Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Eddy Pub

IMG_5084Foodies, we just had the best dinner at a place I’d NEVER heard of until the night before I tried it. We were trying to find eats somewhere halfway between Raleigh and Kvegas. Burlington, Mebane? Saxapahaw is not it. I mean, it IS an equal driving distance, but it’s not your typical halfway point…it’s more adventurous…?  I did not mind it one bit though after I ate the cuisine and met the awesome chef at The Eddy Pub.

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The Eddy is situated in the Rivermill Village, a completely restored Cottonmill and Dye House complex along the Haw River. It is beautiful and the folks in and around Saxapahaw are very proud of this little jewel and also of the Haw. I remember a few years back, in my news reporter days, taking a tour of this gutted mill and hearing officials romanticize about returning the old mill to its former glory and turning it into lofts and businesses. Old beams and pipes and doors and furnaces were cleaned up and still remain to this day as the restoration finally happened and now Saxapahaw is an actual “place to BE.” The view from the The Eddy’s patio is amazing, especially if you arrive near sunset.

Chef Isaiah Allen is the Executive Chef and supreme talent in the kitchen. He came out and introduced himself and, unexpectedly, promised our table a few tastings so that we know what   his kitchen is all about. And foodies, you know I love it when the chef is chef-ing and you also know I love it when the chef and the farmer are close knit. And Chef Isaiah (it just feels better using his first name) knows his local food. And when you order your meal, you know you are eating ingredients sourced from very close to The Eddy. And on top of it all, it tastes fresh and completely delicious.

Chef Isaiah Allen and owner, Claire Haslem

Chef Isaiah Allen and owner, Claire Haslem

The Eddy has a no-fuss type pub fare for sure, from fish and chips to meat loaf, beef stroganoff, burgers, chops and sandwiches. All local, local, LOCAL. The fruits and veggies? Local! From farms in Alamance and neighboring counties, some from Chef Isaiah’s own Rocky Run Farm in Hillsborough, where he grows tomatoes, peppers, among others and where he’s nurturing the nearly forgotten Pawpaw fruit into becoming a local reality. This is a chef who is certified in Sustainable Agriculture. He calls himself a “Soil Nerd.” He’s also a pretty good kitchen nerd too ;).

We enjoyed jazz by Mahalo Arts while the culinary crew did their magic.

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Chef Isaiah’s team brought for us to try a NC flounder dusted with cornmeal from Lindley Mill and served atop local succotash with truffled popcorn for some fun and crunch. Wonderful and fresh. And…have you ever truffled your popcorn? Put that on your thing-to-do list.

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Next he let us try a sampling of one of the night’s specials, a cashew crusted chicken on spaetzle in a sauce that was deeply soy and sweet with fresh crispy local veg and cilantro.  This, foodies, was fabulous. And the boy kidlet ate it and the rest of his sister’s. Well, he ate the chicken and the sauce and that’s saying a lot!

Cashew Chicken on Spaetzle
Finally, the chef brought out a wonderfully seared local pork belly on a crispy green and white pole bean and apple salad. With some beautiful sweet figs from basically across the street. I love figs. Eye-rolling good. I love pork belly too.

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And here’s where I should’ve stopped eating and I hadn’t even received my entree yet so I knew tonight I’d get full and happy :).

I ordered the NC flounder special with a roasted poblano pepper and peach yogurt sauce. It was served on a bed of seasoned rice.

IMG_5112 Ha! I instagram’d that one. Better, huh?

Mr. foodie ordered the highly recommended meatloaf which is made with Braeburn beef, house sausage and ricotta on garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. It was like a homemade blue plate special…you know, in the BEST way. Our friend, Dennis, got the meatloaf too.

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My friend Sally, his wife, ordered the local Beef Stroganoff, which was interestingly served on a longer noodle but not the traditional egg noodle. Also yummy. With parmesan.

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And the kids, well they WISH they’d ordered the chicken but they got the kids grilled cheese which was a white cheddar on a beautifully grilled thick bread and the lil boy even ate the crust. The crust!

IMG_5100  The kitchen split it for them to share.

And even though we were pretty full at this point, we promised the kidlets chocolate cake (which they got) and we dove right in there and got the signature dessert, the Tres Leches. I LOVE Tres Leches cake. So creamy and sweet. And The Eddy’s was no exception.

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Chocolate Cake

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the coffee, which is roasted in Carrboro and they bring it to you in your own personal French press. They give you a timer so you know how long to let it dwell. We like to flip our timer a couple of times for boldness.

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On this night, Chef Isaiah cooked a chicken in celebration of the first successful chicken harvest for Liz Coore and Katie Nunn of Bushy Tail Farm, which is now raising Poulet Rouge chickens. This is a lovely, succulent chicken, a smaller, heritage breed that is so tasty and juicy. Doesn’t it look it? Chef says he de-boned it, stuffed it with roasted eggplant, squash and peppers and roasted it with fresh herbs and garlic. Gorgeous. And he served to them on a silver platter. The ladies at the celebration pretty much ate the entire chicken in about 5 minutes flat.

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And just so you know how The Eddy gets its seafood…Phil Campbell of Core Banks will call Chef Isaiah as he’s on the docks or boat of the NC coast. The chef will order from Phil what is fresh right then and then tailors the menu around what’s available, which keeps him motivated and thinking outside of the box, rather than creating the menu and finding the seafood to fill it.  He uses every bit of the fish, for instance, Grouper CHEEKS because they are so fab. And he uses it in different ways to make interesting options for the diners who come to the pub.

Check out the list of The Eddy’s local farms.

Potatoes, Blueberries – Peaceful River
Squash, Pole Beans –  Bushy Tail
Beef- Braeburn Farm
Chicken- T5 Farms
Eggs- Latta’s Farm
Pork- Cane Creek
Flour- Lindley Mill
Potato, Onions – Sunset
Tomatoes, basil, peppers- Rocky Run

Chef Isaiah says The Eddy is striving to eat, breath and sleep the food movement. Their food waste goes to supplement the food source for hog farms. The fish bones are used to create a fish emulsion for the soil on Chef Isaiah’s farm. Things are really happening in Saxapahaw with a community that is proud of their land and they know how to make the most of it. And The Eddy is certainly a spot that utilizes the amazing local resources that we have right here in our own backyard. And it’s the absolute best reason to un-chain yourself and try more places like this wonderful local pub. And if you have a free Saturday afternoon, take the 1/2 hour to hour’s drive to Saxapahaw and dive into the local goodness of the farmer’s market and other businesses in the area. It’s completely charming with a hip industrial feel.

For more information about The Eddy Pub click here.

The Eddy Pub & Restaurant

1715 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd, Saxapahaw, NC
336-525-2010
Open Tues-Sat 4-until
Sunday 3-10pm

The Eddy on Urbanspoon
 

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Foodie B’eat: Welcome Dishcrawl to Winston-Salem!

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Guess what? I’m the new Dishcrawl Ambassador for Winston-Salem. Very cool and right up my alley. Why? Because Dishcrawl is all about supporting our local restaurants and the chefs and owners behind the signature dishes. It has been my mission at triadfoodies to get behind LOCAL restaurants. Local isn’t a proximity…it’s a philosophy! We are so excited to have Dishcrawl in Winston-Salem after months of waiting. Here’s a little bit more about Dishcrawl and the founder, Tracy Lee….

Dishcrawl, Founder, Tracy Lee, triadfoodies

Dishcrawl Founder, Tracy Lee

Dishcrawl started in 2010 as a means to bring the community together. Tracy, who worked in the high-tech world, also had a food blog. And she says she found herself spending “3-4 hours a blog post writing epic love stories about restaurants.” (Sound familiar??) So, realizing that sharing this love was a passion, she started taking folks on these “dishcrawls” of 4 restaurants in a single evening. It took off, she started advertising and soon people were paying her to take them on these tours, thus Dishcrawl was born.

 Suddenly, the emails started coming…”People from all across North America started emailing me saying they too wanted to do something similar in their own cities.” They walked people through the business model and that eventually led to the Ambassador Program. “It gives folks the chance to be entrepeneurs and take life into their own hands.”

So what makes Dishcrawl different from a typical food tour? Here, it’s all about the gathering and bringing business and future business to the local restaurant scene, particularly the featured restaurants. Tracy says, “While some tours may have just a small taste at a number of restaurants, at Dishcrawl, you’re getting pretty much a full meal at each location.” (not to mention dessert). Plus, when you gather a group of 25-40 of your “neighbors”, things are bound to get fun, while still being intimate. It makes for a great date night, girls night out or even a guys night out. Tracy said she has had groups of men and women “alternate” their Dishcrawl experience, with the moms staying in so the dads can go out and then the next Dishcrawl, it’s the ladies’ turn.

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I hope you join me on the debut of Dishcrawl Winston-Salem. Tickets will sell quickly so I hope you are at the front of the line. It will be so much fun meeting you and sharing with you a taste of these awesome restaurants we’ve lined up for you! I know you will love them as much as I do! To buy tickets or to learn more click here.

Until then, happy eating!  Find out what folks are saying about Dishcrawl here!

Beyond The Triad—Lucky, Roanoke

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The title says it all. If you’re ever traveling along Hwy 220/I-81 near downtown Roanoke, boy do I have a stop for you. It’s not Roanoke that is Lucky (see the comma?). Well, maybe Roanoke is. Foodies, I implore you to resist that ever-compelling urge to get off at the MALL exit where all the chains sit shining so brightly. Take an exit early (if headed North) or a later (if headed South to NC) and drive straight into downtown Roanoke. I promise, you’ll feel so LUCKY you did.

I’m happy to announce that the kidlets are finally old enough to be (somewhat) trusted to stop at a place other than fast food while traveling up and down Hwy 220/I-81, which, if you’ve ever traveled it, know is quite the lengthy experience from NC to PA. Although the landscape in central VA is OMG—gorgeous and a nice distraction from the 4-year-old hollering “Silo!”….”Tractor!”….”Silo!”

Recently the Mr. and I were DETERMINED to stop and eat at a local ‘Noke establishment. Mr. foodie had drinks on business before but didn’t get to try the food, which he’d heard was amazing. So I was definitely game. It’s a relatively small pub-like eatery with great booths across from the bar. It’s not loud and you can tell by the patrons that they are regulars and they come to the place for the grub and of course the drinks. Pretty cool retro decor too.

The well-stocked bar

We got a cocktail to get us started. Yes, we were traveling..with kidlets…and deserved a cocktail. They were mighty fine.

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I ordered the Roasted Rappanhannock River Oysters..kind of like Rockefeller but with kale, shallots, in addition to the bacon and parm. Yummy!

Roasted Oysters

Roasted Oysters

Then we ordered a Blueberry & Bacon Salad with a blueberry vinaigrette and these amazing chunks of bacon. You can get a lot of bacon at Lucky.

Blueberry & Bacon Salad

Blueberry & Bacon Salad

There’s not much of a kidlet menu. They do accommodate as best they can but our server, Todd, says they’d probably love the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and uh-huh, yes they did. And so did we. Those kids even liked and ATE the “Lex and Ruby” Mash Gravy and house bacon. More Bacon!  And what a neat idea placing the MASH on the gravy then the chicken on top of all. Gives me ideas!

Fried Chicken & Mash

Fried Chicken & Mash

Mr. foodie and I ordered the Mussel Bowl to share with the awesome White Wine Pernod and fresh herbs and the perfect bread for dipping. Which kept getting stolen by kidlets. And Todd brought us a steaming bowl of kale which should’ve come with the chicken but we ordered fries instead because we thought they wouldn’t eat the Mash, which they did. And the fries too. With delicious house-made ketchup.

Mussel Bowl

Mussel Bowl

Kale

Kale—see it steaming??

That kale kicked some but. I did a version of it later in the week. It was like collards with all that bacon-y goodness. Mmmm! You do cook your collards with bacon, don’t you?!

And then Todd said the D-word. And since we ate light (lol) we said, “Sure!” to the bread pudding, which Todd lovingly referred to as “his jam,” because it was so delicious and he was so right. And the thing is, it wasn’t a real rich or heavy bread pudding at all. It was a beautiful airy Butter Pecan Bread Pudding with praline sauce.

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Lucky promotes and lists all the farms from where they source their ingredients. Their website is stocked full of local farms. You know how much I LOVE that. They try to be as eco-friendly as possible. Check out the repurposed “check holder” on an old 45.

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We even got to meet Chef Jeff Farmer, doing his thing…

Chef Jeff Farmer

Chef Jeff Farmer

And owner, Hunter Johnson…who was serving up drinks and being a gracious host, bar keep, manager…you name it. On his biz card it says he’s Bartender first, then says he’s the owner. Humble :).

Bartender, Owner Hunter Johnson

Bartender, Owner Hunter Johnson

So, now you have a reason to stop in Roanoke. I don’t know why you wouldn’t anyway since it’s such a charming city. It has a growing number of locally-owned restaurants that deserve the traveling public’s business. But you’ll consider yourself lucky by eating at Lucky.

Lucky
18 Kirk Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA
540.521.3621

eatatlucky.com

Lucky on Urbanspoon

   

Noble’s Grille – Home of a Champion

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On my bucket list has been Noble’s Grille. I’m a fan of Jimmy Noble. He’s a big reason Mr. foodie and I started patronizing LOCAL restaurants that serve LOCAL and regional ingredients. When you eat at one of his restaurants, you know where just about everything is coming from. The service is usually stellar and well, the food—amazing. Jimmy has since moved a lot of his business to Charlotte, but the Winston-Salem location remains.  And leading the kitchen is the super-talented and recent Got To Be NC Competition Dining’s Fire in the Triad Champion, Chef John Bobby. See his Fire in the Triad YouTube video here.

Some of you may know that I did all the tweeting and Facebooking for Competition Dining’s Fire in the Triad battle nights. Those pictures of delicious courses? All me! It was a total blast. Of course being able to taste each and every course was fabulous. In the preliminaries, Chef Bobby had a decisive win and I pretty much said I wouldn’t be surprised if he won it all. He just has a way with food. Last week and for the next 3 weeks, Chef Bobby is showcasing all his winning courses from Fire in the Triad. Last week featured Battle Hilltop Farms Ostrich. And I wasn’t about to miss it.

We got right to it and ordered the seasonal featured salad with local blackberries and blueberries and chevre. It was beautiful. The berries were sweet, succulent and were a great complement to the earthy greens.

Mixed Berry Salad w/ Chevre

Mixed Berry Salad w/ Chevre

We ordered a Charcuterie plate to go along with it. We let the Chef make the selections for it. He chose for us the Speck, Lamb Sopressatta and Lonzino for meats and two cheeses, one was a gruyere and the other? I’ve no idea. But it was kind of like a Brie. And wonderful. The speck was my favorite. And it was accompanied with pickled veggies and an eye-popping, house-made black mustard (which wasn’t black…the seeds are black).  You need just a smidge. It also had a sweet and light tomato jam.

Charcuterie Sampler

Charcuterie Sampler

Like I said, my reason for coming this particular week was because Chef Bobby was featuring his high-scoring, MIND BLOWING Ostrich from his winning first battle. Here’s the Battle Ostrich Menu.

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I came for the second course. I ordered it before I ordered my wine. They kept the order “on hold” for me, lest they run out. This ostrich is incredible, but what made it shine in the battle and this evening was the toasted farro with ostrich sausage. I mean, I’m obsessed with this combination of flavors. The peppery filet, the creamy farro with those chunks of ground sausage, pomegranate gastrique with REAL pom seeds. Heaven on a plate. One of my favorites of the competition. If you haven’t had ostrich, you must try it. It’s very lean, very healthy. Hilltop’s Paul Wagoner feeds his ostrich the spent grains from Foothills Brewery. They serve Ostrich Burgers from birds fed from their own grain. It’s a beautiful circle of sustainability.

Peppered Ostrich Filet with Ostrich Sausage Farro

Peppered Ostrich Filet with Ostrich Sausage Farro

Isn’t it gorgeous??

Mr. foodie decided to get 2 more small plates instead of one entree. They were pretty big for something called “small.” He ordered the PEI Mussels and the Pork Belly. It was some of the best pork belly we’ve every tried. And the mussels and their broth were delicious.

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You see those pork cracklins? I ordered a box of them. Yes, I did.

In between “courses” I peered inside the open kitchen to get a few pictures of Chef Bobby “chef-ing.”

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Chef John Bobby, moving too fast for clear a shot

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If you’ll check out the menu above, you’ll notice dessert was a devil’s food cake that is served with strawberries. Chef Bobby’s wife, Lucia, was his pastry chef at Fire. She works at the Ritz Carton in Charlotte. He’s replicating the desserts she made (which scored HUGE points because they were AMAZING) on his own because he IS his pastry chef at Noble’s. Ostrich for dessert? You bet! Thinly sliced and cocoa dusted. I was too full to order it, but if you were brave it would’ve looked like this. (Photo courtesy of Competition Dining).

Course 6 Battle HIlltop Ostrich

Devil’s Food Cake, Cocoa Dusted Ostrich, Strawberry Consomme, Chocolate Chantilly (Photo: Courtesy Competition Dining)

It’s not every day that you get to eat at the restaurant of a Champion Chef. But you can, anytime! They are sure proud of him at Noble’s Grille. They have the best representation of his
win on display in the foyer. The Red Chef’s Jacket! There aren’t many of these floating around NC.

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The coveted “Red Chef’s Jacket” from Competition Dining

I’m guessing that this week features Battle Chocolate. Next week will feature Cheese & Honey and in two weeks, the Championship battle: Bacon & Butt. And you will want to try them. AND save room for dessert for goodness sake!

Chef Bobby and the winners of Fire on the Rock, Fire in the Triangle, Fire on the Dock and Fire in the City (Charlotte) will battle it out for the title of BEST CHEF in NC in November. Best of luck, Chef John Bobby.  We know you will do the Triad proud.

 Have you ever tried Chef Bobby’s food? What’s your favorite dish at Noble’s Grille?

Noble's Grille on Urbanspoon

Spring House RayLen Wine Dinner

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What do you do when Mrs. foodie is scheduled for duties at Competition Dining and can’t be two places at once? You send the Mr. to the other event! After all, he knows his food and he’s a great collaborator. We were invited to Spring House Restaurant’s Wine Dinner featuring Yadkin Valley’s RayLen Vineyards of Mocksville. I love that more local restaurants are featuring NC wines and featuring them during upscale yet approachable dinners. Here’s a recap of the evening, starting with the menu. Now, since I was not present, I cannot speak to how everything tasted, but Chef Timothy Grandinetti is basically a master in the kitchen and you can count that ANYTHING at his wine dinners will be in the realm of “superb.” And Mr. foodie pretty much said everything was wonderful and he even liked the wines (for a guy who’s not as much a wine-oh! as me). Ha!

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Oyster 3 Way

Mr. doesn’t like oysters. But he says he liked the Rockafeller, enjoyed the fried one the best and sucked the raw one down like a good little foodie.

House Charcuterie

House Charcuterie

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Duck Duck Goose

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Heritage Farm Pork with Tasso Ham Gravy

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Center-cut Filet Mignon & Roasted Marrow

This I wish I could’ve tried. A center cut filet with roasted marrow. Have you ever had marrow bones? Or braised a shank and scooped the marrow out of the bone? The part that is a little yellowish and soft and gelatinous is so yummy. It has a wonderful buttery texture and a meaty, farm-y, taste. Like your grandparents, if they lived on a farm, would’ve made that for you. Waste not, right? Mmmm. Some restaurants serve marrow bones as an appetizer. They are few and far between and it is unfortunate. Until then, I’ll do Osso Bucco at home and eat its marrow :).

Apparently these lucky wine dinner folk got to have dessert even though it wasn’t listed on the menu.

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We North Carolinians, I believe, have been slow coming around to the idea of our being the next wine country. But it is happening. Our soil, landscape and the climate are very similar to other great wine regions. As RayLen’s Mr. Shepard will tell you, it takes years for the vines to start to really mature and yield great fruit for winemaking. And many local wineries are finally at that place. A good reason to give our local grape a try next time you are in the wine section. Or better yet, take one of the wonderful tours available to you and enjoy an afternoon. Some wineries have little cafes and restaurants and are definitely worth checking out.

Until then, be sure to take advantage of wonderful wine dinners which lead you through interesting pairings and take you on a tasting tour you might not ever had been privy to. Plus you get to eat awesome food and meet some new foodies!

Spring House is kind of like a “place to be.” Be sure to mark your calendar for Chef Tim’s, aka Dr. Brownstone’s, Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival. It’s 5 days of deliciousness featuring chefs from all over the Triad and country serving up delicious food by grill or by whatever floats there boat. Find out more here.

triadfoodies was invited as a special guest of Chef Tim Grandinetti and Spring House Restaurant along with several purveyors and was provided gratis food and drink. All opinions are our own.