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Everything posted by kpurvis

  1. How about sweet potato pie? After all, N.C. is the leading producer of sweet potatoes. Red velvet cake is a sentimental favorite, but according to several sources, it's not technically Southern. But I'd definitely agree with fried pies. Around here, Damson plum pie is an old tradition, if you can lay your hands on Damsons. Coconut cake is a lot of work, but it's also a sentimental favorite, and pecan pie fits anywhere in the South. Other than that, I'd go with the general acclaim for banana pudding, and you can make it in large quantities.
  2. Second the motion for Catch. We grabbed lunch there last summer and were impressed, both with his creativity and his focus on using fresh/local. They were planning then to move into a bigger location, don't know if that's what became Deluxe. Sorry I can't offer more up to date information. I don't make my annual Wilmington trek until mid-summer.
  3. True that on Sweatman's. I was there in October and it was as good as ever, still one of my all-time favorite barbecue places and truly a great experience. But the hours are tricky. Fridays and Saturdays only. Doesn't open until 11 a.m. or so. And remember, not only do you have to jog over toward Orangeburg on I-26, you then have to go about 10 miles on S.C. 453. Worth every mile, but if you're through-driving instead of touring, it may be too much. Maybe someone else can chime in on whether Dixie Crossroads in Titusville is still worth the stop. It's been a couple of years since I was there last. But it's an easy stop from I-95, just a few miles to the east. And rock shrimp are not something you get just anywhere.
  4. I second the suggestion of Sweatman's, although it's a little ways off I-95 on I-26. But rolling down the Florida coast, stop at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville. It's touristy, but old Florida touristy, and rock shrimp always make me happy.
  5. I haven't seen the article in EW (although I do subscribe -- hey, I just get it for Stephen King's column). But I suspect the source skews the results a bit. KAL is one of the great bookstores, but its location in NYC means it gets a high proportion of customers who are chefs or restaurant cooks, both those in the city and those who are visiting. So they probably sell more books aimed at professionals than the average BAM.
  6. The foundation added a second site just for the awards; you can link to it from the main foundation site, or go to it directly at www.jbfawards.org
  7. Working on an article, of course -- although the way the newspaper business is going, I might be looking for a new career. "Cattle, party of 10? Right this way."
  8. While doing business at a slaughterhouse in North Wilkesboro, N.C., recently, I had an interesting chat recently with a pig farmer who's a native of Davidson County. (And how could any conversation with a pig farmer while standing in the waiting room of a slaughterhouse be anything but interesting? He also pointed out the relative size of local hogs based on the thickness of the fat in slabs of fatback. Lord help me, I do love this job.) Anyhow . . . he said the difference between livermush and liver pudding is "pudding has no filler and you eat it cold. Mush has cornmeal and you slice it, fry it and eat it hot." Being a non-fan of liver who eats it neither hot nor cold, I haven't tested that particular theory. I share it only to contribute to the growing base of knowledge on the important issue of the difference between the two.
  9. One of my favorites for Derby Day was a recipe shared years ago when a Kentuckian used to host the original Sunday night food chat on AOL back in the early 1990s. (Sorry, I can't immediately recall her name, but she was a really pleasant person. I've always wondered if she stayed with food communication.) She called it Rebecca Sauce, and I've served it at many a Derby party since. You combine powdered sugar with a little bourbon, vanilla and a wee bit of cream to make a thick dip and serve it with fresh strawberries and a bowl of additional powdered sugar. Dip the strawberry in the sauce and then in the sugar. Be careful -- it's potent, so make sure it's not put where children or people in recovery might stumble upon it. And one other note, you know the story about Derby pie, right? Here in the newspaper business, we've gotten used to not using that name. Many years ago, there was a Louisville businessman who actually copyrighted the name. He would send out out messages threatening legal action whenever you ran the recipe. So many of us call it Country Pie or Chocolate Pecan Pie because of that.
  10. Thanks for the information offer, Lvg. If I were in Manhattan later this week and wanted to get a taste of good Iberico to familiarize myself with it, where should I go? Is there a reliable place where I can buy a quarter pound or so?
  11. I bet that's it. Thanks, Egulleteers.
  12. A friend came back from Egypt with a candy that is like divinity in texture. It has a taste that reminds me of pine or evergreen with a little menthol. Is that familiar to anyone? I'm just trying to identify it for her.
  13. Virginia's is Charlottesville. Here in Charlotte, we call it the CH-factor: There's Charleston, S.C., Charleston, W.Va., Charlottesville, Va., and Charlotte, N.C. Of course, Charlotte's civic goal is to gain enough national prominence to be the only one known as just "Charlotte" - no N.C. required.
  14. As I always point out, I'm not a restaurant reviewer, I'm a food journalist. As such, I'm reluctant to wade into debates such as these. But Steven, I have to disagree with you here. First, to say that "online, there is typically the ability to respond" isn't completely accurate. On some sites, such as Egullet, response might be tolerated. But on others, it isn't. We recently had an experience with a competing site in which The Observer's restaurant reviewer came under criticism. She acknowledged the criticism gracefully and replied with feedback of her own, including inviting people to contact her to share thoughts on our paper's restaurant coverage. Her post was removed as if it never existed. When we protested, our protest was denied on the basis that mentioning the newspaper amounted to marketing. (I no longer participate on that site, and have declared so publicly. But beyond that, there wasn't much I could do.) I realize the site in question isn't Egullet, and I appreciate your work in allowing an open forum. But to say that the freedom to respond is widespread throughout the blogosphere isn't completely accurate. By the same token, printed newspapers have corrections policies. If someone brings a correction to my attention, I have to respond to it and notify my editors of it. That policy is printed every day in the same space in our newspaper. On a blog or a web board, if a mistake is made, it usually isn't corrected. (And yes, sorry to say, I once brought a mistake to the attention of an administrator on this site. It wasn't acknowledged and the mistake wasn't corrected. As far as I know, it's still floating around there, ready to pop up again with the ease of a Google search.) And finally, Steven, your description of how newspapers respond to challengers doesn't match my experience. I have spent more than 30 years in five newsrooms. From that experience, I can promise you that challenges to my reliability are taken very, very seriously, both by me and by my editors. Letters to the editor are edited, but mainly for length, to keep them focused on the main point. (Editing and writing to fit the space also isn't something most bloggers have experienced. Pity.) Now, I realize that you will take apart my reply and parse it sentence by sentence, eventually taking more time than I can match. And that also is the power of the blogger: By making the discussion contentious, anyone who disagrees ends up avoiding involvement, because of the time it takes to respond.
  15. Steven, since the visit you made was with me, do you want information from me or do you prefer to hear from others? The Observer has written a number of stories over the years. The three sisters -- Mimi, Ivy and Megan Nguyen -- were members of a family that had a small market, Viet My, on Central Avenue. The market wasn't big enough to support that many families, so when the sisters grew up, they started the larger project to open the International Supermarket. I can steer you toward good sources to interview. Mary Hopper with the development group University City Partners knows a lot about it. Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum of the New South also would be a good source.
  16. Not sure which TW you patronize but Brawley's on Park Road has a much better quality selection than the TW across the street. Particularly if you are seeking Belgians or some of the better quality domestic craft brews. ← I would definitely second that motion. I think Mike Brawley is about as well-stocked, and conversant, about beer as anyone in the area. And while his wine selection is smaller than some places, his wine shelves always turn up something interesting.
  17. Ha! When I heard he was running and getting healthy, I figured he was not long for this world. You're a lightweight, McCord. (And good for you. )
  18. Yep, that's what I'm telling you. Or at least, I haven't found it at an ABC here yet. There is a new one being built at Cotswold Mall, maybe Plymouth will sail in there. My husband made a trip down to Frugal McDoogal recently and Plymouth was at the top of the list. ← Update: I checked out the new ABC at Cotswold last night and they do indeed now stock Plymouth, along with Ten Cane rum and a few other offerings I hadn't found in other ABCs.
  19. Yep, that's what I'm telling you. Or at least, I haven't found it at an ABC here yet. There is a new one being built at Cotswold Mall, maybe Plymouth will sail in there. My husband made a trip down to Frugal McDoogal recently and Plymouth was at the top of the list.
  20. I'm with you on everything but the ceviche. Isn't ceviche a hangover cure in some cultures? It's been a lot of years since I went clubbing in Miami (so long ago, South Beach was where the elderly people on limited incomes lived), but last night, I was thinking that was the one thing I'd love to run into while out partying. Cold, spicy, limey, fresh ceviche.
  21. No, North Carolina has a state-controlled liquor system. Hard liquor has to be sold at ABC stores. Supermarkets can sell wine and beer only. Since Charlotte is only 10-15 miles from the South Carolina border, we do have easy access to liquors sold under S.C. laws (more competition means less limited selection). We can go down there for things like Plymouth gin. (Not that I haul gin across the border. Honest, officer -- that's a box of peaches.) However, since "Pop the Cap" (the successful campaign to raise the alcohol limit in beer), Total Wine has become one of the better sources for craft beers. And their wide wine selection here in Charlotte, where they have three stores, is good. I can't say it pushed the wine shops to offer better selection or pricing because those were already getting more competitive. Wine retail really exploded here starting about five years ago. That was about the time Total Wine was entering the market, but I think it was less about one retailer and more that the tide was raising all the boats at the same time. A huge influx of people relocating to Charlotte pushed up demand and retail response followed.
  22. We have a story on our web site, in print edition tomorrow. Jim Early says that April date was premature. As it stands, the festival is postponed until sometime in 2008, but he doesn't know when. However, Viva, there is the Lexington barbecue festival in late October. http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/221347.html
  23. This Southerner IS aghast. I'm glad I'm not the only person who was really irritated bothered by that. And re: the charcoal point. Kingsford or not, there are much better ways to light charcoal than lighter fluid. A charcoal chimney works every time. I can't believe these guys know monkfish liver, but some of them seemed mystified by charcoal.
  24. Thanks for catching my typo. I meant to type Rock Bottom, not Atlanta Beer & Ice. My apologies.
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