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Everything posted by wcmckinney

  1. That's right, Lyle makes a great point. Isn't it rumored that Edgar Allen Poe died after a drunken horde of votemongers roughed him up for drinking and not voting properly? I guess politics and booze, more than politics and food could have been a topic post. I know Gov. "Big Jim" Folsom of Alabama desegregated the Gov. mansion there by inviting civil rights leaders in for a drink. Then again Folsom was plagued by alcoholism. Gov. Elijah Craig -- Bourbon I know there are other's, perhaps some of you smarter than me could refresh my memory...
  2. I received this from some friends of mine today that work for Erskine Bowles, who is running for Senator in the Old North State. Note the mention of free BBQ from one of the doyene's of Down East BBQ: Join U.S. Senate Candidate Erskine Bowles and U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge for Straight talk on the Tobacco Buyout Bowles will fight for North Carolina Tobacco Farmers In the U.S. Senate Saturday, May 22nd 12:30 pm Lunch from Bill Ellis’s BBQ is FREE Home of Jerry West, 1365 Highway 222 East, Fremont, NC RSVP Paul Cox 919.770.3747 This email reminded me about one of the reasons why BBQ can be so popular. It's cheap, feeds many people, and is associative of a certain ethos of being home that it symbolizes something special for people. I am sure all of you are welcome at the Erskine event, goodness knows I would go if I weren't already at the beach. But I guess my question that comes out of this is such: Is there another food besides BBQ that is so "politically correct" in other parts of the nation, or other parts of the South?
  3. Hell, its all good. I'll probably wind up there this weekend, as I am going to Litchfield with some friends (if you see a young whippersnapper that looks something Doogie Howser on a bender with some others, stop by and say hello). The shrimp and mushroom burger makes for a nice lunch, and their sunday lunch of fried chicken, squash cassarole, green beans, and rice & gravy is very pleasant. Dinner wise, the preserved duck is tasty, and I really like the "simply prepared fish" as it is always fresh, well presented and about the right size for me. Shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes are good there (I think he lets the tomatoes sit in milk and tobasco before breading and frying. Deserts are robust and the wine list is as extensive as you will get at the beach. happy eating
  4. Tom, it sounds as if you may have had an ex-girlfriend or something from SC, but I can assure you it is not that bad a place on the whole (albeit somewhat misguided sometimes, and that counts for food too). I guess I was trying to look a little beyond BBQ and restaurants as is, but I appreciated the comments above. Oaks did close in Greenville, but there are some pretty well crafted places to eat there (besides and Momma Bear and Pappa Bear's place): 33 Liberty, John Malik's new-ish place, that stand with any other restaurant in the area. La Bastide in Northern Greenville County is supposed to be quite nice and is in a beautiful setting, and as Chad alluded to a number of places on Main St. As for Turdukken you may be right about it's Cajun derivation, it certainly is much stronger there now than it is in Lowcountry SC. I think there was a NY Times article from last year that featured the bird in bird in bird beast, and it made reference to an 18th century diary that located the bird terrine in SC country. I wouldn't take anything I read by Mr. Steingarten or the NY Times as holy writ on face though. Upstate BBQ is usually a thicker tomato sauce similar to what is found in places west of Upstate, but people like it there and one of the most creative BBQ sauces I have had was in Greenville, SC -- Cheerwine based sauce, which works pretty well. There are some great peach and apple orchards in Upstate SC and its probably those fruits that drive the upstate's mark on cuisine as much as anything else. Finally, on a postive note, The State reported that Louis's place on Pawley's received a regional James Beard award, which is wholly and completely diserved. Louis is a great guy and is restaurant does a sublime job at southern cooking. hearty but not heavy and always friendly.
  5. There seems to be a good bit of material on this board about NC/VA/GA/FL, i.e. where the Southern population centers are. I was wondering if any of you had thoughts on SC cooking: 1. Why is chicken pilau/Chicken prelou/Chicken bog called so many different things? Do any of you think there is a difference here? Is this a dish of SC derivation. 2. I have heard rumors that the turducken originally game out of SC in all its crazy glory. Are there any contrarians to this? 3. Is there really any difference in the Charleston dining scene and what you would find in cities of similar size elsewhere in the South? I guess the proliferation of shrimp and grit dishes (hell, it's in a Snoop Dogg tune now) has taken some of the oomph out of Charleston cuisine. 4. Does Upstate SC fit into the Appalachian cooking tradition or is it in a no man's land between the low country and App.? 5. Why don't there seem to be any recent posts on the Palmetto State? Does this speak to something else? I'm headed over to a Durham Bulls game now, but I would at least be curious to hear some of y'alls thoughts about this stuff. thanks for indulging me.
  6. As was mentioned earlier High Cotton near Kill Devil Hills is pretty good. I went right after the hurricane so any building that was standing looked like hot stuff. The Q is good, and there is an impressive collection of B&W photos of food related endeavors from UNC's NC Collection. The chef is a big guy who has had some training, and I think is a Nash Co. native. It aint gang busters, but the food is still pretty tasty and they use wood.
  7. Amen, and thanks Dean for a very thoughtful post. I think Pitt and Greene County right there next to it are two of the Eastern NC counties that have good BBQ credentials. I think these three restaurants are interesting as the BBQ atmospherics in each of them are so different. Skylight Inn is probably more of a tourist attraction (see above postings and billboards/faux Capitol Rotunda on it) than a restaurant. This is not a dig on Pete Jones and his family, it's just the way it is I think. B's: Greenville is probably the most cosmpolitan city in that area (Sorry Scotland Neck!), and I think that college/hospital/regional center rubs off on B's since its so close by. Whiskey decanters comprise some of the sauce bottles for example, and I don't think that notion would sit as well down the road at Ayden. Bum's: I don't remember if Dean mentioned it, but Bum is Pete Jones's cousin, part of the Ayden BBQ mafia I guess. Dean hit the nail square on the head about this storefront restaurant, it's as much of a community center that Ayden probably has. I also like this place because IT IS NOT A BBQ RESTAURANT. It makes a great BBQ, pit cooking it for Pete (Jones') sake, but its breakfast offerings and its country lunches like boiled ham plates, are just as popular I think. B's BBQ chicken is indeed BOSS. The royalty of its texture, the tartness of its vinegar and the moistness of its meat are really special. I hear it used to be even better. As a buddy of mine at another bbq restaurant says about it, "Hasn't been the same since the men died." I never tried it when these mysterious men were roaming the Earth, and since there are still dudes back in the smokehouse preparing the meat this may be a case of too much smoke going to one's head, but its good chicken. PS. Has anyone ever had a B's rib? They are rumored to be in existence, but they are said to sell out early or be only for the staff. It reminds me of the Sword in the Stone, Lady in the Lake, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but like all good apocrapha its good to spread the rumor!
  8. As a native South Carolinean, Blenheim may be the best export product that South Carolina has...(BMWs and general antipathy follow further back). Blenheim is especially good with bourbon or rum (esp. a Dark Rum). I think Charles Kuralt did a piece on it back in the 70s that I have seen on Cable which was evocative of Blenheim and all things Dillon Co. Speaking of Dillon County, South of the Border, the tourist scion, now owns the botteling plant that makes this ginger ale. So now they are the largest (and maybe only) employer of Dillon Co.
  9. Aw shucks, thanks for all the nice comments about the recent KPurvis article in the Charlotte Observer. What you have said is more a testament to the quality writing that Kathleen does than anything I have really done. I believe that the Carolina BarBQ Society at UNC is in good hands. The new President, Fritz Kramer (Fkramer@email.unc.edu) is a good man, and he knows what direction he wants to take the club. Membership since I graduated has blossomed...I think where the club can excel is in getting people interested in foodways and microcultures (and metacultures?) across the Carolinas. I am a SC native, there is a reason I didn't name the club the NCBS, besides the easy mneumonic device :) That being said, the club is started by a bunch of college kids who already feel pressure from a number of sources. I sort of bristled at times when BBQ junkies would pressure the club about going all out on some BBQ related activity. However I am still pretty sure that debate has a happy resolution on the side of maintaining an appreciation for such places as BBQ joints. I believe a gentleman earlier in this thread concluded about BBQ restaurants in NYC: "but none of them hold a candle to even a mediocre barbecue shack back home, much less a gastronomic temple like Allen and Son." This may be true on the NYC level, but I think its true for all of us....they will never hold a candle to the ones back home, or at least for me that is the case.
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