Saturday August 25
My friend Julianne and I drove into the whoppingly huge town of Lincolnton to Fausto's Coffee.
A coffee cum bicycle shop. I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised, not only by the dark roast cuppa joe but also by their huge morning glory muffins.
Afterwards Juilianne and Scott had to head up north for the for the rest of the day, that's ok, because I had my own plans for the rest of the day.
I was heading to Charlotte to visit my cousin Lisa who I haven't seen in over 30 years. Last time I saw her was probably when I was in Junior High so we're talking late 1970's. We're first cousins, and like me, she is also from Long Island, she moved with her husband to Charlotte about a year and a half ago to live near her daughter who moved there a year earlier.
But not before my first bbq stop Rock Store BBQ
In suburban stallings
located right next to a farmers market.
As you can see the place is bustling
I decided to get the chopped pork platter
I started out with warm moist (but overly sweet cornbread) which unfortunately doesn't come with the meal and had to be ordered
It almost tasted more like pound cake than corn bread. Not what I was expecting.
The chopped pork comes unsauced and had a very mildly smoked flavor, it reminded me of Bill Spoons
. Squirt bottles of eastern NC vinegar sauce and the more traditional red were available on each table.
My sides included red slaw and brunswick stew. The stew was unremarkable and to my surprise had specks of rice in it. After several tries I now realize that I'm not a fan of the lexington style vinegary red slaw but actually prefer the eastern NC style mustard slaw.
I would certainly return to Rock Store
if just for the Q alone.
Afterwards I headed to my cousin Lisa in Charlotte and spent the afternoon with her and her husband. Later her daughter Lyndsey arrived, I never met Lyndsey, she's a remarkable young lady and was named after the grandmother (my mother's mother) that Lisa and I both share. It was a fantastic reunion. I spent the entire afternoon there, and I look forward to future visits.
Here we are (from l to r)
my (older) cousin Lisa, yours truly and her daughter (my 1st cousin once removed) Lyndsey
After I left it was too late to stop for roadfood
, had I left earlier I would have stopped at 521 BBQ in Indianland SC but there was no time for that now.
It was off to
Home of the triple A Charlotte Knights.
Located about 10 miles south of Charlotte, just over the border in Ft Mill SC.
There wasn't anything really outstanding about the ballpark itself. I actually spoke with a few local fans (from SC) and to their dismay the Knights are going to be building a brand new ballpark in downtown Charlotte. I didn't really find that there was much characther to this ballpark (even though the locals like to tailgate in the parking lot) so I would think the new ballpark would be an improvement.
Unfortunately I would be relegated to eating at the ballpark so I had to choose wisely.
And I believe I mad the right decision
I ordered the "southern style burger" at the grill
Although the BBQ sauce and slaw were obviously generic, the burger was nicely grilled and the home made potato chips were a nice added touch. That and a couple of local Mecklenburg brewery beers really hit the spot.
The game itself was special, the Knights were playing my home team, the Pawtucket Red Sox (aka the Paw Sox)
Even the Knights mascot, homer the dragon, got the crowd going.
Overall, it was a close game, The Paw Sox beat the Knights. 4-3. Afterwards I made the 45 mile drive back to Lincolnton for the evening. Sunday August 26 & Monday August 27
If there were two days with little to no roadfood activity, then these two days were it.
On Sunday, everything is closed for business in the Lincolnton area, including the coffee houses. As most of you know I'm a serious addict and need to find a good quality coffee house that serves good quality coffee. My research led me to Madalyn's Coffee and Tea
20 miles away in Cornelius. What a mistake, I probably would have been better with maxwell house, truly the worst coffee of the trip, if not the worst of the year. I would have been better off driving that extra 10 miles to Charlotte. On a good note the spiced apple muffin was pretty good.
I spent the afternoon walking the local nature trail behind the gigantic Lincolnton High School located across the street from my friends house.
The big issue on Sunday was what to do for dinner. Julianne wasn't feeling well, everything in the area was closed and I didn't want to drive all the way to Charlotte.
I remembered that several folks here on the board had previously mentioned that the Gastonia area is known for their fish camps. Gastonia is just a little over 20 miles away. All of a sudden I had a hankering for catfish. I did my research on yelp and urbanspoon, made a phone call (I know Travelin Man
is wretching right now)
And Scott and I ended up here. Long Creek Fish Fry
in Dallas NC
The place was hopping.
I ordered some unsweetened tea, Scott got his Sweet Tea.
My meal began with some very pedestrian slaw
However the rest of the meal was actually quite a pleasant surprise.
I ordered the catfish . You had a choice of ordering, bone in or fillet. I went with the fillet.
Not only were the portions unbelievably large, but the fries were fresh cut, the hushpuppies were hot, fresh and had a nice corny taste, although I was hoping they would be a bit more "oniony" and the fillets (which were smaller than anticipated) also had a clean non gamey flavor. Even the tartar sauce was home made. I could only finish half my meal and brought the rest back as leftovers for the next day.
Scott ordered the fried shrimp, I had a bite that and that too was really good. Long Creek Fish Fry
was truly a home run. And the yelp reviews speak for themselves.
On Monday, I had to leave early to head to downtown charlotte to take care of some personal business. I did enjoy a decent cuppa joe at Dilworth Coffee House
, a local chain.
I met my cousin Lisa and her husband for lunch in Charlotte, you're not going to believe this, and I'm sure some of you felt the earth move but we actually went to a (roadfood
approved) chain. Original Pancake House. I know, I know but it's close to their home and my cousin doesn't do Southern Food or BBQ and I didn't know where else to go in her neighborhood.
After lunch I returned back to Lincolnton, spent the rest of the day with Julianne and Scott, had the leftovers from Long Creek fish fry
for dinner (it still tasted great a day later once it was heated up in the oven) and the fun truly begins in the next chapters.
Much more to come next week.
I leave you all with a photo of 12 year old Mollie, Julianne and Scott's mutt
<message edited by wanderingjew on Wed, 09/5/12 10:19 PM>