Monthly Archives: March 2013

REVIEW: Jubala Village Coffee – Raleigh

Jubala Coffee Village - Coffee Bar

Jubala Village Coffee, in Lafayette Village on Falls of the Neuse Road, is one of my new favorite spots to take friends and family when they come to town. The laid back atmosphere, perfectly brewed coffee and delicious food are why I love it so much. I have been three or four times in the past few months and have not had a bad experience. The staff knows their stuff and will walk you through what to order based on your tastes. It isn’t a small, cramped coffee shop like pretty much every coffee shop that I have ever been to. It is wide open with plenty of places  to sit  down with a laptop and a delicious cup of coffee.

Jubala Coffee Village - Drip Serve

I really enjoy a delicious cup of black coffee. Jubala had a variety of blends available from Counter Culture, one of the most reputable coffee roasters in  North Carolina out of Durham. They pour it drip-style at 209 degrees which  I decided to go with the Bourbon which an organic, single-variety coffee that is currently completely sourced from Kabirizi, Rwanda. According to Counter Culture’s website, “connoisseurs treasure the Bourbon variety for its deep, buttery chocolate and coffee flavor, its unique sweetness, and its gentle fruit overtones.” It had a great taste with a nice acidity. I’m still working on developing my coffee palate so I can’t quite pick out overtones.

They also offer a variety of espresso drinks including cappucinos, cortados, macchiatos and lattes with some fantastic artwork on top. Their specialty drinks, which I have not tried, include something called the county line cocktail, the Madagascar vanilla and a chipotle/ancho mocha which sounds like something I could really get into. They also carry up to fifteen loose leaf teas and a variety of non-coffee drinks like hot chocolate, Blenheim ginger ale, Sprecher soda and chai lattes.

Jubala Village Coffee - Pimento Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Pickles

I ordered one of their pressed sandwiches which are served between 11am and 4pm. I was debating between the Turkey-Avocado with sliced cheddar and house-made chipotle aioli on toasted multi-grain and the pimento sandwich with Palmetto pimento cheese out of South Carolina, maple-cured thick cut bacon and Wickles Pickles out of Alabama on sourdough bread. I went with the latter as you can see above and was not disappointed. I was a little hesitant when I first ordered it because of the pickles but they ended up adding an awesome flavor to the sandwich. The bacon was cooked to a crisp which is how I enjoy it. The pimento cheese was warm  but not liquified and spilling out of the sandwich. I wouldn’t mind trying this with the  jalapeno version of the pimento cheese to give it a spicy kick. I will be trying to recreate this at home.

The kitchen at Jubala serves more than sandwiches. They also have serve breakfast all day including Belgium waffles, house-made granola, steel-cut oatmeal and biscuits (until they run out). They have all sorts of toppings for both the waffles and biscuits to make them different ranging from pimento cheese and bacon to apple butter to Nutella.

Make it a point to stop into Jubala. Take your iPad or computer in with you a knock out some work or knock out some Facebook time while you sit in a cool place. The warmer weather  is coming and the patio which looks out onto Lafayette Village’s lawn will be an awesome place to relax if you can find a seat. Jubala Village Coffee was recently voted as the “Best Place to Get  Your Caffeine Fix” in the Triangle by Midtown Magazine and it is well deserved.

Jubala Village Coffee on Urbanspoon

Eat It, Atlanta Tours North Carolina’s Restaurants

Price's Chicken Coop - Charlotte

Jimmy from Eat It, Atlanta makes his way over to North Carolina occasionally for work. He does his research before he leaves like any good blogger and I am guessing that he probably has a list of a few restaurants in each city that he wants to hit up. He hit up Price’s Chicken Coop (above) in Charlotte. He tried some vegetarian options plus bacon at Spring House in Winston-Salem. He got his fix on Biscuitville and declared it the best fast food biscuit while dissing Chik-Fil-A’s biscuits which I totally agree with. In Raleigh, he went to J. Betski’s (below) and hit is limit of fifteen on schnitzengruben (he didn’t actually eat schnitzengruben…it’s a “Blazing Saddles” reference). He also hit up Poole’s Diner and gave Ashley Christensen lots of well-deserved praise.

J. Betski's - Raleigh

Our State Magazine’s April 2013 Issue Release


Our State  - April 2013 Cover

We have done  a few posts  regarding things happening inside the pages of Our State Magazine in  the past including some recipes from restaurants that they have featured as well as a feature they did on places to eat breakfast across the state. Some people might consider them competition for our blog but I don’t see it that way. They post a lot of similar things but I figure that the more posts the better! I use Our State as one of my sources whenever I am traveling in North Carolina to find a new spot to eat at.

Our State Magazine has been the magazine that has been  a staple on the coffee table throughout childhood as well as presently. The writing and photography is top-notch. It isn’t just one of those magazines that you flip through. This is a magazine that you sit down and read. It opens up dozens of new places within driving distance that you probably have never known about. If you did already know about them, it rekindles something inside you that makes you want to go back and visit them.

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I was invited to the Our State April 2013 issue premiere at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill which also happens to be on top of many lists for best Southern restaurant although this was my first time there. It is tucked away right on the line between Chapel Hill and Carrboro city limits  at the end of Franklin Street. While it doesn’t look like much more than a shack on the outside, the appeal comes from within in both food &  drinks as well as a quirky southern atmosphere.

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They had freshly printed copies of the latest issue at the door with a great shot of deviled eggs on the cover as you can see above. I am about halfway through reading this issue but, so far, I’ve really enjoyed the articles about Ashe County Cheese in West Jefferson, the feature on Morehead City and the story on the German U-boats because I am an avid scuba diver. Seriously, those are the first articles and then you get Herb’s Pit Bar-B-Que  in Southwestern North Carolina near Murphy which I need to check out and then it goes into a series of articles about food and church that I just started before writing this. It is a great issue that you should pick up.

It was a fairly crowded event with lot of contributors to the magazine as well as a few other folks like myself. It would have been a little easier to socialize if they name tags had more information than just the names so I could know who was who and find some like-minded folks to talk about hole-in-the-wall restaurants across the state. The food at the event consisted of hors d’oeuvres based around the food and church portion of the magazine with items like deviled eggs, pimento cheese, pepper jelly & cream cheese and Southern ham biscuits. They also served various desserts that I didn’t partake in or take pictures of.

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They were also serving some local beers (Foothills’ Torch Pilsner, Highland’s Gaelic Ale and Carolina Brewery’s Flagship IPA) as well as two featured wines which were not local: Joseph Drouhin 2010 Chardonnay and Crios 2012 Malbec. They also served a Southern Gin Cocktail (pictured above) which consisted of local Cardinal Gin, Cointreau and Fee Brothers Orange Bitters with an orange twist. It was the perfect cocktail for the 70 degree weather outside on the patio at Crook’s Corner during the event.

I really enjoyed the event and getting to talk with various folks that work at the magazine. The food and atmosphere was worth the forty minute drive from Raleigh to partake in. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to Our State. In the digital age, it is really nice to have a copy in your hands.

 

Got To Be N.C. 2013 Competition Dining

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North Carolina’s competition dining series, “Got To Be N.C.,” is back in full swing. This Iron Chef-style tournament pits chefs at local restaurants across the state against each other. Each single-elimination battle consists of a six dishes (three from each chef) which features a secret or featured ingredient that is from a North Carolina source which varies from event to event. So far this year, the featured ingredients have ranged from Ashe County Cheddar & Bailey Mountain Tomme from Spinning  Spider Creamery in Marshall, NC to Cheerwine to Texas Pete. As you can guess, it allows the chefs to get pretty creative in the kitchen.

The winner of each competition is decided by both diners and guest judges. Diner’s scores are weighted by 70% and guest judge scores are weighted by 30% for each event. The winner of each event will advance to the next stage to compete against another chef who won their prior event. The winner of each region will receive a “Red Chef Jacket” similar to the coveted green jacket for whoever wins The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, GA. The winner will also receive $2,000 and a spot in the Final Fire competition held in Raleigh at the end of the year.

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The Final Fire competition from last year consisted of chefs from Chefs 105 in Morehead City, 1618 Seafood Grille in Greensboro, Bistro Roca and Antler’s Bar in Blowing Rock and The Weathervane at Southern Season in Chapel Hill (champion).  There were only four regions last year so it should be interesting to see how they are going to handle an odd number of regions this year.

Here are links to the five regional tournaments and the championship tournament:

The tournament was created by Jimmy Crippen of Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant in 2005 in Blowing Rock. This is the second year that the concept will be executed statewide  with a total of five regional tournaments. I think it an awesome concept. It is a great for North Carolina to have its own food competition for chefs and restaurants as well as for diners. You can purchase a seat for the battles online. They do add North Carolina sales tax and a 20% gratuity so be aware of this beforehand. Also, this is a competition based on the food so drinks (not sure what kind but I know wine)  is not included in the ticket price but can be purchased on site.

Here’s a gallery of some of the deliciousness that has been prepared so far this year at the Fire on the Rock and Fire on the Dock:

 

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