Glee Club in Raleigh

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Sundancer7
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/06 12:54:42 (permalink)
Poverty Pete

Brains and eggs  are, for me, a no brainer.  I don't eat it.

 
Poverty, same here and I do not eat fish eggs with eggs either.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

#91
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/06 17:15:01 (permalink)
But....since both are considered brain food, we can all see why Chris, Cliff and Ralph are so smart!
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Ralph Melton
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/07 00:08:50 (permalink)
Mama Dip's is close to the UNC campus, and The Traveling Man is a big UNC fan, so we wandered over there for a bit of shopping while we digested. The most dramatic moment of that shopping: Traveling Man trying on the UNC blue wig.


From there, we went to Crook's Corner, whose jalapeno-cheddar hush puppies had been mentioned in 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late. Crook's Corner is perhaps the most elegant restaurant decorated with hubcaps that I've ever visited. The expectations I formed from the outside did not match the art and wine rack inside.



ChiTownDiner, buffetbuster, and Mariton decided that they needed to pass on this meal in order to get Mariton to the airport in time for her flight home. It seemed like the right decision at the time, and even now it's hard to call it a mistake - but Mariton's flight was delayed, and this meal was my favorite meal of the whole weekend.

Traveling Man ordered iced tea, and it came with a pitcher of simple syrup. This was a very nice presentation - this allows the consumer to adjust the sweetness to taste, and the simple syrup mixes with the iced tea much more smoothly than granulated sugar.


I ordered the North Carolina-local Blenheim ginger ale, because the menu said "Blenheim spicy ginger ale". It was pretty potent, but Chris's judgment was that it was the milder of Blenheim's two non-diet varieties. Chris ordered the New Orleans-based Abita root beer, which was a very fine root beer.


For an appetizer, we ordered the jalapeno-cheddar hush puppies. I believe Chris didn't think that much of them, but I felt that the jalapeno really made the flavor much bolder and brighter; I'm not sure that I'd consider them a favorite hush puppy of mine, but I could understand how they might be someone else's favorite hush puppies.


Lori and I shared the Eggs New Bern, a chimera with the lower half of a country ham biscuit and the upper half of eggs Benedict. It was superb. The biscuit was light and fluffy. The country ham was very savory and flavorful, much richer in flavor than the very salty country ham I'd had elsewhere on this trip. The eggs were poached splendidly, just to the point that the yolks did not run when broken, but they were still bright orange. (I was actually pleasantly surprised that we got poached eggs. The waitress had led me to expect scrambled eggs, because apparently an overenthusiastic egg-cracker had cracked all the eggs that the restaurant had in stock. But the chef dashed out to buy more.)
This is one of the best Benedict-like dishes I've ever had.
The cheese grits that came with our eggs New Bern were also very rich and flavorful.
Untitled by Ralph Melton, on Flickr
Untitled by Ralph Melton, on Flickr

Chris got the fried oysters, and they too were excellent. They were extremely light and tasty. They had none of the dark heaviness that had characterized Paul's fried oysters the previous night, but they still tasted oystery.
Even Lori and Steve, both oyster frowners, agreed that these fried oysters were a dish that they could enjoy enough to eat more than a minimum. (That's near the top of Lori's scale for fried oysters.)


Steve started to order the French toast, but was checked by a slight moue from the waitress. She explained that she thought that the pancakes were much better, and mentioned as an afterthought that they were out of the French toast. The pancakes were excellent, also: buttery, light, and fluffy. Lori declared them the best pancakes ever, but clarified that she meant this in a way that didn't exclude the Camellia Grill from the same title.


For dessert, we were half-hoping, half-fearing that they would have pie - it seemed likely that they would have good pie, but it would be a shame for buffetbuster to miss great pie (and though we would bring him a piece, it wouldn't be the same). They did not have pie, though; instead, we four shared a dish of grapefruit sorbet. The sorbet was good, but sweeter than the grapefruit sorbet I had in my mind, so I didn't judge it as great. I discovered, though, that if I crushed the mint leaves from the garnish a little with my spoon as I took a bite, the trace of mint woke up the flavors and really made it taste splendidly fresh and lively.


I also need to put in a special word for Allison, our waitress. I tend not to notice service in restaurants unless it's distinctively bad; in general, as long as my food arrives in a reasonable time and my water glass is refilled often, I'm satisfied. But Allison's service was so good that I noticed it. She was very vivacious and very engaged with us; she joined in our discussion of the food and shared in our jokes. She definitely added a point or two out of ten to the overall quality of the meal, and it's very rare for me to judge a server so.

Crook's Corner was an outstanding meal, and I would be eager to return.

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post edited by Ralph Melton - 2011/03/08 12:34:19
#93
ann peeples
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/07 09:03:53 (permalink)
God, that sounds like an excellent meal....
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mayor al
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/07 16:31:57 (permalink)
Baskin Robbins used to make a "PINK GRAPEFRUIT ICE" That had to be the best Summer Cooler  I ever enjoyed.  I haven't seen it for many years, but my mouth waters at the sight of your GRAPEFRUIT Treat !!
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Nancypalooza
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/08 10:50:26 (permalink)
I'm really sorry I missed that meal Ralph--great writeup and pictures!
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wanderingjew
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/08 10:56:08 (permalink)
Ralph
GReat right up and pics- again I'm so dissapointed that I couldn't make it out there.
 
One thing I'm confused about, how did you manage to report on the post Mama Dip events? I could have sworn that you previously wrote that you had to catch a flight home after Mama Dip's?
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buffetbuster
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/08 11:02:19 (permalink)
WJ-
Actually, Mariton is the one who had to leave after Mama Dip's.  Which meant that CTD and I also missed out on Crooks Corner.  I can't speak for him, but I'm bitter!  How dare they have the meal of trip while we weren't there!
 
BTW Ralph, you are doing an outstanding job on this report.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/08 11:03:56
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wanderingjew
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/08 11:07:41 (permalink)
buffetbuster

WJ-
Actually, Mariton is the one who had to leave after Mama Dip's.  Which meant that CTD and I also missed out on Crooks Corner.  I can't speak for him, but I'm bitter!  How dare they have the meal of trip while we weren't there!

BTW Ralph, you are doing an outstanding job on this report.

 
I knew it was someone from Pittsburgh!
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Ralph Melton
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/10 17:16:13 (permalink)
After Crook's Corner, we had time for one more stop, so we followed Chris's lead to the Char-Grill. 


The Char-Grill has a fairly unusual ordering system: you fill out an order form with a golf pencil and hand it in.


The burgers and fries were good, but I don't remember many outstanding details. I do recall that Chris demonstrated by example that a burger with chili and mustard could be a good combination.


Final notes:

- This area is Pepsi country (no surprise, since it's close to where Pepsi was created). Every place we sought soda had Pepsi products. This was a vexation to Lori, because she strongly prefers Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi.

- My major impression of the terrain we drove by was lots of pine trees. My impression was probably biased by the fact that the deciduous trees were all dormant, but as it was, it reminded me of the Piney Woods area of Texas.

- We used the iPad as our GPS (with MotionX-GPS Drive) and it worked excellently. The big screen meant that Lori could hold it on her lap and I could easily glance over and see the map. We only had one GPS hiccup, and it was minor (though I don't think we were ever far from good signal). The iPad ran fine off the car charger, but couldn't charge and run the screen at the same time. But leaving the iPad plugged in to the car while we were in a restaurant charged it well.

- It was tricky to coordinate activities across several groups in several cars. A week afterward, I learned of a service called GroupMe (http://www.groupme.com ) that lets you set up a group of people such that you can text them all by texting to a single number. I'm interested in trying that for the next venture like this.

- The Raleigh-Durham airport has a used bookstore near the gate we left from. I was so pleased by this delightful civility that I bought a couple books that I didn't really need.

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ayersian
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/16 13:02:16 (permalink)
Ralph, this report is fabulous!  I really enjoy reading your prose.  It compels me to add my own final chapter, which took place directly after the Char-Grill meet-up on Sunday.  I still had time before my flight and wanted one more stop, so I asked TTM to move his car 100 feet to the Snoopy's lot (right next to Char-Grill) for hot dogs:

 
Snoopy's is a local chain of five stores in the Raleigh area, and of course a restaurant housed in a former gas station is almost always a good RF omen!  We split a hot dog with chili and slaw:

 
The real surprise came with their homemade chicken salad -- not the most appetizing photo, but this was really delicious and I should've ordered it on a sandwich:

 
The cashier thought that our picture-taking was quite comical -- and how could it not be with TTM? -- and offered us a couple of fried apple pies that were destined for the trash with the next shift coming in.  Admittedly, they one-upped Char-Grill next door by sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar:

 
And every order came with this Thank You! tag taped to the bag -- a very nice touch:

 
We ate as much as we could, and I was beyond full but kept on sampling the chicken salad because it was so tasty.  When I got to the airport and checked in, my flight was delayed for three hours!  I could've squeezed in one or two more stops if I hadn't've turned in my rental car!  Arrrggh!  But it was a wonderful weekend with great friends and great food, and I'm so glad that we could all get together again.  Thanks, everybody!    Chris
i95
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/16 13:13:12 (permalink)
ayersian 

...offered us a couple of fried apple pies that were destined for the trash...

 
 
Cue the music!
ann peeples
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Re:Glee Club in Raleigh 2011/03/16 14:12:37 (permalink)
Snoopys is the best! We love thre dogs with slaw and chili, and we loved th fact that they knew we were northerners and treated us with loving respect.
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