Blogging live today from Pompieri Pizza in lovely downtown Durham, dear readers. If only I could capture the smells coming from the kitchen…
I was sitting at home, working on the format (the guts) of this blog, and was shocked when the Ex-Ex came home and I realized it was already 12:15. I am not a sleep in kind of girl, not even during summer break, so I was up and about at 6:30. And working on a website is like falling down a rabbit hole, like Alice-in-Wonderland. I up and decided to not stay in my house any longer, hopped in the car and headed to where my BFF is. I am happy just to be in the same building with her. So here I am. I will work backward on my lunches.
The Mighty Melanzana:
Before Seth, The Amazing, decided to serve this delicious sandwich I did a bit of recognizance in Paris at Cosi. I enjoyed eating there, but Seth has outdone them by a kilomètre. They are served from 11:11 am to 3:00 pm. The one I chose is eggplant, Parmigiano-Reggiano, roasted peppers, mixed salad greens, balsamic vinegar and basil oil served on a thin, chewy, wood-oven baked crust bread. Absolutely delicious. Add the side salad (mixed salad greens and smoked tomato vinaigrette) paired with Blake’s Flannelmouth hard cider and bon appétit to my taste buds. The zeppino sandwich-salad combo is only $10. Will I save room for dessert? Panna cotta, cannoli, brownie sundae, parfetto, gelato? All house-made. Mon dieu (however you say that en italien? Mio dio? relying on google translate which I forbid my students to do), they now have house-made limoncello. And the BFF just told me that they also have an upside peach something or other infused with herbs. Well, it is peach season after all and Seth is growing herbs outside on the patio.
Earlier this week, I had lunch with Mme AT at Luna:
Mme AT’s first time (she lives down the road in Chapel Hill), but not mine. And heaven help me, I just cannot seem to branch out and have anything other than the sides. Hominy “mac and cheese” that I have already written about, black beans and rice cooked in coconut milk, and collard greens with bacon- sort of a sweet-savory kind of thing going on with them. Mme AT also had vegetable sides. She, too, is a good Southern girl, hailing from Rome, Georgia. Our boys were in the same grade at school and played basketball and lacrosse together for years so we go way back.
In between, I had a week of Mlle Adorable at my house so lunches consisted of string cheese, cherry vanilla yogurt, smushed up veggies, etc. In that case it was definitely not the food but the company! And how I love her company! She is dressed in her French sailor shirt in order to bring good luck to the Bleus!
One day, while the Ex-Ex and I were alone at Sunset Beach we ventured off the island and into “town” to have a late lunch/early dinner at Fibber McGee’s.
Crab dip (still on the quest for the best) and grouper bites. I had never tasted grouper. Did I like it? Let’s just say we had two orders… Good crab dip, too. Really good.
If you are ever in Carolina Beach, you must, must, must go to Michael’s Seafood and have the seafood chowder.
I was so happy to eat this again that I didn’t even think about taking a before photo. It is that good. Shrimp, crab, clams, potatoes, herbs, cream sauce. Moo, Best Niece and I ate a bowl each. No sharing. Don’t even ask.
As far as drinks go–
I WILL find more of this in Austin in a 10 days when I make my first visit to the capital of Texas.
And last but certainly not least, I met some friends at Lula’s in Chapel Hill. It used to be Spanky’s for those of you familiar with Franklin Street. Ms. Queen of Soccer suggested it and VA, Arles Lucy and I joined her for lunch. Arles Lucy and I had parking problems (not a new problem for us… Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Nice– memories of trying to either find the parking garage, get in or out of it, go down a street not meant for even a European-sized mini-van- we should have had a sign in the window warning the Frenchies that we were an American female driver and co-pilot, as if they couldn’t guess). Anyway, back to the food.
And drink. I had never tasted a Mint Julep so I decided what the heck. Much prettier than it tastes, but I am not a big mixed drink fan. Someone remarked that the second one is always better than the first. Decided not to find out, even if Arles Lucy was driving.
Even the water is all dressed up!
Ms. Soccer knows the owner and she had been been to the soft opening and tasted most of what was on the menu. She ordered the Fried chicken thigh on a biscuit with spun sage honey so I followed suit. But first, Arles Lucy had a wedge salad. I did not know anyone served this anymore.
My biscuit was out-of-this-world delicious.
Very good French fries. And the side of mac and cheese. I also tried their collards. Again, very good.
There were four desserts on the menu and four of us, so guess what? Yep. We tried them all.
A strawberry shortcake biscuit with vanilla ice cream, a blueberry-whipped cream cream puff/profiterole, a walnut pound cake, and cherry ice. The desserts are seasonal.
I started getting school emails yesterday, so I had best make the most of my numbered lunch days. I have at least two more places on my list, not to mention the food I will try in Austin later this month.
Now, to dessert or not to dessert? Ça, c’est la question…
Bon appétit, tout le monde! Allez les Bleus! France won their second star. Eat good food, mes amis. With good friends and family. Don’t put it off. Today is our only guarantee…