and hot saulsa with queso cheese dip is also good.

La Cabana Mexican Restaurant was listed in Our State magazine in July 2010.

 

La Cabana Mexican Restaurant
220 West Broad Avenue, Rockingham, N.C. 28379
phone: (910) 410-9775

Yak & Yeti! That has a weird ring to it.

We attempted to get a table at Yak and Yeti one year during thanksgiving week and it was packed.  Prior to the most recent trip we made reservations early to make sure that we would get to have dinner there.

“Situated at the base of Mt. Everest in the small town of Anandapur in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, this grand old house turned restaurant sets out adventurous meals of Asian cuisine that combines flavors from China, India and Nepal.”

For my meal I chose Sweet & Sour Chicken – Tempura chicken, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, pineapple.  It was filling but left just enough room for Chocolate pudding cake, raspberry sauce.

After dinner I roamed around the building to admire the decorations.  There’s an array of artifacts from the collection “the proprietor” and his family amassed from their travels across Southeast Asia. Some of these souvenirs include statues, fine tapestries and 900-pound, gold inlaid silk puppets.

Tutto Italia Ristorante

If you have the opportunity to visit Tutto Italia Ristorante located at Italy World Showcase in Epcot make sure that you have an appetite.    Tutto Italia Ristorante is part of the Patina Restaurant Group.   Noted for their “Naples” restaurant in Disneyland, the Epcot venue features the cuisine of Master Chef Joachim Splichal. The food is prepared with care and tastes wonderful.   The atmosphere is very relaxing and is a great location to take a break after a long day in the park.   The service was very efficient and took care of our table as expected in the fine dining restaurant.

I enjoyed the baked lasagna, bread and chocolate and hazelnut torte with whipped cream.  I have never visited Italy before, but according to reviews that I have read online the restaurant is a good representation of locations from the country.

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

 

 

 

I am thankful for the turkey on Thanksgiving day.

Rotisserie cooked turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I look forward to turkey and football during a nice day off.  I also enjoy turkey sandwiches on the days following thanksgiving.

This thanksgiving season provided the opportunity for me to have lots and lots of turkey.   Of course, I had the conventional oven roasted prepared bird.  I also sampled a grilled and a rotisserie cooked turkeys this week.  Although all forms were very delicious without any complaints, the grilled turkey was my favorite.  The grilled turkey was slow cooked and injected during the cooking process.  The meat was very moist and has the best flavor that I have tasted in a turkey.

Besides not being dried out and having a delicious taste of smoke flavor, the biggest advantage of grilling a turkey is it frees up your oven for all those other side dishes so important for your Thanksgiving meal.

Grilled turkey

An advantage to rotisserie cooking is the juices remain in the bird and basting or injecting is not necessary.   Although rotisserie grilling is very similar to oven roasting, the process does not heat the interior of the turkey as quickly as oven roasting.   A longer cooking time is needed to make sure that turkey is cooked thoroughly.

Another popular method is deep frying.  This is a quicker and more dangerous way to prepare your turkey.  The required oil may cost as much as the turkey, but the flavor is excellent.  Deep-frying makes the turkey crispy on the outside and very juicy on the inside.

Henry’s Uptown Cafe – Rockingham NC

Henry's Chicken Salad on Croissant with fries.

There’s a new chef in town and word is spreading about a small restaurant in Rockingham, N.C.   Henry’s Uptown Cafe is the name of this popular establishment and some would be surprised at the menu offered.  This is not your ordinary small town dining room.  The main difference is the food being prepared in the kitchen.  You can get the usual Burger and fries as expected at a small town cafe, but other items on the menu may be surprising.  Beef Caprese Salad, Henry’s Chicken Salad on Croissant, Mahi-Mahi and the daily gourmet desserts are just a few items that make this cafe menu unique.  The random desserts, made daily, are alone worth a visit to Henry’s.  Each item has a special touch that make Henry’s a place unlike any other in the area.

The daily lunch specials range from Penne Pasta with Italian sausage to Sautéed Shrimp with Tricolor tortellini in a tomato cream sauce.  These are gourmet items at affordable cafe prices are too good to pass.  One visit to Henry’s should convince any patron that Henry is in the kitchen enjoying a passion of preparing delicious meals.

A complete breakfast menu is available for the early risers and dinner is now provided Thursday through Saturday until 9:00pm.

Gourmet desserts prepared daily.

Become a fan of  Henry’s facebook page to receive daily special notifications.
Henry’s Uptown Cafe
118 S Hancock St

Rockingham, NC 28379

Phone:(910) 895-6600