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SUMMER/FALL 2017

Green Grazing Exploring ILM’s vegan dishes


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EDITOR Shea Carver

ASSISTANT EDITOR Shannon Rae Gentry

INDUSTRY:

ART DIRECTOR Susie Riddle

ADVERTISING Shea Carver, Tiffany Wagner, John Hitt, Em Wilson

14-17 | Green Seasons Garden Center

and Daisy May farm work in tandem to provide the most nutritious organic produce to buyers. They also run an organic shop for growers who want to start their own garden with top-notch, enviro-friendly products and plants.

CONTRIBUTORS Gwenyfar Rohler, Joel Finsel, John Burke, Allison Ballard, Fanny Slater, Emily Caulfield, Bethany Turner, Evan Folds, Linda Grattafiori

PHOTOGRAPHY Lindsey A. Miller Photography, Em Wilson

Lindsey A. Miller Photography

ON THE COVER 18-23 |

Fanny Slater interviews four different restaurateurs about vegan items offered from their menus, how the items are made, and the decadence that ensues upon every bite. From Indian to tapas to American to dessert, she uncovers a host of decadence for any palate, whether herbivore or omnivore.

4-7 CHEFS

DEVOUR is published by HP Media seasonally and covers southeastern NC. To subscribe to the print publication, the cost is $15 a year. Folks can sign up to subscribe in print or monthly via e-mail updates at www.devourilm.com. ADVERTISING in Devour is easy! Feel free to call HP Media at 910-791-0688 or email shea@encorepub.com for a media kit. HP Media also offers advertising packages for Devour and its other publications, encore and AdPak.

UNCW alums now owning their own eateries in town.

YoSake and Dram + Morsel Meet Morgan Avery of Dram + Morsel, and co-executive chefs Raul Benitez and Russ Casey. These guys have attended the school of hard knocks and experience, and dish on their newfound creative freedoms in the kitchen.

10-13 RESTAURATEURS Munchies and Clean Eatz Meet the brothers Haroldson of Munchies and Jason Nista of Clean Eatz, all

26-27 RECIPES Tomatoes and potatoes! Blogger Emily Caulfield takes us on a food journey across the world, from the American South to Spain. Try out her latest recipes.

30-31 BREWS Edward Teach Brewing Bethany Turner heads to the Brooklyn Arts District and gets the scoop on the new suds coming to downtown at Edward Teach Brewing.

ALSO INSIDE: Cocktails and Conversations, pgs. 28-29 • UnCorked, pg. 32 Book reviews, pgs. 34-35 • Culinary Calendar, pgs. 36-38

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Multi-tiered Talent Dishing with chefs at all levels at Roudabush BY Allison Ballard ● Devour contributor

T

he three-tiered restaurant complex in the former Roudabush building at 33 S. Front St. in downtown Wilmington has seen changes in recent months. New chefs add creativity and innovation to the third floor’s Dram + Morsel, as well as the first and second floor’s The Husk and YoSake. Their concepts are unique, as they dish out globally inspired small plates, panAsian fare and even hot dogs (vegetarian, included). The culinarians are giving local foodies lots of reasons to climb the stairs (or, for an easier in, take the back elevator) to check out the evolving food scene in one of downtown’s most historic buildings.

Morgan Avery

Dram + Morsel 33 S. Front St., third floor (910) 833-5999 www.facebook.com/dramandmorsel Morgan Avery has worked in many aspects of the local restaurant scene since 1997. He got his start at downtown’s Slice of Life and went on to cater big-name, bigbudget weddings on Bald Head Island. As he lists his varied résumé, each entry notes how his experiences influenced his work in the kitchen. He refers to his time at the former Tango du Chat as carte-blanche creativity—where he learned French techniques. He grew his affinity for dessert preparation at Caprice Bistro. Then there were challenges and benefits of using local seasonal ingredients at Pembroke’s in The Forum.

• Right: Ross Casey and Raul Benitez share the executive chef role at YoSake Downtown Sushi Lounge. Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

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INDUSTRY “It’s all been pretty eclectic, and fun,” he tells. “I’ve worked with some great chefs and learned a lot. It was better than spending the money getting a culinary degree.” His attitude fits in with what Dram + Morsel is adding to the downtown dining landscape. The atmosphere is comfy vintage, with couches, tables and lots of light during daylight hours. Sleek art and cozy illumination add another layer after dark, not to mention a craft cocktail and wine and beer list suited for any palate. “This is definitely more of a night-time spot,” according to the chef. With that in mind, Avery has been experimenting with items like sliders and shareable plates, inspired by his diverse background and a world of ingredients from locally sourced seafood. He utilizes Marcona almonds and Spanish olives, and manages to blend Asian ingredients from the sister restaurant, YoSake, downstairs. Dram + Morsel “Snacks” menu includes updated versions of pulled-pork nachos, chicken taquitos and lobster corndogs. “I’m rethinking what I’m doing and what’s important for Wilmington’s dining scene all the time,” Avery says. “I’m always tweaking things.” His latest menu includes globe-hopping entries like tuna ceviche, a braised pork belly with seasonal vegetables and scallops with a house-made parsley tagliatelle. But Avery is also adding more to enjoy at Dram + Morsel. His own interest in wine has led him to plan regular wine dinners. In fact, prior to working at Dram, he was hoping to obtain his first-level

sommelier certification. “I think it’s a great learning process, to really taste wine and develop dishes to go with it,” he notes. Avery has been working with his staff to create noteworthy desserts and offer more vegan and gluten-free options. Almond-butter and chocolate torte will appear on the refined menu, as well as Avery’s lemongrass-infused creme brulée. Recent experiments have also brought to the kitchen a vegan “cheese” sauce, made with cashews, nutritional yeast and depth-providing seasonings, like smoked paprika. He’s planning to include it as a topping choice for nachos and fries. His latest menu also includes a vegan slider—a tabbouleh-inspired dish of local vegetables and rice flour in a lettuce wrap. One recent special included local Shishito peppers, served on a bed of rich Romesco sauce. Then there’s the new Sunday brunch menu, which includes favorites like eggs Benedict and shrimp and grits, as well as a French toast with a custard batter, spiked with coconut milk and a veggiefriendly tofu hash. Even after his years in the restaurant business, it seems unlikely Avery will be a victim of what he says he sees happen to many chefs: getting caught in a specific foodie time or movement. “It’s easy to get stuck,” he tells. “It’s one of the worst things a chef can do.” On the opposite end, the best part of his day is sitting at a table overlooking downtown Wilmington when it’s quiet. He uses the time to process the inspiration he gets from Instagram accounts, favorite chefs and new cookbooks. “This is such a great time for us,” he tells. “It’s a great time for new ideas.” His hope for the work he does at Dram + Morsel is that some of his passion shines through in the food he prepares. “What I really want to do is showcase the love I have for this town, and food, and this great building,” he boasts. “I want to show that.”

Raul Benitez and Ross Casey

YoSake Downtown Sushi Lounge 33 S. Front St., second floor • (910) 763-3172 www.yosake.com The role of head chef is generally known to be a one-person job. It’s his or her vision, the theory goes, that rules a particular kitchen. Most who work in restaurants, though, know cooking is often a collaborative art—it just might not happen with more than one chef in the top position. “I’ve worked in kitchens with more than one head chef,” YoSake’s Raul Benitez says. “I know it doesn’t always work.” Such isn’t the case at the popular Asian-inspired restaurant. Benitez is joined by Ross Casey as dual head chefs. Their partnership is relatively new, but they are calling it a success. One reason: YoSake is a busy restaurant, especially on the weekends. They both agree it can help having someone else by sharing responsibilities that come with making a busy night run smoothly. “It’s hectic, and that’s just YoSake,” Casey tells. Their kitchen is responsible for making wings, tater tots and other pub grub offerings that the craft-beer drinkers at The Husk, on the

• Left: Ross Casey and Raul Benitez create new and varied specials nightly, including Thai coconut lemongrass clams. Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

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INDUSTRY

• Above: Chef Morgan Avery brings new ideas to Dram + Morsel tapas bar, on the third floor of downtown’s Roudabush building, including numerous vegan items (flip to pgs. 18-22 to read more on them). Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

first floor of the Roudabush building, are craving. Another reason it works is both men are married, and each have a young child. With two people as head chef, it means their days off are more secure than many others in similar positions. Even though his daughter is only 4 months old, Casey likes to take her to the aquarium and the beach during his downtime. Benitez’s 2-year-old son likes fishing and cooking, and even has his own chef’s coat with “Dad’s sous chef” embroidered on it. “Oh, I’m going to have to get one of those, too,” Casey adds. Their days off don’t typically overlap, but they make a point to get together, usually on Thursdays, to collaborate on their menu and nightly specials. “That’s when we have time to do it,” Casey informs. “Fridays and Saturdays are just too hectic.” Even though they come from different culinary backgrounds, they each know they have something to add to the creative process. “Plus, we are both relatively new to pan-Asian cooking,” Benitez tells. “We can work together from there,” Casey agrees. “We work on all the ideas together, from the sauces to the ingredients. We taste each other’s food and critique it.” Casey and Benitez came to YoSake earlier in 2017; the restaurant already had a well-established menu, covering everything from sushi to curries to noodle bowls. Diners who have tried a nightly special in recent months have experienced combined palates of the chefs—a result of a combination of their skills and techniques. A Korean short-rib special particularly stands out to Casey. “Yeah, that was good,” Benetiz agrees.

The meat was marinated for 14 hours and slowly braised—paired with a coconut-ginger sweet-potato purée. Other specials featured clams in a lemongrass-coconut broth and shrimp summer rolls with cilantro and lime sauce. It showcased Casey’s seafood skills and Benetiz’s influence of adding Latin flavors to the Asian techniques. Casey most recently spent more than six years at Dock Street Oyster Bar in downtown Wilmington, learning and perfecting how to work with seafood. “It was a great experience,” he praises. “I would say I had a lot of on-the-job training.” Benitez is newer to Wilmington, but worked at the large Corned Beef & Co. bar and grill in Roanoke, Virginia, before spending time as a sous chef at Sweet n Savory Cafe near Wrightsville Beach. He hadn’t planned on working in the restaurant industry until his cousin helped him get a job years ago. “I gave it a shot,” he says. “As it turns out, I was good at it and had fun doing it.” The pair know the challenges they face. They avoid potential problems by talking with each other before they discuss issues with their staff of 14 or so. “We try to be very straightforward with everyone,” Benitez explains. “And we’re open to ideas from the staff and from each other.” They also know just how popular the food already is. The restaurant always has used fresh, local and seasonal fish and produce to create popular dishes. “We want to just see if we can impart our own touch,” Benitez says. “Going forward, there are lots of big plans,” Casey adds. They will keep creating innovative nightly specials. More so, they will introduce new menu items and desserts in the coming months. They also hope to have some news nibbles for The Husk. “They have good bar food, but we might see if we can add something, especially for football season,” Casey tells. SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 7


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SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 9


Common Ingredients: UNCW alums take on the restaurant industry in varied ways BY Shannon Rae Gentry ● Devour assistant editor

This edition’s restaurateurs have a few things in common: All are UNCW graduates—and a couple even majored in business and finance. They all are invested in their alma mater and communities, and they each have palpable passion for their restaurants and products. But that’s about as far as similarities go. Their restaurants and menus are like night and day ... fire and ice ... powdered protein and powdered sugar. Munchies and Clean Eatz are feeding Port City diners on very different spectrums of the indulgence scale. ● Above: Brothers Haroldson talk big teal pride and big sammies as part of their franchise, Munchies, which serves (right page) overstuffed sandwiches/wraps, burgers, dogs, and desserts, including insane milkshake combinations. Photos by Lindsey A. Miller Photography

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INDUSTRY Ellis and Mark Haroldson Munchies 419 S. College Rd. #35• (910) 798-4999 www.munchiesfoodco.com

Speed and quality are main ingredients for business at Munchies. However, fried everything—mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, French fries—along with toppings like chili, cheese, and more, make up their various “fat sandwiches.” Take The Fat Johnny, for example: A beefed up version of the Italian club, but also stacked with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and French fries ... and cheesesteak. Fat sandwiches, towering burgers, loaded hot dogs, milkshakes packed with childhood memories, and fried desserts literally is a 10-year-old’s dream day at the carnival—or, in this case, the Jersey Shore. Founded by brothers Ellis and Mark Haroldson, originally from New Jersey, both graduated from UNCW in 2014 and opened Munchies at University Commons about three months later. Both sport UNCW caps one late Wednesday afternoon. It’s pretty quiet as the last lunch stragglers mosey out with their to-go orders. Their late hours—from about 2 a.m. to 2:45 a.m. before closing at 3 o’clock in the morning—tend to be their busiest time thanks to their location next door to UNCW. “The later we go the busier we get,” Ellis and Mark say in tandem. “That also says we’re not just reaching one market,” Mark adds. “Even with late-night deliveries, we get older couples, grandparents with their kids...” A unique aspect of their business plan, “fat sandwiches,” wasn’t the only item they wanted to bring to ILM. They also hoped to fill the delivery void in a market that craved it. “Especially with all the students and people being up late,” Ellis says. “Delivery was kind of a no-brainer at that point.” While their menu is kind to student budgets, Munchies started the tradition of offering free fried Oreos after home basketball games. If the Seahawks score 90, students (or anyone with a ticket stub) who come in after the game can claim a free fried treat. “If you ever want to come into a madhouse, come in here after the Seahawks score 90,” Ellis says with a chuckle. “The line is out the door.” “That was one of our brilliant ideas where we said we would figure it out as we go,” Mark admits. “We didn’t even realize there was a home game the first time it happened. . . . I had to run to the store and buy Oreos, while we’re trying to cook, take orders and deliveries, and give away free Oreos at the same time.” These two alum even had a specialty Fat Keatts sandwich, named after coach Kevin Keatts for a while. Though Keatts has since moved on to NC State, they have kept their Oreo tradition, and they’re still connected to UNCW in other ways. They donate to sorority and fraternity fundraisers—Mark was a Pi Kappa Alpha—and host events. They’ve also continued to cultivate their business relationship with UNCW. They hope to soon accept student OneCard dollars as payment at Munchies. “If we can actually connect on that, I think it’s going to be a boon for business and a great advantage to the students,” Ellis observes. “Being we are alumni of the school, and we have passion for the school, it’s definitely something we would love to do, and they’ve responded positively to the idea.” Mark and Ellis didn’t always have their sights set on opening a restaurant. Ellis graduated with his degree in political science with a philosophy minor, and Mark in business and finance. Prior to Munchies, neither had

any experience in the industry—not so much as busing tables. “We came up with it in about a month,” Ellis admits. “It was actually a month before we were about to graduate that [Mark] went up to New Jersey to visit his girlfriend at the time, and he had a burst of inspiration.” Fat sandwiches are a part of life in New Jersey, especially for college students. It was a fact Mark contemplated as he flew back to NC a month before graduation. “I was just like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do!’” he recalls. “I’ve got my management degree—I didn’t have any jobs lined up— and I just came up with the idea of Munchies. I called [Ellis] right away and he said OK.” That very night they started working on a menu, business plan and survey to distribute around campus to gauge their future dining base. Today, they continue to build their brand for franchising opportunities. They’ve already reached out to the Charlotte Hornets about putting a Munchies vending station at Spectrum Center. “In our mind, we’re already a franchise—we just don’t have the other stores yet,” Mark says. “Our logo, our branding, our menu design, everything made is on that track.” “There’s a couple of locations we’re looking to expand,” Ellis adds. “I think we’ll be doing that in the next couple of years.” Now in their third year at University Commons, they’ve learned how important planning can be. Not having restaurant or culinary backgrounds seems to work in their favor, in terms of just diving into ideas. They don’t spend weeks or months meticulously picking apart recipes or sifting through vendors. “If it doesn’t work, it’s no hit to us; we just move on to the next thing,” Ellis explains. “We’re not attached to anything. We just want to do what works and what people want, and I think that’s what served us well.” It’s not to say it didn’t take time to find the right products: the perfect ranch dressing, the Frenchiest fry, or the exact pickle they wanted on Munchies burgers—of which have changed drastically since opening their doors. They started off with a thinner patty, more in line with a typical fast-food burger. They realized it wasn’t working. They’ve now settled on a steak and Angus-beef blend they hand press in the kitchen with house seasoning. “And they’ve really taken off,” Ella says. “I was cooking last Saturday, and I think I cooked nothing but burgers during the entire shift.” For every hit off their savory menu comes a heaping amount of sugar to excite the kid within—like the Fruity Pebble milkshake or even a deep-fried Oreo version, and a birthday cake milkshakes be-

SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 11


INDUSTRY cause birthdays are meant to be celebrated any time we want. “I would say the peanut butter Oreo milkshake [is my favorite],” Ellis muses. “And I would probably go with the Fat Mataes to pair with it. You can’t go wrong with that: chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, all topped with cheese fries.” “I would have to say the banana Nutella milkshake with a Fat Soprano,” Mark counters, “mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese fries on top. I’m Italian, and it’s like a chicken Parm on steroids.” Diners who want salad can get one, but it won’t be like any rabbit food they’ve ever seen or eaten before. In fact, in true Munchies fashion, they’re coming fully loaded. “I love our Caesar salad and I think it’s one of the best in town,” Ellis reveals. “There’s something for everybody. If you want a chicken Caesar salad that’s fresh, we’ll deliver that to your house at 2:30 in the morning, too. There’s not really any limits on what we serve.”

ness for Nista after bailing on banking. He and two other UNCW friends—who also decided they were not pursuing the careers they truly wanted—rallied together to open Fuzzy Peach in 2010 (just across the street in Racine Commons). Nista and company grew a chain of 17 franchises between four states before selling them in 2014. “I left when we sold Fuzzy Peach and moved to California,” he continues. “I became a restaurant consultant, and Clean Eatz was one of my first clients.” Nista became more involved and invested in the Clean Eatz brand when he became a chief operating officer and moved back to the Port City from San Diego. He opened Clean Eatz in Monkey Junction; then in West Virginia; most recently in Goldsboro; and he’s preparing to open shop in Jack● Above: Clean Eatz’s tuna bowl puts healthy decasonville, NC, too. Raleigh, Charleston, dence at the forefront of every palate. The restaurant Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Fayetteville, is partly owned by Jason Nista (right), along with Greenville all are part of a growing list Don and Evonne Varady. Photos by Lindsey A. Miller of cities across the southeast to host Photography the Clean Eatz franchise. “There’s a lot of opportunities in the smaller cities for owner operators to run a restaurant,” Nista tells. “We’re up to 50 commitments at this point, and we’re thinking we’ll be up to 30 or 35 stores by the end of Clean Eatz the year, and . . . have about 70 stores by the end of 2018.” Monkey Junction, 5916 Carolina Beach Rd.. • (910) 769-9596 No curriculum or specific class in school could have really prepare 203 Racine Dr. • (910) 452-3733 Nista for “the real world.” But college degrees—no matter how genMilkshakes, fried Oreos, piled-high sammies might be found at eralized—extracurriculars, campus and community organizations can Munchies, but around the corner on Racine Drive, it’s another story span multiple disciplines and set the stage for any endeavor. (or menu) at Clean Eatz. Actually, another UNCW alumni is serving “The opportunities are there; it’s just a matter of taking those opup fast, healthy and tasty foods, with emphasis on method and mod- portunities and running with it,” Nista explains, having no regrets in eration. Clean Eatz founders Don and Evonne Varady started their studying financial management and joining entrepreneurial clubs. He business in 2011. When 31-year-old Jason Nista—a triathlete and found opportunities to connect with more people within the camIronman competitor—met the couple, their interests aligned right pus community and Wilmington professionals at large. It’s fitting he away. works as a resident entrepreneur for the Entrepreneurship Club with “We got along immediately,” Nista says outside at a patio table in Cameron School of Business. the Clean Eatz courtyard one bright summer afternoon. “This is how “I think, even since the time I graduated, the university has beI eat naturally at home, so when I was able to get on board and get come more woven into the community,” he continues. “There are a involved from a business perspective, it was just a natural fit.” lot of professionals that are here in town, and want to take the time Nista is dedicated to Clean Eatz entirely. In fact, passion is the key and help the students as well. . . . It’s about the students taking the ingredient to longevity in the restaurant industry. “You’ve got to like first step, and being proactive and getting involved with community.” the food that you’re serving and believe in it,” he says. “For me, it’s What Nista has learned in his tenure is any business can start with easy to sell it, and it’s easy to come to work every day.” a great idea but it’s all about execution. Key elements, like patience Jason Nista grew up in the restaurant industry in Delaware, which and human-resource management, must be factored in, too. As well, started at the ripe age of 14. After he graduated with a degree in being a boss, who can do any of the jobs any of the time, helps. finance and accounting at UNCW in 2008, he went on to work for “We opened a store in Goldsboro, NC, this week, and Evonne and Citigroup banking. I were there cleaning the restaurant when opening it up,” he tells. “I never thought I would come back to the restaurant industry,” he “It’s still fun to do that. We really enjoy getting involved and watching divulges. “I didn’t like it growing up and I was escaping. So I got a other people’s dreams come true with this franchise. We’re still very degree [and] went into banking.” hands-on and involved in the day-to-day with the restaurants.” Surprise for Nista, he was not happy in the least. “It was terrible,” Naturally, a good restaurant must dish up its success by way of he recalls. “You report to work everyday in a cubicle. I missed the taste. Despite the South’s famed relationship with fatback, butter, bang-bang, you-just-don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen-kind-of at- fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, Clean Eatz is hardly having a hard mosphere.” time selling folks on their brand of healthy grub. Though, there is a Opening Clean Eatz wasn’t the first foray into the restaurant busi- certain stigma Clean Eatz has to overcome wherever it pops up: Dispel the myth they only serve “rabbit food,” or healthy food doesn’t 12 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

Jason Nista


taste good. A part of overcoming such assumptions is making their food relatable. They have fish, salads, flatbreads, and wraps, but Clean Eatz chefs have found ways to serve up Southern favorites, like brisket and potatoes, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and “Good For You” nachos. The latter clocks in at 400 calories versus regular nachos, which can be upward of 2,000 calories, and is packed with sweet potato “chips,” topped with shredded beef, guacamole, salsa, peppers, and onions. “We don’t bill our food as organic or non-GMO, and we make it very affordable for folks,” Nista continues. “So you could come here and eat a bison burger with cheese on it, and it’s still a little bit healthier for you than going to a Five Guys. It’s very relatable for the average person to come and eat here.” Though, one Southern staple Clean Eats has yet to crack the code on: biscuits. Nista admits his guilty pleasures rear there heads on occasion. “I go to Ruth’s Kitchen more than I probably should for breakfast,” he admits with a smile. “I do love a good hot biscuit with jelly.” Clean Eatz focuses on portion control and getting the right balance of calories between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They’re helping some folks take the first steps toward a healthy lifestyle by taking out a lot of temptations folks may get at other restaurants. For example, there are no soft drinks but rather naturally flavored waters on tap, and fryers are non-existent. “Dessert is not something we really talked about a lot,” Nista quips. “But it’s healthy, and people know when they walk through those doors and they order something they’re in a safe place, and that’s what’s important.” Clean Eatz may not have desserts in way of chocolate lava cake or ice-cream sundaes, but they make cookies and brownies using protein powders. Each store offers a selection of “good for you” protein smoothies to satiate a sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank. “It’s just a healthier option,” Nista iterates. “We all have those cravings we need to fill late morning or late afternoon with some sort of snack, and we’d rather have you have a healthier snack than a bag of potato chips or a cookie.” Each Clean Eatz restaurant has the freedom to set certain menu items and daily specials, as well as control meal plan options. Each weekend Clean Eatz prepares packaged meals they make available for the week. On Mondays, folks come in and pick up their meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), which can be refrigerated for the week and microwaved when they’re ready to be eaten. “It’s convenient, it’s cheap and an allows you to eat healthy on the go,” Nista states. “Fresh is a big piece of that.” They continuously change their menu of fresh foods. What they have found in return is: People actually like to eat it. “We have lots of folks that come multiple times a week because they can order a different type of entrée every day and it’s always healthy,” Nista adds. Clean Eatz has a culinary committee that meets almost weekly to analyze what is available in the market—such as seasonal vegetables—to create their menus and meal plans. It’s not always easy to work within those confines, but they do it. “It’s about putting our heads together and making sure the product comes out to meet the macro requirements of the restaurants,” Nista says. “I think it’s important to always try to come up with something new and fun to keep people interested every week when they come in.”

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SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 13


Every Season is Green: Farmer and conservationist team up to stretch creativity in soil BY Linda Grattafiori ● Devour contributor

Lifetime farmer Stuart Rouse and conservationist Bud Sessions make a great organic produce team, and share knowledge with clients at local farmers’ markets and through their store, Green Seasons Garden Center. Sessions and his wife, Holly, manage the center, and offer almost everything an organic or hydroponic grower could imagine. The garden center’s Facebook page inspires and encourages organic growers to stretch creativity in their own homes and community gardens. ● Above: Bud Sessions at Green Seasons Garden Center supplies fresh vegetables from Stuart Rouse’s farm (right), Daisy May. Photos by Lindsey Miller

14 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017


INDUSTRY Down East provides marketing and distribution, as well as educates farmers on industry standards. “We give produce boxes at cost in an effort to get produce to market undamaged,” says Zach LaVere, Food Hub manager. “We also work with a local food bank to supply excess eggs in an effort to combat food waste. We are hoping to take vegetable donations to food banks this fall.” Sessions and his assistant, Micah Bland, are planning for fall by helping Graham Cole with the Wilgrow community garden on the corner of Castle and 4th streets. Cole is using earthworm castings, “nature’s fertilizer,” to enrich the soil, plus amendments from Green Seasons Garden Center. “I’m planting 700 cabbage, collard, and cabbage-collards (a variety of collard that forms a tight plant like a cabbage),” Cole says. “The

photo by Lindsey Miller Photography

Using products from Green Seasons, Rouse organically cultivated 5 acres of the family farm, “Daisy-May,” in Teachey, NC. The farm of roughly 150 acres dates back to the early 1800s for the Rouse and Wells (his mother’s maiden name) families. This year Rouse is selling his organic harvest to three farmers’ markets in the greater Wilmington area: Poplar Grove, Wrightsville Beach and River Bluffs at Porch’s Café (Castle Hayne). He enjoys talking with customers and sharing organic farm practices. His harvest includes red-skin potatoes, sun-gold grape tomatoes, German Johnson, Cherokee Purple, Taxi (a yellow tomato), Mortgage Lifter heirloom (a pink variety), San Marzano Roma, and Red Morning tomatoes. He sells Clemson spineless okra, flat Dutch and Jersey pointed-head cabbage, watermelon, and French breakfast radishes. “I start with Harmony fertilizer, which is mostly nitrogen, and sidedress with bone meal,” Rouse says. “After getting a free soil test at the New Hanover County Arboretum, I also spray calcium, if needed. For weed control, I use a one-row cultivator, which attaches to my tractor and turns the weeds upside down. Any weeds left are handpulled and chopped with a hoe. Spinosad and Dipel are used for insect control if necessary.” Rouse is proud of the eggs produced by his Coturnix Quail. They are cage-free and fed a non-medicated feed and supplemented with crushed oyster shells, kale and crickets. His eggs, green tomatoes and Romanesco broccoli, a rare and desirable vegetable, are sold through the Feast Down East Food Hub at the historic train depot in Burgaw. Feast Down East—a nonprofit that works with local farmers— helps place farmers’ products in restaurants, health food and grocery stores. Farmers take their produce to the hub twice a week. Feast

photo by: Lindsey A. Miller Photography

photo by: Melissa Clupper

photo by: Lindsey A. Miller Photography

Reservations needed Friday & Saturday nights (reservations only held for 15 minutes)

(910) 796-8687 4724 New Centre Dr #5 Wilmington, NC 28405 Closed Mon. • Tues.-Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm Sat. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm • Sun. 5:00pm-9:00pm

“Home of the Legend”

5046 New Centre Dr. (910) 859-7374 Full menu until 2 a.m., 7 days a week SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 15


INDUSTRY

16 S. Front St. 910.772.9151

DOWNTOWN LOCATION:

BEST OF 2016

SUSHI SPECIAL Everyday 2 roll special

WINNER

Choose any 2 specialty rolls for

Voted Best Sushi

Specials valid only at the downtown location

$19.95

way it works is those who help propagate the plants are welcome to share the harvest. Bud and Micah are really helpful in making this garden a successful growing experience for the Wilmington community.” Lisa Fial, who recently moved from the San Francisco Bay Area, appreciates the staff at Green Seasons, especially since she was looking for an organic gardening supply store upon her relocation to the South. “These guys are the best,” she praises, “always able to answer my questions and recommend just the right products.” For the garden lover, Green Seasons provides a compost tea brewer made by Cole, which provides probiotics for plants. There are multiple trays of nutritious wheat grass under grow lights, Fox-Farm soils and fertilizers, oxygen pumps and coco coir products for hydroponics, tools and gro-blocks that promote root growth and drainage. The most unusual aeration containers have multiple holes along the sides; these pots stimulate root growth as opposed to root spin in conventional pots. Outside the center is a 2,000-square-foot garden. One of Sessions’ favorite vegetables, Brussels sprouts look very inviting. Also there are specialty varieties of tomatoes and peppers not found in the big box stores. Sessions is planning to build a greenhouse on site, and he is also available to build customized greenhouses at clients’ requests. Numerous health stores and restaurants use his products, for which Rouse is grateful, including Catch, the Little Chef Food Truck, Lovey’s Natural Foods & Café, Tidal Creek Co-Op, and Pure Life Health Food and Vitamin. SESSIONS’ CANDIED JALAPENOS Ingredients: 3/4 lbs fresh jalapenos, washed 2/3 c distilled vinegar 2 c white granulated sugar 1/2 c water 1 clove of minced garlic Dash of turmeric Celery seed to taste Bud strongly suggests wearing gloves when preparing the jalapenos for this recipe. Preparation: Slice the jalapenos into 1/8-inch rings. Boil sugar, water and vinegar, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add peppers and other ingredients and let boil for 4 minutes. For hotter candy, boil jalapenos for a shorter time; for mild candy, boil jalapenos longer. Scoop jalapenos into a 16-ounce jar, and pour syrup on top. Let refrigerate for two weeks. Then, dig in!!! This dish may be served as a condiment or as a side for greens. BETTER THAN YOUR MAMA’S POTATOES Provided by Rouse’s girlfriend. Ingredients: 6 medium-sized red potatoes 3/4 c light extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 c garlic powder 1/8 c parsley flakes Sea salt to taste Preparation: Heat oil in frying pan on medium. Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes and add to pan. Add spices and stir frequently. Cover the pan between stirs. Cook until the edges of the potatoes develop a nice crisp.

16 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

Green Seasons Garden Center is located at 100 Spartan Road off of north Market Street; (910) 399-1157.


now at the Felix... • Breakfasts on weekends • Live music listed on FB/website Saturday & Sunday • Menus changing continuously 8am-11:30am • Two wine tastings a month • Peanuts on every table

Tuesday-friday—$7.50 lunch special • call-in orders welcome Mon - closed, Tues - Fri 11am - 9pm, Sat & Sun 8am - 9pm 2140 Burnett Blvd. • (910) 399-1213 thefelixcafewilmington.com • facebook.com/thefelixcafewilmington

Yoshi Sushi Bar and Japanese Cuisine is offering something the greater Wilmington area has never seen before: True New York Style Sushi to Wilmington, with classic sushi and sashimi, as well as traditional rolls and some unique Yoshi Creations. We offer a variety of items, including Poke Bowls and Hibachi - and we also are introducing true Japanese Ramen Bowls! Come try it today!

Displayed is our Saketini, the Princess Peach, and behind that (from left to right) is a bowl of Ramen in the Tonkostu (pork) broth. Next to that is our appetizer, Takoyaki, which is an fried round of octopus. Beside that is a Salmon Poke bowl. Beneath is the dinner portion of steak and chicken Hibachi!

260 Racine Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 799-6799 Hours: Mon. - Sat. 11am - 10pm Sunday 12pm - 10pm SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 17


Green Grazing Exploring ILM’s vegan dishes By Fanny Slater ● Devour contributor

W

hy does #meatfreemonday only fall on one day of the week? Well, yes, Monday is the only day that makes for the catchy alliteration—but it’s more than that. Personally, I think most folks can’t seem to get down with ditching animal protein because they don’t know where to begin. And if the thought of vegetarian dining didn’t scare them off, throwing the word “vegan” into the mix likely didn’t help. For those whose dietary restrictions don’t require them to live a vegan lifestyle, there are still dozens of reasons to test the waters. Following the veganism philosophy even part-time can have mega health benefits. Don’t let the myths fool you: You can get enough protein from plants. You can achieve the feeling of being full and satisfied. You can also see vast improvements in your body and soul. Most importantly, you can still eat a mouthwatering meal. And if you don’t have the gusto to get in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered. I visited four popular Wilmington eateries who are all recognized for serving outstanding vegan dishes. Keep in mind: None of them are all-vegan—the chefs and owners simply believe in the cuisine and of course pay attention to customers’ requests for specialty additions to their menus. With my mouth open, I journeyed from fluffy idli on Nawab’s Wednesday-night vegan buffet to Sealevel’s righteous kimchi and tempeh Reuben, and then up three flights of stairs on Front Street for the Moroccan spice-infused bulgur wheat sliders at Dram + Morsel. And did I mention the outrageous coconut milk-based ice cream I sampled along the way at Boombalatti’s? Even if you’re just looking to expand your palate, take a tip from these pros, and see how they’ve mastered making vegan food into something fun, approachable and downright delicious.

• Right: Sealevel City Gourmet’s vegan Reuben uses tempeh in place of meat and Seattle’s Chao slices, a vegan cheese. Photo by Lindsey Miller Photography

18 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017


INDUSTRY Indian dishes because more people prefer spicy dishes.

Nawab Idli with Samber, available on their vegan buffet every Wednesday 6828 Market St. • (910) 769-7418 Devour (D): What was the inspiration to make the buffet centered around vegan cuisine? Sunny Singh (SS): I’ve been in this town for 20 years, and I’ve recognized people love vegan food and want to see more of it. We decided to do a vegan buffet one night of the week for those people who were seeking this type of cuisine. We did some advertising on Facebook and it’s become a big success for us. It’s different from what everybody else is doing. In a town like Jacksonville, people aren’t as keen on the idea of vegan food. But, here, people are starting to love it—and it shows. D: What is the heart of your buffet? SS: To appreciate vegan food; it’s all about the vegetables and the sauces. Every veggie tastes different, but they are the simplest thing to cook. All it needs is a proper sauce. D: How would you describe idli? SS: It’s like a savory rice cake, and it comes with most Indian meals the same way bread and butter come to the table in America. D: How do you make yours so soft and fluffy? SS: One thing I can tell you is that India is a very different country than America. Every mile is a different language, and every two miles is water. It’s a different way of cooking. Idli is one of the most famous specialty items we make. We soak rice flour and then blend it to make a paste. It’s then steamed in water. Rice itself has a lot of starch, so it becomes a patty. It’s also gluten-free which people like. It’s essentially more of a meal because its goes with something like sambar—which is part of South eastern Indian cuisine. D: What are your other favorites things to pair with idli? SS: The coconut chutney! There is a lot of coconut used in South Indian cooking because of the poverty and the fact nothing else was getting imported. They couldn’t afford a lot of vegetables and other ingredients, so bigger families began to use bold flavors, like chiles, to stretch out the meal. This is how South Indian Cuisine became known as being spicy. D: Is sambar a very complex sauce to make? What are the prominent ingredients? SS: A lot of people make sambar differently. The main components are lentil, fresh vegetables, and tamarind. If you don’t have tamarind, you can substitute something else that’s sweet and sour, like pomegranate seeds. It’s kind of like a lentil soup, but not as spicy because it cooks for a long time and the chiles cook out. Chile is not a heritage of India; it’s from Chile. These peppers are just used often in traditional

D: How do most people eat the idli and sambar together? SS: The idli is soft and cuts very nicely into pieces, and then you soak it in the sauce with the coconut chutney. D: Does the vegan buffet focus on one specific style of Indian cuisine? SS: We’re cooking in three different stages of Indian cultures and specialties. I like to see what’s popular in each of the regions and take it from there. I’m learning a lot from using the Internet. Not only can I make something and post it to see if people comment on whether or not they like it, but when it comes to cooking, you just need a good example of a demo in front of you. You can find out how to cook anything online nowadays. Also, when it comes to cooking, everything is related to salt. You may have a dish with 10 different spices, but the taste is all in the salt. You need good eyes to tell you how much salt something needs. And when it comes to salt and spice, that’s something that goes in at the beginning of the dish so it can cook in. Many restaurants have hot sauce on the table, but it’s not good to put it on after your food is prepared. You put the chiles in at the beginning, and then you enjoy it in your mouth— not in your stomach. For those who have issues with heartburn or spicy foods, Indian food might be their best bet because the heat is cooked into the food as opposed to being placed on top at the end. D: Where do you buy your specialty ingredients? SS: In Wilmington, I frequent Saigon Market for the specialty items— but I’ve also found that a lot of folks grow things like curry leaves in their garden and bring them in to me. The plant has to be big enough and mature enough to not die in the winter. I also have a good friend with a nursery in Raleigh who carries a lot of the exotic ingredients we use. He has a tamarind tree and different kinds of special herbs.

Sealevel City Gourmet Tempeh Reuben, vegan-style 1015 S. Kerr Ave. • (910) 833-7196 D: What was the inspiration for making a vegan version of a sandwich that’s known for being piled high with meat? Nikki Spears (NS): In brief, I want to make wonderful food available that does no harm to animals for my customers who care about eating and living a vegetarian lifestyle. When the food is this tasty, you don’t miss the meat or real cheese, and you’re also helping to save the world by not eating meat for that meal. D: Why tempeh as the protein as opposed to tofu (flavor, texture, etc.)? NS: The tempeh mimics meatiness—and, of course, the success of the whole sandwich is in the hands of the cook. It’s all about the adequately buttered (using Earth Balance Spread), perfectly toasted bread and the griddled, crispy-crusted tempeh. Also, heating the tempeh SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 19


INDUSTRY lightly ferments it and preserves the live probiotics. D: On the menu, this sandwich features grilled organic tempeh topped with melted Monterey jack cheese, sauerkraut, spicy kimchi, sprouts, and adobo thousand island dressing on toasted rye bread. When diners order it vegan, how do the ingredients change? NS: The sauce and some other ingredients become vegan like the cheese, for example, which gets substituted with Chao slices (a fabulous cheese-like product made in Seattle). It mimics White American cheese quite well. D: Tell me about difference between the spicy kimchi and the sauerkraut? NS: There’s so much tang in the homemade kimchi and kraut! The main difference though is a chile paste that I make from soaking dried red chiles (which I get at Starway Flea Market), fresh ginger and garlic. Ultimately, • Above: Boomabalatti’s makes sorbet out of fruit juices, but more so the Sealevel kimchi is a mix of six different vegetables—while the kraut they use coconut milk for their vegan ice creams, which are full of a variety of flavors like Vietnamese coffee, chocolate, peanut butter only has two ingredients (salt and red cabbage). D: Reuben sandwiches typically have Swiss instead of Jack. Did you find the milder, less sharp flavor of Jack was a better pairing for this specific sandwich and its components?

banana, cinnamon oatmeal cookie, and lemon. • Right page: Dram + Morsel serves a quinoa bowl and shishito peppers over Romanesca sauce, the latter of which has been a big hit. Photos by Lindsey Miller Photography

“Fresh tastes better” $4.99 DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS 11am-4pm Mon - Fri

417 S College Rd #24, Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 399-2867 Hours Tuesday - Saturday 11:45am - 9:00pm

Tuesday WEDNESday THURSday FRIDAY & 1/2 price Free Social Media Day SATURDAY Post a photo of Lover’s appetizer dessert yourself or your Meat Weekend from Jamaica’s 4 Meats, with each with any Full mealComfort Zone meal Portion Meal 20% off 2 Side Dishes purchase Purchase your meal purchase $19.99

20 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

Ogden Location: 910.791.7800 Hampstead Location: 910.270.9200

Check out our new Midtown Location

Drive-thru, Dine in or carry out, and Smart Phone App Ordering

894 S. Kerr Ave., Wilmington, NC 28403 910.833.8841

Locally family owned and operated since 2011


INDUSTRY NS: Honestly, the reason for the Jack cheese is convenience. Soon, I’m going to receive a “supposedly revolutionary” Canadian-brand vegan cheese, which has recently become available through US Foods. I’m hoping it will enable my restaurant to go entirely vegan. Except, of course, when there’s local seafood because I can really get behind that. That’s an ingredient I enjoy eating because it’s fresh and abundant here. D: Tell me about the adobo Thousand Island. NS: The sauce has chopped sweet pickles and Sriracha for spice.

D: Did you choose Vietnamese coffee for a vegan flavor because of the darker, richer flavor of those grounds? WB: My wife (Kristen) was always a fan of Vietnamese coffee and the aromas associated with it. It’s peppery and spice-forward with hints of ginger and coriander—which all blend well with coconut’s exotic flavor. We also found, in general, vegans seem to be more adventurous eaters and are more familiar with Asian cuisine, so we thought these warm spices would be something they would recognize and appreciate. Ice cream is my favorite food. It always has been.

Boombalatti’s Ice Cream

Dram + Morsel

Vegan ice cream and sorbets

Vegan sliders

1127 Military Cutoff Rd. #B • (910) 679-4955

33 S Front St. • (910) 833-5999 D: In the press released that was recently released to announce you joining the Dram + Morsel team, you said that the design of the space itself inspires you in your menu creation. How did the vegan cuisine come into play as it ties into the ambience of D+M? Daniel Morgan Avery (DMA): The design of the room attracts a younger dining crowd, and with the health crazes and the yoga kids— they want to try that stuff! We’re getting interest and therefore just catering to that. I’m just starting to wrap my head around it because I’ve never cooked too vegan before. One of my first cookbooks though was “The Moose Café,” which leans towards vegetarian cuisine, so I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar.

D: Are all sorbets considered vegan since they’re not dairy-based? Wes Bechtel (WB): Yes! The sorbets are all juice-based. We have a watermelon flavor and it’s just watermelon and sugar. D: For the vegan ice cream, is coconut milk the base? How strong is the coconut flavor? WB: All of our vegan ice cream is coconut-milk based. We try to lean toward flavors that pair well with coconut. So far, people seem to love all of them. So many vegan ice creams and non-dairy products out there are coconut milk-based, so a lot of folks who are used to eating strictly vegan are almost immune to that coconut flavor. D: People say your vegan ice cream puts other big brands to shame. What makes it so special? WB: It’s got a really unique mouth feel and creaminess that’s different from a lot of other vegan ice creams on the market. I was a vegetarian in college and remember sampling some vegan ice creams. They were icy and stale-tasting, whereas ours is super fresh and full of high-end ingredients. It’s not a calorie-counter. If you’re going to eat our vegan ice cream, we want you to really enjoy it like it’s a luxury. D: What’s the process of making vegan ice cream? WB: Well, we have to keep some of that close to our chest! But what I can tell you is we get our coconut milk locally from Saigon Market, so we know we’re getting a great product. At first, the interest wasn’t specifically focused on “vegan.” Customers were requesting an ice cream that would be suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. Now, we’re making six batches every two days of vegan ice cream, so our supply has continued to grow to meet the demand. The ice cream itself has a high fat content and, of course, sugar. No diet ice cream here!

D: How focused is Dram + Morsel on putting out vegan / vegetarian items? DMA: We have a vegan chef in the kitchen who is showing us all kinds of fun things, like cheese sauces made with cashew nuts. Now, our menu is updated with more vegan-inspired shared plates, like shishito peppers over Romesco sauce. It started as a special but has been such a big hit, it will be on our new menu. We also have a tofu scramble for breakfast and edamame falafel,


Shop. Dine. Play. simply southern... all day long Here at Cast Iron Kitchen we strive to bring our patrons the freshest ingredients that North Carolina can offer us. We source 75% of our goods and services from NC farmers, fisherman and businesses.

JOIN US ON THE WEEKDAYS FOR: $5.99 LUNCH COMBO SPECIALS DAILY CHALKBOARD SPECIALS WINE DINNERS RESUME IN THE FALL

“Fresh tastes better”

40 BEERS ON TAP Great beer needs some great food to go along with it, and we’ve got both! We also have a Lil’ Tappers Kids Menu, so bring the whole family to OTap.

Closed Monday | Tuesday - Sunday 7:30AM - 3:00PM

22 DEVOUR | SPRING 2017

Ogden Location: 910.791.7800 Hampstead Location: 910.270.9200 Convenient Drive-Thru Service

Check out our new Midtown Location Drive-thru, Dine in or carry out, and Smart Phone App Ordering 894 S. Kerr Ave., Wilmington, NC 28403

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: CIK POP UP DINNERS 8024 MARKET ST, UNIT 7 WILMINGTON, NC 28411 910.821.8461 | www.castiron-kitchen.com

$4.99 DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS 11am-4pm Mon - Fri

910.833.8841

7324 Market Street • 910-821-8185 OPEN DAILY at 11am for Lunch & Dinner

www.ogdentaproom.com

Locally family owned and operated since 2011


which we’ll be running as a special. Soon we plan on adding a vegan-driven entrée. It will likely be something with bulgur wheat, arugula, apricot, coconut vinaigrette, maybe roasted zucchini, and dried marinated shiitakes as the “meat.” I’m a big fan of Moroccan cuisine so I’ve been drawing motivation from that. I’ve been going to Tidal Creek for a lot for things, like nutritional yeast for cheesecurd batter. It gives something a cheesy taste without actually being cheese. We’re thinking about doing a vegan wine dinner soon because we want those diners to really feel like they’re getting a treat. We like to play on what people think vegan food is (like tempeh or falafel), and then turn it upside down and present it in a new way.

We then add shredded carrots, zucchini, and season it very aggressively with smoked paprika, lemon juice, cayenne, parsley, tarragon, and chives. We add rice flour to thicken it up, and then it’s pan seared. D: What is the shiitake marinated in? DMA: It’s marinated in Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and sesame oil.

D: Let’s talk sambal aioli vs. chile vinaigrette. DMA: Sambal is similar to Sriracha. We have some homemade hot sauces working right now but they take a month to ferment, so once they’re ready we will use those over Sriracha. When we make the sliders vegan, we sub in the chile vinaigrette—which is chile d’arbol, sugar, rice wine vinegar, a dried roasted red pepper soaked in vinegar for D: Does the menu describe the slider • Above: Vegan slider containing bulgur wheat at Dram color and viscosity, and chile flake. We finish + Morsel. Photo by Lindsey Miller Photography as vegan or veggie? it with xantham gum for thickness so it’s not DMA: On the menu, it’s vegetarian— a loose vinaigrette. It’s more like a sauce. In but if a customer wants in vegan, we wrap the long run, we might just use store-bought it in bibb lettuce and replace the sambal aioli with a chile vinaigrette. Veganaise to thicken it up, a vinegary hot sauce (like Crystal) for heat, and lemon juice for acidity. D: Is the bulgur wheat in a patty, or is it made like a tabbouleh? If you’re looking for another vegan sub for mayonnaise, garbanzo How is it flavored? bean juice and tofu do the trick. You can even use the garbanzo bean DMA: It’s done as a patty. The wheat is cooked traditionally with juice instead of an egg wash when you’re baking and need a golden boiling water (a standard two-to-one ratio), steamed, and then fluffed. sheen.

TUESDAY LOCAL’S NIGHT Join us on the deck Tuesday nights for live music. $10 per person cheese and chocolate shared at the table $2.25 Domestics • $4 Craft Drafts • $4 Well Drinks Dogs welcome e

ner Serving Duine-Sun at 5pm, T orial Day

em starting M ondays n Open o M

BEST OF 2 0 1 7

W I N N E R

Thank you, Wilmington, for choosing us as the best place to have a first date!

138 South Front Street • Downtown • Reservations Encouraged • 910.251.0433 • www.littledipperfondue.com SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 23


Carolina Beach

is always teeming with regulars. Even if you’re brand new to the turf, you know you’re stepping into a well-worn stomping ground. Pleasure Island is bustling with tourists in the summertime, noses slathered in excess sunscreen, out on their way to enjoy the surf or on their way from the surf to eat. The tourists usually pick what’s close, but the locals know where to go to get the real food. This edition’s Food Porn was a blast to curate because the restaurant owners around Carolina Beach are truly unforgettable people. The more time you spend on the island, the more conversations you’ll hear that will place you squarely in a capital “S” Southern beach town. The exchanges between the restaurant staff and the regulars sound more like small family reunions, the interiors are lived in and impeccably well cared for, and the food—the food is fantastic. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

photography by Em Wilson

HopLite Irish Pub and Restaurant

Charlie Graingers

REUBEN SANDWICH: House made corned beef, Swiss cheese, and 24 sauerkraut, DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017Thousand Island, served with homemade potato chips.

THE BRISKET CHARLIE PLATE: Mouthwatering beef brisket and housemade molasses, BBQ sauce served with brisket baked beans, slaw, cornbread and fountain drink.

720 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach (910) 458-4745

1401 N Lake Park Blvd #28, Carolina Beach (910) 707-0285


Olde Salty

103 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach (910) 458-8090 SOFT SHELL CRAB SANDWICH: Soft-shell crab lightly breaded and fried golden brown, served on a bun with lettuce and tomato, with homemade onion rings.

The Dive Food & Spirits

6 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach (910) 458-8282

CAROLINA BEACH BURGER: 8 oz. of charbroiled Angus beef seasoned with a nice blend of spices topped with cheddar cheese.

Do you want your restaurant’s food to be featured in the Food Porn section of Devour? Call (910) 791-0688 ext. 2 or email em@encorepub.com

www.devourilm.com SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 25


TO

EAT! Recipes to try at home

Food Your Feelings: Local blogger shares latest round of recipes from her kitchen BY Emily Caulfield ● Devour contributor, Food Your Feelings blogger, dearemilycaulfield.wordpress.com.

A mad scientist’s power comes from making something wonderful and brand new—like a singular dish that was just a grocery list of disparate ingredients, moments or hours before. The golden, shimmering alchemy of cooking is one of the ways I fill my life with warmth and light. I cook home food; no molecular gastronomics, no loopy swirls on the plate. It is a remarkable thing to be confident in providing for yourself—not just surviving, but creating, often out of very little, a feast, nourishing and magnificent in its rustic simplicity.

1 tsp lemon juice 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 large slices bakery bread (Sourdough is my favorite, but pumpernickel or rye would also be good; just get something fresh and strong enough to hold all the tomatoey bliss.) Salt and pepper to taste

SOUTHERN TOMATO AND MAYO SANDWICH WITH ITALIAN HERBS Summer means tomatoes—in every imaginable way. One of the most soul-satisfying yet simple ways to enjoy the season’s star player is to make them the star of a sandwich, so just do it!

PATATAS BRAVAS WITH SPANISH PAPRIKA My take on the traditional Spanish dish is simple and streamlined. It’s basically french fries and mayo, the creamy aioli here spiked with smoky paprika, the bright acid of tomato and a hit of lemon. It’s crazy good, and always a crowd-pleaser.

INGREDIENTS 1 large local tomato, chopped 2 tbsps Duke’s mayo 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped finely 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely

INGREDIENTS Appetizer or serves 4 3 lbs russet potatoes, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 large tomato, halved, seeded and roasted until soft 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 6 oz Duke’s mayo

26 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

METHOD Season the chopped tomato with salt, add the lemon juice, mash with fork or potato masher, and set aside. Turn on the broiler and rub both sides of each slice with the garlic clove and pop into the oven for about 2 minutes on each side, enough for a nice golden toast. Keep your eye on it! When the toast is toasty, pull it out, plate the slices, and slather both sides with some Duke’s. Toss the chopped tomatoes with basil and parsley and season with fresh cracked pepper. Spread the mixture on the bread like a fresh tomato jam, close that bitch or eat it open-faced! Glorious Southern summer treat.


EAT

1 tbsp olive oil 1 small red onion, peeled and diced 2 tsps lemon juice 1 tsp hot sauce (or more to taste) 1 heaping tbsp smoked Spanish paprika Salt and pepper 4 c canola or vegetable oil 2 tbsps flat-leaf parsley, chopped roughly

METHOD Preheat the oven to 385 degrees, and pop in the tomato on a piece of tinfoil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium, and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the paprika and cook for 30 more seconds. Take off the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the tomato and let that cool, too. Heat the cooking oil in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven until very hot and shimmering. Add the potatoes carefully, frying them in batches so the pot doesn’t become overcrowded (because that will cause the temperature to drop and/or the potatoes to cook unevenly). When all the potatoes are golden brown, remove to a plate lined with towels to drain the excess oil, then place them on a preheated baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes for extra crispy texture! While the potatoes are crisping in the oven, combine the tomato, mayo, onion, garlic, hot sauce, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set in the fridge to cool further. The longer it sits the better the flavor will be, so you could do this process beforehand, and then wait to crisp the potatoes until ready to serve. Either way, it’s unbelievable: Spanish tapas in your very own home! Serve the potatoes warm and crispy, and tossed in parsley, alongside the paprika-spiked aioli. GRILLED CORN SALAD WITH CHIPOTLES IN ADOBO This recipe, created by chef Grace Parisi, is an enduringly popular item on her menu, and you’re about to find out why. Serve as an incredibly flavorful side or salad with pretty simple prep. It’s easy to make on the move, and keeps and travels well. You can roast the corn, too, if you don’t have access to a grill or grill pan. It’s rich and satisfying but light enough for a steamy Indian summer day.

INGREDIENTS Serves 5 people 4-5 ears corn, shucked Half a medium vidalia onion, thickly sliced 2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped finely 1 scallion, thinly sliced 2 tbsps lime juice 4 oz sour cream Salt and pepper METHOD In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, lime juice, chopped chiles, and sliced scallions and set aside. If you have a grill or grill pan, set over medium-high heat. If not, you can set the corn under the broiler while you saute the onions. It’s not ideal, but it still works great. Either way, brush the vegetables with olive oil, and cook until charred and blistered in spots but still crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. If you’re using a broiler, keep a close eye on it. Let cool, then slice the kernels off the cob, and roughly chop the onion. Fold the corn and onion into the sour cream and chipotle mixture, season with a little salt and pepper. Serve immediately!

ie Want to list your food ganization, or event, tour, class, or xt edition? fundraiser in our ne Post your event online by Jan. 1 through encore’s calendar, which populates Devour’s calendar. Head to www.encorepub.com, click calendar, add event, and follow the directions. SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 27


Cocktails and Conversations The beginnings of a bartender BY Joel Finsel ● Devour contributor, mixologist and author of ‘Cocktails and Conversations from the Astral Plane’

I

’ve been a professional bartender-cummixologist for almost 20 years. I’ve won awards and had recipes published, which I tell you not out of pride—it’s a strange craft to take pride in, after all. If it’s true a bartender is the everyman’s therapist, then we’re also the everyman’s enabler. The service industry in general can be melancholy, which is why many do drugs and stay up late, and sleep with each other disastrously, and talk endlessly about quitting but never really quitting. And, no matter how fancy the restaurant, there’s always shit work—even at the A-listiest restaurants. I never worked anywhere that, at some point, I was not handed the mop. I mention it only so readers know I take the craft of drink-making seriously. It’s a rare art—a necessary art. I went to bartending school in 1997 over winter break from college. I was a freshman studying to become an English teacher. I had been a dishwasher and a busboy, which I liked because they didn’t require much talking. Still, neither did much in the way of impressing girls. There were about 20 of us in bartending class. The instructor was tall and kind of dorky. The other prospects and I sat around a pretend bar in an office complex, while our teacher showed us how to make whiskey sours, grasshoppers and Long Island iced teas, using fake ingredients. He explained how the Tanqueray bottle was modeled after British fire-hydrants and how Beefeater gin was named after British royal bodyguards who stand outside Buckingham Palace, while wearing red coats and furry

• Right: Joel Finsel Courtesy photo

28 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017


IMBIBE black hats. In the 17th century, when many people went hungry, these redcoats with pole-axes were rationed large portions of beef. These days they still wear the same outfits but carry machine guns. Our teacher demonstrated a different category of drinks each day for two weeks before having us pair up and practice. There were two tests: a written one for recipes and one for speed. The latter required making 12 randomly ordered drinks in three minutes. I had shoulder-length hair and thrift-store clothes. The school boasted job placement opportunities, but the only gig I could find was at a Greek diner, pouring drafts to a couple of truckers watching football. After getting a haircut, I landed a spot behind the rails at a nightclub. Once a month or so, they had an “all-male review,” which meant I had to serve Malibu Bay breezes to waves of excited women, while well-built dudes in thongs strutted on top of my bar. One of the guys signed bare-chested photographs of himself to hang in the bathrooms. My boss only hired 16-yearold boys to work with him in the kitchen. All the food came in pre-packaged and fryer-ready. Whenever my boss shook my hand, his lazy finger dragged along my palm. There was an artist who lived nearby in a convalescent tower who claimed to have his paintings and sculptures in most of the major museums in the world, including the MoMA and Tate Modern. If so, I wondered, why was he forced to survive on the kindness of a few aging patrons? On most nights he drank an entire bottle of red wine but rarely paid for anything because of the huge abstract painting on the wall that he had bartered with my boss. Once the artist finished his wine, he moved on to Campari and gin, and often began slamming his fist on the bar to emphasize some point about how our city council was “failing the children” because “no one understood the importance of culture anymore.” He threw old copies of The New Yorker at me, and challenged me to educate myself out of our little coal-mining town. He later commissioned my first piece of paid writing—an introduction to a catalogue of his charcoal drawings. Over the next decade or so, while researching his life enough to write his biography, I realized most of the old man’s stories were true. Before I became a bartender, I used to think the old men were all gruff and mean, especially the irascible ones. Now I know they were probably just tired and had sore legs. One of my favorites to watch was a stocky, chain-smoking guy with a limp, named “Ray,” who lived most of the year in Florida but came up the coast each summer to work at a dinner theatre in an old mansion. Guests entered through a side door and were asked to wait at the bar. Ray’s friend George, the manager, was tall and had gone to Harvard. He had “a few novels” in the works in unfinished piles on his desk, he said, should he ever expire in our midst. Ray lived in George’s basement and watched the History Channel, while chain-smoking in the dark. The owner of the theatre wrote, acted and directed the plays. He wore floral-collared shirts and drank a vodka martini with olives after every performance. Most of the other waiters were also actors, culled from college theatre programs. I was not one of them; though, I did get to put on a Mayan Monster/Deity costume once and growl loudly onstage. I was a walk-in, a bum sharing a flophouse nearby with a high-school buddy and

his girlfriend. I often hung out after work with a group of Irish kids who came over for the summer and liked to go to dance clubs on weekends where the bartenders spit fire. The Irish became so integrated into the fabric of town that restaurants took to offering French-fry sandwiches. I had one once, a long white roll, inlaid with mayo and fries they called a “chip buddy.” Many of the Irish lived in the same house, usually three or four to a room. I came to love them and later learned some came from wealthy families but were willing to wash dishes all summer in the restaurant just to interact with American girls. They drank Budweiser and shot pool until last call at the predominantly African-American bar near their house. It had the best jukebox. More so, they taught me how to take things in stride, to not take myself too seriously, and why buying a round of drinks for friends and leaving a generous tip is actually a good investment—which may have been the best lesson of them all. Veteran bartender Joel Finsel is the author of “Cocktails and Conversations from the Astral Plane.” Feel free to send questions or comments to joelfinsel@gmail.com.

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TAP

THE KEG! Reviews and rambles on brew

A Ship By Any Other Name: Edward Teach Brewing will help evolve imbibing in Brooklyn Arts District BY Bethany Turner ● Devour contributor As a modern-day business owner, there are quite a few draws to opening shop in downtown Wilmington. For one, it’s unrelentingly scenic: rain, shine and especially sunset, the river provides the perfect backdrop for time spent supporting local stores and restaurants. As well, the central business district is teeming with foot traffic. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects is the opportunity to secure a space with such rich history within our three-century city.

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Many storefronts share a varied account of what once was: auto shop, boutique hotel, seed and feed. As for the gray and red Queen Anne-style building on the corner of Fourth and Campbell streets, outside of downtown’s CBD, it is about to witness its next identification. Constructed in 1907 by contractor R. H. Brady and architect Henry E. Bonitz, the structure housed both the North Fourth Street Farmers’ Market and a fire house. When the fire department moved to Princess Place Drive in 1977, the space was filled by Wilmington Boxing Center until 1999. Now, 18 years later and in the heat of summer, the edifice is seeing big changes behind its large wooden doors. Outfitted with a 20-barrel, three-vessel brewhouse, and renovated to include a large bar and a loft, the next chapter for 604 N. Fourth Street will begin in Edward Teach Brewing. “It’s actually eligible for a black plaque from the Historic Wilmington Foundation because it’s over 100 years old now,” brewery owner Gary Sholar tells. As we stand amidst sawdust, his vision for the future becomes clear: “wide open doors, dog-friendly, laid-back.” Sholar’s industrial background connects him to the large brewhouse, while his six-year homebrewing hobby fuels the passion. His career is manufacturing food-processing equipment out of a company he owns in Wallace. “We do equipment for Butterball, Tyson, Perdue, Smithfield, Mt. Olive Pickle, and so on,” he explains. “In my line of work, we do this everyday: install industrial equipment by ourselves. With that, I thought, If I brew at home, might as well make it big. This is going to be a fun project for me.” A lease was executed on the roughly 10,000-square-foot building two years ago, and Sholar says they should close on the building in early August. While other local breweries moved swiftly in construction after getting the keys, Edward Teach Brewing saw the bulk of its progression in recent months as Sholar was able to dedicate time alongside his career. “I wanted to secure a property,” he tells, “but this is a hobby more than a money-maker for me.” For the name, Sholar relied on Edward Teach’s connection to the area. Better known as “Blackbeard,” the pirate embodies the spirit of coastal North Carolina, having shipwrecked Queen Anne’s Revenge in Beaufort, just two hours north, before settling in Bath, NC. In 1718 Stede Bonnet and his pirates took on the Royal Navy in the Battle of Cape Fear River; Bonnet’s ship, Royal James, was a former Blackbeard flagship. “I wanted to have something that was close to Wilmington and the coastal theme,” Sholar declares. “We actually ran a contest for naming the brewery through Penguin 98.3 FM, and we offered $1,000 to the person who came up with our name. I actually had thought of Edward Teach, and we had several people suggest that name for the contest, so it was kismet.” As well the pirate name lent itself to the design of the namesake. In the middle of the building now stands a bar that resembles the side of a ship. A curved bartop culminates in a pointy bow while the mezzanine level overlooks both the downstairs bar and the brewhouse.


IMBIBE “I wanted to incorporate a ship into the design but I didn’t want it to be too Disney,” he tells. “I wanted clean, subtle lines. I also wanted it to be intimate. When you walk in, even if there are 15 or 20 people in here, I want it to feel full.” Artist renderings of the space and logo design were provided by The Brandit, a boutique graphic design company based in Hampstead, NC. While they support a variety of industries, the company’s work includes breweries across the country. Locally they’ve designed logos and beer labels for White Street Brewing in Wake Forest, NC, and Virginia’s Blue Mountain Brewery. “I had not heard of them before this project, but The Brandit specializes in marketing for beer companies, and they have been great to work with,” Sholar adds. Despite the size of the building, the bar design will offer Edward Teach Brewing a welcoming and approachable comfort for craft-beer drinkers in the Cape Fear. Sholar believes atmosphere and lower price points will shape their niche in Wilmington’s ever-expanding brewery market. “We’ll do six flagship beers to start with,” he notes, expecting an IPA and a lager to make the initial list. “We’ll do some seasonals as well. We will serve a limited menu, which is to be determined, because we’re also carrying wine.” Sholar knows of one brewery goal he certainly has in mind: distribution. The brewhouse is large enough to support a great area of bars and restaurants—and naturally Sholar will focus outside-sale efforts in coastal North Carolina to begin. The team will be rounded out by two brewers. “I hired a retired head brewer, Jim Holden, from Labatt Brewing Company in Canada,” Sholar shares. “He and his wife relocated, and they’re here for a while. Jim will be consulting, and we’ve got a guy who will become our full-time brewer after Jim leaves. Erik Peterson is from Bull Durham Beer Co.; he’s indigenous to Wilmington and wants to move back.” Until the first pint is served, there are a few more items to check off, though Sholar says working with the Historic Wilmington Foundation has been smooth sailing. His and their mindsets, to get the building back to its original façade, are on point. “It has not been an arduous task whatsoever,” he tells. “They have an easement to the outside of the building; whatever we do on the inside is our business. But they’ve been great to work with. The front doors and windows will be replaced. We’re going back to clear glass because, obviously, opaque glass wouldn’t have been available when this was first built.” While the brewery is still in construction at time of press, Sholar expects construction on Edward Teach to finalize at the end of August. Water lines were run in the beginning of the month, where the crew added in dog water fountains for the first and second floors, confirming the relaxed social atmosphere. Doors should open in late summer. Other business owners in the Brooklyn Arts District (BAD) are excited for further revitalization of North Fourth Street (NoFo), including Scott Wagner of the neighborhood watering hole Goat and Compass. “With the addition of Edward Teach Brewing to the BAD and NoFo area, along with Flytrap Brewery, Bottega Art Gallery, and anchored on the north end of Fourth Street by Palate bottle shop, we look forward to the spotlight being shown on the growing north side of downtown,” Wagner shares. “We’re glad businesses see the value of NoFo that we saw when we opened our doors 10 years ago. For the longest time we felt like we were on an island, and we’re thrilled to see other businesses coming into the neighborhood. We’re starting to wonder whether BAD stands for Brooklyn Arts District—or Beer and Arts District!” Sholar appears just as thrilled to be a part of the movement in NoFo, invigorating new life to a historic building that sat empty for so many years. Being directly across Campbell Street from the Brooklyn Arts Center, he expects the area to flourish with weddings, events, and

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UN

CORKED! Reviews and rambles on vino

A Brush-Up on Zin: Knowing the difference between zinfandel, white zinfandel and rosé BY John Burke ● Devour columnist

The other night I was sipping a forgettable zinfandel when a relative grew inquisitive. She was surprised that my zin was red because she didn’t think that was normally the case. It took me a few rounds of Q&A before I realized her confusion was over white zinfandel. Spending too much time around wine means assuming everyone knows as much as the average sommelier. So this may not be the most exciting piece I’ve ever written for my more advanced wine readers, but I feel strongly it’s time for a recap on zinfandel, white zinfandel and rosé. This is one of the minor tricks of the wine industry: Ill-informed consumers are often fooled by similar words and wines with similar coloring. They wind up asking for the wrong thing—or embarrassing themselves in front of more knowledgeable oenophiles. So I consider this my public-service column. Zinfandel itself is a dark red grape used in California and elsewhere. It is the equivalent of Italian Primitivo. Often shortened to “zin”—because this is America and we can’t be bothered with poly-syllabic nomenclature—the wines produced are notably spicy, bold and fruity. They tend to pair well with red meats, particularly when grilled or roasted. White Zinfandel is a sweet pink wine (not white at all) and is created using zinfandel grapes. “White zin” is sickly sweet, and stories about drinking it should always contain the phrase, “I can’t believe I was ever that young...” North Carolina’s own Biltmore Estates will soon be offering a white zin under the appellation “blanc de noir,” French for white of black. The French use this wording to describe champagne made from pinot noir grapes. Using it to describe a sweet pink wine from a non-traditional wine-making region may not go over well with our Gallic allies across the Atlantic. 32 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

(Tell the next Frenchman you meet about the blanc de noir from Biltmore. My guess is you’ll see some funny facial expressions and learn some exciting new French obscenities.) White zinfandel is a subset of a broader category of wines called “rosés.” Remember Venn diagrams from grade school? All white zins are rosés but not all rosés are white zins. Rosés can actually be lovely. Good ones have the rich flavors of a bold red mixed with the cool crispness of a well-chilled white. Red wines start out white and are dyed red by contact with the dark-skin of the grape. Rosés are made by limiting the length of the contact with those skins and leaving the wine pink rather than dark red. Many serious wine drinkers eschew them for fear of being seen drinking a pink wine. The stigma of white zinfandel haunts them. This is a shame because the market has some wonderful rosés. Which takes me back to the beginning. Many red wine drinkers don’t know there are red zinfandels—and a surprising number of wine drinkers don’t know there is a wider world of pink wines beyond what they remember from their earliest drinking days. Many good restaurants don’t even offer a glass pour of zinfandel. In fairness, zin has never achieved the popularity of the big three reds: pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Given a significant portion of people won’t order it, for fear of getting something sweet and pink—coupled with the fact most wine drinkers would just as soon have a glass of pinot—zinfandel has a bit of an uphill climb when it comes to wine lists. But to new wine enthusiasts who want to give it a taste, I’d suggest 7 Deadly Zins—not just for its catchy name. It’s an affordable wine that offers a genuine taste of what a basic model zinfandel should be: fruity and mildly spicy with a fair hint of cinnamon. It’s a good wine for a fair price and will be great with some of the heartier meals of fall. Proprietors from the corner wine shop can certainly suggest good rosés for the dog days of summer. Oh, and skip white zinfandels altogether— you’re too old for that nonsense.


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TO

READ! Cookbooks and other reviews

Southern Delights: When the written word collides with creative appetites BY Gwenyfar Rohler ● Devour columnist, freelance writer and business owner of Old Books on Front Street Hungry For Home: Stories of Food From Across the Carolinas Amy Rogers, Editor Novello Festival Press, 2003, pgs. 418

Novello Festival Press was a unique experiment by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. It began as a literary festival, added an award and then began a publishing program—at the time the only librarysponsored publisher in the United States. In 2010, due to budget cuts, the program disbanded. However, Amy Rogers, its director, loves to write about food. Her food-related writing has appeared in Creative Loafing, on WFAE and in several anthologies. In 2003 she put together “Hungry For Home: Stories of Food From Across the Carolinas.” If there is one thing we do not lack in this area, it is collections of writing about cooking. Hard as it is to believe, this one really is different. North and South Carolina are both represented. Yes, there are a lot of the usual suspects, and Lee Smith has turned in another variation on her standard food essay. But did I mention it includes Emmylou Harris and James Taylor? Yes. Emmylou Harris and James Taylor. So, clearly, it is not a standard Carolina food anthology. Anyone with a radio has heard James Taylor always has Carolina on his mind. His father was the dean at UNC’s School of Medicine, and young James spent much of his childhood here. But unbeknownst to me at least, Emmylou Harris did undergraduate work at UNCG. Clearly, Rogers has connections and considerable chutzpah because she got recipes from both iconic musicians. Taylor sent a recipe for baked beans that sounds pretty standard, and Harris included a recipe for broccoli-nut casserole that surprised me because it relies pretty heavily on mayonnaise and canned cream of mushroom soup. (Emmylou Harris cooks like my mom? Not possible.) Harris is a gifted songwriter and performer whose work touches lives and changes the world, so 34 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

she can’t do normal mom things ... like cook with canned cream of mushroom soup, can she? The book is mostly recipe-driven, with lots of helpful tips included in the margins about making things ahead and how well certain items freeze. Rogers got a lot of the literary heavy weights, like Pat Conroy, but I was surprised to see included John Jakes, long-time resident of Hilton Head and author of several shelves worth of historical fiction. However, Josephine Humphreys, author of “Nowhere Else on Earth” (one of my favorite books) submitted a recipe for garlicky crab claws. It begins: “Tie half a catfish to a string, weighted with a bolt or any small hunk of metal out of your father’s tool box. Throw the line into a Lowcountry salt creek on the incoming tide. With the string looped around one finger, lie down on the dock, cheek against the hot pine, and wait.” What continues is a beautiful memoir about food, coming of age, finding your voice as a writer, and cooking crabs for dinner. It is inspiring and hunger-inducing. Actually, it is down-right brilliant. The recipes for the food are really the kind that get you into the kitchen at 3 p.m., thinking, I could just throw a casserole in the oven, bake some bread, maybe a pan of biscuits, and get a pie going—no problem at all… But the essays around the recipes are what really held my attention. Will D. Campbell recounts his unusual experience as a tour cook in “Chicken for Waylon Jennings.” Campbell was a very visible activist in the civil rights movement in the South. Don Boekelheide recounts his run-in with groundnut stew with chicken feet for the first time during his early days as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Perhaps that is what I like most about this book: It isn’t just grits, barbecue and biscuits. America is a nation dominated by immigrants. “Hungry for Home” reflects such with recipes from Sri Lanka, Lithuania, Wales, Lebanon, and Italy, to name a few. It is refreshing to read a book about food culture in North Carolina that doesn’t pretend every cook in the state materialized here, fully formed with no ties to any other part of the world, ever. Also it is surprising and truly wonderful to read a book about Southern cooking that acknowledges not everyone in the area is Protestant. Apparently, there are a few Catholics in the Carolinas who have been known to cook occasionally—and Jewish people, too. The American South actually received a substantial early immigration of Jews out of Europe in the 1700s. Thus, Rogers includes quite a number of recipes for traditional Jewish foods, including hamantashen, latkes and an en-


FEATURE tire section on Passover foods. The Moravian community is represented with a recipe for Moravian sugar cake—I swear I can taste it just reading the page. The Moravians came from central Europe (near Germany and Czechoslovakia) and settled in near what we think of as Winston-Salem. Just as surprising, there are recipes for Kwanzaa foods. Ahmad Daniels gives a succinct and approachable introduction to the holiday and a recipe for a Kwanzaa succotash that any fan of okra will be eager to cook. It’s beautiful and succulent. No recipe book is complete without a couple of beverages and Robert Inman fills the gap with a piece that begins, “I once built a bar.” Thus he introduces “Artillery Punch,” or “Put Some Punch in Your Party.”

Really, I adore this book. The writing is witty, the recipes mouthwatering, and the editorial choices interesting and surprising. The only thing I wish it had was a couple of recipes reflecting Native Americans in the Carolinas. But, on every other point, it wins. May I close by sharing one of my favorite recipes in the book? LIB’S LIDLESS POPCORN BY DIANA PINCKNEY 1 bag of corn kernels 1 deep pot Oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot 1 child or more, any age 1 dog or more, any age

TASTY LEFTOVERS Books we love to indulge in again and ones we leave on the shelf! Betty Crocker’s New Dinner For Two Golden Press 1964, pgs.156 Betty Crocker is sort of the homemaker’s version of Mickey Mouse: Someone created her, but she has gained such importance over the last century, her name and image have taken on a life of their own. Created in 1921 by Marjorie Husted and Bruce Barton, Betty Crocker is one of the most recognizable brands in the United States. In the 1920s she had the first on-air radio cooking show. In 1949 actress Adelaide Hawley Cumming was hired to portray her on TV as a living trademark. Betty Crocker also has had a distinguished career as a writer. I own one of her many books: “Betty Crocker’s New Dinner for Two.” My mother gave it to me the first time I moved in with a boyfriend (that she knew about). It was her way of saying she was OK with my new cohabitation status. “New Dinner For Two” has been rereleased several times, but my edition is the spiral bound from 1964. And, boy is it very 1964 (there actually is a recipe for chicken a la king) and aimed primarily at new homemakers. Still, there is actually a tremendous amount of information to behold. It is harder to cook for two people than four. More goes to waste, portion size is difficult, produce is destined to rot before use—it takes a lot of planning and effort to adjust recipes. But “Dinner For Two” aims to help new homemakers learn how to navigate a grocery store, plan a menu, budget, and also host on a small budget. There are inevitable plugs for Bisquick and other General Mills products, but all that aside, it is a remarkably helpful tool for newbie cooks. The photography is fabulously ‘60s, too—and the real ‘60s, not the camp nostalgia with filters we find on Pinterest. There, in all the glory, are tables with bright pink cloths, a silver coffee service, and stuffed green peppers that look realistic, not stylized. I know those peppers. When I read the recipe I recognized the dish I couldn’t choke down, no matter how much my mother threatened, cajoled or engaged in battle over it. Clearly, I have found where she got the recipie. I also think I discovered the secret to her relationship with pie crusts. It sounds surprising, but sometimes an old cookbook is more comforting than a new one.

Taproot Magazine The magazine for Makers, Doers and Dreamers Published Quarterly in Shelburne, Vermont It might be even more surprising to see a magazine included with cookbooks than a cookbook published in 1964. Taproot is a relatively new magazine; they are on issue number 22 and publish quarterly. The subscription was my splurge last year, and I have to admit I am quite besotted. Each issue includes a number of recipes much more slated like kitchen adventures that captivate the imagination. My current issue explores making homemade milk kefir, a fermented probiotic beverage. Other explorations include making milkweed syrup and brunch suggestions, including savory muffins. The “Desserts with Herbs” piece features basil coconut ice cream to make at home, lemon and thyme cake, and salted chocolate and rosemary cookies. Then there is a section on making an herbal first-aid kit at home. In a lot of ways, Taproot is like etsy and Pinterest had an incestuous relationship and pawned the kid off on Mother Earth News. The photography is stunning, and the recipes are definitely geared toward alternative diets: Paleo shows up, vegan, gluten-free. They all play heavily into rotation. Also the assumption the readership gardens extensively—as a hobby or for sustenance—permeates most of the writing. For me, it is like coming home. People with weird food hang-ups? I’m there. Fascination with DIY health care and natural cures produced in a kitchen? Yep, that’s my language. The recipes are approachable and written for home cooks who do not have a lot of gadgetry. The photography is positively pornographic, but more than anything, I think it is the sense of finding a tribe that makes the food feel so welcoming.

SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 35


Select Indulgences Culinary calendar of events

~events & happenings~ PINTS FOR PRESERVATION Aug. 17, 6pm: Join us at Good Hops Brewing for an evening of beer and good times for a great cause! Buy a beer (or four!) and Good Hops will generously donate a portion or proceeds to the Bellamy Museum’s community and educational programming! Tasty-Tees food truck will be on site selling delicious treats, so make sure to come hungry! Good Hops Brewing Company, 811 Harper Ave. goodhopsbrewing.com

DINNER THEATRE Through Aug. 26, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”; Sept. 1-30, “Two Trains Running”; Oct. 6-31: “TheaTerror”; Oct. 13-28: “Macabaret”; Nov. 3-4 and 9-11: “We Can Be Heroes”; Nov. 17-Dec. 23: “The Greatest Gift.” Tickets: $18-$42; higher prices include a threecourse dinner. • Also offering Shakespeare brunch, once a month on Sunday, noon-2pm. $20 for brunch and reading; $8 for reading only. Schedule: Sept. 17: “Merry Wives of Windsor”; Oct. 22: “Macbeth”; Nov. 19: “A Winter’s Tale.” TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th St. theatrewilmington.com

SOUTHEAST CRAB FEAST Aug. 27: Nonprofit organization that supports cancer research and treatment organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, and others. Southeast Crab Feast events started in the late summer of 2010 as a gathering of family, friends & associates who reside in the city, but enjoyed the coastal heritage of eating ocean fresh blue crabs, hot fish and chips, heavily seasoned Low Country Boil and seasonal oysters. We currently host “All You Can Eat” Blue Crab Feast events in 15 different cities throughout the southeast. We also support local watermen on the coastline of NC, SC, GA & FL who harvest and deliver fresh blue crabs per day from the Atlantic Ocean. Wilmington Sportsman Club , 1111 Castle St. Tickets: $10$29, available at EventBrite.com.

COASTAL UNCORKED FOOD & WINE Sept. 1-3, all day: Delicious wine, craftbeer and moonshine throughout Labor Day weekend at the 7th annual Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival at Broadway at the Beach in the parking lot behind Pavilion Park Central, in Myrtle Beach. Ticketed events in36 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

EPICUREAN EVENING Sept. 7, 5:30 p.m. Annually the Methodist Home for Children hosts Wilmington’s Epicurean Evening, a competition of local chefs and restaurants dishing out the most decadent delights for their chance at the top prize, the Copper Kettle. Thirty chefs will compete for awards and bragging rights, with all proceeds benefitting the nonprofit, which serves more than 1,400 vulnerable children and families in New Hanover County. Tickets: $125 and up www.wilmingtonee.com clude; Chocolate Under the Moon, a dessert and moonshine mixology tasting; Brews ‘N the Beach, a craft beer festival; and the Grand Wine Tasting, showcasing a variety of wineries throughout the world, paired with gourmet Boar’s Head Brand hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie. Tickets: $10-$70. www.coastaluncorked.com.

AMERICAN LEGION FISH FRY Post 10 holds a fish fry the first Friday of every month. Featuring fired whiting fish plate with three sides, deviled crab cakes and sides, combination plate and sides, and baked chicken and sides. A selection of seasoning packets (ketchup, tartar sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, etc.) are available at the beverages table. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Delivery available for group orders of 10 or more plates at no additional cost.; (910) 7993806. $8. 702 Pine Grove Dr.

DUPLIN ANNUAL GRAPE STOMP


Duplin Winery’s 41st Grape Stomp celebration, Sat., Sept. 9, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Live music, wine tastings and a grape-stomping contest. The Bistro Restaurant will be open on a first come first serve basis with extended hours, as well as have a food tent at the festival. Don’t forget chairs or your dancing shoes so you can get your shag on. $20 per person in advance (limited); $30 per person online, in-store and at the gate. 918 West Charity Rd., Rose Hill, NC. www.duplinwinery.com

A TASTE OF THE TOWN Sept. 26, 6pm: A Taste of the Town features the finest restaurants in downtown Wilmington, which provide a sampling of their signature dishes on a culinary tour. Be the judge for best appetizer, best entrée and best overall, as you stroll with map in hand or take the provided trolley to each locale. All proceeds benefit Thalian Hall. Participating restaurants include The George, Cousin’s Italian Deli, Caprice Bistro, Elijah’s, Pilot House, The Greeks, Little Dipper, Beer Barrio, Buzz’s Roost, Platypus & Gnome, Betsey’s Crepes, Bella’s Bar Local, Fat Tony’s and The Fortunate Glass. $50 (member discount not applicable). Proceeds benefit Thalian Hall. thalianhall.org.

~classes, tastings & things~ CAPE FEAR WINE & FOOD CLUB The Seasoned Gourmet has been teaching cooking classes for over 15 years. They offer unique events for members and their guests, including cooking classes, wine-pairing classes, premium wine dinners, and free members-only events throughout the year. Members enjoy exclusive discounts from our host, The Seasoned Gourmet. Enjoy a 5 percent daily discount on all merchandise in their store, plus a 10 percent daily discount during classes that you attend. Also a special members-only discount wine during events: 15 percent off six or more bottles and 20 percent off 12 or more bottles. To reserve a seat in class or join, call 910-256-9488, or stop by The Seasoned Gourmet, 5500 Market St., #110. www.theseasonedgourmet.com. 910-256-9488

WINE NOT, IT’S FRIDAY Last Friday of the month, 6-8pm: Wine Not, It’s Friday! Signature wine tasting event and a taste of food and wine pairings. $5 donation benefits a local non-profit. Whole Foods at 3804 Oleander Dr. www. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/wilmington

CULINARY CREATIONS CLASS Instead of trying to find a cooking class to meet your goals and ending up with too many cooks in the kitchen, consider having Culinary Creations design a cooking class for you and your family or friends to be held in the comfort of your own home. We will help you design a menu to focus on the dishes that intrigue you most. Prepare a meal from our menu selections or we can work together to customize a menu for you to learn to prepare and enjoy. And best of all, you and the other ‘students’ get to enjoy the fruits of your labor between each course! 910-538-2433. www.culinarycreationsonline.com

KIDS COOKING CLASSES Boys and girls, ages 8-10. Does your child love to cook? Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation has stirred up something just for them, a fun hands-on youth cooking class! This program aims to teach kids creative and simple recipes that will encourage healthy living and good nutritional choices. It can help build self-esteem, team building, and even motivate them to cook for you! 1 Bob Sawyer Dr.; 910-2567925. www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com

KIDS COOKING CLUB Children Museum of Wilmington presents Kids Cooking Club with Mary Ellen on Tuesdays at 3:30pm. Please pre-register. Explore seasonal recipes and savor the flavor of your hard work. Kids Cooking Club is sponsored by Harris Teeter and held at 116 Orange St. www.

playwilmington.org

PALATE Turntable Tues.: Bring your favorite vinyl, enjoy specials • Wed: Free tasting of wine from around the globe, hosted by a winery representative or vendor to teach you about the selections. Tasting wines offered at a discount, as well as an additional 10 percent off six packs and 15 percent off cases. • Sun: $6 mimosas. 1007 N. 4th St. www.palatenc. com

FERMENTAL Free tasting every Friday, 6pm • Third Wednesday of each month feat. musical and brewing talents alongside an open mic night, as well as the opportunity for homebrewers to share, sample, and trade their creations: an evening of beer and an open stage. PA and equipment provided. All genres. All beer styles 910-821-0362 for details. Fermental, 7250 Market St.

SILVER COAST WINERY Wine and beer tasting always available with inquiries. 6680 Barbeque Rd. Ocean Isle Beach. www.silvercoastwinery.com

SEASONED GOURMET KIDS COOKING CLASSES Sherry Storms will be teaching basic baking techniques in combination with a variety of recipes, both traditional and unique just in time for the holidays. This session will build upon any budding chef’s skills and expand their repertoire. Session I (Nov. 3): Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing •Session II (Nov. 10): Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting • Session III (Nov. 17): Gingerbread People with Decoration • Session IV (Dec. 1): Mini Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza. All classes run from 6-8pm. This series is for children 12 years and older. The Seasoned Gourmet, 5500 Market St. Ste. 110

FLYTRAP BREWING Fourth Friday Gallery Night, featuring new artists and exhibition every Fourth Friday of the month through 2016. • Food trucks and live music Thurs. through Sat., weekly. • $5 flight Sundays and $5 flight Tuesdays. 319 Walnut St. www.flytrapbrewing.com

FORTUNATE GLASS Free wine tasting, Tues., 6-8pm • Sparkling wine specials & discounted select bottles, Wed. and Thurs. • Monthly food/wine pairing events. 29 S. Front St. www.fortunateglasswinebar.com

BREWER'S KETTLE Weekly live music, monthly food and wine and beer pairing events, wine tastings, and showcasing local breweries! 4718 Oleander Dr. 910-502-0333. www.bkwilmington.com

BOOKS, BEER, JAZZ Enjoy browsing our extensive book catalog and library while listening to live ambient jazz piano. Start out your weekend with a beer or glass of wine, while James Jarvis performs his jazz compositions for your listening pleasure. Live piano from 3pm, Sundays. Old Books on Front Street, 249. N. Front St.

A TASTING ROOM Thurs./Fri., 5pm: Our weekly wine tastings feature six selections for your tasting pleasure. Try before you buy to load up your home cellar, or choose your favorite wine from the lineup and purchase a glass to enjoy at our tasting bar or in our garden seating. Cheers! A Tasting Room, 19 S. 2nd St.

THE WINE SAMPLER Hosting free weekly tasting every Wednesday through Saturday. 1 SUMMER-FALL 2017 | DEVOUR 37


percent discount on all tasting wines, all week. Wednesday-Friday: 3-7pm; Saturday: noon-7pm. 4107-C Oleander Dr. 910-796-WINE (9463). www.thewinesampler.com

BURNT MILL CREEK Thursday night is Neighborhood Night at Burnt Mill Creek, with Steviemack’s International Food Company food truck. Bring friends for supper and a drink. Burnt Mill Creek, 2101 Market St.

of our facilities and see a formal coffee cupping to demonstrate the “taste of place” that makes each coffee so unique. See us demonstrate a few different brewing methods you can use to achieve that perfect PCJ cup at home. Tour groups are limited to six people. Tickets are available for $15/person. www.portcityjava.com

PORT CITY BREW BUS

SWEET N SAVORY CAFE

Port City Brew Bus offers public brewery tours that are open to anyone 21 years or older. Eat a hearty breakfast before the tour. We will have pretzels, snacks, and water but there isn’t a stop for lunch. Visit three breweries to experience their facilities, understand the brewing process unique to their beers and enjoy samples of their offerings. $55. www.portcitybrewbus.com. 910-679-6586

Every Wednesday from 5-7pm, we break open our wine selection for you to taste— from Napa Valley to French Bordeauxs to great wines from Australia. 1611 Pavillion Place.

~clubs & organizations~

WATERLINE BREWING Weekly live music, food trucks every Fri. and Sat., and new beer. 721 Surry St., under the Cape Fear Bridge. waterlinebrewing.com

WHISKEY HOTDOG MYSTERY Whiskey Hotdog Mystery Music Wednesday at Juggling Gypsy, 1612 Castle St. Amazing hot dog creations from the Gypsy Kitchen, with $1 off all whiskeys every Wednesday. jugglinggypsy.com.

TAPAS TWOSDAY $10, 5:30-7pm: Every Tues. and Wed.! Half-off craft cocktail list and select wines. Catch, 6623 Market St.

WILMINGTON WINE SHOP Sample five new delicious wines we’ve brought in just for our customers during Free Friday Wine Tasting, 5-8pm. Have a bottle or glass of your favorite with friends afterwards in our cozy shop or on the back deck. We’ve got a fridge full of craft and micro-brews. 605 Castle St. 910-202-4749.

WILMINGTON BREWING CO. Firkin Fridays, 5:30pm • Sat.: Free brewing demos, 1:30pm • Also featuring food trucks and live music weekly. 824 S. Kerr Ave. 910-3923315

~tours~ FRONT STREET BREWERY Every third Thursday, join us for The Wort Shop Thirsty Third Thursday. Our brewers will tap a new experimental brew that will be available in limited quantities for that day only. • Brewery tours, daily, 3-5 p.m. Free tasting included! 3 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Learn how we brew our beer, about the brewing process and sample a few brews with one of our brewers. Sign up for a tour at the host stand. 9 N. Front St. www.frontstreetbrewery.com

TASTE CAROLINA FOOD TOURS Sample an eclectic assortment of downtown restaurants, enjoy food and drink, and meet some of the city’s best chefs. Public parking available. Saturday tours include a 2:15pm. Downtown Afternoon Tasting Tour ($55/person) and a 3:15pm. Downtown Dinner and Drinks Tour ($65/person). 10am. Farmers Market Tour ($75/person). Cooking class available. Private and custom tours are available any day or night of the week for groups of eight or more. Visit www.tastecarolina.net.

TASTING HISTORY TOURS Tasting History Tours of Pleasure Island; guided walking tours. $35 and up. Afternoon of delicious food and education. 910-622-6046. www. tastinghistorytours.com

PCJ ROASTERY TOUR Join us at Port City Java’s Corporate Headquarters for our monthly public roastery tour, coffee cupping and home brewing class! Learn how coffee is grown, harvested, processed and roasted through a tour 38 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

FEAST DOWN EAST BUYING CLUB Enjoy the quality, value and convenience of the Feast Down East Buying Club. It costs nothing to join, and the benefits are immeasurable. Support your local farm families and community. Choose a pick-up spot, check out at the online cashier, and you are done! FeastDownEast.org

FARMERS’ MARKETS Fruits, vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, eggs, cheese, meats, seafood, honey and more! Poplar Grove, April-Nov., Wed., 8am-1pm. 910-686-9518. www.poplargrove.com • Riverfront Farmers’ Market open on Water St., downtown, every Sat., through Dec., 8am-1pm. www.wilmingtondowntown.com/farmers-market • Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market every Sat., May-Sept., 8am-1pm, around the lake in Carolina Beach. Free parking; www.carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com. • Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, 21 Causeway Dr. Mon., 8am1pm, first Mon. in May-Labor Day. • Town of Leland Farmers’ Market at Leland Town Hall, alternating Sundays, 11am-3pm, May-Aug. • Oak Island Farmers’ Market, Mon., April-Nov., 7am.-1pm. Middletown Park, Oak Island • Southport Waterfront Market, Wednesdays, MaySept., 8am-1pm. Garrison Lawn in Southport, NC. • St. James Plantation Farmers Market, Thurs., May-Oct., 4-7pm, park at Woodlands Park Soccer Field. • River’s Bluff, every Sat., 10am-3pm: Farmer Bill is up early most mornings, tending to the crops at The River Bluffs Organic Farm. Situated on 10 acres of land, The Farm utilizes sustainable growing methods so that all yielded produce can be tagged “certified organic.” Located just down the road from the entrance of River Bluffs, The Farm helps to fill the amazing menu at the neighborhood restaurant—Porches Cafe. River Bluffs, 3571 Hansa Dr. http:// riverbluffsliving.com/saturday-farm-market.

ILM VEGAN CARROT MOB Like a flash mob, the Wilmington Vegan Carrot Mob chooses a restaurant to meet at and dine in for a night of fellowship and vegan meals. A location and time is chosen, and vegan diners show up and shows local restaurateurs support from the vegan community in an effort to expand vegan menus. www.wilmingtonvegan.com

ILM VEGAN MENTOR PROGRAM The Wilmington Vegan Mentor Program ensures those who are new to veganism are provided with all the support and guidance they need. Volunteer mentors are paired with those who are making new food choices. They meet to talk and answer questions, go to the grocery store, discuss cookbooks, and explore local resources. www.wilmingtonvegan.com

TACOS AND TRIVIA Every Wed., 8pm, at Capt’n Bills Backyard Grille. Bring your team! Stuffed tacos from 8-11pm for only $2 each. Other food and drink specials as well! 4240 Market St.


La Costa Mexican Restaurant

16 OZ. MARGARITAS FOR $4.95 MONDAY & TUESDAY AT ALL LOCATIONS FOOD AND DRINK SPECIALS ALL DAY!!! Open Sunday through Thursday until 9pm, Friday and Saturday until 10pm, Lunch Monday through Saturday 11am to 3pm!

5622 OLEANDER DR, 910.392.6006 3617 MARKET ST, 910.772.9000 8024 - UNIT 1 MARKET ST, 910.686.8210 www.lacostanc.com

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BEST

photo courtesy of Lindsey A. Miller Photography

FRIED CHICKEN BUFFET SOUL FOOD

WE ALSO DO CATERING! 5559 Oleander drive 910.798.2913

40 DEVOUR | SUMMER-FALL 2017

Wednesday-Saturday 11am-9pm Sunday 11am- 8pm Closed - Monday and Tuesday Visit our website - www.CaseysBuffet.com

Devour Summer/Fall 2017  

Eat and drink across southeastern NC

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