On the Monday after, Hubby and I left for North Carolina on our honeymoon. We are non-traditional and kept that pattern up when we planned where to go for a week. To say Hubby is a "Duke fan" is an understatement. He knows crazy facts and stats about players that would lead you to believe he and Coach K talk every day. So we started the vacation in Durham and by the end of the week, ended up in Asheville, North Carolina.
Though there is a ton we can share about NC as a whole, maybe another blog post will be for that. This post is going to be all about the amazing eats that we had while in tobacco country. Land of vinegar BBQ'd meats and homestyle eats, we never went hungry and every meal was superb. It's like comparing fantastic and spectacular.
Because of Hubby's Duke-love, his Facebook group of Duke fans provided us many options for meals in Durham. Though we couldn't go to all of them, we did enjoy a few and no one lead us foul (see what I did there).
Our first night in Durham we checked out a restaurant called The Pit. It is known for it's full-hog BBQ options. The place was decently busy--we found a table by the windows and watched a rain storm come in. Our server was extremely informative and told us about their sauces and popular menu items. I went with the choice favorite on the menu, pork shoulder with a Lexington sauce. Hubby went with ribs--he even ordered us an appetizer of Pumpkin Corn Bread.
Across the street from this restaurant was this 'daughter of a mechanic's' ideal bar----Parts and Labor. It is actually an old repair shop and showroom that has been transformed into a very vintage, rustic bar and music hall. If it wasn't down pouring, I would have definitely stopped for a beer or two. Speaking of, I did enjoy quite a few local beers and wines while in town. That will be in another blog.
My aunt recently visited Asheville and gave us some pointers on great places to eat. It just so happens one of the places she recommended had a Durham location, Another Broken Egg Cafe. We stopped for breakfast on Tuesday morning before continuing our Duke campus tour. It's a cute place with tea cups and rustic decor on the walls.
These monstrous breakfasts kept us full well past lunch, so what else would I get to tide me over until dinner except ice cream!
Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The cafe offered pre-packaged sandwiches and snacks, bottled waters and sodas, and dishes of ice cream. Butter Pecan was a perfect treat for an 80 degree day.
We worked up quite an appetite walking around the gardens, so we headed back to the Inn and got ready for dinner. Hubby suggested Italian, so we went through the provided suggestions and picked The Boot.
This place was rustic but with an Italian vibe. It smelled absolutely amazing when we walked in. What caught my attention was the cork wall they were in the process of building. I had much envy as I have a cork project of my own I want to complete and an only imagine how many corks they needed.
Hubby is a sucker for spaghetti and meatballs and tries it everywhere. He wasn't disappointed and enjoyed the meal. I ordered the oriechette pasta with Italian sausage, broccoli raab and pecorino. Though this had a little spice kick, it was very appeasing to my palette. I enjoyed watching other entrees come out of the kitchen and hearing satisfied diners rave about their food. Again, another solid choice.
American Tobacco Campus area and decided to check it out. "When in tobacco country, go where things are named after it...right?" Parking was a bit of a struggle, but once we found a garage, it was a pretty cool experience. The old Lucky Strike factory has been revamped into the entertainment district of downtown Durham. From where we entered the area, you wouldn't even know the Durham Bull Stadium was a part of it.
Hubby ordered the tacos for lunch and I chose the fried chicken sandwich. I didn't realize I ordered the food challenge portion (not really)--look at the size of that beast!!!! It was two very large chicken breasts with extra crispy coating. I don't know who could possibly finish that. Huge but so so so good again. I took one of the breasts off the sandwich and hubby snacked on it after his tacos were gone. I still couldn't even come close to finishing the sandwich.
So that's our experience in Durham--I would definitely go back and tour more of the city, and eat more BBQ! The area is so green and lush with vegetation and no mosquitoes!!!! Stay tuned for Winston-Salem and Asheville eats coming soon!