Monthly Archives: March 2011

SLIDESHOW: Taps & Tapas @ Darryl’s in Greensboro

Mother Earth Dinner - Kolsch Glass, Coaster and Snifter

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Kolsch Glass, Snifter Glass and Mother Earth Coaster

Every third Monday of the month, Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill hosts a beer dinner called Taps & Tapas. It is more than just a beer dinner. It is a discussion about great beer, the industry and home brewing just to name a few topics. Darryl’s invites a few guests each month ranging from brewery representatives to local distributors to local beer store owners to talk about beer and their experiences. I have learned a lot and met a lot of people who enjoy a lot of the same beer that I do.

Here is the calendar of the Taps & Tapas events fro the rest of the year:

  1. January 17th – Duck-Rabbit Brewery – Farmville, NC
  2. February 21st – Highland Brewing Co. – Asheville, NC
  3. March 21st – Mother Earth Brewing – Kinston, NC
  4. April 18th – LoneRider Brewing Company – Raleigh, NC
  5. May 16th – SweetWater Brewing Company – Atlanta, GA
  6. June 20th – Red Oak Brewery – Whitsett, NC
  7. July 18th – Heavy Seas Beer – Baltimore, MD
  8. August 15th – Carolina Brewery – Chapel Hill, NC
  9. September 19th – New Belgium Brewery – Fort Collins, CO
  10. October 17th – Foothills Brewery – Winston-Salem, NC
  11. November 21st – Bells Brewery – Kalamazoo, MI
  12. December 19th – Big Boss Brewery – Raleigh, NC

If you get a chance, you should definitely try to make it  up for one of these dinners. They have been about $40.00 plus tax so far each beer dinner but the cost is worth it. You get to try 16 different beers (the equivalent of four pints) throughout the night including a lot of rare seasonals. The menu has been incredible at each dinner and the portions are huge. Plus, you normally get to walk away with some swag from the featured brewery.

The Big Brew Ha – April 15th – Charlotte

What is better than breakfast for dinner…and beer? I can’t think of much. That is why I am pretty stoked about The Big Brew Ha event happening in uptown Charlotte on April 15th (Friday) at the Mint Museum Uptown. They will be serving local beer, coffee and tea as well as gourmet breakfast items from Charlotte eateries like Amelie’s French Bakery, the Harvest Moon Grille, the Healthy Home Market, Dean & DeLuca Market Cafe and The Flying Biscuit Cafe, If the weather permits, they will be serving the breakfast under the moonlight on the terrace.

There will be some fun things to do at the event including a balloon pop where attendees can win prizes like restaurant gift certificates or tickets to events like Opera Carolina’s H.M.S. Pinafore. They will also be having a “Brew Pong” tournament with a grand prize (T.B.A.) and will have some live music. The details are still being worked out so stay tuned for updates.

Tickets to The Big Brew Ha cost $60 and can be purchased on the website: http://www.thebigbrewha.com but you have to be 21 years old to attend. Attendees will receive a pilsner glass or coffee mug to fill up throughout the evening…go ahead lock me in for a pint glass! All proceeds from this event will go towards the preservation of St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Tryon Street which is one of the oldest buildings in the neighborhood and the oldest on Tryon Street.

 

REVIEW: Tucker’s Grill – Horneytown

Tucker’s Grill is your token hole-in-the-wall grill in a small town. It serves an early breakfast where all of the regulars stop in and grab a bite before they head to work. They start serving burgers, dogs and fried bologna sandwiches around 11 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m. Like most hole-in-the-walls, it is closed on Sundays.

Tucker’s Grill is located in Horneytown…cue laughter…, a small town located just outside of High Point. Seriously…I’m not joking. It is actually called Horneytown. I grew up five miles away from there and my parents still live right around the corner. Tucker’s Grill is located about 600 feet away from the Horneytown Fire Department which serves parts of Forsyth County, Guilford County and Davidson County. The government stopped putting up road signs on Horneytown Road because they would get stolen about as quick as they were getting put up.

The menu at Tucker’s is pretty simple and maybe a little too simple. For breakfast, you have a selection of biscuits with options like bacon, sausage, egg, tenderloin and country ham which all under $3.00. The only sides they have for breakfast  are grits and hash browns. For lunch, the menu gets a little bigger with burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheeses, fried bologna sandwiches, corn dogs and chicken sandwiches with fries, tater tots and onion rings on the side. Apparently, they have salads there but I have never seen anyone order them.

The burgers are cooked to order and hand-pattied right in front of you. I think the Carolina-style burger is a little overplayed in the state. Don’t get me wrong…I love a burger with covered in chili, slaw, mustard and onions but I always feel fazed afterward and all that I want to do is take a nap. I think a lot of people forget that some of the small, local places have the freshest lettuce and tomato slices from local farmers which give the burger a flavor profile that is juicy & refreshing and won’t put you in a food coma (a state after eating food where you are completely incapacitated and unable to function). I don’t think that a burger should destroy you every time that you eat it. It

Sorry about the picture. My camera has been having some issues recently and decided to focus on the delicious crinkle-cut fries in the background instead of the burger. The fries aren’t anything special but they are just those classic style that you find at most burger joints.


I was a little disappointed in the hot dog this time. It tasted similar to a gas station dog that I would make myself and the bun wasn’t really soft even after it had been steamed for a few seconds. It must have been an off day for Tucker’s because their dogs are normally pretty damn good. The chili isn’t out of this world. Its similar to the Texas Pete-style that you can get at the grocery store. The actual dog that I had seemed like it had been chilling on the grill a little too long. I guess it was my fault because I went in about 15 minutes before they closed which typically means that you won’t be getting the cream of the crop.

Tucker’s Grill isn’t worth a 30 minute drive but if you are in the area, it is a pretty neat little place with a quick, tasty lunch. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

 

 

REVIEW: Foothills Brewing – Winston-Salem

Foothills Brewing is one of North Carolina’s leading craft breweries producing some of my favorite beers including their Hoppyum IPA and their Total Eclipse Stout but they are probably most famous for their sought-after seasonal stout, Sexual Chocolate. Once a year, Foothills brews Sexual Chocolate and releases a limited amount of bottles that can only be purchased at the brewery and it usually sold out within a few hours. People will wait in line outside of the brewery just to make sure they get it. Beer lovers from all over the country make pilgrimages to Winston-Salem just to get a taste because Foothills’ distribution doesn’t currently reach very far. I’ve heard of people driving over 10 hours just to try it out so I figured a 45 minute trip for me would be well worth it.

I talked my friends, Elliot and Ashley, into heading over there on one of the nights of The Big Eat 2011 where downtown restaurants offer their signature dish at 50% off. Luckily, our trip to Foothills coincided with them  still having Sexual Chocolate on tap so we were able to try it out. Sexual Chocolate has a strong ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage so they serve it in 12 oz. glasses instead of pints for $5.50. I had tried it the week at the Jolly Skull Beer Festival but only in 4 oz. glasses so it was nice to be able to sit down and get a full glass in front of me. We all ordered a glass of Sexual Chocolate after I had been talking it up on the ride over but Elliot and Ashley didn’t seem to like it as much as I did probably because of the style.

 

We ordered the pub nachos which are smothered with salsa, black olives, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, beer cheese, scallions, and sour cream. Our server recommended these to us and I thought they were fantastic. You can add chicken or chili for an additional two dollars but we went meatless. The homemade beer cheese was the star of this dish. It was melted and poured all over the plate. Foothills uses their beer to make a lot of their dishes including their homemade ketchup which is made with their beer, their DIPA glazed tofu and their brats which are boiled in the IPA. They also beer batter a lot of items on the menu. Get the nachos if you go.

Note: Elliot hated the ketchup but he also hates all ketchup that isn’t made by Heinz.

Foothills’ signature dish for The Big Eat was the fish & chips. The full-sized dish normally costs $14.99 but it was 50% off that night due to The Big Eat so Elliot and I both ordered it. The full-sized dish is massive with two huge planks of ale-battered fish with a homemade remoulade sauce and hand-cut french fries. It is a large plate of fried goodness as you can tell from the picture above. The remoulade was tasty and gave a nice bit of tartness to the fish. The batter was pretty heavy (pancake style) but that tends to be the more traditional type from the English pubs.

Ashley ordered the smokey turkey & apple wood bacon wrap which had pepper jack cheese, guacamole, banana peppers, lettuce and tomatoes. She got the sauteed vegetables on the side which looked kind of generic to me. She told me that she loved the wrap and that it was pretty refreshing especially compared to the cardiac-inducing fish & chips that both Elliot and I ordered. I was impressed by the serving size of the wrap because normally places tend to skimp on the contents of their wraps. This thing was the size of one of the homewrecker burritos from Moe’s which I back especially when the contents are pseudo-healthy.

If you are in Winston, you should definitely stop into Foothills Brewing downtown and grab a few beers and some food. I noticed a lot of negative reviews on Yelp about the service and food but we didn’t experience anything like that at all. The atmosphere is a lot of fun especially if you dig beer. You should probably pick up a few bottles to take home with you because they are pretty hard to find if you don’t live in the Triad.

Foothills Brewing on Urbanspoon

LINK: Eat It, Atlanta’s “Best Ultimate Awesome” Sliders

Jimmy over at Eat It, Atlanta never ceases to amaze me with his skills in the kitchen. Ranging from dumplings to English muffins, the test kitchen at Eat It, Atlanta always has something cool going on. Yesterday, Jimmy posted about his attempt at cooking sliders with the “White Castle Method” that he found out about on SeriousEats,com from Kenji. I prefer Krystal because we are in the South and I lived in Chattanooga, the home of Krystal, for four years but will give this recipe a try either way (especially since I am currently grill-less and can cook it in a pan)…I guess that I will just have to call it “the Krystal Method”.

Jimmy made a few changes to the SeriousEats.com recipe but the final result looked delicious. Now, he just needs to find some little boxes to put them in to give them the complete White Castle presentation…

REVIEW: Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen – Wilmington

I came across Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen (CCK) from a recommendation by my friend, Adam, who lives down in Wilmington. He is a regular at Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen and introduced @EatItNC and @CosmicKitchen via Twitter. Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant in Wilmington run by Chris & Kristen Lubben. Chris is a ’95 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has been cooking at various upscale restaurants in North Carolina (except for a two year stint in Florida) since then and opened up Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen three years ago. He is always a force to be reckoned with in the Wilmington Top Chef competition.

I went up to Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen with my friends, Adam and Casey, for a some late breakfast (served all day) and early lunch after a fun night out at the beach bars on Wrightsville Beach. The restaurant is located in a strip mall on Eastwood Drive right off of Market Street about 2 miles away from UNC-Wilmington.

The interior of the restaurant has a cosmic theme with stars all over the walls and planets (a cartoon moon and globe lights) hanging from the ceiling.  The atmosphere is great and all the employees had smiling faces and were very welcoming which contributed a great deal to the experience.

 

Adam got the COSMIC Breakfast which is two eggs (any way) with a choice of country ham, sausage patty or bacon, toast or biscuit, and home fries, fruit or grits. I didn’t try any of Adam’s COSMIC Breakfast but it looked like a great breakfast. The eggs looked light and fluffy and the grits were thick and looked to have a nice peppery kick to them. It must have been awesome because Adam didn’t leave anything on his plate expect for the rind of the orange twist. 

I got the Farmer’s Omelet which was on special that day. It came with a side of home fries and a biscuit as well. I don’t tend to go vegetarian but an omelet with onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese just sounded awesome…and I was right. Chris stuffed the omelet full of all of the ingredients (take notice to the feta crumbles falling all out above) and cooked it to a fluffy thickness. The home fries were good but didn’t really blow me away. Ketchup helped. The biscuit was great. I halved it and spread jelly on it but I kind of wish that I had gotten an order of biscuits and gravy because someone next to us had it and it looked fantastic.

Casey decided to get away from the late breakfast mentality that Adam and I were in so she ordered the Creole shrimp & grits. In North Carolina, we are mostly used to the creamy, rich version of the dish from our neighboring state to the south so it was nice to see the NOLA (New Orleans, LA) version on the menu which is a lighter, tomato-based dish. The Creole versions tend to vary in style from a heavy, thick reduction of the broth that is spooned on top of the grits to what is basically a soup poured over the grits.

Chris cooks the soup version of the Creole shrimp & grits which I tend to like better because it hasn’t been thickened with cornstarch and it opens up the grits a little bit more taste-wise than the other version. He cooks green peppers, red peppers, stewed tomatoes, red onions and shrimp into a broth which exploding with Creole seasoning that has a kick but not enough to make most people uncomfortable. I am going to have to try CCK’s lunch menu next time I am there (and get a piece of cheesecake for the road) because it looks awesome and their sandwiches all look picture perfect.

Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen is closed on Monday but it open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and they have a Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. It was hustling and bustling while Adam, Casey and I were there and Adam told me that they get a lot of traffic from the UNC-Wilmington crowd there. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop in and grab a bite to eat. Don’t let the exterior of the restaurant fool you, this place is the real deal.

 

Chris' Cosmic Kitchen on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: The Shizzle Sauce

Get ready to add a new sauce to your grilling arsenal. The Shizzle is a Jamaican jerk-style marinade that is produced in Raleigh by chef Austin Williams under the name Big & Fine Food Co., LLC. The primary ingredient in The Shizzle is a pineapple mash which is loaded with a precise blend of herbs, spices, garlic, and habanero peppers. The pineapples create a thick, sweet base for the jerk spices, and the flavor profile is unique compared with other similar jerk marinades. You can marinate any meat from pork loin, ribs, shrimp, turkey, fish, goat and wild game (venison, antelope, duck and gator have all been successfully Shizzled according to Austin). I am sure you could toss it on some tofu or other meat substitutes if you aren’t into the whole carnivore lifestyle.

I was in Raleigh for a wedding this past weekend and a few of my friends decided to get together for a cookout on Friday night. I had just gotten two samples of The Shizzle in the mail to review for Eat It, North Carolina so I started throwing together some ideas for what I should make. I was e-mailing back and forth with Austin, the chef/owner of The Shizzle, and he said that I should definitely grill some SHWINGs (grilled chicken wings marinated in The Shizzle). I had bagged about ten ducks (a mixture of the puddle and diving species) during the hunting season down near Arapahoe with my father and my dog, Waylon, and decided to prepare them in small strips for street tacos.

Get a 15% discount by using the code “Eat It” at The Shizzle’s Online Store

I marinated the duck strips for about 30 to 45 minutes in a diluted mixture of The Shizzle and olive oil (to help cook the duck a little better when I spread it all out in a tinfoil boat) and let it chill in the fridge before placing it on a pretty, hot charcoal grill because duck should be cooked quickly on high heat so the meat doesn’t dry out. I sliced up some onion and added it to the mix before grilling similar to how tacos al pastor are served at my local taqueria.

I don’t remember how long I kept them on the grill but I am guess-timating that it was about 8-11 minutes. I tossed the meat a few times throughout the process which dropped the heat a little when I removed the grill top. The Shizzle had reduced in the tinfoil boat and caramelized/charred at the bottom from the natural sugars in the marinade put the duck was perfect. It had a little bit of char on it but it didn’t dry out either.

I portioned out the meat onto some store-bought corn tortillas and then topped each taco off with a heap of cilantro and some chopped raw onion. In hindsight, I would have sliced some avocado & radish and then squeezed some lime on top of the tacos but they were still delicious and every piece of duck was eaten. One of my friends said that he would have rather had flour tortillas which would have held up a little bit better but they are less traditional for street tacos. The Shizzled duck tacos ended up being pretty damn spicy since The Shizzle reduced in the tinfoil boat while directly cooking the duck.

Initially, I was planning on topping the tacos with a mango salsa (recipe below) but I couldn’t find a good looking mango.

  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño, minced
  • A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Austin recommends balancing the mango equally with diced tomatoes & adding a hint of cumin

 

The store had chicken wings on special so I scooped up a package to make some SHWINGs. I started marinating them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator 24 hours before I put them on the grill to allow The Shizzle’s Jamaican jerk flavor to permeate the meat. I wasn’t the only one who brought stuff to grill so I had to let someone else use the grill in between cooking the duck and the SHWINGs. Luckily, this was the prime time for cooking SHWINGs because the grill wasn’t blazing allowing me to cook the wings for a while (recommended) so they could gain a nice char and The Shizzle could caramelize on the chicken.

The wings didn’t turn out as spicy as the tacos probably because they were only coated from the marinade process instead of cooked in the sauce like the duck was and there was less residual habanero on them. I thought these things were absolutely delicious. We had already had a full dinner (duck taco appetizers and Big Erv’s grilled chicken plus sides for the meal) but people were still downing the SHWINGs left and right.

Austin told me that The Shizzle will be releasing a ‘Voodoo Hot!’ version of their jerk marinade this month which will use three times the amount of habanero peppers that they use in the original recipe. It made me cringe a little bit because I am a lightweight when it comes to heat. The heat of the original recipe wasn’t overly spicy for me but it did help me drink beers a little faster on Friday night. Luckily, it was a great beer, LoneRider Brewery’s Peacemaker pale ale out of Raleigh, as recommended by Austin to pair with The Shizzle. I have the feeling the ‘Voodoo Hot!’  would be too hot for me but I am a wimp. If you like spicy food, give The Shizzle ‘Voodoo Hot!’ a run for its money and let us know what you think.

Looking for a list of retail locations so you pick up The Shizzle on your next shopping trip? They are constantly updating the list on their Facebook page with current locations but you can also ask your local retailer to start carrying The Shizzle if they don’t have it on their shelves yet.

If you like a bit of spice in your life, you need to go pick up a jar of The Shizzle and start grilling with it today. I am going to have to go pick up another bottle to give the following recipe for Shizzled Shrimp & Grits a try.

Shizzled Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled
  • 1 cup Carolina Grits (or grits of choice, stone-ground preferred)
  • 1 cup of The Shizzle Jerk Marinade
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup creme of coconut (aka coconut cream, creme de coconut)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or other cooking oil)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions:
Peel (if necessary) and rinse shrimp, then pat dry with a paper towel. Put shrimp in a bowl or zip-top bag, add The Shizzle Jerk Marinade, covering the shrimp thoroughly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. If marinating longer than 30 mins, bring up to to room temperature during last 30 minutes.

Combine grits, water, and milk in saucepan, add salt as desired, and bring to boil (slowly, to avoid scalding milk). Once boiling, continue to boil/simmer at low heat for 30-40 minutes, to desired texture. When done, remove from heat and stir in creme of coconut, butter, and salt if desired.

Heat a large sauté pan over med-high heat and add canola oil. Add the marinated shrimp and sauté, turning/tossing frequently, until shrimp turn pink and The Shizzle carmelizes nicely.

Pour grits into a large bowl, place shrimp on top, and garnish with cilantro. Squeeze lemon wedge over entire bowl.

Get a 15% discount by using the code “Eat It” at The Shizzle’s Online Store

Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale on May 14th

Photo courtesy of Matt Armendariz

The Triangle food bloggers are uniting for a great cause on May 14, 2011 to help end childhood hunger. Matt Lardie, the blogger on Green Eats Blog, and Johanna Kramer, the Durham Foodie, are hosting the Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale as a part of the Great American Bake Sale which benefits “Share Our Strength”, a National non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.

The Triangle Food Bloggers Bake Sale will be in Durham but the location is still TBD so stay tuned for updates on it. Matt & Johanna are looking for other Triangle food bloggers to help provide pies, cookies, cake and other sweet & savory treats for the bake sale. They are asking bloggers to make 20-24 servings and then bake sale attendees will buy tickets and exchange the tickets for treats. If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by the bake sale and support the great cause and pick up some delicious-ness. Tickets are $3 each or 4 for $10.

If you are interested in participating, please RSVP to Matt at greeneatsblog@gmail.com by Saturday, April 16th.

Taste of Carolina Craft (Beer) at Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill

Last night, I went up to Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill in Greensboro for some dinner and drinks with my buddy, Elliot. It was his first time up there and I think he had a blast. He is a huge Carolina fan and spotted Woody Durham, the voice of the Tar Heels, in the restaurant. Darryl’s is located right down the street from the Greensboro Coliseum where this year’s ACC Tournament is taking place and right in the heart of the majority of the hotels where the teams and fans are staying making it a great place to eat during the tournament.

While Elliot and I ate, I spoke with Brock Kehoe, Darryl’s beverage manager, at the bar and he told me that they were expanding their already impressive beer list by adding to both their draft and bottle selections. Brock mentioned that Jeff LeVine, the vice president of Carolina Craft and pictured above, was stopping in to let Brock sample a variety of the beers that his company distributes in North Carolina. Brock invited me to sit down with them and sample the beers that Jeff brought with him.

None of the beers that we sampled were from almost all from California breweries with the exception of two beers but they can all be purchased in North Carolina. Jeff told me that all of the beers we sampled could be bought at Bestway, my favorite spot in Greensboro for beer.

Here is what we sampled:

All the beers were great but Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye and Coronado Brewery’s Islander IPA were the ones that stood out most to me. I have been all about hoppy beers recently and these two both had a great kick to them. The Wexford Irish Cream Ale was one of the more beautiful beers that I have seen in a while with carbonation swirling throughout the glass after each sip. It was pretty damn tasty, too.

If you can find any of these beers in a store around you, it is definitely worth while picking up a 6-pack of any of them.

 

REVIEW: Johnson’s Drive-In – Siler City

There is a lot of history behind Johnson’s Drive-In, one of the our state’s most renowned burger joints which has been serving up burgers and fries to loyal customers in Siler City since 1946. There haven’t been that many local burger joints in the state that have been able to stand the test of time against the national chains like McDonald’s, Hardee’s and Burger King plus competing against new chains like Five Guys with similar business models doesn’t help their survival in today’s market.

Since starting Eat It, North Carolina, a lot of my friends have reached out to me about trying new places that they really enjoy. Most of the places are in the city that I live in but a few have been places within about an hour to an hour and a half from Greensboro where I live as well as doing a food weekend in a city or town a few hours away. Russ, a friend of mine from High Point, asked me if I wanted to ride down to Siler City with him when he went for business to try out Johnson’s. We left about 10 a.m. on a weekday and headed down to Siler City.

Johnson’s is open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but you don’t want to show up late because they usually sell out of burgers before then. We got there around noon but luckily it was raining so Johnson’s wasn’t slammed like I had read that it would be. We still had to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a table but we were able to take in the atmosphere and observe the culture as we waited.

The menu at Johnson’s Drive-In is simple with burgers and dogs plus a grilled cheese and lettuce & tomato sandwich although I don’t think that the last two are bringing all the patrons through the door. Chili costs $0.30 extra, lettuce costs $0.15 extra and tomato costs $0.35 extra but you don’t feel like you are getting nickel and dimed while you’re there because all of the extras are very fresh and they won’t serve anything that isn’t.

Johnson’s is a place that locals love and you will see Claxton Johnson (above in the red hat) chatting them up. He is a friendly guy that will pretty much anyone that comes in there and will always greet you with a friendly smile. Claxton’s father opened up the restaurant in 1946 and Claxton has been working there since he was a child and knows pretty much everyone in town. He is the only one who cooks the burgers and does them in batches so that he has a chance to catch up with his loyal patrons.

Early each morning, Claxton meets a delivery truck at his restaurant to select that day’s meat. He doesn’t use boxed hamburger meat for his burgers. He handpicks whole sides of grain-fed USDA beef and takes them into the back of the restaurant where they are ground and then pattied into tennis ball-sized mounds and sent up to Claxton at the grill. He smashes the mounds of the never frozen beef into patties on the hot grill and then once they are cooked, he melts a thick slice (1/8″) of Velveeta cheese and then lays on the top half of the bun so they all melt together in an uber-gooey melt. He passes them down the line for topping and then they are served immediately.

I admit this isn’t the best picture that I have taken recently. I had a couple of close-up shots but they all turned out a little blurry and out-of-focus. The cheeseburger on the left was an all-the-way (chili, slaw, mustard, onions) and the cheeseburger on the right had lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayo. They were both delicious but when I go back, I am going to stick with the all-the-way burger because the combination of the toppings plus the huge slice of melted Velveeta cheese was incredible.

There isn’t a whole lot going on in Siler City but it is definitely worth the trip there. This is one of the best burgers that I have eaten in North Carolina and will definitely be going back again very, very soon. Let me know if you want to ride. They don’t have a phone at Johnson’s Drive-In so you can’t call and see if they are still serving. I suggest you make it an early lunch at Johnson’s to make sure that you are able to get a burger or two and not be that person who is standing in line for 10 minutes only to be turned away when they run out of meat.

Johnson's Drive-In on Urbanspoon

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