Taco Truck Tortas

Howdy-doody eaters!

That was kind of a weird greeting. Let’s move on.

There’s a taco truck that parks down the street from my house every night — the La Azteca truck, for any locals who are interested. It’s actually right across the street from my Crossfit box and there have been many nights during running WODs that I’ve very seriously considered just running right over and getting some tacos.

Leon and I have been there a few times. We walk down with Charlie and sit in the folding chairs. The food is pretty great. It’s not like our regular dollar tacos, but since the truck is owned by the same restaurant the food is just as good.

Charlie has pretty bad manners.

Charlie has pretty bad manners.

And it only took us a couple of visits to establish our favorite dish — the torta with chorizo.

It’s this ah-maze-ing sandwich made with ground meat, jalapenos, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, and refried beans.

The torta.

The torta.

The refried beans really make the sandwich. They take it from being a lame ground meat sandwich to being a serious thing.

One of us has gotten it every time we’ve gone to the taco truck. It’s that good.

(The fish tacos, which I think is what they were originally known for, were good, but not phenomenal.)

Fish tacos.

Fish tacos.

And while I’m not normally one to try to re-create my favorite restaurant dishes at home (because they’re really never as good and it takes away my excuse for getting take out), I figured that this sandwich was an easy one to make myself.

Ingredients:

Ground chorizo, red cabbage slaw with lime, jalapenos, plain yogurt, and refried beans on a small loaf of wheat bread.

Red cabbage slaw.

Red cabbage slaw.

Verdict:

Ehh, not as phenomenal. I could have gone with a firmer, less doughy bread. The slaw was good, but I think I should have gone simpler and stuck with lettuce and tomato. But even with those little misses, m’gosh this was a delicious sandwich.

This is one serious sandwich.

This is one serious sandwich.

A really, really delicious sandwich.

So delicious that I literally inhaled in. It was messy and beastly and amazing. Not quite ah-maze-ing, but close enough. And it still gives me an excuse to walk down to the taco truck.

taco truck torta6

Your turn, eaters:

Do you like to re-create restaurant meals at home?

What’s your favorite kind of food truck?

Later eaters!

East West BBQ Fest

G’evening eaters!

I have spent all damn day in bed with a nasty hangover. I’m a little embarrassed because I only drank 4 beers last night and any college student worth their weight in Ramen would laugh at me. But at the same time, I’m kind of okay with it because being hungover forced me to take an entire day off from everything.

I’ve slept. Watched lots of Law & Order. Mustered the energy to make a damn delicious breakfast of skillet hashbrowns with spinach, cheese, and fried eggs for Leon and I (but not do the dishes). I’ve cuddled with Charlie for as long as he would allow me.

Sure, I could have been doing homework, cleaning, and making donuts (whee!), but I need days like this sometimes. And it has been a really lovely cap to a really lovely weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was by far the East West BBQ Fest in downtown Greensboro.

Now, whether you’re a longtime eater or new to the gang, you should very well know that I loveloveLOVE BBQ.

I love ribs.

I love pulled pork.

I love brisket.

I love the often overlooked BBQ chicken and sausage.

I love sauces of all heats and flavorings.

I really love all of BBQ’s accoutrements.

More sauce than I could drink in a year.

So obviously, this BBQ festival was right up my alley. And luckily, two of my friends were willing to come along and watch my head spin in excitement.

When we got there the place was buzzing and the BBQ pitmasters were proudly displaying their titles and trophies.

Oh, and there were camel rides, which I found hilarious.

That's a camel in the background.

But we weren’t there to dawdle. We were there to eat.

The three of us split a basket of ribs, which we doused in their signature apple BBQ sauce.

And then I dipped a very Southern-sweet hunk of cornbread into some “killer” BBQ sauce.

With my appetite for BBQ thoroughly whetted, I started planning round two.

Oh boy oh Berto, I do love BBQ.

I was debating between a brisket sandwich and a turkey leg, but then I saw BBQ nachos.

A giant mound of pulled pork on top of those extra salty, extra corny commercial kitchen tortilla chips, nacho cheese sauce, and jalapenos.

These were eaten strictly with my fingers while sitting on the grass in the shade and listening to a country band play. Does it get any more American than this?

I don’t think so.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite BBQed meat?

Do you like the accoutrements — hush puppies, okra, collards, beans — or are you all meat?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Bacon

‘Ello eaters!

I’m here with a special Friday night/Saturday morning post to tell you all about the latest, most decadent Fire in The Triad battle.

(FYI, I’ve been to two other Fire in the Triad battles, Battle Poulet Rouge and Battle Lusty Monk Mustards.)

Last night the battle was between Chef George Neal from 1618 West in Greensboro and Chef John Wheeler from Southern Lights in Greensboro.

Right: Chef George. Left: Chef John.

Now, I didn’t know this going in, but just like Battle Poulet Rouge, these two chefs have some history together. If I’m not mistaken, Chef John used to be the chef at 1618 before moving to Southern Lights. He may have even trained/worked with Chef George. I do know for a fact that Chef John did train the two sous chefs Chef George chose to work with last night.

So needless to say, people were excitedly trying to guess which chef made which dishes all night. It made for great table conversation.

Alright, enough background drama. It became clear after watching a Kevin Bacon commercial that the secret ingredient of the night was…bacon!

O’m’gah! Bacon! Everyone in the room (and especially a man at my table) went wild. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?!

First course:

Braised pork belly with adobe-turnip puree, sweet soy reduction, yellow tomato and sweet apple salsa, and topped with a Lardon-Ash county romano crisp.

I love pork belly, so this was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of my tablemates were as appreciative of being served a block of pork fat. My only real critique of this dish was that it could have done with less of the soy reduction because it over powered the puree.

Second course:

Bacon fat braised pork shoulder with a jalapeno-bacon popper, julienne carrots, roasted garlic, bacon caramelized onion demi-glaze, and chipotle oil.

I have a ton of critiques for this dish. The bacon wasn’t noticeable at all. The chipotle oil had absolutely no flavor. And I didn’t notice a single bit of bacon in the overly large popper.

Third course:

Pork tenderloin and Mangalitsa roulade with a bacon, crab, and brie cheese mousse in a puff pastry shell, sweet potato hash cake drizzled with maple-bacon glaze, natural sauce, and hollandaise.

The tenderloin was good, but that’s about where it ended. The mousse and pastry were just awkward and all I tasted was brie. The sweet potatoes were neither a hash cake nor fully cooked (to the point where they tasted like carrots). And the hollandaise sauce was straight mayo.

Side note — I feel it necessary to show you the bacon heart that was in my tablemate and fellow blogger, Kristi’s, tenderloin.

"Bacon loves me back!" - Kristi

Fourth course:

Pan-seared chili-glazed beef petite fillet with bacon, tasso, bacon and sushi rice-wrapped in collard greens, and a bacon, shrimp, and lobster bisque.

Had I not read the description of the beef fillet I would have loved it, but as it was, I spent both bites trying to find all the flavors listed. The collard sushi was actually really good, though.

Fifth course:

Crispy bourbon bacon pound cake bread pudding with frozen blueberry custard, crumbled honeycomb candy, and basil syrup.

My favorite dish of the night! Everything worked so well together and my only criticism is an execution one. The chef should have crisped the bacon and then mixed it in with the pound cake and poured on the liquid. Instead, I’m pretty sure the bacon was put on the bottom of the pan raw and then the pound cake and liquid were added. That resulted in very limp pieces of bacon and a very greasy bottom half of the pudding. The flavors were all there, though, so I can’t complain too much.

Sixth course:

A trio of desserts with a cheesecake with white chocolate mousse and a bacon crust, Mangalitsa bacon and pecan ice cream, and almond-dusted chocolate covered bacon.

Again, the bacon would have been a million times better had it been crisped before being added to the cheesecake crust. This dish did serve the only crispy piece of bacon the whole night though, in the form of the chocolate covered bacon, so that was very appreciated.

All in all, I was a little disappointed in Battle Bacon. I felt like I got a lot more bacon fat and grease than salty, crispy bacon meat. And that letdown was definitely reflected in the scores, which were by far the lowest I’ve seen them yet.

But that didn’t stop the big applause that each chef got when they came out with their teams. And it certainly didn’t stop the excitement when everyone found out who made what.

Chef John made courses 1, 3, and 5, and Chef George made courses 2, 4, and 6. Once I found that out I was immediately rooting for Chef John. The pork belly and bread pudding were two of my favorite course!

And then, the moment of truth arrived. The winner was…Chef George Neal from 1618 West!

Even though my favorite didn’t win, it was still a really good battle.

What do you think, eaters:

What would have been your favorite course?

Do you think everything is better with bacon or is it overused?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Lusty Monk Mustards

Hiya eaters!

I’ve got a lot to talk about tonight, so let’s get to it.

Remember last week when Leon and I went to Fire in the Triad for our anniversary? Well, apparently my poorly lit pictures and overly harsh criticism impressed somebody, because I was invited to be a quest judge at the first quaterfinal battle last night (and again tonight)!

How freaking cool is that?

Yeah, I was beyond jazzed when I got the email.

But enough of my gushing. Let’s talk food.

Last night the secret ingredient was…drum rollLusty Monk Mustards!

I loveloveLOVE mustard. And I have been eyeing their mustards forever. So this battle was pretty perfect for me.

Right: Chef Chris. Left: Chef Tim.

The chefs battling were Chef Chris Blackburn from Josphine’s Bistro in Greensboro and Chef Tim Bocholis from Bistro B in Kernersville.

First course:

Tartare-style Original Sin mustard-crusted lamb, stone ground mustard crème fraiche, and a quinoa medallion topped with a cashew-crusted goat cheese medallion.

The tartare was amazing and I was beyond shocked that I did hear a bunch of grumbles from the dining room at being fed raw lamb. The goat cheese was delicious, of course. But the quinoa was undercooked and flavorless. And the mustard crème fraiche was much more mustard than anything else.

Second course:

Chiptolte mustard roasted quail breast with Burn In Hell mustard demi-glaze, farro apple mélange, and roasted broccolini.

The quail and farro were overcooked. And the broccolini seemed like it was a last ditch effort to get some color on the plate. Had I ordered that in a restaurant I might, just might, have sent it back.

Course three:

Bacon wrapped spicy mustard pork tenderloin, house made fennel and mustard dusted herb pate a choux gnocchi, mustard yellow cauliflower puree, chipotle mustard sauce choron, chive oil, and crispy yucca.

Despite the bacon not being anywhere near crispy, this dish rocked. All the sauces worked so well and the mustard was not overwhelming at all. And the gnocchi was done to near perfection.

Course four:

Surf & turf: Original Sin mustard grilled lamb loin with whole grain mustard oyster mushroom bordelaise, crab rangoon, roasted red pepper musterd cilantro risotto cake, guava mustard mascarpone, and sugar snap salad.

This dish didn’t make sense at all. The crab Rangoon was out of place. The sugar snap salad had no snap. The risotto cake was huge and pretty flavorless. But the lamb was well cooked and the mustard guava sauce was delicious.

Course five:

Ginger honey mustard gelato, mustard short crust tart tatin, honey mustard caramel, candied ginger crisps.

The candied ginger crisps were nowhere to be seen, which was too bad because the ginger was crucial to the ice cream almost working. The caramel, too, almost worked, but was just a tad strong on the mustard. But the tart was just flat out amazing.

Course six:

Tart cherry and maple bread pudding, spiced honey mustard marshmallow, strawberry mustarda, and sugar lattice.

Hands down, my favorite course of the night. Nothing was overwhelmingly mustardy, but it also wasn’t completely absent. I was also really hoping for some kind of super sweet, cakey dessert and this delivered. My only qualm was that there wasn’t enough mustarda.

Just like last time, as everyone committed their ballots the chefs came out and chatted. And in that chat we found out that Chef Chris made courses 3, 4, and 6, and Chef Tim made courses 1, 2, and 5.

And just like last time, once I knew who made what I also knew exactly who I wanted to win. And after a reading off of the scores for each course it was announced that…

Chef Chris Blackburn of Josphines won!

Hot damn hooray, I am two for two with picking the winners.

Last night’s dinner was absolutely ah-maze-ing! I loved the room for creativity there was when the secret ingredient wasn’t a protein.

Now I am super jazzed to go tonight. So please check back tomorrow for a special edition Friday post all about tonight’s battle.

And in case you’re wondering, I kind of really hope tonight’s secret ingredient is peaches, apples, or sweet potatoes.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about tartare?

What do you think your favorite course would have been? Least favorite?

G’night eaters!

Fire in The Triad, Battle Poulet Rouge

G’evening eaters!

I’ve got a pretty lengthy post for you tonight so I’m going to skip to chit chat. Believe me, you’re not missing anything.

So yesterday was Leon and my 3rd anniversary. We’ve never celebrated an anniversary before, so we wanted to do something special. Luckily, we found just the thing.

There’s currently an Iron Chef-type competition series going on in NC. I think it started off in the Wilmington area as an extension of the Got To Be NC campaign to promote locally produced goods and businesses. Well, it spread all throughout the state and last night we were lucky enough to snag two tickets to the last preliminary competition of Fire in the Triad.

The way the competition works is that each night two chefs from the area compete against each other. They find out the secret ingredient — which is a locally produced food — at noon and, together with the two sous chefs they each get to pick, they use whatever they find on a fridge/pantry truck to cook three courses each, highlighting the secret ingredient. Then everyone in attendance gets to blindly taste all 6 courses and vote.

Doesn’t that sound freaking awesome?

Oh it was!

Last night the two chefs competing where Chef Kristina Fuller from the Bistro at Addams Farm and Chef Chris Russell from B. Christopher’s. And the secret ingredient was Poulet Rouge, a heritage breed of chicken from Ashley Farms, the place where every restaurant in town gets its chicken.

(Oddly enough, Chef Kristina worked for Chef Chris when she was in high school and for years after.)

First course:

Sweet onion & crawfish cornbread crouton, poulet rouge confit, applewood smoked heirloom tomato chutney, sweet & spicy chipotle Dijon cream sauce.

I didn’t taste a hint of crawfish, but the sauce was delicious and the chicken was cooked well.

Second course:

Duck fat infused poulet rouge leg arancini di riso, dried fruit compote, roasted fig demi-glaze.

This left a lot to be desired. The arancini was fine, though a little bland and there wasn’t much chicken. But the compote and demi-glaze were such a bad pairing. Both of them tasted like something that should have been served on ice cream, not something savory and fried.

Third course:

Fried poulet rouge, brown sugar sweet potato soufflé, savory collard greens, fig & currant barbecue sauce.

I loved this! The breading on the chicken was ah-maze-ing, as was the sauce. I actually ate the collards, which is saving something. My only qualm was how heavy and almost flavorless the sweet potatoes were. They damped the other flavors and really coated your mouth a bit too much.

Fourth course:

Slow smoked poulet rouge wellington, andouille mushroom duxelle, goat cheese mashed potatoes, lobster chow chow.

This was everyone’s favorite dish of the night. The goat cheese really made the mashed potatoes and added a much needed dimension of flavor. The wellington was done wonderfully. I would have taken the lobster out of the chow chow. The chow chow was good, but the lobster didn’t fit. Also, what was supposed to be a chicken gravy turned out to be just reduced chicken broth.

Fifth course:

Apple basil ice cream, spiced candied pinenutes, five spiced poulet rouge chicharrons with basil ginger sauce.

I was not expecting dessert. Even more so, I was not expecting to love dessert with chicken. The ice cream was wonderful. The basil sauce really kicked it up a notch. And the chicken chicharrons — fried chicken skin — was subtle, but definitely added something.

Sixth course:

Sweet jalapeno cornbread muffin, honey maple pulled poulet rouge confit, meyer lemon mousse, and sweet guava browned butter sauce.

The only thing that worked on this was the sauce and the mousse.

After we were done stuffing our faces and casting our ballots, each chef came out for a brief chat. We also found out who made which course.

Chef Kristina made courses 1, 3, and 5. Chef Chris made courses 2, 4, and 6.

After finding that out I knew exactly whom I wanted to win. And luckily, after only another minute or two of suspense we found out that….

Chef Kristina won!

I was so thrilled for her. Not only was her food phenomenal, but she was the first female chef to win in the Piedmont Triad tournament. (Whoop whoop, lady power!)

Yup, it was a really great night. Great food. Great conversation with the other people at our table. A great value ($49/person for 6 courses!). And a beyond great anniversary.

What do you think, eaters:

Would you ever go to an Iron Chef-type competition?

What’s a secret ingredient you would hope for? And what would you hope wouldn’t get chosen?

G’night eaters!

Lindley Park Filling Station

Hiya eaters!

I’m in an absolutely wonderful mood right now (I’m writin this in the morning, so let’s hope this mood continues throughout the day).

And the main reason I’m in such a great mood is because of Crossfit!

Today we did a benchmark WOD — Angie — that I’d done in June, which meant that I could see if I’ve made progress.

And oh boy, did I ever.

Angie

100 pull ups

100 push ups

100 sit ups

100 squats

In June I scaled the pull ups to 50 ring rows and the push ups to 50. I finished in 22:16.

Today I scaled the pull ups to 75 ring rows and the push ups to 75. I finished in 20:48.

I shaved almost a minute and a half off my original time while still adding 50 reps.

Yup, I’m beyond jazzed!

And to keep the good vibes going, I’m going to tell you all about the lunch that Leon and I had on Thursday.

We both had the morning off work/school, so when lunch time came around we decided to be indulgent and check out another of the restaurants in our neighborhood — Lindley Park Filling Station.

This place is always hopping on the weekends when we’ve walked down to Emma Key’s for burgers or Best Way for beer, so they must be going something right, right?

Well, they’re doing a lot of things right.

We started with a beer each. I went with a favorite of mine — Sweet Water 420 IPA.

Leon went with his “Thursday beer” — Natty Greene’s Buckshot.

They didn’t have a ton of beers on tap, but the ones they did have were good.

Also good was their outside seating. They had a nice patio area for eating (that they’re getting fans for in a week or two!) and a picnic table area for drinking. There was also space for a live band.

(The inside seating area wasn’t that great looking, so I’m curious to see how they do during the winter.)

After sipping and chatting for a few minutes, we cracked open the menu. Not only was there dozens of options for salads, burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers, but everything was named after a street or area in the Lindley Park neighborhood.

How cool is that?!

I went with the Wright Avenue:

Open faced pulled BBQ pork melt, Swiss cheese, slaw, on Texas toast (which I swapped for wheat bread), with a side of sweet potato chips.

Leon got the Tremont:

Ham or Smoked turkey, honey mustard, Brie, and lettuce on a baguette, with a side of fries.

(FYI — I have no idea where Tremont or Wright Avenue is. I need to explore the neighborhood more.)

Both sandwiches were fantastic! The pork was so good, but I think the BBQ sauce made the sandwich. The honey mustard on Leon’s was super grainy and not overly sweet, which played nicely off the Brie.

And of course, I would have liked a little more salt and pepper on the fries and chips, but honestly, when wouldn’t I?

Both Leon and I agreed that we’ll definitely be back to the Filling Station, probably for dinner and drinks to see what all the buzz is about at night.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last great sandwich you had?

Do you partake of the occasional midday beer?

G’night eaters!

My Day Off

G’evening eaters!

It feels like it’s been forever since we last talked that I actually had to check to make sure I did, in fact, blog on Thursday.

Don’t worry, I did.

Anyway, there is a good reason why I feel like so much time has passed since Thursday — I got a job!

I’ve been steadily applying for countless jobs (seriously, I lost track after 14) since May with absolutely no luck…until a couple of weeks ago.

I’m working as a sales clerk at a clothing store that’s opening in Greensboro. Construction wasn’t done on the store until Saturday, so we didn’t start work until Friday. Since then it’s been hectic and hurried as we try to get the store open as soon as possible.

Since I have pretty much wide-open availability until school starts, I don’t see my workload slowing much or at all. And that’s all fine and dandy by me. I like making money, work seems like it’ll be fun, and we’re closed on Sundays.

Yeah, it’s really pretty wonderful knowing that no matter what, no matter how long or how late I work throughout the week, I’ll always have Sunday off.

To catch up on homework.

To catch up on sleep.

To leisurely shop for groceries.

To eat pizza in bed with m’man and m’dog.

To do whatever I damn well please (which will almost never ever be the dishes) for an entire day without having to pay much attention to the clock.

Just the idea of it feels wonderfully freeing and exciting.

But, knowing myself, I have a hunch that I’ll start feeling a need to pack as much into my guaranteed free day as possible. That I’ll need to do all of the above mentioned things plus go to Crossfit and Swiffer the whole house and pre-write blog posts in order to feel like I didn’t waste my day.

But then my day just becomes another form of work, which defeats the point. So on this first employed Sunday, with the help of m’long lost friend Marisa, I practiced doing exactly what and exactly as much as I wanted.

That meant starting with brunch at Iron Hen.

A proper brunch.

There were no mini quiches or bran muffins or anything of the sort. There were also no holds bared.

So I ordered a “Morning Burger,” which is just a giant angus burger topped with a poached egg.

No. Holds. Bared.

And ate it while enjoying the scenery:

A pretty little pot of flowers.

Marisa's "Why the fuck are you taking a picture of me eating my melon thing?" face.

Then, after dropping the man off at home, Marisa and I headed downtown to browse around. Browsing around lead to a couple of purchases from Design Archives, my favorite vintage/handmade clothing and home decor store (on S Elm St, across from Natty Greene’s and the Green Bean).

A large, enameled platter that I bought because I fell in love with the handles.

A set of gold-edged dessert plates.

And because both Marisa and I both bought dessert plates, we came home and baked half a cake while watching Mr. Universe.

I’ll talk more about the half a cake tomorrow, because not long after Marisa left to go home I got a call from my boss.

Looks like I’m working from 8am-5pm tomorrow, which means the last few hours of my day have been spent catching up on homework, pre-writing blog posts, walking the dog, and doing the dishes.

Oh well. There’s always next Sunday. And the Sunday after that. And the Sunday after that.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have one day a week that you know will always be free from obligations?

How do you feel about brunch?

G’night eaters!

Emma Key’s Burgers

Hellooooooo eaters!

(That was said in an Oprah voice, FYI.)

I am so freaking absolutely excited right now! And it’s all because I’m writing to you on my NEW laptop!

Ahhhhhh!

You’ve heard my computer woes for months now and enough was finally enough. So yesterday Papa and I hit up the Apple store and I walked away with a brand new MacBook Pro (with a ton of storage space!) and I couldn’t be happier. Well, actually, I got even happier when I turned it on and found out it was STUPID easy to move everything (and I mean EVERYTHING, including my Safari bookmarks and my background) to my new computer from my external hard drive using Time Machine.

Oh Apple, you are so wonderful.

But enough gushing about my new computer. It’s time for me to gush about a burger I ate the other night.

Leon and I don’t eat out often. We both love to cook and we’ve both eaten lots of really amazing food. Those two things make us very critical of food.

Really, you should hear the way we talk. It’s brutal.

So between our hyper-criticalness and our budget, we end up cooking 95% of our meals at home. So when we do go out it’s got to be good.

And for a few weeks I’d had a craving for a big, juicy burger.

Not a turkey burger. Not some fancy, fruity burger.

Oh no, only a hot, thick, greasy, beefy burger would do.

Originally I was just going to go downtown to this really great diner, Fincastles, and have a reunion with this burger. But then I got to talking to some friends and they whole heartedly recommended this little burger joint — Emma Key’s.

It just so happens that Emma Keys is a few blocks from my house. I’ve walked past it and inhaled the aromas wafting from the grill many many times. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone — satisfy my burger craving and explore the neighborhood a bit more.

And o’m’gosh, am I glad we did.

When we walked in on a Thursday night we were the only ones. I didn’t mind because that left us more time to peruse the menu. And after finding dishes with our respective give-in ingredients — rye bread for him and fried eggs for me — we placed our orders at the counter, grabbed our beers, and took a table outside.

The night was warm, the awesomely bad cover songs on the stereo were competing with the strange drum music from the restaurant across the street, and the beers were cold and hoppy.

Sounds pretty perfect, right?

It only got better when our food arrived.

For me:

The Americauna, which isn’t on the online menu, but had cheddar cheese, apple smoked bacon, and a fried egg.

Oh baby!

This was an unapologetic burger. There was no hemming and hawing and hiding behind lettuce and tomato with this burger was — it was meaty and rich and a heart attack in a bun.

On the side I got an order of the sweet potato waffle fries, which were perfectly crispy and wonderful. Unfortunately, judging by the weird cinnamon frosting-type dipping sauce they were served with, they were intended to be a sweet side.

I think they could have benefited from the addition of a lot of salt and a little pepper.

For him:

The Patty melt, Angus steak burger, swiss cheese, grilled onions, Russian dressing on rye.

Hubba hubba.

This version of a Ruben was damn good. Not “dang good.” No, this deserves every bit of that “damn.”

The dressing wasn’t over powering and the rye was real rye bread, studded with caraway seeds and not an ounce of “caramel coloring.”

And while the flavors of the burgers were certainly top notch, it was the texture of the beef that really and truly sold me.

It was all Angus steak and it had a texture somewhere between a fast food burger and a fancy restaurant burger. And while that might seem like it would be appealing to everyone, anyone who says that fast food burgers are gross is lying. So it is.

It most definitely is.

What do you think, eaters:

What are your give-in menu items?

What’s your favorite kind of fry? Regular or waffle? White potato or sweet potato? Or tots?

Later eaters!

Locawhore

G’day eaters!

I’m wrapping up a wonderful, relaxing weekend and I hope you are, too. Or a not relaxing weekend, if that’s what you prefer. I don’t know your life so I can’t assume anything.

Anyway, let’s go ahead and talk about the title of this post before you go ahead and start thinking that I’m a whore. Or that you’re a whore (again, I don’t know your life).

No, Locawhore is my own little version of a Locavore.

Generally speaking, a “locavore” is someone who buys exclusively or mostly locally produced products, from food to furniture to clothes and everything in between. They support local, small businesses and usually wouldn’t be caught dead in a Walmart.

So what exactly is a locawhore, you ask?

It’s someone who buys locally when it’s fun or convenient, when it’s just as easy to buy locally as to buy conventionally.

Yup, that’s me through and through. And this weekend my locawhore side really came shining through.

Locawhore event #1:

On Saturday I went downtown with my friend Janet to check out the Mosaic Ethnic Festival.

Apparently this ethnic music and food festival has been happening every year for a while now. So apparently, I’ve been living under a rock since I got to Greensboro.

But now I know and am so glad that I went. Janet and I each bought 10 tickets (each ticket was a dollar) for food and then proceeded to stuff ourselves silly.

Some of the oh so delicious madness included:

A trip to Jamaica for a beef patty.

A trip to Vietnam for sweet rice and chicken.

Janet wants you to admire her nail polish and the bit of a tattoo noticable on her finger.

A trip to Burmah for donuts (which tasted like doughy versions of those cinnamon twists you get from Taco Bell).

A trip to Korea for some seriously ah-maze-ing dumplings and some (slightly too fatty) BBQ.

Please ignore the fact that this picture was taken on a recycling bin.

And then we finished up in the Congo for beignets and then a generic cart for some Italian ice.

Then we sat down and attempted to digest to the sound of African drumming.

Locawhore event #2:

I love vintage, but too much of it is either way over the top (sequins and shoulder pads the size of my head) or just bleh (homemade prairie dresses and calf-length skirts). But I was hopeful when I saw a new vintage store downtown — Wild and Crazy Vintage.

Believe me, eaters, it lived up to its name.

I walked away with two dresses, which I’ll show you once I alter them a wee bit. But for a sneak peak, follow me on instagram. I’m Kara_Hadley.

Locawhore event #3:

Since I’ve been back in the ‘Boro I’ve been hearing about this downtown market every Sunday. Always a sucker for oogling crafts and downtown things, I decided to grab my friend Maddie and check it out today.

It’s not a huge market, but it was lovely nonetheless.

And it had a pretty great variety.

I bought a basket of these peaches.

There was metal sculptures, meat, eggs, plants, vegetables, Thai food, and a booth selling dog treats made by this charitable organization, Arc, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disorders learn job skills.

Of course, being a sucker for anything to spoil CharlieBaby (and wanting to support charity, of course), I bought a bag of treats for $5 and fed Charlie three as soon as I got home.

Leon said he didn’t do anything to warrant a treat. I said being a cute puppy always warrants treats.

So in the end, I spent $55 for three chances to be a locawhore. But it was TOTALLY worth it knowing that that money will be felt a lot more in the hands of local businesses than it would at Target.

Ya dig?

What do you think, eaters:

Are you a locavore, locawhore, or neither?

What country’s cuisine do you really want to try?

Later eaters!

PS — The South Elm Urban Market is every Sunday from 12-5pm in the parking lot on S Elm St, right across from Natty Greene’s and the Green Bean coffee shop.

PPS — Arc Bark, the dog treat bakery, is on Spring Garden in the same shopping center as Recycles. They haven’t gotten a sign yet, but they’re in the store that was once a GF bakery.