Tag Archives: local

Restaurants We Love in Banner Elk

I often get asked for dining recommendations when people visit our hometown of Banner Elk, NC. For such a small little town, BE has quite the offerings. So much in fact that we often don’t feel the need to go outside the area to eat (but we still do, because duh). I am currently working on a post that is much more extensive of top spots to eat in the entire High Country, but for now, here’s a list of restaurants that rarely disappoint in Banner Elk, NC, where you can come relax and just BE. This list is in no particular order, but I did place the higher end restaurant on top. Also, don’t let the all over the place addresses fool you. All of these restaurants are in Banner Elk proper. There are some restaurants that are literally in the same complex and one address will say Linville and the other will say Sugar Mountain and don’t ask me why….we’re all just scratching our heads up here.

Artisanal Restaurant 1200 Dobbins Road, Banner Elk $$$$
Artisanal is one of a kind. The quality of the food, the service and the ambiance are simply extraordinary. You’ll enjoy a truly elevated chef curated experience with a menu that changes often. We have taken our children here (youngest is 12) and they’ll make a meal for them too if they’re picky (chicken tenders, buttered noodles). My older child loves the food here. All that to say, it’s best enjoyed as a date night or with adults. It’s business casual so be prepared to dress cute.

LP on Main 171 Main Street, E, Banner Elk (Lousiana Purchase) $$$
One of our absolute favorites and most visited for a date night, LP is in a new space in downtown BE and is just beautiful. The food and service never disappoint. I love the BBQ shrimp, but I also enjoy trying new items from the menu. The salmon, the burgers, the meat loaf, the lobster poutine! There’s a variety of price points to suit your budget and now that it’s the high season, LP is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday.

LP on Main

Reid’s Cafe & Catering 4004 NC 105 Suite #8, Sugar Mountain $$$
Hyper local and focused on seasonal ingredients and craft cocktails, Reid’s is definitely a favorite of mine and go-to if you want to really see those ingredients in play and truly promoted. They make it all in-house. I recently enjoyed brunch at Reid’s for the first time last month and it was stellar (they are not serving brunch this summer). It’s absolutely not your run of the mill shrimp & grits or duck at Reid’s. Be prepared for some creativity. Open Tuesday-Saturday lunch/dinner.

Reid’s

The Painted Fish Cafe 2941 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk $$
Another frequently visited restaurant facing beautiful Sugar Mountain, The Fish, as it’s affectionately known is a wildly popular for Sunday brunch and for changing up his menu. Very family-friendly, reservations are always still recommended this time of year. We love Fried Chicken Wednesdays and Fried Catfish Thursdays and you can count on a chef’s special all the other nights as well. Open Wed-Sunday.

Stonewall’s Restaurant 344 Shawneehaw Ave, Banner Elk $$$
For a great steak, you’ll find it at Stonewall’s, which has been locally owned for decades. If the Cowboy ribeye is on the menu, we recommend as it is suitable for sharing. Don’t miss the deviled eggs or the wedge salad while you’re here.

Luna Thai & Sushi 3990 NC 105, Linville $$
BE’s brand new itty bitty baby Thai/Vietnamese/Asian Fusion restaurant just a few doors down from Reid’s (notice the address is totally different). Stir fry, pho, Tom Kha, Curry dishes with noodles or rice and sushi. It’s all just delicious and we haven’t had a bad meal there yet.

Banner Elk Cafe 324 Shawneehaw Ave, S. Hwy 184, Banner Elk $
You might call BE Cafe the most popular spot in town and I wouldn’t argue. It’s a very large restaurant, dog-friendly patio, and generally where most people go for a quick easy bite. They offer two huge menus (one is the Lodge menu) and you can find sandwiches, salads, pizza, pasta, burgers and entrees. I personally go for the burgers and the trout here. Mr. foodie loves their salads for lunch. They have a dessert case and a coffee shop too. Full disclosure: It ain’t always rainbows and fairy tales here. I’ve had some moments where I walked out disappointed, but for the price point and the vibe, I keep going back and the fact that they have live music is a big plus.

Sorrento’s 140 Azalea Circle, SE, Banner Elk $$
Not the cheapest place in town for a pizza or plate of pasta, but Sorrento’s in the Village downtown has been around a long time and the pizza is very good. You might enjoy bringing your pup and sitting out on the patio, where you can enjoy live music from the amphitheatre. We usually just get pizza here but if pasta is what you’re craving, you’ll find all the classics plus a very tasty lasagna.

Bodega’s 488 Main Street West, Banner Elk $$
We even have Cuban food in BE! Go to Bodega’s for their beautiful al fresco dining experience and load up on all the little tacos and black beans and be sure to get a Cuban too.

The Ham Shoppe 32 High Country Square, Banner Elk $
This iconic shop is now located in the heart of BE. All of the sandwiches are prepared fresh and you can even order bulk meats (call ahead to check availability) for a longer stay. I love to grab a few sandwiches and take them for a picnic. Annnnnnnnd…..if you see an entire apple pie in the case for sale, I’m going to suggest you go ahead and buy it because it is amazing.

BE. Scooped 144 Azalea Circle, SE Banner Elk $
After you visit the Village or hit Sorrento’s be sure to stop by BE Scooped for a fresh waffle cone filled with ice cream. It’s a sweet little ice cream shop with plenty of flavors and the service is excellent.

Dunn’s Deli 134 Main Street West, Banner Elk $
Another iconic sandwich shop in the heart of downtown BE, grab a warm or cold sandwich to go or BBQ. We love Dunn’s BLT’s and pastrami sandwiches. You can dine in or out.

So there you have it. I promise it’s not all of the restaurants in BE, but these are our tried and trues. Let me know if you try any of these restaurants and what you think. And if I’ve left anyone out that you think deserves attention, please comment below. Also, I’d be remiss to not tell you to give the Wilderness Alpine Roller Coaster a try for a fun family thrill. Come see us!

“Lusty” Mustard Pepper Burgers + Giveaway

Hi, friends!
The past couple of weeks I’ve been collaborating with Lusty Monk Mustard, coming up with different creations like this Chicken Schnitzel. My friends at NC’s Lusty Monk have jumped on board for a giveaway of their trio pack of mustards! Keep reading for the recipe and how to win.

Way back 150 years ago when I worked at the Village Tavern in Reynolda Village in Winston Salem, my favorite burger was called the Mustard Pepper Burger. All I know about it is that it had a peppery kick and the bun was spread with dijon. It was kind of like an au poivre meets Dijon and very simple with lettuce, tomato and cheese if you wanted it. It’s no longer on the menu but it was such a good burger, I decided to make my own with Lusty Monk Original Sin mustard. I tried this recipe a number of times and the last time, I got it just right.

Mustard is inside the mixture with a pepper crust

The burger meat (I used local Shipley Beef) is “marinated” with the mustard, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and plenty of pepper. The mustard inside the meat mixture is key and there needs to be a crust of pepper on the burger. I like to sear this burger in a cast iron skillet so I don’t lose any pepper and because it makes such a good crust, plus at the time of this posting we were 25 degrees with gusts of 20 and that’s not grilling weather. Once the burger is cooked, place on buns and top with a bit more mustard and your choice of fixings. It really doesn’t need much in the way of toppings. Honestly, I never want mayo on a burger unless it’s a patty melt but something about mayo is good with this Lusty Mustard burger. Let me know if you make this and what you think. If you do make the Lusty Mustard Pepper Burger, tag me on Insta!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
2-4 tbs. Lusty Monk Original Sin mustard (the more you use, the kickier it is)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper (enough to make a crust)

4 quality hamburger buns (potato or brioche)
Toppings of choice (lettuce is good here and I like a spread of mayo on this burger)

Instructions:
Mix the ingredients for your meat mixture and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about an hour. When time to cook, patty the meat out to your desired size. We like 1/3 pound burgers. Crank your skillet to a high heat and add a little oil to prevent any sticking. Sear the burgers on either side until desired doneness. Add cheese if you want. Muenster or Swiss are good here but you don’t need cheese. Remove from heat to a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Build your burger with more mustard and toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Fun note: My hubby added the sweet Into Temptation mustard to his burger and really liked the contrast of the peppery crust and spicy kick of the original.



We’re giving away a trio pack of Lusty Monk Mustard featuring Original Sin (a grainy dijon), sweet IntoTemptation (a grainy honey) and Burn in Hell (a spicy Chipotle). Want to win? Comment below and for additional chances to win, head over to my Facebook and Instagram and comment how you’d love to use these mustards. I’ll draw a winner next week, March 5.

Recipe: “Takeout” Beef & Broccoli

Hi! How are you holding up?

As we lean in a bit longer into the “stay at home” order, we’re continuing to embrace our two options–take out or cook in. One of our favorite things to make at home is “takeout” and this Beef & Broccoli is no exception. It’s even better than any takeout or eat out I’ve ever had. Recipes are abundant online and I adapted this recipe from dozens I found online, tweaked according to what we like and had on hand and we put our wok to good use, however it can easily be made in any large skillet.  

I happened to have some local stir fry beef from a local farm via our online farmer’s market, High Country Food Hub, and simply used some frozen broccoli (because I didn’t want to make a trip just for the fresh stuff) and added that to some local bok choy and ramps I picked up from my Kindly Kitchen produce box.  The family declared this a winner,even though my kidlets don’t love steak. The quick marinade helps the steak come out nice and tender and the sauce is savory and gingery with just a hint of sweetness. I even inadvertently adapted this recipe to be keto leaning with the use of xantham gum as we were all out of corn starch. You can even make this paleo with coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

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Ingredients:

2 lbs beef stir fry (usually pre-cut in the meat section) or slice flank or flat iron thinly against the grain
1 TBS corn starch or xantham gum
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBS oyster sauce
1 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sesame oil

2 cups broccoli florets, fresh (or frozen but thawed)
pepper

Sauce:
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce (or coconut aminos if paleo)
1 TBS honey or brown sugar
1 TBS sriracha
1 TBS oyster sauce
3 cloves fresh garlic, grated
1 inch knob ginger, grated
1/2 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons corn starch or xantham gum

Additional ingredients:

1-2 Scallions as garnish
Cooked rice or noodles, prepared according to directions.

Combine the steak and all ingredients for it except for broccoli along with a generous pinch of pepper and set aside. You can do this several hours in advance for extra marinating. 

Combine ingredients for the sauce and set aside. 

Prepare your rice or noodles and while that’s going, heat a tablespoon of sesame oil (or regular oil) in a wok or skillet. Once the oil shimmers, saute the beef until it’s beginning to brown on all sides.  3-5 minutes.  You made need to do this in batches.  Remove the beef from skillet onto a plate and set aside. To the hot skillet, add your broccoli (or any other veggies you want to use), and sauce and cook the veggies until al dente. Add the meat back to the wok or skillet and heat through until beef is coated and the sauce has thickened a bit. You’ll know. If you’re using corn starch, you’ll want to make sure you cook out any bitterness or “starchiness” that is remaining. Again, you’ll know.  

Serve the beef & broccoli on top of steaming hot rice or noodles and top with scallions or sesame seeds.  Enjoy! 

If you make this recipe, give us a comment! 

Follow me on insta and Facebook and tag us there @triadfoodies.  

Recipe: Buttermilk Pie UPDATED

Ages ago, I held a giveaway for these great pie crusts for Wewalka.  I still prefer their crusts to frozen or any other pre-made, ready-to-roll crusts. And no, I haven’t made my own and I have no plans, really. I was looking back on that recipe and good gravy it’s missing some detail. Really, y’all couldn’t point it out?

It’s fine.

I made this pie again today and man oh man, I wanna stick my face in it. This buttermilk pie is the perfect way to use up extra buttermilk (I used local milk from Cheek Farmstead Creamery viaHigh Country Food Hub and it’s such a great little dessert. Kind of like a vanilla chess pie, but with some extra tanginess. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk ( I whole or fat-free is fine)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or just another teaspoon of extract)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional but yummy)
  • 1 prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place your pie crust in a 9 inch pie dish, fluting the crust as you see fit if you’ve rolled one out. As you can see above, I’m terrible at it.  For easier transport,  place prepared pie dish on a cookie sheet BEFORE you pour your mixture in.

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs until foamy. Add butter, flour, 1 cup of the sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg.
  3. Beat until smooth. Taste for sweetness, if you like it a bit sweeter, add the remaining 1/4 of flour.
  4. Pour into prepared crust.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely.

Enjoy with whipped cream (or not) and/or berries (or not). I like mine plain. But I’m a simple girl.

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Recipe: Asparagus & Sundried Tomato Pasta w/ Feta

Day 137, 157 of staying in. I hope you haven’t found yourself in a rut. I can tell you, I cannot type as I have mistyped every. single. word. up to this point.

The recipe I’m bringing today goes waaaaaaay waaaaaaaay back. Way back to the mid-90’s (ish) in Winston-Salem, NC, well before the city was known for its food scene but still had a few commendable restaurants and a couple of ever so new and trendy coffee shops.

My favorite restaurant at the time was a place called The Maze. It was in Reynolda Village and I loved eating there on my evening break when I worked at WXII. If I remember correctly, it was very vegetarian heavy (not that I am one) and I just loved this creamy penne pasta dish with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes that was topped with crumbled feta. It was creamy, tangy, and savory and the shining star was the sun-dried tomatoes, which I’d never even heard of at the time. We’ve come a long way baby.

Well, The Maze has long since closed but I think I’ve copied it well enough.  Up until this week, I hadn’t made it in forever and thought I’d share it with you. This dish makes an excellent main meatless course, but I also like it as a side. And if you want to add shrimp or chicken for protein, it will not disappoint. Any pasta would do but the original was presented with penne and it’s pretty perfect for it. (If you look closely, you’ll say I don’t have penne here, rather a similar pasta plus another pasta with no ridges because I was using what I had and I refused to go back out just for one thing).

IMG_1944

Asparagus & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta w/ Feta

Ingredients:
1 lb penne pasta or similar, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 bunch asparagus, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (either in oil or dried but reconstituted)
1/2 cup fresh feta, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs. oil of choice
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
As the water boils and pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add asparagus and cook 5-8 minutes over medium heat until the asparagus is beginning to get tender, but do not let it get mushy. Toss in the tomatoes and stir. Once the pasta is completed, add 1 cup of the pasta water to the mixture. Add the cream and stir until thickened and just slightly creamy but not swimming in it.  Add the pasta and mix well, adding a splash of cream if you think it needs it. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the feta, then top with a bit more before serving.

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