Tag Archives: wine

Saxapahaw, where have you been all my life? + truck ridin’ music

It was a good day for a ride in a truck in the country. So westward we drove, about 15 miles to Saxapahaw, NC. Yes, there was an agenda … lunch at the Saxapahaw General Store (Your Local Five-Star Gas Station) before checking out the area’s newest venue (and undoubtedly, one of it’s more interesting), the Haw River Ballroom.

Saxapahaw Grocery Blackboard Specials, 9/21/11

Saxapahaw Grocery Blackboard Specials, 9/21/11

LUNCH!  Local beef short rib Sandwich on homemade foccaccia with manchego, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onion and lemon-garlic aioli.  I was so busy enjoying how each ingredient played nice with the others that I let the two guys I was with just prattle on about this or that without speaking or interupting  … for those of you who know me, silence is a rare occasion that typically only happens when I’m enjoying what I’m eating, reading, or sleeping.

Haw River Ballroom

Haw River Ballroom

“If you build it, they will come” …  “build a house of quality in the woods, and the world will beat a path to your door” … yada, yada.   Owners Tom & Heather LaGarde hope that’s true.  Their version of the American dream appeared in the form of an old mill/dye house way-the-heck out in the country. Cobbled together by a respect for the area and it’s history, along with a playful repurposing of eclective salvage from all around the state, the Haw River Ballroom is a testament to creative visioning.  Since I couldn’t say it any better, I’m shamelessly just quoting their own description here: “three levels, a riverside deck, a concessions bar and coffee shop, a full service stage and sound system, gorgeous historic detail, solar and geothermal power and an idyllic rural setting” … really, the only thing missing is a place to sleep so you don’t have to drive home after.  I got goosebumps when I walked in the front door. 
Go this weekend for the Sunday performance of Spirit Family Reunion.  Doors open at 6:30. Music starts at 8pm (opening act Dark Water Rising).  That’s all I can say. Go.  And see.  And hear. And be blown away. Go.
Truck ridin’ music in anticipation of hearing these guys this weekend:
Spirit Family Reunion – When the Girls are Dancing
Spirit Family Reunion – I’ll Find a Way

TerraVITA is 9 days away + music & wine for the back porch + Foodimentary – Today is …

TerraVITA Food & Wine Event

TerraVITA Food & Wine Event - Sept. 24

Celebrate the best in sustainable food and beverage!  If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, go now. You know you want to. 

Music & Wine for the back porch and the dog days of summer:  The finger-tripping 12-string guitarist Javier Mas ( plays with Leonard Cohen) deserves something light and airy with a hint of fizz  … I’m going with Vinho Verde from Portugal.

Today is National Double Cheeseburger Day

Foodimentary – Today is
… National Double Cheeseburger Day. 

As Jimmy Buffett says “I like mine with lettuce and tomato …”

The Meat House + music to cook by + Foodimentary – Today is …

The Meat House Burgundy Wine Steak Tips

A friend showed up last week with 2 butcher-wrapped mystery packets with the verbal instructions to put them in the freezer for a future grill test.  I don’t love freezing good fresh meat, but far be it from me to argue with a hunter/ gatherer/bringer of meat.  He’d strongly disagree saying I can sass back with the best, but that’s another story.  

The little packages came from The Meat House, a new place in Chapel Hill across from The Siena Hotel (and the old site of Applebee’s, I believe).  Touted as your “neighborhood butcher and grocer” The Meat House promises “to be excellent, consistent, and customer focused in everything we do!”  Guess what? They do!

They happily offer samples and my friend convinced them to give him two, promising that he’d bring someone back into the store with him next time.  That next time was yesterday and that someone was me. 

It’s a cool little store with practically everything you need for a meal.  Wine, beer, sides, condiments, etc. Even ice cream.  Maybe the nicest surprise of all were the local selections – Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses, Maple View Farms ice cream, Guglhupf bread, Kerala Curry – alongside their exotic meat selections of buffalo, venison, and ostrich.

The two sample packages rounded out the newly purchased marinated steak tips, a couple of sausages (sweet Italian & bratwurst – because you can never have too much meat), marinated mushrooms ready-to-sautee, and Maple View Farms Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.  Waiting at home was a bottle of Chianti in a straw basket.

Maybe it was the beautiful night, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the company, but it was all tender and delicious.  I’ll go back and, as my friend did, I’ll carry it forward and take someone else to introduce them to The Meat House.

Music to cook by on a warm September evening:  Simon & Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park.

Today is … National Cream-Filled Donut Day! * September is National Chicken, Honey, Mushroom, Papaya, Potato, Rice Month.  Can you create a recipe using all those ingredients in one dish?  

*with special thanks to the Foodimentary Guy John-Bryan Hopkins!