Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Tunes

I have admitted before in these pages to being a sucker for Christmas music, although my tastes can run to less popular fare than "A Very Special Christmas XIX" and the latest horrendous unnecessary schmaltz from yet another R&B artist or boy band I've never heard of. Just put together some Christmas mixes to take down to my sister this weekend. This cut has been the house favorite for the last few years - if you don't get at least a little choked up then I really don't want to know.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Good Eats!

Long before I started blogging - almost 10 years ago, in fact, I used to have a restaurant review page on the 'net primarily for folks from work coming into town looking for places to eat out. I haven't done that in a long time, primarily because for quite awhile we were eating at just a couple of places all the time. We've started branching out again a little more lately and while I'm not ready to put up another series of reviews, I do want to give a shout out to a couple of places where we've had really good meals (or at least a good time) lately.

We don't go over to Durham for dinner very often except for City Beverage (which remains one of our favorite restaurants) and CPK if we're at Southpoint Mall and get hungry. But we did wander over a few weeks ago to try Blu Seafood and Grill on Hillsborough Rd just off of Ninth Street, right across from George's Garage. It's got a nice laid-back beachy feel lacking from a lot of seafood places around here (the owner/chef came from Louie's Backyard in SoFL) and the food was quite good.

We also checked out Southern Rail in Carrboro with G and D a couple of weeks ago - it's in the place next to the old train station where Orient Express and then Crazy Mae's was. They've covered the deck, added oodles of outside dining which will come in handy when the weather warms up again, and converted one car into a bar car. It looks great and the food was pretty good - service was a little rushed but it seemed more a matter of timing than wanting to turn the tables over, so I'm sure that will improve.

I mentioned City Beverage above - they've finally opened their new dining room and renamed the old dining room the Lava Burger Lounge and brought back the pool table. They're doing this out of two separate kitchens with two different menus, so know what you're in a mood for before you go. We ate in the new dining room a few weeks ago and it's great - it's HUGE compared to the old place but the food is still just as good.

Oddly enough though, one of the best meals I've had in many moons was brunch today at Mary's Of Course in Winston-Salem. I had lunch there Saturday while J was at the conference and the tempeh Reuben was quite wonderful but brunch today - holy jeez that was good! I'll warn you that Sunday brunch is very, very crowded, with tables of retirees and tables of tats and studs and tables of suits and tables of aging yupsters all enjoying the vibe and the dynamite chow, so don't be in a hurry. If you're over at Old Salem and want an awesome lunch or brunch, I highly recommend MOC.


Old Salem Weekend

Spent the weekend in Old Salem - Friday night was our 23rd wedding anniversary and Friday through Sunday was the NC Writers Network fall get-together which JennySlash attended for the first time. We had a great dinner at Old Salem Tavern for our anniversary celebration then I got to play with the camera on a couple of beautiful fall days. The color was actually about a week or two behind where it was when we were there three years ago - I love it like this when there's still a little green to go with the golds and reds.

We could first tell that things were turning a little later by the beautiful old ginkgo in God's Acre - when we were there for our anniversary a few years ago, the ground under it was a carpet of yellow. There were MANY more leaves still on the tree this year - that is the most amazing ginkgo I've ever seen.

Had a nice run this morning from the Hawthorne Inn over through Old Salem. Ran mostly in the street since the sidewalks are pretty much covered with leaves. Not much traffic on a Sunday morning.

We made our obligatory stop at Winkler's Bakery for sugarcake (saving for Thanksgiving) and a bag of oatmeal raisin cookies (which will so definitely NOT make it to Thanksgiving).

Beautiful weekend with my sweetie!