Saturday, May 25, 2019


OLD BAY POTATO CHIPS...America's favorite from coast to coast. Well, that's what the bag says.

I love Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. It reminds me of the ocean.

Now i can enjoy Old Bay without any of the gear needed to catch a kettle of fish.

These OLD BAY chips came from the German grocer in Danville - LIDL

Friday, May 24, 2019


It looks a bit ragged because it had served about 100 people at the City of Eden's Grown and Gathered event before I saw it.
Grown and Gathered is a community fundraiser where attendees pay $50 each to munch on locally prepared food.
The beneficiaries of May's soiree were the Morehead High Band Boosters and HELP, Inc. Center Against Violence.
My wife worked the event for HELP, Inc. She brought home the dessert leftovers for me to try.
Mom's Kitchen in Wentworth prepared the dinner and I can personally testify Mom's makes the best strawberry shortcake ever.
If you ever need a caterer to serve your event, I recommend Mom's. Be sure to order their strawberry shortcake. It's definitely good eats.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


Breakfast at Chaney's Restaurant in Eden, NC.  Scrambled eggs, bacon, county sausage, link sausage, grits, and hash browns with milk gravy.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


Click images to enlarge

You've perhaps heard of That Little Pork Shop  on Monroe St. in Eden, NC.  If you did, but never visited, then join my club.  This was my first visit, although Debbie had been a time or two.

I think I'd seen the menu on Facebook, but I'm not sure.  Everyone told me that I need to go, but never really explained why.  No one really said what was so special about That Little Pork Shop.

The menu looked like an ordinary sandwich shop and the name implied a greasy, out-of-the-way BBQ pit.

The only thing that didn't fit was a photo of Caymus cabernet on a friend's Facebook page.  What in the hell was a sandwich shop/BBQ pit doing serving world famous Caymus wine - a sandwich shop/BBQ pit in Eden no less?  Rockingham County is Bud Light and Miller Lite country.

I've had Caymus Special Selection cabernet.  We used to sell it for $50 per bottle many years ago.  Now understand That Little Pork Shop doesn't sell Caymus Special Selection, but they do sell regular Caymus cabernet for $92 per bottle.  I even had the waitress show me a bottle of the Caymus to prove That Little Pork Shop does sell it.  That's significant.

I didn't buy the Caymus at That Little Pork Shop just like hardly anyone bought our Caymus Special Selection.  We still have a 32 year-old bottle of the Special Selection in our kitchen.  We're saving the Special Selection for a special occasion.  Maybe one day we will serve it with some prime steaks and share with some friends.  We can get the prime steaks via mail order, but we don't know anyone who drinks wine.  Everybody wants their Bub and Miller.  Some things never change in Rockingham County.  It's a shame.  As Donald Trump would say, "Sad".

Here's the That Little Pork Shop sign in the middle of the restaurant.  I guess it was there to remind you where you were eating.  You needed a reminder because the rest of the decorations were a bit deceptive.  The rest of theme said you couldn't be in Eden in a greasy BBQ joint.  I will explain later.

This is Connie.  Connie was our waitress.  Connie was very nice and attentive without being annoying.

This is my dish.  It's King of the Sea, which implies a huge platter of mixed seafood.  What you see is what you get with King of the Sea - about a dozen fried shrimp, a generous helping of french fries, and a little dab of slaw (pictured at the bottom).  That's paw-paw sauce in the cup at the top of the photo.

Paw-Paw sauce had to be explained to me before I ordered it.  It's kind of a spicy mayo sauce for dipping your shrimp.  I think there other shrimp sauces available, but I don't remember what they were.  Of course the red sauce in the middle is ketchup for your fries.

The shrimp were tasty, the fries were good, and the paw-paw sauce could have been a notch or two spicier, but I like my condiments with a real kick.  Most people would have been quite satisfied with the paw-paw.

The slaw was good, but there was not enough of it.  I would gladly traded out some fries for more slaw if I had to decide.

I probably should have ordered something with pork in it since I was eating at That Little Pork Shop, but I didn't.  We met someone at the bar when we entered the restaurant.  Debbie knew her (Debbie knows everybody).  She was eating King of the Sea, so I decided to also order it after I failed to get a rack of Thursday Ribs.  It was Friday, so the Thursday ribs were all gone, which makes we wonder if it's really a good idea to order Thursday Ribs on Friday.

This is what Debbie ordered.  It's two tiny pork tacos, and I do mean tiny tacos.  They were reasonably tasty, but I thought the meat was too cold, but Debbie liked them.  She topped the tacos with the pico de gallo on the left and BBQ'd cabbage on the right.

She also had an small order of nachos (not pictured) with a South Carolina mustard sauce.  I'm not sure if the mustard sauce was meant for the tacos or the nachos.

Anyway, Debbie liked her order that's what counts.

Here's where things start to change at That Little Pork Shop.  This is the bar.  It appears nothing is special.  An hour earlier, when we entered, the bar was filled with people eating, drinking, smiling, and talking.  I normally don't feel relaxed in crowded situations.  It must be something genetic which explains why I don't like avocados. cooked carrots, or miniature tomatoes.

It was somehow a different vibe at That Little Pork Shop.  I immediately felt at ease.  I have no idea why, but I did.

Here's list of all the chicken or pig sauces available.  I wish I had seen the Srirachayaki sooner.  I would have ordered to go with my shrimp.  I don't know what Srirachayaki is, but it sounds kick-ass.  I've loved Sriracha since before CBS News did a feature on a California town that tried to shut down the factory because the fumes burned everyone's eyes.  Sriracha is good stuff

This is the wine list.  Notice the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc at $52 per bottle.  We used to sell case after case of it for $8.99 a bottle.  Mer Soleil Chardonnay at $38 per bottle.  We sold it.  The Caymus at $92 per bottle.  And the Cakebread Chardonny at $65 per bottle.

What the hell is this?  A blues legend Muddy Waters poster?  Holy smokes, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!

I thought I heard an Allman Brothers Band tune playing softly in the background.  I had to get up from my table and wander around to tune into a speaker near the front of the restaurant.  

People looked at me kinda funny.  Who is this guy aimlessly wandering around while staring at the ceiling?  What's he doing?  Is he dangerous?  

I kinda reminded myself of the "Cookie Man".  "Cookie Man" would regular visit our bookstore.  He had this ritual of before the entering the store he would dance in a tight circle outside our door for several minutes.  He would then enter and stare at our classics section for several more minutes.  Sometimes he would buy a classic novel and sometimes he wouldn't.  He often carried a box of cookies - vanilla wafers, I think.  I probably struck people in the restaurant as a "Cookie Man" without the cookies.

The song I was hearing was "Midnight Rider" from the Allman's 1970 album Idlewild South.  When we were leaving That Little Pork Shop, I spotted this photo.  It's a photo of the mid-1980s version of the band.  It's a not quite so good edition of the original 1969 group that went on to become blues/jazz/ rock legends.  The band called it quits in 2014 and now only two of the original members survive.  Two members died in separate motorcycle accidents, one died of alcohol, drugs and tattoos, and one committed suicide after the IRS said he owed $500,000 in back taxes

But, I can testify That Little Pork Shop is still rocking to Allman tunes.

Here is a collage of Steppenwolf, Journey, Jefferson Airplane. Van Morrison and the Eagles, along with two unrecognizables, one of which might be Trump ass-kisser and gun nut Ted Nugent.

This is Chuck Berry who everyone claims is a guitar hero.  I always thought he sucked. 

Nevertheless, these few photos give an idea of what to expect when you visit That Little Pork Shop.  The walls are covered in rock 'n roll memorabilia, the food is good, the prices reasonable, and the staff friendly.

We recommend That Little Pork Shop.  Go now.  Support your local businesses that are trying to be a little different.

This pig monitors the counter near the cash register.  Notice the apple in his mouth.

We hoped to speak to the owner (Donna), but our waitress said she was too busy washing dishes.  I told you, it's a different kind of place.


Saturday, April 27, 2019


Click images to enlarge

I bet you've never eaten here before.  Pieology is located in Friendly Shopping Center in Greensboro.  We decided to stop while out car shopping.  We didn't buy a car, but we did try Pieology's vegetarian custom pizza.

This placard advised us that Pieology offers three vegetarian "meat" choices.  There's beef meatball, spicy Italian sausage rounds, and diced chicken.  We selected the spicy Italian sausage rounds. 

The sausage rounds, which were really just chunks of faux sausage, tasted reasonably well.  I'm not sure where they got the sausage "rounds" notion.

For toppings Debbie chose mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, black olives, roasted red peppers, feta, and mozzarella cheese in addition to the sausage "rounds"  The whole thing was served on a thin cauliflower crust.

The roasted red peppers overpowered all the other flavors.  I had to find an individual piece of sausage round to taste any sausage flavor.  I guess all the other vegetable flavors were in the taste round-up somewhere.

Debbie seemed to enjoy the pizza.  I was not so impressed, but I did agree to the vegetarian toppings.  I'll have to say the crust tasted like normal pizza crust.  It had no cauliflower flavor at all - not even a cauliflower aftertaste.

I am somewhat suspicious of the cauliflower crust because the waitress served the pizza to us in a cardboard box when Debbie had specifically indicated we were dining-in. We did not want or order take-out.

Debbie's request to remove the cardboard box was not well received by the waitress who delivered it to our table.  The waitress was not happy with being told we were dining-in.  You couldn't miss her smug expression.  She never said a word, but her sour face spoke volumes.  

The poor waitress had to take the pizza 25 feet back to the cook who had to exchange the cardboard box for a round aluminum tray and then bring the pizza back to our table.  It was such a burden. 

There were no utensils and no plates.  You had to eat the pizza with your fingers and off paper napkins.

I read on Google that Pieology is "restructuring" which means they are closing a lot of locations because business ain't what they hoped for.  I can understand that.

You can decide for yourself whether you'd like to try Pieology

We made a stop at the Tajma-Teeter while we were in Friendly.  Some folks call it Harris-Teeter Grocery, but we prefer Tajma-Teeter.  

It is truly impressive.  The place is enormous.  It's the size of the biggest grocery store you've ever been in plus Fresh Market and Whole Foods thrown in.

The photo above will show you what a kick-ass place it is.  Those are live crawfish.  Yes, live crawfish.  You can't see them kicking and squirming in this photo, but I can assure you they are live.

Nothing impresses a Louisiana boy like live crawfish in a North Carolina grocery store.  They are just a pot of boiling water with some spices away from becoming a delicious meal.

Forgive me, but I'm just a dumb country boy.  A grocery store with live crawfish and an Asian Bar definitely impresses me.  Pictured above is side one.

This is side two of the Asian Bar.

Everything in Tajma-Teeter was on this scale of grandeur and opulence.

This is Asian Bar is too much for my weak constitution to bear.

One day I will do special article on Tajma-Teeter.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


It was supposed to be a celebration of our 43rd wedding anniversary.  But, things did not turn out like I had planned.

Dinner was changed to lunch because Debbie had an important business party to attend that night.  Taste of Thai was changed to Hops Burger Bar on Lawndale in Greensboro because we were so impressed with the Hops on Spring Garden, and Lawndale is just a couple of blocks from Taste of Thai.

Of course we've been to Taste of Thai many times, but never together for their lunch buffet.  However, Debbie was afraid her breath would smell bad if she ate Thai food.  I love the aftertaste of Thai food.  It's as good an hour later as it was when I ate it.

We settled on Hops Burger Bar.  It was a mistake, a big mistake.

I know when you do a review of Hops Burger Bar, you're supposed to gush over how marvelous the food and service were.  Sorry, but it's not going to happen that way this time.

I was under the illusion that the Lawndale Hops was bigger than the cramped Spring Garden location.  I figured Hops would have learned from their Spring Garden experience and expanded when locating on Lawndale.

They did not learn.  Both restaurants are about the same size and both are always crowded as hell, regardless of whether you are eating lunch or dinner.  After eating at Spring Garden, I understood why it was crowded - the food was great and the atmosphere was agreeable despite the noise.

The Lawndale location had a different vibe.  The food was not particularly good and even bad when you consider a couple of items we ordered.  And, Lawndale was loud - very loud.

The Prime Rib Roast Burger was being featured this week.  Even the $16.50 price for the 12 oz. burger did not bother me.  But, the ASPARAGUS sauce was too scary, even though the waitress assured me it could be left out of the combination.  Somehow I doubted the cook would whip up a special sauce of merlot wine and mushrooms just for my burger.

This is list of the draft beers being offered.  There were also other wines and beer available.  Although I did not look at the alternative list, I'm sure Bud Light and Miller Lite were on it for those who prefer swill.

You can tell from these photos that the Lawndale Hops Burger Bar likes chalkboards.  The Spring Garden Hops likes them too.

This is the appetizer we shared - Fried Goat Cheese Balls.  I'm sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy.  I'll explain that later.

I think we got six balls.  These are just the last two.  They have been sprinkled with Asiago cheese.  In the little silver bowl is an unknown sauce for dipping your balls.  I guess that's lettuce under the balls.  I don't know for sure because I rarely eat green things.

I'm not sure what to say about the Fried Goat Cheese Balls.  They weren't bad tasting, but they had an unexpected gooey texture.  The Asiago cheese had no flavor.  They could have sprinkled sawdust on the balls and I wouldn't have known the difference.  The sauce was much too sweet for me.

Debbie liked the balls.

My suggestion is don't order the Fried Goat Cheese Balls.  I know they sound good, but they were adequate and nothing more.  Pick something else from the starter menu.  Maybe the Fried Cauliflower is good at Lawndale.  It was certainly good at Spring Garden.

This photo of Debbie after she learned I ordered the Fried Goat Cheese Balls while she was in the uni-sex, family bathroom.  Debbie loves goat cheese.

Funny thing - there were two uni-sex bathrooms, not a male and then a female bathroom.  I don't think this is even legal in North Carolina government bathrooms.  Somebody call Phil Berger to find out the legal status of bathrooms in North Carolina.

This is Carmen on the right.  I think she was our waitress.  A lot of people came to our table for one reason or another, so I'm not sure who to call our waitress.  Carmen was nice and did a good job.  Carmen did not seize up when she was flashed.

This is Debbie's entree.  She ordered the 6-oz. burger.  It was served under a fried egg with bacon, pimento cheese, fried green tomato, and lettuce.  It's the same thing she ordered and loved at Spring Garden.  That was not the case at Lawndale.

Debbie's burger was cooked perfectly, but the fried green tomato was overcooked, and the egg was overcooked with no runny yolk.  The runny yolk is important to the dish because it melds with the pimento cheese.  There was no melding.

Notice the fried Zucchini in the little wire basket.  Hops is into wire baskets, kinda like they're into chalkboards.  All sides are served in wire baskets.  They're cute, but they don't make the food taste better.

The fried Zucchini was doughy and greasy.  They could have been prepared in a Reidsville diner.

Debbie tries to get me to taste her fried Zucchini.  Notice the white dough where she has bitten into it - no green Zucchini, just white fried dough.  We were both unimpressed.

Here's my burger.  It's an 8-oz French Onion.  It was served with caramelized onion, Fontina cheese, garlic-thyme aioli and french onion gravy on the side.  I think that's the gravy in the silver bowl in the center.  I'm not sure what was in the bowl on the left.  It could have been the garlic-thyme aioli.  Of course the burger was topped with a long toothpick and a pepper.

I wasn't sure what to do with the sauce and gravy.  The burger would not fit in the bowls, so I dipped my onion rings (see below) in both sauces.  Neither the sauce nor the gravy did anything for me.  Both bowls were still nearly full when I pushed my plate away.

I asked for my burger to be prepared medium-rare.  That's now legal in North Carolina.  You may recall the Jack-In-The-Box fiasco when some customers got food poisoning from eating medium-rare burgers.  The panic caused medium-rare burgers to be outlawed for a time.  Someone in the state legislature came to their senses and got medium-rare legalized again.

Hops Burger Bar may have gone a little over the line with my medium-rare.  The burger was practically raw in the center.  I guess the texture of the near raw meat overwhelmed whatever flavors may been there.

I regret not ordering the Hibachi with shrimp and fried rice on a Sriracha bun.  I like the spicy stuff.

Here are my onion rings in a cute wire basket.  The rings were huge - too huge.  And, they were doughy and greasy just like the Zucchini.  Don't order the onion rings.

Turn about is fair play.  I tasted Debbie's fried Zucchini.  She had to try my Fried Onion Rings.  This is a photo of Debbie handing back my onion ring after taking a bite.  Notice the missing bite from the bottom of the ring.  That's all she could stand.  Too big,too doughy, too greasy.  No, thanks.

Our mouths were coated in grease when we left the restaurant.

Here is the kicker that really made our anniversary lunch.  This is when my mellow was harshed.

This fuzzy photo is The Whitney.  The Whitney is the General Manager of Hops Burger Bar.  The Whitney is smiling, but The Whitney is not a happy camper. 

The Whitney came to our table to tell me that I could not take flash photos because another customer had complained that the flash might cause someone with epilepsy to seize up.  The complaining customer did not have epilepsy and didn't know anyone with epilepsy, but they were very concerned that my photos of the chalkboards, the burgers and the bar might trip someone's trigger.

It must be hell to have an adverse reaction to a camera flash.  How do you dare go to a wedding or a family reunion?  I would be afraid to go out on the street.

The Whitney said I could take all the photos I wanted, but no flash.  The Whitney also said I could take her picture, but she would not poise.  It had be a photo of The Whitney in action.  So, here is The Whitney in action to please an unhappy and concerned customer.

I was very bothered by the loud noise in Hops and there was a table of kids taking photos with their cell phones.  I was afraid the chaos might give me a heart attack or a stroke, but I didn't complain.  I figured I just had to suck it up to keep The Action Whitney happy.

I took the flash off my camera and went au naturel, hence the fuzzy photo of The Whitney in action.

During one of her interrogations, Whitney had quizzed me about why I was taking photographs.  I said it was just a hobby.  Before we left, I gave Whitney one of my cards.  I could have sworn she turned a lighter shade of pale.

Note The Whitney is the first and only person to complain about my photographing in a restaurant.  Years ago Arigato complained about me videoing the cook, but with the invention of smart phones, they've gotten over that paranoia.

The cost for lunch was about $36.00.

Saturday, December 8, 2018


Yes, it's true. They do make pizza crust out of cauliflower and this one is made in Italy of all places. I know, I know...that's funny, right?
It's the make-it-yourself kind of pizza. You buy the crust, add your toppings and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. We added sauce, an assortment of cheeses, and pepperoni.
This was our second time to make cauliflower pizza. I don't remember the original brand but this one was a product of Edoardo Roncadin or somebody close to that name. The writing on the box is too stylized to easily read, even with my glasses.

Edoardo makes his crust with cauliflower puree, cornstarch, chickpea flour,quinoa flour, flaxseed flour, pea protein and some other stuff. But there is no gluten, added sugar, eggs, diary, GMO ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Edoardo says, "We use cauliflower without leaves and cut in littles [sic] rosettes, washed and cooked by steam." I have no idea what "littles" is/are. Maybe it's Italian and I don't understand the language.
But, best of all, it's really hard to taste any cauliflower flavor. There's just the tiniest hint of cauliflower in the distant background. I might not even realize it if I had not known why we bought the crust.
I tell you all this trivia because I hate the taste of cauliflower. The only other cauliflower thing I've been to stomach is the fried cauliflower at Hops Burger Bar