Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Today is New Year's Eve. And you know what that means. Yup, I'll have a good dinner with a good drink --and be in bed by 11:00p. Can I party or what??

For those of you interested, I'll be cooking a Filet Mignon topped with avocado with hot sides of risotto and chopped squash with onions. The drink will be a Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs. YUM!

To be perfectly honest, I'm more excited about the dinner than I am about the coming year!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Schramsberg Champagne

This holiday season my parents were kind enough to send me two bottles of Schramsberg sparking wine. And this time one of the bottles was Blanc de Noir. In case you don't read French that reads (approximately) "black of whites." And THAT means that this golden liquid of sparkling bubbling goodness came from the red wine Pinot Noir grapes.

Question: If that's the case, then why isn't this sparkling wine red?

Answer: Magic! It isn't red because the dark colored /red skins were removed early in the process. Thereby removing the red coloring from the liquid.

Ok. I'm done with the lecture. Let me just say this was the BEST bottle of champagne sparkling wine that I've ever had. Period.

My wife and I inhaled this bottle over some take-home sushi and pot-stickers from eeZ. The sweetness of the sparkling wine was a perfect counter point to the heat of the pot-stickers. But the flavor wasn't so overpowering that you couldn't taste the sushi. All-in-all it was a very good meal, elevated to "excellent" by the sparkling wine.

New Years is rapidly approaching. If you're looking for an EXCELLENT bottle of bubbly. I highly recommend the Schramsberg 2006 Blanc de Noirs. It just doesn't get any better.

Score: 5/5

Price: $$$$ (approx $34)

Sparkling Wine Info:
Schramsberg 2006 Blanc de Noirs; Brut
Schramsberg Vineyards
1400 Schramsberg Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
p) 800-877-3623

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mrs. Foodie Rocks the Red Velvet Cake

For the past few years, my wife has made a Red Velvet cake for Christmas dinner. They've always been good, but for some reason this years' two-layer cake was above and beyond all the others.

Maybe it was the new recipe. Maybe it was because she ran out of red food-coloring, and substituted it with cranberry juice. Maybe it was because she made the Christmas Tree decoration on top. I'm not sure why it was so darn good, but it was freakin' fantastic!

Without this cake, I probably wouldn't have gained any weight this holiday season! (Yeah, right!) But it is because the cake was soooo good, I have no qualms with hitting the treadmill for a few extra minutes a day. Thanks Mrs. Foodie!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

Well, last night I FINALLY got around to making Christmas Cookies. I get the recipe from the America's Test Kitchen, on page 508, for their Holiday Cookies. No egg, lots of butter and sugar. Almost a shortbread, but not quite. Either way, it's darn YUMMY!!

I'd just like to take this time to wish you a Merry Christmas and /or Happy Holidays. No matter what you may celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by loved ones, good food, and even better alcohol. (Those loved ones can drive us to drink!)

My postings will be sporatic until the New Year, but be sure to check back. I'll have some recipes and reviews soon.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Wonderland!! In Troutman??

Yeah, I know that this isn't a restaurant review. But in all honestly there won't be many of those this week, because I'll be stuffing my face with cookies, popcorn balls, and more cookies.

But I thought I'd pass along some information that you might find useful. Last night my wife and I drove up to the Zootastic Christmas Wonderland of Lights. The "Zoo" part of the name comes from the fact that in a few months this area will be a semi-large exotic animal collection.

However, during these next couple of weeks it's home to the largest drive-through light collection in the LKN area. (I have done no fact checking to prove the baseless claim that I just made.) According to Channel 36, this massive Christmas light exhibit has " . . . more than a million lights spread out over 40 rural acres off Oswalt Amity Road."

That's one heck of a LOT of lights! I wonder if Duke dedicates a reactor just to this exhibit alone....

But either way, it was very enjoyable. There was still some snowy ice on the ground so the lights looked even more festive. In addition, there are pony rides and a petting zoo for your children. Also, don't forget to get your photo taken with Santa!

Take 77 North to exit 42. Turn left at the light. Turn right onto Oswalt Amity Road. Then turn left at all the lights. You can't miss it.

Cost = $5 per person with a $20 limit per car.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another LKN Closing: Max & Erma's

I heard about it a couple of days ago -- and confirmed it yesterday -- Max & Erma's on 73 across from Birkdale has closed its doors. Personally, I'm quite saddened by this ... they had GREAT ribs!

The signs on the exterior have been taken down, but I have completely unconfirmed reports (a friend of a friend of a friend, etc. etc.) that the Melting Pot may be looking to open a restaurant there. I hope it's true, though I'm not going to hold my breath (yet).

This is the 2nd restaurant in the Birkdale area to close in a month. I hope the others will continue to survive.

Original NY Bagels Deli & Restaurant

A few weeks ago I posted an article that the Original NY Bagels Deli had opened a new location in Mooresville at the Town Square center at Brawley School Road and Williamson Road. That short posting got two hearty thumbs up. So, I decided to give it a try last week. Glad I did.

I walked in and took a look at their menu. It was sizable, and it took me a while to make a decision. Eventually I decided on the Appalachian. It's a turkey and bacon sandwich on a bagel. I chose a sesame bagel with mustard, lettuce, and tomato. I was told to choose a small side salad, so I went with a macaroni salad.

The sandwich took a while to prepare, over 5 minutes. However, my impatience was tempered once the I looked over the sandwich that was brought to my table.

The sesame bagel was stacked high with turkey, bacon, lettuce, and two thick slices of the best winter-time tomato I've ever seen. (Where did they get it???) The turkey was standard deli turkey, the bacon was cooked to a crisp, and the bagel was good. But for me it was the produce that put this sandwich above average -- just top-notch. By my rule of thumb: when the produce is good, it shows that the restaurant pays attention to details.

The macaroni salad was good, and the chips that came with the sandwich were just average chips. The atmosphere in the deli isn't anything special, just lots of tables packed into a tight place -- I wasn't looking for a quiet and romantic table when I was only meeting a buddy of mine. But the food and service were good. If you like a good NY style bagel, this is your place.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 11/15

Price: $$ (Sandwich and soda just over $10 -- more than I was expecting.)
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: Good deli style food and friendly service are what you remember walking out of here. On a side note, I grabbed a salt bagel to take home. Delicious!

Restaurant Info:
Original NY Bagel Deli & Restaurant
Can't find address, but it's on the North East Corner of Williamson and Brawley School Roads
Mooresville, NC

Thursday, December 17, 2009

131 Main & Latta Pavilion Hosting Breakfast with Santa

Below is an excerpt from the 131 Main press release. If you've got kids, sounds like fun.... especially getting your child's name on Santa's List!

Santa Claus is taking time out of his busy schedule to be at Latta Pavilion on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, and he wants to have breakfast with all the good boys and girls. A breakfast buffet will be served between 10 and 11:30 a.m. at 131 Main Restaurant, located at 1315 East Blvd. Breakfast is $3.95 for kids and $4.95 for adults. To put a child’s name on “Santa’s list,” please email

Following breakfast, Santa will be located outside between 131 Main and East Boulevard Bar and Grill until 5 pm. During the day, several Latta Pavilion establishments will be offering holiday specials including 131 Main, Petal and Peek A Boo Couture.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Out of Town

Hello, you have reached the Lake Norman Foodie's Answering service. Currently, he's eating in another state -- or two. But he'll be back on Wednesday.

So, feel free to leave a blog comment on any review you like and it'll get posted as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading....


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mimi's Cafe (North Lake)

After a morning of Christmas shopping at Northlake Mall (why do they call it Northlake when it's actually SOUTH of the lake??), my wife and I decided to give Mimi's Cafe a try. Neither of us had been there before, but we'd heard good things. So we hopped in the car, drove across the street, and made our way inside.

Mimi's is new, and it shows. There really isn't much wear and tear to be seen. The carpet is still new, the tables aren't scarred, and the booth seats aren't cracked (one of my pet peeves). We were quickly taken to a booth in a back room. The room had some French flair, and the ceiling was designed to look like brick. So, I'm guessing that the room was supposed to be in a quasi New Orleans style -- but don't quote me on that.

The menu was huge. So many items to try to understand, it was a little overwhelming. After a long time thinking about it, I decided to go with a Chicken Parmesan Ciabatta and a cup of French Onion Soup. While my wife decided on a Sweet and Sour Chicken Wrap and a cup of Chicken Gumbo.

Up to this point our server was awesome. She was friendly, helpful, and seemed like a top notch waitress -- until she forgot my soup. After my wife's gumbo was dropped off, she disappeared before I could even ask about my soup. About 4 minutes later, she apologized and said that she'd get my soup. About 5 minutes later, after my wife's gumbo was long gone, my soup arrived.

The French Onion soup was good, but not great. Melted cheese on top with a slice of soggy baguette under the cheese -- that's delicious! But in all honestly, it was just like every other good French Onion soup that most restaurants serve.

About 10 minutes after I finished my soup, our entrees arrived. Now it's about 45 minutes into our meal, and we just received our entrees. Needless to say, I was getting a little cranky.

My sandwich was quite good. The chicken was nice and crispy on the outside but the tomato sauce that topped it was lacking flavor. The ciabatta bread was good, and the fries were top-notch.

However, it's my wife's selection which gave us pause. The Sweet and Sour Chicken Wrap is a new menu item and described as "Roasted chicken cooked in ginger sweet and sour sauce, shredded cabbage, carrots, jasmine rice, green onions and won ton crisps with baby spring greens tossed in balsamic dressing." Sounds good right?

Here's the thing, it tasted like .... wait for it....... FISH!

FISH?? Yeah, really fishy fish.

They must have put in too much fish sauce, or cooked the chicken on the same grill that cooks fish, because the fish smell and flavor were overpowering. Needless to say, my wife didn't finish her wrap. But she ate half of my sandwich instead. (I think she stole some fries too!)

Long after we were done eating our waitress appeared and took our plates. Fortunately, she asked about my wife's uneaten wrap, and once she heard our response, she summoned the manager. He apologized for the fishy wrap, and handed us a total of two coupons. One for a free appetizer, and one for a free dessert. And though nobody told us about it, the wrap was removed from the final bill (as it should have been.)

Here's the thing that really annoys me about this meal it was VERY inconsistent. The service was sometimes good, and sometimes bad. The food ranged from horrible (the afore mentioned wrap) to really good (the chicken gumbo). I'm really having a hard time trying to score this one.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
Total: 8/15

Price: $$ (even minus the one entree, this lunch was easily over $10 per person)
Kid Friendly: Yes, kids menus and high chairs abound.

Conclusion: Inconsistent food and service made this a mixed bag. Even with coupons for free items, I don't see a reason to return. I'll just stay across the street and eat at Firebirds.

Restaurant Info:
Mimi's Cafe
10224 Perimeter Parkway
Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cafe Mia CLOSED!

A friend reported this to me earlier today, but I had to drive by to confirm it -- Cafe Mia is out of business. Aside from the display cases, the store is empty. And all that's left to tell us what happened is a short note on the door saying that Cafe Mia is closed.

The Cafe Mia website doesn't have any info about the closing, so I really have no other info to pass along.

I've gotta admit, I loved Cafe Mia. Their sandwiches and gelato were fantastic. I'll definately miss getting a gelato on a warm summer night in Birkdale. Hopefully another gelato place will eventually open nearby.

Monday, December 7, 2009

NY Bagels Opens New Branch

According to an article by Joe Marusak of the Charlotte Observer, Original NY Bagels Deli & Restaurant has opened a third location. This one is in Mooresville, at the Town Square center at Brawley School Road and Williamson Road.

According to the article, the bagels are made fresh daily, and they also offer foods like omelets, sandwiches, and burgers.

I'll be heading there soon to give it a try. Lemme know if you've had a chance to visit any of their locations....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dragon Buffet (Denver, NC)

Next to the Coffeehouse in Denver, NC, are a variety of new restaurants. I've already reviewed Nevole's. So, now I get the chance to review Dragon Buffet.

As you can probably tell by the name, Dragon Buffet is an Asian inspired all-you-can-eat buffet. The food ranges from Chinese to Japanese to a couple other assorted Asian styles.

I walked in for my lunch and was quickly seated. My waitress took the drink order (Pepsi -- they don't offer Coke), and I walked up to the buffet area. It's pretty huge with four food-bar areas, and a separate sushi area, they've got quite the selection from which to choose.

For my first plate I decided on an egg roll, Crab Rangoon, spicy tempura roll, fluorescent red beef, and some Lo Mien. Ahh, the beauty of a buffet -- five completely different types of food on one plate!

I started with the egg roll. Pretty standard. It has the usual fillings of vegetables and shrimp, and was deep-fried to a crisp. The duck sauce (from the sauce section of the bar) was a necessary addition, and gave it a nice sweet flavor. But really, this seemed like the exact same egg roll that I get at most Asian restaurants -- where do they buy them???

The Crab Rangoon was pretty standard as well and consisted of cream cheese and very little (if any) crab. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. A crispy shell fried to a crisp and filled with cheese = YUM! But, I tend to like it even more when I can taste some crab.

Next was the fluorescent red beef. It was different from what I was expecting. Looking at the thickness of the sauce, and the color, I figured it was a type of teriyaki sauce. Instead this beef tasted much more Korean than Japanese, with the emphasis on vinegar and not the teriyaki sweetness. All-in-all, this was probably my favorite food while there.

Then it was time to try the spicy tempura roll. It was good, but thin. so thin that I had to use a fork to scoop it up, instead of chopsticks. It just bent under the pressure of the chopsticks, and was too thin to hold together when held vertically.

The last food left on my plate was the Lo Mien. Unfortunately, I found it lacking. The flavor was really mild, and aside from the very light sesame sauce, there was little flavor. I suppose I could have used a sauce from the sauce selection (which was plentiful), but I wasn't in the mood to get up and try to figure out what sauce was needed.

The restaurant has a nice open feel -- it is one large room. The windows at the front allow light to reach the back, and the color template is warm. The staff were friendly, and my drink was instantly refilled whenever it ran low.

The buffet food is just that -- standard buffet food. Quantity is the focus. And buffets really aren't my favorite. However, it you're a buffet person, you should give this place a try, the price is down right reasonable.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 2.5/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 10.5/5

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: If you're REALLY hungry and want Asian food, this is your place. In general, I found the food's flavor to be on the lighter side, but that's something I've noticed with many of the Asian restaurants in the area. However, the staff and atmosphere are above the standard buffet.

Restaurant Info:
Dragon Buffet
7260 Hwy 73
Suite 112
Denver, NC 28037

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dressler's Expanding!

During a recent e-mail conversation with Jon Dressler, I learned that his restaurant Dressler's is expanding.

No they're not taking more space in Birkdale -- they're adding a new Dressler's restaurant at the Metropolitan, in Charlotte. In addition to the current Dressler's in Birkdale, and Max's Ally in Concord, this Dressler's will make a total of three restaurants for the local restaurateur.

The Metropolitan is in an up-and-coming area, and just a stone's throw from Dilworth. This could be a very good location for a high caliber restaurant like Dressler's.

According to Jon, the restaurant will be opening in February, and will again feature his mother's famous cheesecake and carrot cake.

In addition to this news, I hope to be interviewing Jon soon. So, stay tuned for updates!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Earlier this month I posted my Thanksgiving Turkey recipe -- and here is the product of that recipe.

As you can see in the "Before" image, you have a turkey all coated in baconey goodness. In the "After" image you have that turkey fresh out of the oven minus the bacon which I ate removed about 90 minutes before the turkey was finished. YUM!!!

I should note, that I modified the recipe slightly -- I also placed butter (seasoned with rosemary, thyme, and sage) under the skin. THAT really added some flavor.

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

I Just want to take a moment to thank you, my readers, for coming to my blog. I'm truly grateful for you guys. *HUGS!!*

Now go stuff your faces with turkey!

Also, you see that bikini turkey photo? Well, here's the recipe for how you can actually make that inappropriately tan-lined turkey! Enjoy! (I'd do it, but my wife would kill me!)

I'll be back on Monday, with some info about Dressler's!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cashion's Gas (Cornelius, exit 28)

Yeah. You read the title right. I went to the Cashion's just east of exit 28, at the corner of Catawba and Statesville Rd. Inside the Cashion's there is a little grill that serves very basic short-order food, (i.e. burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and some breakfast).

Generally speaking, I try to avoid gas station food -- because it GIVES ME GAS!! (HA! I kill me!!)

Ok, ok, juvenile humor aside, I really do try to avoid gas station food. In fact, I've never had any prepared food from those fast-food / gas station combos that you see along I-77 or I-85. But longtime Foodie reader Bill insisted that I try this place.

I'm freakin' glad I did!!

Bill was right -- the burgers here rock! They're hand made patties, topped with a serious amount of cheese, with some of the best produce around! Seriously.

The burger was prepared to order (after I ordered, I heard the burger hit the grill), and I asked for tomato, onion, lettuce, ketchup and cheese. A few minutes later I was handed the burger on a plate, wrapped in aluminum foil. The burger was drenched in American Cheese. (Typically I don't like American Cheese, but with this much melted gooeyness, I can't complain).

The produce was amazing. Really. I need to shop where they do. The two tomato slices were thick, ripe, and bright red. The iceberg lettuce and white onion were fresh and crisp.

The patty, cheese, and produce combined to create one of my favorite burgers in the area. To me, it even beats the 5 Guys burgers -- and THAT's high praise. In addition, it was relatively cheap. The burger and a bottle of Coke came to $4 and change.

The only downside to the burger is that it is at a Cashion's. So there is no seating, and if you eat in your car (like I did), there will be a smell of gasoline. But, it was worth it for this cheap bite of deliciousness.

Atmosphere: 0/0
Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Total: 7/10

Price: $
Kid Friendly: No. There is no place for your little-ones to hang out while placing the order.

Conclusion: Cheap prices, low visibility, and a REALLY good burger make this one of best kept secrets for burger lovers.

Restaurant Info:
Cashion's Quik Stop‎
19733 Statesville Rd.
Cornelius, NC
p) 704-892-7762‎

Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe Friday Monday: Dishwasher Salmon

I ran across this recipe while rummaging through my wife's Real Simple Magazine. And yes, you read the title correctly... Dishwasher Salmon.

This is a salmon dish that you poach in your dishwasher. The salmon is cooked by the hot water, and the heating elements on the drying cycle. Unorthodox, I know. But from a quick Google search, it appears that this actually works!

I've got the link below, but here's the basic idea: Wrap a salmon fillet in aluminum foil. Place on the top rack. Run on a normal heated cycle. And viola! Poached salmon.

Here's the link. If you make this recipe... let me know!!

Dishwasher Salmon Recipe

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mac's Speed Shop (Cornelius)

At the urging of a friend of mine, I decided to hit the local Mac's to get some BBQ. This was my first time at Mac's, and I was curious about what I would find. And more importantly, how would it compare to Lancaster's (my favorite BBQ in the area.)

Mac's has a definite biker bar feel to it. In the front there are almost a dozen motorcycle parking places (cars park in the back), while inside you'll see lots steel, wood, and many HDTV's.

Once inside, my friend and I were taken to our seats at a small elevated table in the middle of the main room. From my seat I could see no fewer than 4 HDTVs, each one with an ESPN channel showing. The menu has a decent selection ranging from standard BBQ and ribs, to salads and sandwiches.

Wanting to have a smaller serving of BBQ and some sides, I decided upon the "lil pig" BBQ sandwich. Along with the one side of mac and cheese, I decided to get a second side of BBQ beans. (Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat -- the more you...) Oops! Sorry for that brief trip down grade school memory lane....

Anyhow, the food arrived quickly and I took a look. As you can see, it was pretty much standard BBQ fare. The BBQ pork was a little more bland and dry that I was expecting. However, the sauces at the table added the needed flavor and moisture.

The sides, however, were delicious. The mac and cheese was made with real cheese and was creamy and good! The BBQ beans, were really flavorful and had a nice and thick sauce that had hints of molasses and brown sugar. The sauce had some meat in it, but not much.

I know people love their BBQ, and I'm sure this will ruffle some feathers. But, I didn't find anything about Macs that was extraordinary. For the most part it was about average. The BBQ was OK, but the sides were slightly above average. The next time I go, I'll be sure to try their ribs, and see if my experience differs.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Total: 10/15

Price: $$
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: About average BBQ with a biker theme. It was OK, but not memorable. I'll head back again because I want to try their ribs.

Restaurant Info:
Mac's Speed Shop
19601 Liverpool Pkwy.
Cornelius, NC 28031

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Need a logo for the Lake Norman Food and Wine Fest

As you know, over the past few weeks I've started moving forward on the idea that is the Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival (TM). Over the past few weeks I've met some great people, and every day I'm a little more convinced that this will happen. (Finished line-item budget last night!)

So the other day, while I was getting ready to put together letterhead, business cards, and a website, it hit me. I need a logo!! Something that will look good on all communications. Something that screams "Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival." So, I thought I'd make something....

As it turns out, my graphic abilities stopped advancing when I was three years old. And I hear that color crayons don't work on computer screens very well (that's what my wife said when cleaning her screen with Windex). So, dear readers, I need your help.

From now through Tuesday, November 24, we will be accepting any and all logos e-mailed to The winning logo will be chosen based on its ability to encapsulate the "Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival" (TM) and the logo's level of awesomeness. It will be used on most paper, broadcast, and electronic communications; and in those communications, credit will be given to the artist (name and URL), when possible. In addition, the winning artist will be given a booth space at the Festival in the merchants area.

Yes, I know that money would be preferable. But this is planned to be a startup non-profit that will give much of the proceeds to charity -- hence, there is no money!

For those of you thinking about submitting a logo, here are some things to consider:
1) The Festival will be held in late spring during the day.
2) There will be food and wine.
3) Each logo must incorporate the words "Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival."
4) Winner will be chosen based on artistic ability, clarity of logo at smaller sizes, ability to encapsulate idea of festival, and whatever random whims befall the judge(s).
5) Winning logo will be seen on most print, broadcast, and electronic communications from the Festival organizers. Where practical, the winner's name (or company/group) and URL will appear on those communications. In addition, the winning artist will be given a (free) booth space at the Festival.
6) This contest is open to all individuals, companies, educational institutions, associations, or groups who wish to enter.
7) Each entity may submit up to three logos entries to
8) Each submitted logo should be JPEG format and no more than 750 x 750 pixels (we'll contact you for higher-rez if needed.)
9) Entries must be recieved by midnight, Wednesday, November 25.
10) Winner will be notified via the e-mail address from which the logos were sent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need Gifts for the Holiday? Visit the Pampered Chef!

Before I start getting the "Foodie has sold out!" e-mails. I wanna stress that I'm not getting paid for this blatant promotion......

*Foodie steps onto soap-box*

AHEM ... to the left of this post you'll notice an ad for the Pampered Chef. Never heard of the Pampered Chef? Until recently neither had I. But I think it's fair to say that the Pampered Chef is to today's Foodies, sorta like Tupperware was to housewives of the 60's and 70's. And trust me -- it's just as necessary!

This link goes to a friend of mine, Michele, who sells through the Pampered Chef website. But here's the thing -- she doesn't just sell cookware. If you contact her, she will come to your home, and cook a meal for you and your friends. And in the process she'll show you the many great products and gifts that she has. (She's got lots!)

If you want cheap recipes ($2 per serving), you should call Michele (704-560-7409). If you need a gift (i.e. cute martini glasses, great knives, cookie press, etc.) for the Foodie in your life, you should contact Michele. If you are looking for products with a lifetime warranty ..... you get the idea.

So, in conclusion: You could go to a national retailer, and pay too much for low quality krud... or you could support somebody who lives here AND get a great deal on high quality cookware, bakeware, stoneware, etc. etc. It's an easy choice for me.... click here.

*Foodie steps down from soap-box and gets a martini*

Friday, November 13, 2009

Recipe Friday: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and you know what that means -- TURKEY!!!! Lots and lots of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce (from the can) and a whole lotta stuff.

But lets face it, it's the turkey that rules the roost. It's what we all think about and look forward to. I've been cooking the turkey for a looong time now, and I've finally got it down to a science. The ingredients? Bacon, butter, herbs, more bacon, more butter, and a nice chardonnay. It's a modified version of my Grandfather's recipe. He used the bacon and butter. I added the injecting of the herbs and wine. :)

My recipe is below. But this got me to thinking -- what do you do to your turkey for Thanksgiving?

1 small turkey
1-2 packages of bacon
lots of butter
2 cups of chicken broth
1 tbsp of thyme, sage, and rosemary each
1/2 cup of wine
pre-made stuffing
1 Turkey Injector

1) Prepare turkey as necessary. (Thaw, remove neck and gunk, and wash with water)
2) Mix broth, herbs, and wine in blender, then strain, and put into bowl. Then fill injector.
3) Use injector to inject liquid into breast, thigh, and drumsticks.
4) Coat turkey with butter.
5) Fill turkey cavity with stuffing.
6) Top every part of turkey with a layer of bacon, adding new bacon as old bacon shrinks.
7) Cook as directed, basting with remaining injector liquid and butter.
8) Remove bacon one hour before done cooking to let turkey skin brown.
9) Serve with lots of sides and family.
10) Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Château Larose-Trintaudon

The other day while at the store I can across a bottle of interest. A bottle of 2004 Château Larose-Trintaudon Haut - Medoc. And it was half off, from $24-- SWEET!!!

Later in the week when preparing dinner for my wife, I opened it and had a glass.

Not so sweet.

In fact, I found little to like about this wine. In theory I like reds from the Bordeaux region. I find their flavors to be more subtle and nuanced than similar wines. However, this 65% Cabernet and 35% Merlot tasted much more like a Malbec than anything else. The flavor was down right earthy -- sorta like what a red wine would taste like if they threw in a few trowels of dirt into the barrel.

It felt flat and flabby against the tongue, with strong mineral after tones. It should have tasted better, and other vintages received high scores, but this 2004 wasn't worth the half-off price. Heck, it wasn't even worth $2.

What started off as a great bargain, was instead a dud. No wonder they cut the price by half!!

Wine Rating

Score: 1/5

Price: $$

Wine Info:
2004 Cabernet / Merlot
Château Larose-Trintaudon
Haut-Medoc Region
Bordeaux, France

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival.....

The ball, it is a rollin'. I've made some good progress over the past couple of weeks regarding a potential Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival (TM).

It appears that both the public and those in the restaurant industry want it to happen. So, I'll be putting my head together with some smart people, and we'll see what happens! This is no guarantee that it will happen... but things are beginning to look promising.

So, be sure to check back often for updates.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Foodie Reader has a Question!

I got an e-mail this weekend asking me this question:

"Do you know of any of the restaurants here at Lake Norman who will be having Thanksgiving buffets?"

That's a good question that I've never thought about -- since I'm always busy basting the turkey on Thanksgiving. So, I'm passing the buck to you, my wonderful readers. (I heart you guys!) Do you know of any LKN restaurants that serve a Thanksgiving buffet dinner??

If you have anything to say, click on the comments link below this post!

Thanks for your help!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Recipe Friday: Best Mac 'n' Chese Ever

A little while ago a Foodie reader sent in the recipe below. So, I thought I'd share it with you. Apparently a while back Emeril Lagasse asked folks to send in their recipes in an attempt to find America's best Macaroni and Cheese. The one listed below is from Laura Macek and was featured on Good Morning America. Personally, I don't know about nutmeg on my Mac and Cheese. But it's worth giving it a try!

1 head of garlic, roasted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound Cavatappi pasta
1/2 pound sliced Applewood smoked bacon
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup flour
1 quart whole milk
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2) First roast the garlic. Slice 1/2 inch off the top of the entire head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap garlic head tightly in a square of heavy foil and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove garlic pulp by squeezing garlic head. Smash cloves with a fork to form a paste.
3) Cook pasta according to package directions.
4) Cook bacon completely. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Crumble bacon when cool.
5) To make topping: Combine breadcrumbs, crumbled bacon, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Set aside.
6) Preheat oven to 375°F.
7) Sauté shallots over low heat in reserved bacon fat for one minute. Add remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and continue to sauté shallots in butter and bacon fat until translucent. Add flour and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Stirring constantly with a whisk, add milk and roasted garlic paste.
8) Cook until sauce is thickened (coats the back of a spoon). Remove sauce from heat then add salt, pepper, nutmeg, Gruyere and Cheddar cheeses. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
9) Stir in cooked pasta. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle topping to cover entire top. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until sauce is bubbly and topping is browned.

Here's the link:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interview with eeZ Managing Partner Marcus Hall

Foodie’s Note: Originally I was going to just have a transcript of this interview. I mean, it seems simple enough. Record the interview. Type the interview. Done. Right?

Wrong. As conversation flows, there’s just too much going on that simple text doesn’t convey. Also, there’s length. My interview with the Managing Partner of eeZ, Marcus Hall went WAAAY longer than expected. The conversation was so easy, in the blink of an eye, almost an hour had passed. And my tape recorder (yes, it’s actually uses a micro-cassette) was almost full. Do you guys want to read 8 pages of text??? Yeah, me neither.

So, below is the interview I promised so long ago…. Enjoy!


Birkdale was the reason my wife and I decided to move to Huntersville. The shopping, the movie theater, and the food constantly call us. As you know, food is one of my passions – I’m always on the lookout for unique and freshly prepared dishes. And some of the best meals I’ve found are at eeZ. My wife and I are almost regulars there. In fact, we’ve been there so much, we don’t even bother with the menu – we already know what to order and expect.

However, when I sat down with the Managing Partner of eeZ, Marcus Hall, I didn’t know what to expect. The last time I interviewed somebody I was in grade school, and one of the questions was “What’s your favorite color?” So, needless to say, I was out of my element.

But I’ve gotta say, this interview was a lot of fun. Marcus comes across as a good guy and is easy to talk to. And, boy, does he know his way around the restaurant industry. Starting as a dish washer at age 15 at the Rockola Café (think Applebee's and Chili’s) Marcus has spent much of his life working in restaurants. And through all those years he’s learned that the customer’s dining experience is the concern of all of the restaurant’s staff, “if you want the customer to return, you’ve got to keep them happy and give them a good value.”

But it wasn’t until after graduating college and being stuck behind a desk at Georgia Pacific that Marcus realized that he wanted to stay in the restaurant industry, “It just wasn’t me. I spent all day long looking at the clock on the computer screen.”

A few years later while enjoying some pizza at a Cici’s Pizza Marcus ran into this future business partner and co-owner of eeZ, Alan.

So, with all this experience you’d think that eeZ was going to be a guaranteed success. But in all honesty, it almost didn’t make it. As it turns out eeZ was originally going to be a local franchise of Zyng Asian Grill.

Don’t remember Zyng? Don’t worry nobody else does either.

Zyng was originally set to be a series of 45 franchised restaurants in the U.S. Focusing on the Pan Asian segment, Zyng would bring healthy Asian cuisine to the Birkdale area. Unfortunately (but fortunately for us), Zyng had a bad game-plan. With pre-made foods, frozen ingredients, and bad management, Zyng Corporate was bound to fail.

However, Marcus and Alan thought the Asian Fusion idea was good, and they kept eeZ going. First they brought in a Chef to help them create a new and original menu. This time all the food was prepared from scratch and nothing was pre-made. Then, due to customer demand, eeZ started offering Sushi.

There were a few bumps in the road, but eventually they brought in Master Sushi Chef Rifali Almunir. Originally from Indonesia, Almunir is as much an artist as a chef. In fact, Almunir is the mastermind behind the eeZ originals like the Filet Mignon Pin Wheels and even a roll inspired by a regular customer.

Longtime eeZ regular Doug came in for a drink almost every night. Then one night he came in for a drink, and ordered two filet mignon dinners to go – he was taking dinner back for his girlfriend who wasn’t feeling well. By the time he finished his drink; he left, and forgot about his dinners. Once the meals were ready, and nobody was there to take them, Almunir took the filets and then created the Doug's Filet Roll. By the time all was said and done, the Doug Rolls sold out before the end of the night.

While Almunir keeps watch behind the Sushi Bar, Executive Chef Mat Turney, oversees the kitchen. Turney came to eeZ after serving as a developmental chef to Darden, the company that owns many restaurants including Bahama Breeze, Olive Garden, Capital Grill, etc.

But he wasn’t always at eeZ. For almost three years, eeZ operated with only kitchen managers. However, Marcus credits Turney with being the “glue” necessary to hold the kitchen together and hiring him was the “best move ever.”

However, it wasn’t until the mention of General Manager Louis Camire, that Marcus really started gushing. Camire is a 20 year veteran of the restaurant industry and has been with eeZ since before the beginning. While Marcus referred to Turney as the “glue,” he called Camire the “super glue” of the entire organization.

Fortunately, eeZ hasn’t felt the effects of the recent economic downturn. Offering a six page menu (with minor tweaks for the spring and fall) with everything cooked to order, eeZ has a lot of choices. Or as Marcus said, “we’ve got something for everyone.”

And if you’re wondering when eeZ will open another restaurant, you might not have long to wait. They’ve already looked at places in South Park, Ballentyne, and Dilworth. Unfortunately, none have been a good fit for a second eeZ. However, Marcus pointed out that eeZ is currently staffed for two restaurants, and has two separate and strong management crews, so he anticipates opening another soon.

It appears that the eeZ model is built around the customer experience. Though not necessarily cheap, Marcus has worked to ensure that eeZ is a great value that keeps the customer happy, “(We) work hard to give customers a great experience every time, and if they don’t, we want the opportunity to make it right.”

Based on their success, it seems that eeZ already knows what the customer expects and apparently, they deliver.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cozumel Mexican Restaurant (Mooresville)

Yesterday as I drove to Cozumel with my friend he asked, "Where is this place?"

I jokingly answered "Eh, it's in the same place as TJ's Deli." As you may recall, TJ's Deli was the horrible restaurant that scored a 1/5 on food. And I knew Cozumel was in the same complex -- so I tried to scare my friend by saying it was in the same place. Here's the irony -- it IS in the same place.

TJ's Deli is no more, and Cozumel has taken its place.

The interior has changed slightly. It still has the same tables and chairs. While the booths now have small archways, and there is now a small bar. But the register is in almost the same place and the chair-rail and green paint are still there. Fortunately for Cozumel, green is on the Mexican Flag.

We walked in and were seated quickly. After we looked over the menu for a while, we made our decisions. However, it took several more minutes for our chips and salsa to arrive, and for our waitress to appear. Our waitress came over, and took our drink orders, and then disappeared before we could give her our food orders.

While we waited for her to return, we snacked on the chips and salsa. The salsa was very watery / runny, but at least the chips were OK. As we were half way through our chips, our waitress returned with our drinks, and took our food orders. I ordered the lunch special with a burrito and a chili relleno. While my friend ordered the taco and chalupa lunch special.

Now, if you'll recall, one of my measures of a good Mexican restaurant, is the chalupa. Often times the suckier restaurants will try to put one past its customers by passing off a tostada (round, crispy, flat, corn shell) as a chapula (round, fried flour dough). So, the test begins.....

Surprisingly, our food was brought out by the bar tender -- who spent most of his time hanging with the hostess, while the waitress busily ran from table to table without any assistance.

My food arrived, and I took a bite of the burrito. Which was pretty much an enchilada but with a salsa based sauce. Aside from the sauce, there was nothing to distinguish this from an enchilada. No lettuce, cheese, onions, or rice. Just ground beef. Fortunately the ground beef was seasoned well - it had some good cumin and oregano flavors. And though I wasn't happy about the enchilada-ness of the burrito, it was good.

Next came the chili relleno. It was remarkably small. However, it was covered in cheese and filled with ground beef. This was new to me. Every time I've had a chili relleno its been filled with cheese only, so the beef was a nice surprise. Unfortunately the cheese sauce wasn't really cheese. From the way it sorta congealed on my tongue, it seemed much more like a cheese-like food (i.e. Velveeta) than cheddar. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of their cheese sauce.

And as for the chalupa test -- they failed. It was indeed a tostada. Why do restaurants insist on making claims on their menu, that they just can't back up in their kitchen?? Ugh, I can't figure out if they're assuming that their customers are ignorant, or are they just hoping the customers don't care. But either way, the restaurant is undermining their customer base.

Also it should be noted that the staff seemed to be having some issues. It took a long time for our chips and salsa to appear and they were never refilled. In addition, our waitress was rather curt and abrupt, and the few smiles seen were tight and quick. That said, she was working the tables mostly by herself with limited assistance from the bartender and hostess who were busy entertaining themselves in a corner by the bar. That would make me cranky too.

All in all, the food was cheap and below average. As were the service and atmosphere. But the restaurant is still new, hopefully they're just working the bugs out.

Atmosphere: 2.5/5 (clean, but most other restaurants in the area have done a better job)
Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
Total: 6.5/15

Price: $ (lunch was about $7 including tip)
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: The score is lower than I thought it would be. The restaurant wasn't bad, I just found it to be below average in all categories. The fake chalupa and cheese brought down the food score.

Restaurant Info:
Cozumel Mexican Restaurant
120 Market Pl Dr
Mooresville, NC
(704) 696-2581‎

Monday, November 2, 2009

Idea: Lake Norman Food and Wine Festival?

I had a brainstorm about a month ago.... Why doesn't the Lake Norman area have a Food and Wine Festival???

So, I started looking into it. There appears to be support from the local restaurant industry. But costs would be prohibitive to visitors and vendors alike. So then, after some talks with the Folks at the Charleston Food and Wine Festival -- I realized that by following the organizational structure of a 501 (c) (3), this festival might be made cost effective by bringing in corporate donations, and any profits (probably small) would be donated to local charities.

So, I'm working on putting together some numbers to see if this could actually happen.

And this is where you come in!! I need you to fill out my form and answer my questions. It's short and will take you about 1 minute to complete. Here's the link!!

Thanks in advance!!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe Friday Halloween Edition: Meat Hands

I know it's Thursday, but I wanted to give you as much heads-up as possible for this -- especially if you have kids. Below is a link to a recipe on (Originally found the link at that shows how to make "Meat Hands."

Basically it's meatloaf in the shape of a hand, with onions for the finger nails, and cheese for the skin. As you can see, it looks REALLY GROSS!!! But if you have kids that like gross stuff -- they'll be in heaven!!

Here's the link!

Amelie's French Bakery (NoDa)

Again with the suggestions!!

Last week I had a few suggestions that I visit Tony's. So, I did, and I posted the review. But what I didn't tell you, is that last week I had even MORE suggestions that I visit Amelie's in the NoDa Neighborhood of Charlotte. So, yesterday I made my way to Amelie's to check it out.

I'm glad I listened to my friends....

Amelie's in located in an industrial feeling shopping area at North Davidson and 28th St. From the outside there is nothing to distinguish Amelie's from the other stores in the brick and mortar complex. However, once inside, you feel miles away.

The interior is decorated with an eclectic, funky, and cozy vibe. Along with chess sets and checkers tables, you'll find chandeliers, sofas, and fake fire places. And the place is huge -- basically it's comprised of two store spaces. One is mostly for baking and some tables, while the other is primarily for seating.

But there is one thing that I noticed immediately -- the smell. The deliciousness of all the pastries and breads was evident from the smell alone. And once you enter, you're assaulted by the images of all the pastries in a wonderful display case. The second I entered I started to salivate.

After looking over the choices I chose a chocolate croissant and a cup of coffee. I prepared my coffee, took a seat, and then took a bite. The result???? OMG! YUM!!

The best chocolate croissant I've ever had was at a French Cafe in Ponta Delgada, on the Azores island of Sao Miguel. I know, I know, Portugal isn't known for it's food. But at this cafe, the baker was trained in France. So, all the food was fantastic. And the chocolate croissant was as close to heaven as possible.

The chocolate croissant from Amelie's is a VERY close second.

The chocolate wasn't too sweet or too bitter. It was excellent. In addition, the buttery, light, and flaky croissant was fantastic. My words simply don't do it justice. But this might -- I liked it so much I bought another so that I could eat one this morning!!

Unfortunately, since I inhaled the croissant, I HAD to try something else. I mean, what kind of a Foodie would I be if I didn't explore different dining options? Oh, the things I do to inform my readers!! It's a sacrifice, but I manage! :)

So, I ordered a twice baked almond croissant. Ok, here's how these things are made. A freshly baked standard croissant is sliced in half, and filled with a creamy/buttery almond concoction. That croissant is then dipped in a sweet syrup. And then it's baked again!! The result?? Something crunchy and sweet on the outside, and buttery and almondy in the middle! SQUEEE! I was in heaven.

While I was enjoying the almond croissant, I decided to have them bake me a loaf of sourdough bread. Having grown-up on San Francisco Sourdough, I can tell you it's been hard for me to find another that is comparable on the east coast. Fortunately, Amelie's sourdough is one of the better ones I've found over here. When I got the bread back to my car I stuck my nose in the bag and inhaled. Ohhhh, it smelled like home.....

So, I did what any other home-sick Californian who lives in the Lake Norman area would do... I went to Ferrucci's and got some Italian Dry (Sicilian style) Salami! Lemme tell ya. That bread with the salami? Heaven, pure heaven!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 13/15

Price: $ (Coffee and pastry around $6)
Kid Friendly: Unknown

Conclusion: GREAT pastries and bread make this one of my favorite eateries in the Charlotte area. I'm glad that I expanded my geographical boundaries to try Amelie's. And it's only about a 20 minute drive from my home.

Restaurant Info:
Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe
2424 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Wine Wednesday: Alice White Chardonnay

While perusing the wine aisle the other day, I ran across something new to me. Easily portable (perfect for picnics!) little cardboard boxes that hold wine -- sorta like a Capri Sun for adults. Each box holds almost 3 glasses worth of wine. Yes, it's box wine -- but at least it doesn't come in the gallon sizes!

This mini-box comes from Australia and contains the Alice White Chardonnay, but don't ask me about the year -- it's not listed. This wine has a light mouth feel and an almost non-existent nose. I really can't smell much except the alcohol. There might be a hint of citrus and pear, but it's faint at best.

The taste is very similar to the smell. It's a faint flavor of citrus, apples and pears. But the mild alcohol flavor almost overwhelms it. Really, its one of the strangest chards I've had. It lacks both smell and flavor. Because of this it's not bad.... but it's not great either.

Wine Rating:

Score: 2.5/5

Price: $

Wine Info:
Alice White Chardonnay (500ml)
South Eastern Australia

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tony's Pizza (Huntersville)

Last week, two new friends of mine who are from COMPLETELY different circles, both made the same recommendation, "You've gotta go to Tony's!"

Before last week, I don't recall hearing the name before. I knew of a LOT of different pizzeria's but Tony's wasn't one of them. Now I'm wondering why it took me a couple of years to hear about this place...

I ventured to the Tony's in Huntersville, at the corner of Harris Blvd and Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd. It's in the same strip mall as the Food Lion. But there are plenty of other Tony's in the region for you to visit... but the two in the Lake Norman area are in Huntersville and Mooresville.

This Tony's was a standard no-frills pizzeria. The decor isn't memorable, there is no wait staff, and the menu is posted on the wall above the counter. But the place is clean, the booth-like seating appears new, and the staff behind the counter were friendly.

I was warned about Tony's large slices of pepperoni. Undaunted, I ordered two pepperoni slices. I SHOULD have ordered one.

These slices are huge!! One was plenty to fill me up. I took the second slice home, and measured it's length -- one foot (12 inches) exactly. Now that's a slice!!

The crust is nice and crispy, but not overly crunchy. Since this is a huge NY Style slice, it's necessary to fold it so that the slice doesn't droop, and lose all the toppings to gravity.

Speaking of toppings, I was pleased with the choices. The cheese was good and there was plenty to cover the slice. There could have been a little more, but I love cheese, and there could always be a little more. The pepperoni was actually quite good. It was very flavorful, and it was some of the best that I've had in the area. My only complaint is that on one slice there were only 6 slices of pepperoni. I know that sounds like a lot, but the slices are so large, this made the slice almost look naked! The sauce was good. I would have liked some tomato chunks, BUT I understand that the NY Style is supposed to be thin, so I understand the reasoning behind the pureed sauce.

All-in-all, a good visit. They've got a good pizza and the huge slices are a great value. Let's face it, for about $7 I had two meals.... and that's hard to do anywhere!

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Total: 9.5/15

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: Huge slices, good food, and a great value will encourage me to visit again. Definitely an authentic NY Style pizza. Next time I might try one of their entrees -- but then again, I'll probably just order the pizza.

Restaurant Info:
Tony's Pizza
Pecan Ridge Shopping Center
9548 Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd.
Huntersville, NC
p) 704-394-5677

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random Musings....

If you only read this blog, and don't hit my Facebook or Twitter postings, you're missing out on some GREAT info!

Tibit #1. Apparently, the Cashion's Gas Station on Catawba and 21, has a GREAT double cheese burger. I haven't tried it, but Bill and Joel (2 of my Facebook Friends) love 'em.

Tidbit #2. Over the past few weeks, my wife has been out of town a lot. How can you tell?? I only bought two things at the store the other day -- beer and corned beef hash!! Ahhh, bachelorhood.... Wait, wait. This house is kinda empty... anybody wanna come over for homemade ravioli???

Lake Norman HS BBQ Fundraiser

I opened the Lake Norman Citizen last week, and I saw an ad that proclaimed, "Fall Food Festival!" I was excited. Fall? Food? Festival?? What's not to like? Right???


Stupid ad was for the local Wild Birds Unlimited store. No offense to the folks at WBU, I actually like their store and have found great gifts there, but they really got my hopes up over nothing. My excitement for bird food just doesn't match my excitement for people food....

But a few pages later, I ran across this tidbit. There's an upcoming BBQ fundraiser at Lake Norman High School. This Thursday, October 29, the BBQ will run from 4:30p to 6:30p. It will cost $10 at the door, and will include BBQ (your choice of pork or chicken), roll, coleslaw, and beans. Sounds like some good food for a good cause... sign me up!!

For more info about the BBQ call 704-799-8555.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Feature Next Week!

In the never-ending quest to make this blog better, next week I'll be adding a new feature -- an interview with a local restaurant representative. Sometimes it'll be an owner. Sometimes it'll be a chef. Heck, I might even interview a dish washer every now and then!

But next week I'll be posting an interview with Eez Owner Marcus Hall.

Eez has been around for 5 years in Birkdale -- no small feat. In an area that has businesses come and go, Eez has had good staying power! What's their secret? Did I eat lots of free food? Or did I wimp out and have a water? You'll only know when you visit next week!

Wine Wednesday: Deficit Red

Ok, ok, it's Friday. I know. But this post was meant to appear on Wednesday. So, that's why I still consider it to be a Wine Wednesday Posting....

But I'm here to tell you about a great bottle of wine -- that you've never heard of. Deficit Red.

It comes across as a novelty wine. With a huge downward pointing red arrow on the label to the phrase on the back: "For the debts I have paid, trying to stay ahead, here is a bottle of wine. Now we are all in the red!"

This is a robust Cabernet. With strong flavors of black pepper and plum, this wine has a good blend of spice and fruit. But it does have a heavy mouth-feel, and strong nose. So, we found it best to let this one air about about 10 minutes before drinking. It softened the pepper and alcohol, while allowing the fruit to become more intense.

If you're having a meal with this wine, be sure that it's a strongly flavored meal. Pasta with tomato sauce, steak, etc. The meal could easily get lost in the strong flavors dancing around your tongue.

This Cabernet from Monterey is quite good and worth a try. Also, considering the down economic times, it's hard to wine (Get it??) about the approx $12 price tag.

Wine Rating:

Score: 3.5/5

Price: $$

Wine Info:
Deficit Red
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
Monterey, CA

I'm Online!!

After far too long I'm back online, thanks to the help of my friend, Paul, who held my hand through the re-building process of my hard drive.

But since I'm again online, do you know what that means?

No, it doesn't mean puppies for everyone -- though that would be nice.

It means posts, and posts, and more posts! So, stay tuned, and I'll start catching up!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Almost back

More computer problems for me. I'm currently in the process of rebuilding a hard drive. Tomorrow, you'll get the wine review from me (I promise), and a bunch of news and stuff.

Sorry for the delay!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Post later today...

Got some major computer problems right now. In fact, I'm not on my computer as I write this....

Will post a wine review (Deficit Red) later today when I get everything up and running.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Six Pence Pub (Blowing Rock, NC)

This past weekend, my wife and I went on an excursion and made our way to Blowing Rock. It's a small mountain town with a a good vibe. Lots of tourists packed the sidewalks of the main drag. Unfortunately, this also meant that every restaurant was packed for lunch time.

And since this trip was unplanned, we took our time in the morning. We slept-in, had a relaxing coffee, and read the paper by the fire place. This meant that when we arrived we were starving, it was lunch time, and we had to wait for ANY meal we could find.

So, when we walked by the first restaurant we saw (Six Pence Pub) we put our names on the waiting list. We hit a couple of other restaurants, but they all had a waiting time. So, we walked down to the end of the shopping district, bought some warm hats (we were unprepared for a high of 40 degrees), and then made our way back to Six Pence. After a few more minutes huddled together in the sun (did I mention we were TOTALLY unprepared for the cold?), we were finally given a table.

Total waiting time 30-ish minutes.

We were seated by the bar of this packed small restaurant. As you could probably tell by the name, Six Pence is a British style pub. They offer a full array of pub food, along with some UK favorites; Welsh rabbit, Shepard's Pie, Bangers & Mash, and, of course, some decent beers!

We were just so happy to be warm inside the bar, almost everything sounded good -- even the Shepard's Pie! (For the record, after a couple of months in England, I swore I'd never have another Shepard's Pie...) Eventually we picked our meals. I wanted a bacon cheeseburger on an onion roll with fries, while my wife chose the half corned beef sandwich with a cup of broccoli cheddar soup.

The drinks arrived first. I had a Guinness. They actually took their time pouring it, which surprised me. The bar was packed, and I expected a rushed pour with an overly frothy head. But they did it right, so they get a bonus. :)

After about 15 minutes, our meals arrived. My wife's sandwich looked good,but small. However, she was pleased with it. The broccoli cheddar soup was good, but it was slightly runny, and overly salted. Normally this would be a huge no-no. But since we were still warming up, it was rapidly gobbled up.

My bacon cheese burger was quite good. The tomato, onion, and lettuce seemed fresh, and not heated by extra time under the warming lamps. The burger was at least 1/3 lb. if not bigger. And the burger wasn't over cooked either. It had good flavor, and the bacon, cheese, and onion roll, just added to the flavor.

At the end of the meal, we decided to split a slice of homemade apple pie. It seemed home-made. It was a little messy, and the filling sorta fell outside of the crust, making it somewhat flat. However the pie was good, and the creamy cinnamon topping made it even better.

Re-energized and warmed by our meal, we went back out into the cold, and window-shopped and explored the downtown area, and a small portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a shame we were only there for the day. But additional exploration will bring us back to the area soon.

Atmosphere: 3/3
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Total: 10/15

Price: $$$ (drinks, dessert, entree and tip brings it to just over $20/person)
Kid Friendly: Yes. High chairs, kids menu, etc. are available.

Conclusion: Six Pence was small and packed, yet it had a great vibe and wasn't too loud. The food and service were slightly above average for this type of establishment. And thought the prices were slightly higher than expected, I didn't feel fleeced. I'll recommend this place to friends going up to the Blowing Rock area.

Restaurant Info:
Six Pence Pub
1121 Main Street
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Monday, October 19, 2009

I FINALLY found it!!

Being from Northern California, one of my favorite lunch meat staples was Italian Dry Salami, and the best brand was Columbus, based in San Francisco. Encased in mold, this cured meat with garlic and black pepper, is still one of the greatest flavors that I know. When enjoyed with some wine, sour dough bread, and a sharp cheddar -- I'm a VERY happy camper.

I hear the shock from those of you from the New York and New Jersey area. But it's true, San Francisco had a good amount of salami producers in the early 1900s. Before refrigeration became the norm, the San Francisco climate was ideal for making salami.

As an LA Times article states: "As the salami dried, the links fermented, and a change in acidity effectively cooked the meat, and produced the complex spectrum of flavors. As this happened, the sausages would also dry. The meat would lose roughly 30% of its water weight. A penicillin mold would form on the coat, checking exposure of the meat to air, and thus stopping oxidation and preventing rancid flavors. "

Unfortunately, the moldy coating is rarely found on the salami any more -- now it's taken off then vacuum packed to ensure freshness. But the flavor remains the same.

Unfortunately, when I moved to the DC area, finding Italian Dry Salami became almost impossible. And when I did find it, it was in specialty shops, in tiny, yet expensive, chubs. Once I moved to the Lake Norman area, I began my search anew. This time, same luck.

But last week, when I had lost all hope, I walked into Ferrucci's at the Shops on the Green, in Cornelius. I looked at the salami selection, and there it was Italian Dry Salami. YIPPEEE!!!!

Ok, the brand surprisingly was Boar's Head, so that threw me off. But once I got it to my car, and tasted a slice -- I knew it was Italian Dry Salami. The hint of black pepper and garlic, the dry and hard texture, and the smell.... oh that smell. It reminded me of homey deliciousness.

Also, it should be noted that the guys at Ferrucci's know their stuff. I had a brief conversation with guy who sliced my order, and as it turns out Italian Dry Salami, is very similar to Sicilian Salami -- good to know!

So, yes, this entire post was about the fact that I finally found some Italian Dry Salami in the Lake Norman Area. I admit, it was a strange obsession. But my wife is glad to know that I won't have the occasional tirade about missing it. It's here for me to enjoy -- about 10 minutes from my house. :)

Relevant Links:
Columbus Salami
Sicialian Culture: Salami War Won by Italians in California
Ferrucci's Italian Market

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recipe Friday: Brunswick Stew, Now with more -- SQUIRREL??

Ok, this recipe is really for Brunswick Stew. But I'm pulling it from an old-time cookbook called "Recipes from Old Virginia." My wife recently obtained this book during a business meeting in Richmond , VA. It contains some very, er, interesting recipes, next to some delicious ones.

To give you and idea of how old-time this Brunswick Stew recipe is, the first paragraph contains a little rhyme that starts with , "First catch your chickens...." The directions below the rhyme also contains, "Squirrel or rabbit is excellent in place of chicken." And sadly, during High School, I learned that the edible squirrel of choice is the Gray Squirrel. (No, I never ate one!) So, if you ever do substitute squirrel for chicken, now you know the one to use. :)

1 stewing chicken (can be substituted with squirrel or rabbit)
4 Irish Potatoes
1 pint butter beans
1-2 diced onions
Salt and pepper
1 pint canned corn or 6 fresh ears
1 pint canned tomatoes or 8 fresh
1 cup biscuit or bread crumbs.

1) Cut meat in pieces and summer with potatoes, butter beans and onions, salt and pepper until tender
2) Remove bones and add corn and tomatoes
3) Cook until vegetables are done
4) Add butter and crumbs to thicken like a stew

Aside from the old-time recipes, there are newer recipes. And many of the desserts look great. You can get this book by clicking here. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fuel Pizza (Davidson)

I think I've mentioned it on this blog before -- pizza is the perfect food. It's got all four food groups, it's easy to eat (no forks or knives necessary), and it is great at 2am after a night of drinking! :)

Yesterday a friend of mine and I decided to grab a slice or two. But where should we go? I've hit most of the pizzerias in the area. Then it clicked -- I hadn't yet reviewed a Fuel. So, we hopped in the car and made the short drive to Davidson.

This Fuel is perfectly named as it is in an old gas station. It's got a small outdoor seating arrangement, small parking lot shared with other local businesses, and a rough around the edges interior.

We walked in, and looked over the pre-made pizzas. I decided to go with a slice of a pepperoni, a slice of chicken ranch, and a soda. The slices were delivered to our outdoor table, and we dug in. Simply put the pizza was good, but not great.

To be honest, I don't recall ever having a bad piece of pizza. There are some that I've liked more than others, but all-in-all, I think it's hard to have a bad slice.

The crust was thin and the slices were wide. So, I suppose it's sorta a New York Style slice. But the crust, sauce, and toppings all seemed rather average. In addition, to the pepperoni, I was given a slice of Hero pizza, which was basically a hero sandwich on a slice, instead of the ordered chicken ranch. The pizza was ok and I liked the sweet peppers, but it was still the wrong slice.

When we ate, the weather broke and it turned out to be a gorgeous day. So it's hard to say anything bad about the meal. But sadly, everything was just average. I had hoped for more.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5 (docked a point for the wrong order)
Total: 8/15

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: The pizza is good, not great --about average. But an average slice is still good IMHO.

Restaurant Info:
Fuel Pizza
402 S Main St
Davidson, NC 28036
p) 704-655-3835

Wine Wednesday: Heitz Chardonnay

Ok, so I'm actually posting this on Thursday... but it's not my fault.... the dog ate my homework!

Wait. No. That was a lie. I don't own a dog, and lets face it, my cat will only eat tuna. So, I was busy yesterday and I didn't get a chance to write this. Ok?? That's the truth! (Mostly....)

But back to the wine, which came via California, from my parents. They wanted to share some of their fall-back wines. So, I readily agreed to the shipping terms (all I had to do was open the door for the UPS guy) and waited for the delivery. Shortly after the red and white wines arrived, I served them with an appropriate dinner.

The 2006 Heitz Chardonnay was a welcome addition to my wine holder. I haven't seen it at any of the local stores, and I kinda liked the label too. But when it came to the wine, my wife and I were split. The wine had a strong scent of pears and apples. However, the taste was that of acid and grapefruit. The acid gave it a crisp mouthfeel, and a lightness that usually comes with sitting in steel barrels, instead of oak.

This is something my wife really enjoyed. I however, am more of an oak barrel, buttery and oaky sorta guy. Don't get me wrong, I readily drank it. And the bottle was finished shortly after the dinner.

But this shows how wines can taste differently to different people. My wife loved the crispness while I found it wasn't my cup of tea.

But I'd like to thank my folks for the wine delivery! Sometimes its nice to have your own personal wine club deliveries! :)

Wine Rating:

Score: 3/5

Price: $$

Wine Info:
2006 Chardonnay
Heitz Wine Cellar
436 St. Helena Highway
St. Helena, California
p) 707-963-3542

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Max's Alley (Concord, NC)

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend over lunch at Max's Ally in Concord. I'd been there before, but that was long before (a couple of months), this blog got started.

As I entered the restaurant, I walked past their outdoor seating area -- it looks pretty sweet! Faux natural stone fireplace, TV, heaters, and fans are all available to keep you comfortable. Seriously, it's one of the nicer outdoor seating arrangements I've seen.

I made my way inside and met my friend. After some small talk, I got down to business and read the menu. The lunch menu there is on the lighter side, and has mostly sandwiches and salads. After a LOT of going back-and-forth, I decided to order the Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap with regular fries (I've had their sweet potato fries before -- they were amazing)

Max's Ally is actually a large dining facility. But because of the way it's broken-up into rooms, it feels very cozy. The interior is decorated with warm colors, stone, and dark woods. It seems like a great place to hang out after work with a bottle of wine! Too bad don't work in Concord, I'd be there all the time!

Our meals arrived (we ordered the same thing), and I was very pleased. The large wrap was served in a spinach tortilla, and was filled with "marinated chicken, field greens, smoked bacon, tomatoes, swiss (cheese)." It was really good!

The freshly cooked chicken was still warm, the honey mustard sauce was present but not over-powering. The veggies were ripe and fresh. And really, how can you go wrong with bacon? All these flavors mixed together, to create a light but filling meal.

In addition, the fries were crispy, but tender. Truly delicious. But, here's the sad part -- I didn't clear my plate because I was soooo full. A few fries and a little bit of wrap survived the meal.

After my meal, I had the opportunity to meet the owner of Max's Alley (who also owns Dresslers' in Birkdale). And to my astonishment, he actually knew of this blog!! SQUEEE!! I've gotta admit, I was a little floored.

But, all-in-all, my meal was very good, the service ridiculously attentive, and I liked the atmosphere -- I've gotta bring my wife here for dinner sometime.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Total: 12.5/15

Price: $$ (Sweet tea, food, tax, and tip approx $16)
Kid Friendly: Yes, they have a kids menu. And the atmosphere, while nice, is informal.

Conclusion: I had a great meal. I'll definitely recommend this place to friends, and I'll be sure to visit again. Just a quick note, their dinner entrees range from $12 to $19.

Restaurant Info:
Max's Ally
Afton Village
355 John Galt Way, Suite 101
Concord, NC
p) 704-721-MAXS (6297)
f) 704-721-6291

Monday, October 12, 2009

Foodie is Growin!!

Ok, just a little update:

As you've noticed, I now have sponsored advertisements on this blog. These sponsors pay a minimal fee that gets them a clickable image on this blog. Along the top you'll find Diamond Springs, and to the left you'll find a link to the Pampered Chef (Think Mary Kay, but for foodies!), and the Coffeehouse in Denver.

In addition to my new sponsorship (THANKS guys! I can continue to eat out and post reviews because of you!), I have some growing numbers to report. My Facebook and Twitter pages have 150+ followers EACH! That's right, with the click of a mouse, I can constantly annoy almost 300 people! WOO HOO!! :)

So, I want to thank you, my readers, for continuing to return for daily updates. It's much appreciated. This blog wouldn't exist without you -- THANK YOU.

Also, to let you all know: I believe in full disclosure. And as such, if I am paid for a post, or review something that was a freebie, I will let you know up-front. I won't have it any other way.


Wine Auction Next Weekend!

Apparently, the Rotary Club of Lake Lorman hosts a "Wine Spectacular" every year, and donates much of the money raised to local charities. Next weekend, this awesome wine auction and tasting will be taking place at the Northstone Country Club.

Now, here's the REAL reason to go.... I'll be there! Yup, if you're lucky, you'll meet me over a decadent glass of wine and some fascinating conversation. :) Or, maybe I'll just be there volunteering for Hope House. Either way, there's something for every wino wine lover or foodie who attends!

Here's the link:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Poppas Hot Dogs (Mooresville)

Some of you may remember a recent post that included an article about Poppa's Hot Dogs. What I found strange about that post were the two extremely negative comments, left by readers, who really didn't like Poppas.

So, this made me want to go even more! I mean, would this place make it into my hall of shame??

Short answer: No.

Long answer: I actually enjoyed my meal there......

I walked in, and was greeted by a no-frills hot dog joint. Straight ahead, across a few tables there is the counter and behind it, a small kitchen. The walls are adorned with NASCAR memorabilia -- fenders, autographs, sheet metal from cars, and photos are in plan view. This makes sense, after all, this place is home to the local cable show "The Race Review" -- be sure to visit early to get onto the audience list.

I walked down the line to the left, to place my order. On my way to the register, I walked past a wall mounted menu. In addition to many other types of hot dogs, they also have Chicago, New Jersey, and Carolina style dogs. But I already knew what I wanted -- a chili dog. So I placed my order for two chili dogs (I interpreted the menu to read that the 2 chili dogs were part of one order. It read "Best of two great dogs..." I was wrong and would up paying for two separate chili dogs, this increased the price, but really, they were still cheap).

The dogs were prepared quickly, and in about 3 minutes my order was called. I picked them up and this is what I saw. Two dogs, in steamed buns, covered with chili and nacho cheese. This isn't a specific type of chili, just kinda s general chili. Bot dogs were covered in the perfect amount of chili and cheese. Enough to fill you up, but not enough to make a mess. In fact it was so perfect, I never used the fork and knife!

I gotta admit, these were the best chili dogs that I've had in the greater Charlotte area. I've tried chili dogs in Charlotte, Huntersville, and Davidson, and none of them compare to the chili dogs at Poppas. The buns were soft, but not too mushy. The chili was spicy and meaty. It was great, but didn't overwhelm the flavor of the dog. In addition, the nacho cheese was actually good (and I usually hate nacho cheese)!

All in all, a mouthwatering meal, that left my tummy full, and me letting out a notch on my belt!

Atmosphere: 2/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5 (service was quick, but I'm taking one point for the misleading menu)
Total: 9/15

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: A REALLY good chili dog, for a really good price. This place is no frills, and the napkins are paper towels. But the food delivery speed, flavor, and value are very good.

Restaurant Info:
Poppa's Hot Dogs
510 River Hwy # 13
Mooresville, NC
p) 704-664-7677

My Dream Come True: Mug with Cookie Holder!

The folks at Techeblog have uncovered the most awesomest piece of modern technology ever... a mug that also has a cookie holder!!

That's right. It's a mug (for righties or lefties) that has a cookie holder shelf in the bottom of the mug. No more inconvenient plates! This thing appeals to both my sloth and inner child at the same time! EXCELLENT!!

Here's the link:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Review later today....

Hey everybody, the review will come a little later today. Currently I'm at the office of a veterinary specialist.... our family pet, Alex the Cat, has come down with cancer, and we're exploring options.

He is a member of the family (he thinks he's a person), and as such, will be given the best care possible. So, if some of my posts are a little delayed or shorter than usual, I apologize. But I've got a family member to take care of, and taking care of family is what's important.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Robert Mondavi Merlot

The other day I was rummaging around the Food Lion Discontinued Wine Cart. This thing is awesome, EVERYTHING in there is 20% off!! Sometimes you find a Gem. Sometimes you find something that can peel the paint off of a car. But with my trained eye, and superior wine sensing skills, I found a 1/2 bottle of 2006 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot. Mondavi has good stuff, and this is the Private Selection. It sounds hoity toity. So, it's gotta be great! Right?


This wine was so bad, neither my wife or I were able to finish our poured glasses. Usually I find Merlots to be a mild wine. Light fruit and spices. Sorta a half-way point between the subtle flavors of a Pino Noir, and and the more concentrated flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon. This was none of those.

This wine overwhelmed our nose and mouths with fruit and acid. Lots and lots of fruit and acid. But not the good fruit. This was almost like a concentrated syrup flavor... with a watery consistency. No spice, no oaky tones. Just super concentrated fruit. YUK!

I've been to the Mondavi vineyards, I've enjoyed Mondavi before, and I hope to again. But I simply cannot recommend this wine to anybody.

Wine Rating:

Score: 0/5

Price: $ (1/2 bottle on sale for $4.79)

Wine Info:
2006 Robert Mondavi Merlot
Private Selection
Robert Mondavi Vineyards
Woodbridge, CA

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Little Caesars (Denver, NC)

My wife and I have a tradition of sharing a pizza with a bottle of wine every Friday. It's a great way to wind-down from a busy week and relax for a bit.

So, when the Little Caesars opened up in Denver, I knew that I'd be stopping by in short order. In fact, since the store has arrived, I've visited MANY times for three reasons: It's good, it's cheap, it's convenient.

Personally, I like the drive-thru option. When I get to the window, I am greeted by a friendly face who asks me for my order. I always get the same thing; a large pepperoni pizza, Crazy Bread, and Crazy Sauce.

And here's the great thing about Little Caesars -- when you arrive and order this, IT'S ALREADY MADE! So you go, you order, and in about 10-20 seconds it's in your car.


(FYI, the only pre-made pizzas are cheese and pepperoni. For anything else you'll need to wait, or pre-order.)

Now, I will say, that when I've picked-up an order during an off-time, I've found the pre-made pizza to be a little stale. But when I've gone during a busy time (Friday 5-7), the place is hoppin', and the food moves fast enough to ensure freshness.

The pizza has a standard crust, not too thin to be considered New York Style, but not too thick to be Chicago style. In addition, it has corn meal on the bottom (used to keep it from sticking), which I always like. The cheese is actually cheese and the pepperoni is good as well. We usually gorge ourselves, and eat waaay too much.

But my favorite thing to order has got to be the Crazy Bread. For the most part, its the same dough as the crust, just rolled into sticks about 1 inch in diameter, and about 8 inches long. They're REALLY buttery and topped with grated parmesean. They're delicious all by themselves. But I really enjoy dipping them in the Crazy Sauce -- which is really just tomato sauce.

All-in-all, there are few deals as good or convenient as this. I get a large pepperoni with Crazy Bread and Sauce for about $8. I drive up, pick up, and start eating when I get home. For me it's about 1/2 the time and 1/2 the price as ordering delivery. A definite plus in my book.

Atmosphere: N/A (no dining facilities)
Food: 3.5 (Pizza is average, but the Crazy Bread is amazing)
Service: 4/5
Total: 7/10

Price: $
Kid Friendly: N/A. No dining facilites.

Conclusion: One of the best values out there. The pizza is average, but the Crazy Bread is amazing. Definitely worth the trip, and the drive-thru makes pick-up very easy.

Restaurant Info:
Little Casears
117 N Pilot Knob Rd.
Denver, NC 28037
p) 704-827-8585

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hot Dogs and Chili in Mooresville...

Hey everybody, I'm swamped today, so I won't be able to post a restaurant review. BUT, I did want to share a GREAT article by Joe Marusak at the Charlotte Observer. It talks about Poppa's Hot Dogs -- a hot dog and Chili place on 150 in Mooresville.

Personally, I think this place sounds great. And since I love me a chili dog, I'll be going here soon.

But I'd like to hear from you... have you been to Poppa's Hot Dogs? How was it??

Here's the link:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Recipe Friday: Caramel Popcorn Balls

Fall is here, and you know what that means -- s'mores around the fire-pit, drinking hot chocolate on the couch, and making popcorn balls.

For some reason popcorn balls just feel like Fall to me. So, as surely as the leaves start to fall, you'll find me in the kitchen making these at least once when the weather gets colder.

So, here's a recipe that I used last year to make some delicious caramel popcorn balls. Because it's just me and my wife, I halved the recipe, and still had plenty to eat.

I pulled the recipe from I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Star Wars Cupcakes!! (SQUEEEE!)

I have a confession. Yes, another one.

This one may shock you, because you're used to my suave and debonair exterior. But behind my cool and collected 007-ish looks lies the heart of a.....


I know you're shocked, and you feel as if the world is crumbling around you. And I don't blame you. You should feel that way. Go ahead and cry.... Ok, done?

Good, because you're gonna LOVE these Star Wars Cupcakes! They're AWESOME! The last time I saw something this cool, was when I was at the Star Trek Convention, and a Klingon was holding a Tribble!! (SQUEEEEEE!!)

Below is a link to the article. And for those of you who cook cupcakes -- can any of you make an R2D2 cupcake?? If so, send me a photo, and I'll feature it on here! May the Frosting be with you. :)

Nevole's Pizza (Denver, NC)

A few days ago I left the Coffeehouse in search for food. Where would I go? There's a Chinese buffet, a Showmars, and a Mid-Town Sundries nearby. It's not often that I find so many new restaurants within a 5 minute walk!

However, I chose to go with Nevole's Pizzeria instead.

When I walked into Nevole's I was reminded of some of the pizzerias of my youth -- the interior is very basic, with few frills. The walls have shelves lined with beer cans serves. There is only one TV, and the furniture has nicks and scrapes. Not really the atmosphere for a date, but the atmosphere is good if you're just looking for a few slices.

The pizza here is done in the New York style. And pizza is really all they do. The menu has subs, wings, calzone, and of course pizza. I decided to go with their lunch special. Two large slices of pizza (I chose pepperoni) and a drink for $4.99. I thought the deal was good. But then I tasted the pizza.

This deal is GREAT!

Because of the plain interior, I was expecting plain pizza. But it's good pizza! Really good! The crust was tasty and I actually ate my crust (which is unusual for me). The pepperoni wasn't too greasy, and the mozzarella cheese, actually tasted like mozzarella cheese. The sauce was a little thin for my linking -- but that's sorta standard for New York pizza so I can't blame them for that.

All in all, a great find. I'll be back.

Atmosphere: 2/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 10/15

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes, as long as they like pizza!

Conclusion: The basic interior hides some really good pizza and fast, yet friendly, service. If you like New York style pizza, you should try this place.

Restaurant Info:
Nevole's Pizzeria
7260 Hwy 73
Suite 118
Denver, NC 28037
p) 704-822-1964

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kimchee Burrito?!?!?!

This article was passed along to me by a reader (THANKS JINNY!)... and it features a Kimchee burrito!

For those of you unfamiliar with Korean food, Kimchee is a fragrant and extremely spicy pickled cabbage. Personally, I think the stuff rocks!

So, a restaurant decided to get a fancy with its menu, and made a Kimchee burrito, it sounds like a Korean BBQ with a hint of Mexican food. It contains: "tortilla, bugogi beef, sauteed kimchee, lettuce, salsa, onions, cilantro, rice."

Yeah, I know that may be a LOT to take in, but it sounds like a great idea! I hope some restaurants around here start trying to make similarly adverterous meals. I'll be the first in line!

Here's a link to the story at FoodHoe: