Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggs and Helicopters and Beers! Oh My! Part 2 - Duck Fat and Krispy Kreme

...I take you now outside our egg adventure and into our culinary quest of the day...

The egg scavenging was done and after the exhausting 3 minutes it took to get our eggs we were all famished.  I cannot wait to introduce you to my new all time favorite restaurant.  I can't explain it.  It just screams ME! I am on a quest to try every single item on the menu and write about it all!  

Behold - The Nose Dive

NOSE: With all things food and drink - the first sense involved is the sense of smell.
DIVE: A rare place where high and low rub elbows - bums and poets, thieves and celebrities.

Chef Joey rocks and I know first hand.  Not only have I had the pleasure of sampling a few things this past weekend, Cory and I were also guests at the Thomas Creek Beer Dinner which will receive it's own blog.

L: Thomas Creek Pilsner  R: Ballast Point Big Eye IPA

So what did we eat?  Try to not short out your computer by salivating on the keyboard.  Let's start with some beer.  We began with a Thomas Creek (a local brewery, literally right up the street) Pilsner and a Ballast Point Big Eye IPA which hails from San Diego.  All their beers are named after fish. 

The Pilsner hit the spot after sitting in the sun for a few hours.  Cold, malty and a little skunky, but in a good way.
The IPA was also tasty.  It had a really nice reddish carmelly color with lots of citrus notes and that distinct hoppy twang that makes an IPA an IPA.

They have a magical assortment of appetizers and just as I'm about to order something unusual Cory busts out with "We'll have the calamari."  I roll my eyes and mutter "Oh geez" under my breath knowing full well I can order boring calamari in any bowling alley, let alone restaurant.  Well, the actual calamari isn't much to write about.  It was a little pale in fry color and a little chewier than I like.  But the sauce! Gasp! The sauce is something to write about!

It came with a drizzle of what I thought was a balsamic reduction but no! It was sweet soy - delightful surprise!  And then there was a ramekin of a speckled orange-y sauce that turned out to maybe be the best thing about the whole meal.  It was a spicy aioli and it was amazing.  Creamy, salty, sweet, spicy.  Which brings me to maybe the most decadent thing I've ever eaten (maybe even better than the Duck Pizza at The Lazy Goat).

Sweet Potato Fries Cooked in Duck Fat
You read it right.  These fries were a cross between heaven and a funnel cake which are almost the same thing.  I'm not kidding.  They were so rich it was like eating dessert.  The deep sweet and savory flavor of the potato enhanced with the sprinkle of salt were like all the smells at a state fair on the most beautiful day...minus the carnies.  And the best part? Like uncivilized cavemen we dipped the fries in the spicy aioli!! Stop it!  I'm pretty sure I invented the 8th wonder of the world.

What did we get the fries with?  Something (some of) you never heard of.  We had a Vietnamese Banh Mi (baan - mee).  It was in one word - ridiculous.  A banh mi is a sandwich on soft bread with pork, pickled vegetables and cilantro. I feel as if there is a little part of me that is complete now that I've had this perfect partnership of meaty, tangy, fresh goodness.

On to the lobster roll! Yeah I said it.  We had a lobster roll too.  So?  Don't judge us, I told you I was on a mission.  It was delish.  Totally authentic toasted square hoagie roll, lots of fresh lobster barely dressed with a touch of mayo and served with a lemon wedge that I squeezed the heck out of.  I don't have a picture of it because I was so excited and I've been waiting so long to have one that Cory and I couldn't get our faces on it fast enough and before we took a breath it was gone. 

And then came dessert.  Try not to squeal with delight as you read:
Krispy Kreme Creme Brulee with Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh my goodness.  Are you kidding me?  I read it and had to have it too.  Creme brulee is easily in my top 5 favorite desserts and this one was no disappointment.  I literally took notes on it at the restaurant.  Here is what I wrote: Super satisfying.  Rich, creamy, sweet. My only complaint was that the hard sugar shell on top was compromised by them jamming the cookies in but I guess I would've ended up dipping them in there eventually.  But I do hold cracking the sugar and having a little crunch on it very sacred.  The cookies were stoopid good.  A light espresso flavor which made them a little more special but not so much that the kids wouldn't eat them.

View from the Liberty Bridge at Falls Park

Come visit! I'll take you here and to all my favorite joints.

After a little stroll downtown to view the falls and digest our coma inducing lunch we hit the Carolina Ale house.  I enjoyed a Sweetwater Blue (a blueberry beer from Atlanta, GA)and Cory got something that was around 10% alcohol and smelled awful, yech.  He's welcome to write about his beers that smell and taste like dirt.

That completes one 3000 calorie food adventure around town.  I'll be putting my gym membership to good use this week getting ready for the next.  Cheers!

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