Tarheels Tea and Tobacco!

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Louis
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/15 21:09:25 (permalink)
This was a great report, WJ.  With your pictures and commentary, you and Buffetbuster give us not only a feel for the restaurants that you visit but also a feel for the surrounding area.  You two are the best, and represent examples for the rest of us to emulate.

#31
CajunKing
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/15 21:19:30 (permalink)
WJ

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

It looks like you had a good weekend in NC.  Good food, Good Historical places, Great Friends.

Patterson's Mill looks like a cool place to visit.  Your Mint Flavored Cod Liver Oil YUCK!!! 
 
The Char-Grill does make some GOOD burgers
 
It is funny, i have a picture of me standing on the opposite side of the statue Cliff is standing by.  It is almost the same shot.  :-)
I am glad you got your NC boiled potatoes, they are a regional treat.
 
That 'Nana Puddin' LOOKS AWESOME!
 
Thank You for a great report, I can't wait for BB's additions.
#32
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 07:52:20 (permalink)
You certainly set a high standard on this trip report, WJ!  Lots of great pictures, so I won't need to add to many.  Hopefully, I can get some posted later in the day.

CajunKing-
I purposely stood on that side of the statue since I am a Polk fan.
#33
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 08:04:30 (permalink)
How does one become a James K. Polk fan, unless you really like the They Might Be Giants song about him?
#34
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 08:09:30 (permalink)
Nancy-
Because I am a big history nerd, especially when it comes to the Presidents.  When I was young, my dad would take me into bars and make bets with other patrons that they couldn't come up with a question that would stump me.  I won my dad many, many beers.  Kind of tells you something about my childhood, eh?
#35
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 10:21:06 (permalink)
Actually that's kind of sweet.  We used to call my son from work to try and stump him with a question from the atlas--he would read it like a book in his spare time.  I hope you at least have a copy of the TMBG song.
#36
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 14:38:26 (permalink)
Just a few add on photos to Char-Grill.  You could look through the window and see the flames flickering on the grill.

Undoubtedly a good sign.  I agree with WJ's assessment of the food, especially the part that it got cold real quick.  I have never had a burger get cold as quickly as the one I had here.
 
WJ posted a photo of me taking a photo.  I was taking this one right here.

The significance?  We both managed to walk right past the sign to try and order at the window where the food comes out.  The polite young man excused our ignorance (we don't sound like we are from Raleigh?) and took our order with a smile.
 
As for the Larry-the-Cable-Guy soundalike that WJ mentioned, he goes into the incredibly annoying local Hall of Fame.  When I walked around the corner to snap a photo, he was talking on his cellphone.  He stopped his conversation in the middle to ask if I needed a home improvement quote.  "No Thanks".  "Alright buddy" and went back to his call.  A little bit later I heard him ask several others waiting for their food.  When he asked WJ, he said he lives in Rhode Island.  LTCG quipped, "We got Sears there.  We got them everywhere but the moon!"  
 
Even after he got off the phone he just kept talking, even if there was no one around to listen.  Eventually, a family showed up and he gave them some coupons he had in the car.  He then pestered the family by repeatedly asking them if he saved them some money.  And then he asked if they needed a home improvement quote.  Seriously, does he just hang around here and bother people?  Anyway, the dad turned out to be a contractor, but Larry wanted to give them a quote anyway.  Enough already!  As much as we enjoyed the place, we could not get out of there fast enough.
 
It would have been nice to eat at The Pit, but I wasn't that hungry by then and needed sleep more.  Besides, a bbq place with valet parking and fried tofu on the menu?  Not a priority! 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/03/16 14:42:35
#37
wanderingjew
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/16 19:39:37 (permalink)
Louis,

Thanks for the compliment, however I have to thank several others here on roadfood that  inspire me.

Cajun King,
 thanks for the birthday wishes. I know you're a fan of "nana pudding" and this was some of the best I've ever had.
#38
Jesco
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 09:08:57 (permalink)
From the Capital you were 3 minutes from Clyde Cooper's BBQ, which is the best in Raleigh. Did you choose the BBQ Lodge over Clyde Cooper's which not only has the best Q but a truly unique Roadfood feel or did it just fit into your plans better?  Great report.
post edited by Jesco - 2009/03/17 09:10:36
#39
DLnWPBrown
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 09:51:18 (permalink)
Jesco,

I chose the Barbecue Lodge because it is consistant. The last couple of times we ( wife & I ) ate at Clyde Cooper's it was less than stellar. The Q was cold and GREASEY, as was the chicken and hushpuppies.


Dennis in Cary
#40
mr chips
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 11:04:20 (permalink)
 A couple things:
                       Belated happy birthday to Dale, a roadfood legend whose posts and trips remind me of the essence of this website. it is truly a pleasure to read most of your posts and I hope you get back to the Pacific  Northwest soon.
                 Nancy, while not a James Polk fan per se, he was one of the most influential presidents in U.S. Through war and negotiation, his presidency filled out the U.S map from the the Great Plains to the west coast. Oregon and Washington might be part of Canada without his presidency.
          Incidentally I am also a presidential freak. I have read at least one biography of each president(except Obama) and am working on a second one of each. I have also visited a grave, home, birthplace or library of every president sans Bush the younger and Obama. I was a childhood nerd on the presidency and remain one today.

post edited by mr chips - 2009/03/18 11:20:55
#41
Jesco
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 11:15:44 (permalink)
Dennis,

I have not had that experience, but I will be on alert, thanks for the tip.

JW
#42
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 11:18:39 (permalink)
Jesco-
Too bad you didn't join us while we were in Raleigh.  We had good food and even better company and you would have been welcome!
#43
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 12:08:24 (permalink)
Jesco

From the Capital you were 3 minutes from Clyde Cooper's BBQ, which is the best in Raleigh. Did you choose the BBQ Lodge over Clyde Cooper's which not only has the best Q but a truly unique Roadfood feel or did it just fit into your plans better?  Great report.





Are you from Boone County, WVA? 
#44
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 12:15:52 (permalink)
Because WJ isn't really a breakfast person and prefers not to get up as early as I do on weekends, I was on my own for breakfast on Saturday.  After a 45 minute drive, I pulled in to the parking lot of Brownie-Lu

in Siler City.
 
While I was getting out of my car, I noticed four men staring out the window at me.  Not four guys seated, four men who had gotten up to stare out the window at me.  So, it is going to be like that, eh?  I walked in and picked a corner booth on the opposite side of the room from them.  The seating here is almost entirely booths,

with just a few counter seats up front.
 
One of the things the Sterns recommend the most in their review in the 2008 Roadfood is the fried chicken.  Even the menu declares it "The World's Finest Eatin' Chicken". 

What exactly else I was supposed to do with the chicken, I'm not really sure.  Not knowing if it was available so early, I asked the waitress if I could get the fried chicken for breakfast.  She looked at me like I asked her to sell me one of her daughters.  Let's just say this isn't the friendliest Roadfood place I have visited.
 
I started with a couple biscuits 'n gravy. 

The biscuits here are definitely on the smallish side and were delicious covered in the peppery gravy, loaded with small chunks of sausage.  The biscuits also made a fine holder for a slice of country ham. 

The biscuits were warm and the creaminess of the inside of the biscuits were a terrific contrast for the super salty, powerfully flavored ham.  As you can see,

it is just a little guy!  Being a lover of country ham, I had to try a slice of that on it's own.

This was not a real big portion, but surprisingly lean, with very little fat.
 
Brownie-Lu is a fine place for a country breakfast and I would love to come back sometime and try that Eatin' Chicken.  Just don't mind if the locals aren't particularly excited about your visit.
 
Brownie-Lu
919 N. 2nd Avenue
Siler City, NC
919-663-3913
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/03/17 12:19:39
#45
wanderingjew
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 12:29:10 (permalink)
buffetbuster

While I was getting out of my car, I noticed four men staring out the window at me.  Not four guys seated, four men who had gotten up to stare out the window at me.  So, it is going to be like that, eh? 

 
Didn't you hear- I let the word out to the media  that "roadfood's own" Buffetbuster was visiting Siler City...It's just natural for the locals to stare when a famous celebrity is coming to visit!
 
#46
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 13:15:25 (permalink)
Honey, you'll recall that Siler City was the place they went for supplies on Andy Griffith.  Nobody wanted to live there.
#47
Jesco
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 13:41:05 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Jesco-
Too bad you didn't join us while we were in Raleigh.  We had good food and even better company and you would have been welcome!



Thank you, next time I would enjoy meeting you. With three small children at home, I now only dream of taking the trips that you do. You hits some really good spots, but the good things is, there are still several spots you can try on yor next trip to the Triangle.
#48
CajunKing
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/17 16:44:00 (permalink)
They 4 guys actually saw BB getting out of the car and stood to order desserts before he wiped them out!
#49
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 11:14:48 (permalink)
While driving back to Raleigh from breakfast, I passed another Allen & Son in Pittsboro. 

Dennis, didn't you say before that this location wasn't as good?
 
Next food stop was the Ashworth Drug & Soda Fountain

in downtown Cary.  Since old fashioned soda fountains are one of my favortie Roadfood stops, I was really looking forward to this place.  The inside is quaint, with a classic 1950s lunch counter. 

Here are the ice cream flavors available.

The ice cream brand used here is Good Humor and here is my hot fudge sundae.

The ice cream was ordinary and I would have much preferred my sundae be delivered in a old fashioned glass, rather than a paper cup.  While I'm glad I stopped in, I won't be in a hurry to revisit.
 
Ashworth Drug & Soda Fountain
105 W. Chatham Street
Cary, NC 
 
Annpeeples tipped me off to an interesting place in Raleigh, Paul's Cash Grocery

This place is a combination gas station, grocery store and hardware store.  As if that wasn't enough, they also serve hot foods and have some seating in the back.  Unfortunately, just as I was arriving, I got the call from WJ that he was ready to go.  So, I had to make it a quick stop here.  Just my luck, the banana pudding annpeeples recommended is only available during the week.  I also thought a cheeseburger would probably take too long.  So after looking over the menu,

I just got a ham biscuit to go.

The biscuit wasn't served warm, but the country ham was nice & thick and had a great chew to it.  This is a place that definitely needs further investigation, because the atmosphere just screams Roadfood.
 
Paul's Cash Grocery
7301 Poole Road
Raleigh, NC
919-266-2624
 
WJ has already posted some excellent photos of Roast Grill.  Here are my dogs:

The top one is chili, mustard and onion, while the closer one is chili and cole slaw.  The counter guy did not ask us how "burnt" we wanted our dogs, although I did hear him ask others.   This photo shows just how burnt the skin of the dogs were.
 
This gave it a nice crunchy skin that I enjoyed.
 
The menu here is about as small as any restaurant I have ever visited.  Hot dogs, drinks, plus pound cake and baklavas for dessert.

In case that was hard to read, you could always check out the menu on the back of the counter guy's shirt.


I did get a piece of the pound cake to go. 

Even though I did not eat it until the next morning, it was still soft and moist.  Thinking back, I should have grabbed a baklava, also.

When I first realized I would be recommending to wanderingjew that we visit a burger joint and a hot dog joint in Raleigh, I was a little afraid his head would explode.  But he took it in stride and even astutely pointed out that a slaw dog would be regionally appropriate in the South.  Maybe he really is the most open minded Roadfooder after all!
 
WJ also mention the ceremony going on outside the capitol building.  I wish we had arrived earlier, because we just caught the very end.  But, it did seem to be moving and I give those people credit for coming out there once a month and remembering their comrades.

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/03/19 10:12:03
#50
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 12:52:52 (permalink)
I love the handwritten menu board; I'm going to have to look Paul's Cash Grocery up the next time I'm in town.
#51
wanderingjew
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 13:25:26 (permalink)
buffetbuster
When I first realized I would be recommending to wanderingjew that we visit a burger joint and a hot dog joint in Raleigh, I was a little afraid his head would explode.  But he took it in stride and even astutely pointed out that a slaw dog would be regionally appropriate in the South.  Maybe he really is the most open minded Roadfooder after all



Kudos to me as I pat myself on the back  posing with hands on my hips (hey look at me!)
 
Burgers transcend regionality....Sure there are regional specialties ie. chili burgers in Texas, Steamed Burgers in Connecticut, Butter Burgers in Wisconsin, Buffalo burgers in the wild west, "throw a lettuce leaf on a burger" and call it  " the next best thing since sliced $#!^" in Southern California(notice the sarcasm there) however to me the best burgers are still in the heartland
#52
mar52
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 13:46:34 (permalink)
Terrific report!

I'd love to be able to sleep late, but if there is breakfast "out" possible I'm the early bird.  

Something about breakfast on the road.  Love it!

Also love the burnt hot dogs.  Wish more would burn them.

Does anyone else think that hot dogs and baklava are a strange combination?
#53
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 13:53:38 (permalink)
I don't know if this is true elsewhere but in the South a lot of diner-type restauranteurs are Greek, so it's not unusual to see baklava offered for dessert at hamburger joints.  Zesto's in Triangle City was making baklava sundaes and shakes for a while.
#54
CajunKing
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 14:49:48 (permalink)
Marlene

I was thinking the same thing too about dawgs and Baklava

Not a combination yo see to often

#55
leethebard
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 18:24:34 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

I don't know if this is true elsewhere but in the South a lot of diner-type restauranteurs are Greek, so it's not unusual to see baklava offered for dessert at hamburger joints.  Zesto's in Triangle City was making baklava sundaes and shakes for a while.


Same here in Jersey,Nancy,most diners appear to be Greek owned...and a great source of great dishes like Mousakka(sorry about spelling!). Our local diner,actually we have three or four in the area, all serve Greek dishes!
#56
DLnWPBrown
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/18 22:23:49 (permalink)
Buffetbuster that was indeed the Allen & Sons I told you about. The BBQ is cooked on gas instead of wood. It's not bad Q, but it is not the same as the original in Chapel Hill which Wanderingjew seems to be addicted to. I wish we could have tried out Circus Family Restaurant but I knew you had an agenda to keep and didn't want the food world to grind to a stop.

I'll post back up here tomorrow after I watch Man vs. Food and see the other 2 places he went up here besides the Roast Grill you went to.

Oh yeah Buffetbuster, the record is 16 hot dogs.... I bet you could beat it with some motivation.. ie: banana pudding. Love ya Clint.


Dennis in Cary
#57
buffetbuster
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/19 10:40:18 (permalink)
Here is the photo our waitress took of the four of us at Barbecue Lodge.

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Dennis and Wendy, although I did feel a little sorry for them.  To have wanderingjew and I as the first Roadfooders they have met in person is more than a little scary!  

The chicken and pork barbecue here were both fine, but nothing special.  But, I was a big fan of their sides, especially the sweet & tangy Brunswick stew.

At the A & M Grill in Mebane, I got the pork plate.  Since WJ didn't have the photo, this was my lunch.

The pork here was more flavorful than the previous place, but the sides here were ordinary at best.  But, they do get bonus points for the waitresses wearing cool t-shirts (she did pose for this and even moved her long hair) 

and for having piggies in glass near the register.


My camera ran out of juice at Allen & Son, but not before taking a photo of yet another back of a worker's shirt. 

The pork bbq sandwich

was excellent and I agree with WJ that this was the best of the three bbq parlors we visited on this day.

As for turning down the piece of pie, when I saw chocolate pie listed, I assumed it would be like a chocolate cream.  Not that ultra-thick, loaded with nuts version that showed up.  In general I am not a fan of nuts and as full as I was, saw no reason to eat it.


#58
Nancypalooza
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/19 11:22:22 (permalink)
/me waves at Dennis and Wendy

That last barbecue sandwich dripping with slaw does look terrific.
#59
The Travelin Man
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Re:Tarheels Tea and Tobacco! 2009/03/19 11:23:31 (permalink)
That picture looks nothing like wanderingjew.
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