Monday, June 10, 2019

ATLANTIC BEACH VACATION


SUNDAY

The roof is gone.  Atlantic Beach is still suffering from Hurricane Florence that happened in September 2018

It began routinely enough.  Oatmeal for breakfast at home.  A small piece of buttered toast with no coffee or anything to drink.  It was going to be a four-hour ride and I didn't want to stop every hour to pee.

We were headed back to Atlantic Beach for a week of rest.  Watching TV and napping can be exhausting.  I needed a break.

Debbie did all the driving.  We were riding in her new car, so she was the designated driver.

The car needed to be put to the test of a drive to the coast.  Both Debbie and the car performed well - that is if you overlook the hard braking and running at 80 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Debbie said her Highway Patrol Trooper buddies had told her they never stop anyone on Highway 70 for only running 10 mph over the speed limit.  I said he was undoubtedly right because no one in law enforcement ever tells a lie.  Honesty is part of the Code of Justice.

I spent a lot of time trying to get the perfect road map to appear on the dashboard.  Three-quarters of the way there I hit on the right combination of buttons to push.  Technology can be a marvelous thing when you figure out how to make it work.

We stopped at a famous Bo's Chicken and Biscuits.  After coming out of the bathroom, I learned the hard way that Bo's does not make a breakfast plate with eggs, sausage, hash browns, and a biscuit.

However, Bo will cook you an egg, cook you a piece of sausage, cook some tater tots, and serve you a biscuit - all as separate items.  It will cost about $10 and you will wish you had ordered a sausage and egg biscuit with tater tots for less than $5, but it won't be served in a styrofoam bowl like it comes when you order separate items.

Debbie learned what a Blue Star Memorial Highway is when we hit a rest stop.  She was totally unaware that Reidsville had a Blue Star Memorial Highway before the three-year remodeling of Freeway Drive.  She must have passed by the sign a thousand time without ever seeing it.  Anyone know what happened to Reidsville's Blue Star Memorial Highway?

We arrived at our condo at 3:45 PM - 15 minutes before the designated check-in time.  For the third time in a row, we were told the condo was not ready.  It would be 20 more minutes and for the third time we were a promised a phone call when the 20 minutes had expired.  And, yes, you guessed it, more than a hour and a half  later, no phone call.

To kill time, we visited the Reidsville Mayor/Police Chief James Festerman Memorial Food Lion.  You will recall from our previous visits and the Reidsville Review that the Atlantic Beach Food Lion is the famous site of some sort of unsavory disturbance involving Festerman and the Atlantic Beach Police Department.  Possibly some missing steaks and beer were also involved, but that's just rumor and has never been confirmed.

I must commend the James Festerman Memorial Food Lion for having eight check-out lanes open and running full-tilt.  It seems Sunday marked the beginning of something called the Big Rock Fishing Tournament.  At least that's what Debbie said and I did overhear some folks at the register talking about the Big Rock.

Debbie wasn't sure whether Big Rock was the site of a rock in the ocean where everyone goes to fish or if Big Rock is the name of a species of fish.  I doubted both of Debbie's possible explanations and the chatter at Food Lion did not nothing to explain Big Rock.

Anyway, an hour and a half later we returned to the condo and were able to check-in.  Debbie said she was really going to give the staff a piece of her mind about the late check-in and no phone call for the third time.  As it turns out, what Debbie did was be "extremely curt" as she put it.  She gave no one a piece of her mind.  I'm sure the staff was seriously shaken by her "extreme curtness" and will make sure they are never negligent again.

Take-out from Amos Mosquito's is not the way to go


It had been a long day.  We decided not to cook and not to go out.  I volunteered to pay for take-out from Amos Mosquito's.  On a previous trip by herself, Debbie had ordered take-out from there and she raved about the food.  We had eaten there a few times and it was always good and the service was excellent.

I have a special recommendation for you - NEVER ORDER TAKE-OUT FROM AMOS MOSQUITO'S.  The food might have been good at some time very near the end of its preparation, but by the time Debbie returned with the order, everything was stone cold.

Amos Mosquito's is located only five minutes from our condo.  I'm guessing the problem was the food was ready long ahead of the 20 minutes Debbie had been told the order would take to prepare.

Debbie had the Prime Cheeseburger with fries and I had the fried Scallops and Fried Oysters platter with fries and slaw.  Both orders of fries were cold.  A perfectly cooked burger was cold with a cold bun.  The scallops and oysters were cold, but I could detect a nice taste hidden in the icy presentation.

The only thing not cold was the slaw.  The slaw was warm.  Warm slaw is not appealing.  If only the burger, scallops, oysters, and fries were as warm as the slaw.  The slaw must have absorbed all the heat from the burger, scallops, oysters and fries.

I spent the rest of the evening trying to make my Amazon FireTV Stick work with the condo's TV and internet.  I succeeded after a couple of hours of diddling.  Watching porn at 100 mbps is a marvelous thing when you are used to less than 3 mbps on your home internet service.

I helped Debbie get Carolina Beach Music on her Samsung phone/Bose bluetooth speaker and Pandora account.  She had been asking Pandora to play Beach Music and kept getting some MTV Beach Party crap.

Debbie stumbled into bed early (too much wine).

I stayed up late and watched watched a Netflix movie starring Hilary Swank about a robot mother and human daughter.  She was great in Boys Don't Cry and The Core and many other films.  If you haven't seen The Core, just turn on your TV and it will likely be playing somewhere.   The Core is a 10-year old film, but it plays continuously on Directv.  I hope Hilary gets some royalties from the film.

Swank has what is called a "butterface", but I've always liked her.  If you don't know about "butterface". Google it.

NEWSFLASH: I've just received an email from the DISCOVERER BLOG.  DB declared Beaufort to be the best small town in North Carolina.  What a bunch of boobs must work at DB.  They don't know Reidsville is the best small town in NC.  Ask Reidsville Councilman Jay Donecker, if you want to know the truth about small towns.  Beaufort doesn't even have a dildo in its town square.  What a bunch of losers!

Beaufort is just down street from our condo.  We might go there for a day trip.

MONDAY

Debbie peels shrimp for what she promised to be a meal like I've never experienced


I woke up early this morning.  By early, I mean at 7:45 AM.  I guess I was anxious to get the day started.  I usually don't arise before 9:30 AM.  One must get his beauty sleep.

Debbie fixed a breakfast of scrambled eggs with sausage and toast.  It was good.

Of course Debbie went to the grocery and seafood stores.  Debbie could not survive without a daily trip to a grocery store.  Add a trip to a seafood shop and she is in heaven.

Debbie returned and went to sun on the beach.  I'm certain she didn't get in the water.

The week before there was national news about a shark attack at Atlantic Beach.  A girl had her leg amputated by a bull shark.  She was saved by her father who punched the shark in the nose five times before it let the girl go.

Debbie stayed on the beach until nearly 6 PM.  The beach was crowded with people who were not at Big Rock,  No one went in the water passed ankle deep.  A wise precaution I would say.

I had a shower.  Watched some more porn at 100 mbps.  God, I love true high speed internet service.

I got word about a house coming up for sale next door to our home.  The auction will be in late June.  It is something to consider.  My father built the house and we've lived in it in the past.

 It's a nice little place.  It would make a good home for Debbie.  It's less than 100 yards from our current home which means I could visit Debbie easily.  I almost certainly would come over to her place at dinner time.

There is a secret that the seller will not reveal at the auction, but I know about it and the seller has been told about it.  There is no septic system on the property.  The septic system is located on my property which puts the seller in a bit of an awkward position.  We shall see what develops.

I ate some leftovers from Amos Mosquito's for lunch.  The burger and fries tasted the same as the night before.  Of course there were no leftover scallops and oysters.  They may been cold, but I cleaned my plate.

I took a two hour nap.

I got up and spent some time writing.

Debbie came in from the beach and got dinner started.



Whenever we go to the beach, shrimp is always on the menu.  Debbie added mushrooms, onions, spinach, musket ball tomatoes, and garlic to this batch of shrimp.  A dash or two of Old Bay never hurts.  I would have added a couple of tablespoons full of Old Bay, but Debbie was too chicken.


Here she grates Parmesan cheese over the shrimp mix which has been added to pasta.  There is buttered French bread on the side.

It was good, very good, but I wouldn't call it an experience like I've never tasted.  Everything Debbie cooks is good.  Good is routine at our house.


This is dessert.  It's an exotic ice cream that comes from a fake Swedish-sounding manufacturer, but is actually made by the Nestle Ice Cream Company in Oakland, California.   

It's Haagen-Daz.  This flavor is Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle.   Believe it or not, there is more bourbon in it than vanilla beans.  Bourbon is dirt cheap compared to the price of real vanilla beans

It's not made by Swedes, but it's damn good and, yes, it does have a bourbon flavor.  

TUESDAY

Once again I awoke at 7:45 AM.  It might have been the noise from the construction equipment in the parking lot.  A Place at the Beach is finally trying to do something about a serious rain water drainage problem.  I suppose last fall's hurricanes changed their collective minds about fixing the problem.

Debbie again made a breakfast of scrambled eggs.  It was double meat day.  This time the eggs were joined by both sausage and bacon along with toast and coffee.

I watched a little TV and then went back to bed for a two-hour nap.

On the second awakening, I found Debbie on the deck reading.  She was finishing the novel Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank.  She finished the entire book in two days.  The girl likes to read.

A rain shower had kept her off the beach.

I brought a book my daughter gave me for Christmas.  It's titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.  The title is a possible clue to the book's subject.  I may read it while on vacation.

Lunch time followed shortly thereafter.


Debbie prepares to chomp down on a sandwich made from the famous Danville's Midtown Market chicken salad.  And, as always, a helping of Cheetos accompanied the lunch time feast.  Debbie loves Cheetos and always keeps a bag handy for a hunger emergency.

After lunch Debbie went to the grocery store for some Frito Scoops and salsa.  Reidsville was completely out of Frito Scoops.  The Scoops are considered too exotic to be regularly stocked by Reidsville grocers.  Only rarely are they available.

Debbie also planned a stop at the tuna store.  This means dinner will be blackened tuna steaks.  She also planned to add a baked potato.  I planned to put salsa on my potato.  Debbie reminded me salsa on a baked potato was something we did many years ago.  I have no idea why we stopped because salsa on baked potato is delicious.  Don't make a face.  Try it sometime.


When Debbie returned from the tuna store, she unloaded a fresh supply of tuna and Cheetos and went to the balcony to begin reading John Grisham's The Reckoning.  


I watched a 1961 science fiction film starring the famous John Agar.  Despite being titled Journey to the Seventh Planet, the scenery was surprisingly earth-like for Uranus.  I love 1950s black and white science fiction films, but the color Journey to the Seventh Planet was old enough and goofy enough to qualify for my favorites list.  Ray guns, a giant spider and five mysterious beautiful women were involved.


This should be a familiar sight.  Every time Debbie goes to the beach she must have tuna.  These have been dusted with a special blackening seasoning and placed in a hot frying pan.  Don't let the rare appearance bother you. These two steaks are cooked to near perfection for tuna.


The tuna was served with a salad and salsa topped baked potato and French bread.  The tuna has been finished with Debbie's white wine, caper, butter and lemon sauce.  The wine is 1000 Stories Zinfandel which we discovered on a previous trip to Atlantic Beach.  It was a delicious dinner.


Isn't that a beautiful smile?  She's not smiling at me, she's smiling at her dessert.  It's Tiramisu from Friendly Market in Morehead City.

WEDNESDAY


I woke at a reasonable 9:30 AM.  I was able to get a good rest.  There was no roar of construction equipment to boot me out of bed.

Debbie made the usual egg and bacon breakfast.  She then went to read on the balcony.

I made a stern phone call to the car dealership where we bought Debbie's new car.  It seems the dealership had my license plate and they were waiting to let me know to bring the car in so they could put the tags on my car.  My temporary tag expired a week ago and we were driving around with no license plate.  I made it clear to the dealership to mail the tag to me and that I was not driving 15 miles so they could put the tag on my car along with advertising junk for their dealership.  I was quite pissed at them for holding my tag.  Actually I was pissed that the dealership redirected the tag to themselves rather than telling DMV to send the tag directly to me.  I can only pray the license plate is now in the mail on its way to me.

I then made another stern call to Shapiro and Ingle.  They are a legal firm in Charlotte.  They are handling a foreclosure sale on the property next door to my home.  I have never bought a foreclosed property and I was hoping to get some information on how the process works.  Shapiro and Ingle was of absolutely no help.

I then called the Clerk of Court's office in Rockingham County.  They gave me some information, but it conflicted with the information that I had been able to glean from the zillow.com web site.

All I know is the auction sale is June 19 and the septic system for the property, including the tank and drain field, is located on my property.  This is going to present some very serious problems to whomever buys the property at auction.

I took a two hour nap.  We headed out for dinner after I awoke.


This is where we ate dinner.  It's the Full Moon Oyster Bar at Atlantic Beach.  Don't let the photos on Full Moon's web site deter you.  It's not nearly so hip and happening.  Actually it looks a bit run down and worn.  I felt comfortable there.  I like run down and worn.

I got the inspiration to try this restaurant from Sarah Reed's Facebook page.  It turned out to be a good choice.

Debbie remembered going there eight years ago when it was called McCartney's.  Oddly, Debbie could not remember what we ordered to eat, but she guessed it was some sort of seafood.  That was probably a safe guess, Debbie.  She did remember where the restrooms were.


This is the view from the outdoor dining room at Full Moon.  You can't really tell from this photo, but those are some damn big Yamaha and Suzuki engines on the back of some of the boats.

By the way, we learned what the Big Rock is.  It's a week long Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament.  The contestants are competing for a $500,000 prize for catching the biggest Blue Marlin. As of this writing, the largest Blue Marlin caught this week is about 550 lbs.

You can't eat Blue Marlin because it's a large predatory fish and is loaded with a concentration of mercury.  We can either throw it in the trash or take it to a taxidermy man.


This is Brooke.  Brooke was one of three different waitresses/waiters we had for the evening.  Brooke was a bit reluctant to be photographed, but calmed down when I assured her the camera would not capture her soul.

Brooke did a nice job as did the other two waitpersons.


This was our appetizer.  It looks a bit sad because Debbie took half of the crab stuffed mushrooms before I made this photo.  The mushrooms were good.

The time from being seated to food service was less than 10 minutes and we didn't have to wait in line to get a table.  Full Moon was quick.


This is a photo of Debbie eating her share of the mushrooms.  I show you this photo only because I like taking pictures of my wife.  She is very photogenic.


These are some beautiful looking bivalve molluscs.  They are Debbie's dinner.   It's a half-dozen chargrilled oysters with some tasty looking bread on the side.  After she finished eating, I'm guessing Debbie was glad she did not order the full dozen.  If they tasted anywhere as good as they looked, these molluscs were awesome.  I was not offered a sample.


This photo can answer the question of whether Debbie liked the oysters.  She is shown sopping an oyster shell with her bread to get all the goodness into her mouth.


This is my plate.  It's Mooner's Fry Basket.  I know this looks like a pretty pedestrian meal for dining at the coast, but I love fried seafood.  This looked like a good option to satisfy my desire.  Tomorrow I have planned to order something more unusual for me.  It will be something you can hardly find in Reidsville.

That's fried flounder covering fried oysters. covering fried shrimp.  There's french fries, hushpuppies, and corn on the cob.  The sauces are tartar, cocktail, and ketchup.

It was good except for the hushpuppies.  Full Moon needs some additional training from somewhere on the preparation of hushpuppies.

They are not pictured, but Full Moon also brought out two small bowls for each of us.  The bowls contained slaw and something that Debbie said was like potatoes obrien.  The slaw went well with both of our main dishes, but the potatoes were questionable, especially considering the mound of French fries on my plate.


I like to take photos of bars, almost as much as I like photographing my wife.  There's something about a bar that attracts me.  This is Full Moon's bar.

We did not order dessert.  We decided to go back to the condo and finish up the Tiramisu from the previous day.

Dinner with tax and tip was $50.

THURSDAY


James Festerman needs to be on the alert.  The Atlantic Beach Police Department has been regularly parking its vehicles in the James Festerman Memorial Food Lion parking lot.  The Police Department is only about a mile from the James Festerman Memorial Food Lion.

We understand there has been a rash of shoplifting at Food Lion and police have been put on emergency standby to head off any future incidents.  I understand beer and steaks are prime targets for shoplifters.


Do you recognize this?  It's what they give you when a restaurant is filled to capacity.  When a table is ready, they push a button which sends you notice that a table has come open for you.

This is what we were handed when we went to eat at Amos Mosquito's. Yes, that's right we went to Amos Mosquito's even after the disappointing takeout order we were given on Sunday night.

We were told it would be an hour wait on a table, but the hour was actually more like 20 minutes.

The food and service were first rate.  Despite a disappointing reaction from our waitress, it was all good.  More on the disappointing reaction at the end of the story.


I don't suppose I have to tell you what this is.  It's Debbie's dinner and, yes, it's Shrimp and Grits.  Debbie almost always orders Shrimp and Grits.  Actually, it's Shrimp and Grits and Sausage with assorted vegetables. Debbie let me have a tiny taste of her meal.  It was quite good. Debbie cleaned her plate which is a good sign.  

Debbie is threatening to make Shrimp and Grits for tomorrow night's dinner


Here's my dinner.  I told you it was going to be something unique and very, very hard to find in Reidsville - practically impossible.

It's Sushi.

On the top left is Hakutsura Draft Sake.  If you've thinking about ordering it, don't bother.  It's served cold.  I've never heard of cold sake.  I've always had my sake warm.  I have no idea what draft sake is unless it means weak.  Hakutsura is thin and weak.  Real sake will put hair on her chest.  The bottle you see here was served with a near thimble sized cup into which you poured the contents of the bottle.  

There was a lot of tiny writing on the bottle.  The writing was too small and the restaurant did not have enough light for me to read the bottle.  Debbie read it to me.  

Interestingly, there was list of ingredients.  I've never seen a list of ingredients on a bottle of wine. Sake is rice wine.   Hakutsura contains rice, rice and koji.  You read it right.  It contains two rices, not one but two.  The third ingredient is koji.  Koji is a fungus used to make sake and several foods.  Don't feel bad, I didn't know what koji was and neither did our waitress.

To the right of the Hakutsura is a Spicy Crab Roll.  It is a seaweed wrapped bundle of rice with a crab meat stuffing.  It was the cheaper of the two Sushis, but I liked it the best.  It was really delicious when dipped in the soy sauce that you see in the upper right hand corner.  It was probably the rice that tickled my fancy.  I love rice, but I only eat it very rarely unless it's that damned brown rice.

Beside the Spicy Crab Roll is pickled daikon (the reddish pink stuff) and wasabi.  Daikon is some sort of radish like vegetable.  It was excellent.  I suppose you put it on your Sushi, but I don't know much about eating Sushi, so I just ate the daikon with my fork.

The wasabi is the mashed up green stuff above the daikon.  It was thermonuclear.  A tiny bit on my fork made me pay attention.  I grabbed by head and face, bent over, squeezed my eyes shut, and grimaced in pain for about 30 seconds.  I didn't eat anymore of the wasabi.

Below the Spicy Crab Roll is the Mosquito Roll with some sort of unidentified green sauce.  The Mosquito Roll was a small shrimp wrapped in rice and then wrapped in a thin slice of tuna.  I dipped the roll in the unidentified green sauce and the soy sauce.  The Mosquito Roll was quite good.


This is my mom.  It's her birthday.  She is eating a dessert we brought home from Amos Mosquito's.  Isn't she cute.


This is my share of the dessert.  It is not attached to my mother.  It is Almond Joy Coconut Pie.  It was excellent.  It made me wish we had bought two desserts instead of me having to share with my mother.


This is Daisy.  Well, actually it's not Daisy - it's the back of Daisy's head.  Daisy was reluctant to be photographed.  I had to grab a shot when her back was turned while she talked to the customers at the table beside us.  I'm not sure what Daisy's problem was.

Compare this photo to the one of Brooke taken at Full Moon.  Quite a difference, wouldn't you say?

I explained my camera by telling Daisy that Debbie was my mother and we were celebrating her 75th birthday.  I will occasionally try to pass Debbie off as my mother and that she is 75 years old.  Most of the time it works.

Daisy was personable and cute and would have made a great photo.  It's sad really, how some people are so afraid of a camera.  Cameras have been around since before the Civil War.  You would think people would be over their nervousness by now.

Anyway, this is the best look you're going to get of Daisy unless you eat at Amos Mosquito's.  Be sure to order the Almond Joy Coconut Pie and don't share it with your mother.

Dinner cost about $76 with tax and tip.

FRIDAY


Meet Kira.  Kira was our waitress at Circa 81.  Like Brooke, Kira was not afraid of our camera.  She cheerfully posed for this photo.  I didn't have to pretend Debbie was my mother or that she is 75 years old.  Kira smiled without any deception.

You might remember Circa 81 from our review last fall.  It's a small upscale place tucked away in a somewhat obscure location on Arendell St. in Morehead city.  

We tried to get a reservation at 7 PM, but the online reservation system indicated Circa 81 was full at 7 PM.  We settled for a 6:30 PM reservation.  As it turned out, Circa 81 was not full at 6:30 PM, 7 PM, 7:30 PM, or 8 PM.   At no time was the restaurant more than half full.  Most of the time it was not more than a third full.  Dank Burrito chef, Circa 81's owner, might want to check to see what OpenTable is doing with his reservations.

Circa 81 is a tapas restaurant which means they serve plates with tiny portions of food.  We each ordered two dishes and traded tastes.  We knew what we wanted, but we didn't want to repeat what we'd ordered last year.  The result was slightly disappointing for us.  The dishes we ordered were good, but they were not spectacular like last year.


Debbie had Shannon Ridge Zinfandel and I ordered Duck Rabbit Milk Stout.  Duck Rabbit is a North Carolina beer in case you don't know.  It's dark and has slightly sweet taste.  I love it.  I can't tell you about the Shannon Ridge because I didn't taste it.


This was ordered by me.  It was on special for the night.  I don't know what being "on special" means, but this dish was pretty tasty.  It's Cajun spiced Mako bites.  I suspected it when I ordered the Mako, but I didn't know for sure until I asked Kiraa.  Mako is shark.

The Mako had a texture not unlike tuna with a flavor a bit like flounder.  That's Chipotle sauce drizzled on top of Jaws.  Makos get to be about 300 pounds if they don't end up on a platter in a restaurant.

I felt kinda bad about eating a top predator like a shark.  Nevertheless, I ate it anyway.  The dish prompted a discussion between Debbie and me about killing large animals for trophies.  We agreed shooting a giraffe is cruel, but we couldn't agree on the shark question.  Debbie had no problem with killing a shark for food, I did.  She however didn't see killing a shark to harvest its fins for shark fin soup and throwing the rest of the fish back in the ocean to drown.  We agreed on that point.

Whatever, the Mako bites were delicious.


This is Debbie's Hot Crab Dip with pita bread. It was tasty, but the dip was better on the bread shown below with my Chorizo and Clams.  I had to help Debbie eat a large portion of her crab dip.  She liked it, but it was too much food for her to handle alone.


This is Chorizo and Clams.  Chorizo is spicy Spanish sausage.  The clams are easy enough to see, but the Chorizo is pretty well hidden under the clams.  I almost needed tweezers to pick out the few tiny bits of Chorizo.


This photo gives you a real idea of what a tapas plate is like.  The Chorizo was tiny bits.but I don't think they make clams any smaller.  They were near microscopic.


This is Debbie's Rosemary Beef with mashed potatoes and asparagus.  The beef is covered in a garlic demi-glace.  I tried the potatoes.  They were good.  The beef was extremely tender and taasty.  I didn't go anywhere near the asparagus.  Asparagus is bad mojo. 


These are two desserts we brought home from Circa 81.  That's Vanilla Creme Brulee on the left and Key Lime Pie on the right.  The Key Lime was Debbie's.  I don't like lime so she ate 99.9% of it.  She loved it.  The Creme Brulee was OK, but not worth whatever I paid for it.  Maybe it was better before it melted and sagged.

Dinner was an eye-poppin' $86 with tax and tip.

SATURDAY

Movies to Watch at the Beach

Invasion USA - A black and white classic made in 1952.  Dirty Commies invade the USA and drop A-bombs and paratroopers disguised in American soldier uniforms all over the place.   Nearly half of the film is composed of stock footage of military warfare.  At the end it all turns out to be a hypnotic trance induced by a barfly.  Stars Angry Red Planet's slick dame magnet Gerald Mohr as a television journalist.

Missile to the Moon - This film was made in 1958.  Two escaped inmates ride a rocket to the moon with a couple of male scientists and a woman whose purpose in the film is unclear.  One scientist is inexplicably crushed in an accident before reaching the moon.  Upon landing on the moon they meet a bevy of blue-skinned beautiful women and, of course, a giant angry spider, and rock creatures.  Originally black and white, the film was colorized sometime during its history.

Fire Maidens of Outer Space - This black and white stink bomb was filmed in 1956.  It is considered by some to be the Worst Movie Ever Made.  Yes, even worse than Plan 9 From Outer Space.  A team of male astronauts travels to the heavily vegetated 13th moon of Jupiter where they are held as a possible mates by a colony of beautiful women.  There is a lot walking from room to room in a Romanesque palace and plenty of dancing.  The men kill a monster that is threatening the women.  For their heroism, the men are released to return to earth with a promise to come back one day to rescue the remaining maidens.



These little nuggets turned out to be the makings of the best meal we had at the beach.  It beat Full Moon, Amos Mosquito's and Circa 81.


Mom sprinkles magic fairy dust on a plate of scallops, corn on the cob, salad, purple potatoes and toasted garlic.  The scallops came from Blue Ocean in Morehead City and they were excellent.  They were so succulent.  I've always wanted to use the word "succulent".  This meal gave me the chance. 

The salad dressing was bleu cheese.  For the curious, the fairy dust was basil and parsley. 


Mom crunches hard on the only disappointment in the meal.  It was five day old French bread.  The bread was a bit past its prime.

Mom got a hug and a double A++ for this meal.

SUNDAY
  



Sunday morning breakfast at Tony and David's Waffle and Pancake House, otherwise known as Ibrahim's 4 Corners Diner, was mundane.  If not for what we thought was a large Greek (maybe Arabic) woman barking instructions on where to stand at the checkout register at customers, it would have been a disappointment.  She was a pip!

The service was fast and efficient in a very crowded restaurant.  Scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon were the  order of day for me.  Debbie had scrambled eggs, grits, bacon and toast.

Gin was our waitress.  You are not going to see a picture of her because I didn't feel like taking one.


Debbie shows off the collection of books she read during our week at Atlantic Beach.  

Debbie would have been in Mrs. Burton's 1st grade Bluebird readers group. 


We say goodbye to Atlantic Beach for a few months as a flying doohickey travels across the ocean.


Mom edits my work.  Happy birthday, Mom!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

HERR'S OLD BAY POTATO CHIPS




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

MOM'S STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE



THE BEST EVER!
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

CHANEY'S RESTAURANT



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

Saturday, May 11, 2019

THAT LITTLE PORK SHOP

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.