Sunday, December 27, 2015

Restaurant Review...Primal Food and Spirits plus a Wine Dinner Adventure

I have heard good things about this restaurant for some time.  When Melissa if I had been there I said "not yet", so we decided to meet there one night after work.

"At Primal we take gluten sensitivities seriously, and representing the needs of the gluten-free community is very important to us. Simply put, it is part of our identity, and it is exactly what makes us different from everyone else. Our kitchen is 100% gluten-free, 
meaning there is no possibility of cross-contamination."
(quote from their site)
 I loved the variety of glasses.  I remember Melissa had a Moscato and I believe I had the Chardonnay.
The restaurant has a rustic warm feel.  Very nice.

Melissa ordered this.  I had a taste.  I would call it comfort food.
I ordered...
My photo did not turn out, but it was good:-)
We shared the
BAKED APPLE GRANOLA CRUMBLE almond & honey granola / coconut ice cream 
I loved the ice cream.
 While we were there we noticed an upcoming event.  It was a wine dinner hosted at Primal.  I had never been to one and Melissa said she had not been either.  So what the heck, we decided to go.
Primal Fall Harvest Wine Dinner
The event was held in a room near the back of the restaurant.
Nicely decorated.
The people slowly arrived...

 The Menu
Several of the items were new to me. Such as Chestnut Soup and 
Cippolini onions.  The wines were not the typical ones that I am accustom to buying
which made me realize I have a lot to learn about wine.

This, for me,  this was the highlight of the evening the Chestnut soup.  If I saw this on the menu I would not have thought to order it but now I will.  Amazingly delicious!!!!
I find Quail difficult to eat.  This is the second time in my life I have had it and it is nearly all bones.  The flavor was nice, but I am just not a quail person.  I am sure there is fine art to eating this delicacy but as of yet I have not developed the needed skill set:-)
The beef short ribs were lovely.
I enjoyed the dessert.  Especially the tapioca pudding.   
Anything custard or pudding like is my weakness, along with other things:-)
Thanks for a wonderful evening Melissa.  We must do it again soon!
Adding to my wine vocabulary with the help of Wikipedia...
Old vine (Frenchvieilles vignesGermanalte Reben), a common description on wine labels, indicates that a wine is the product of grape vines that are notably old. There is a general belief that older vines, when properly handled, will give a better wine.
Beaujolais (French pronunciation:  [bo.ʒɔ.lɛ]) is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins

Interesting.  I must admit the French pronunciation did not help me at all.  
I will have to ask my daughter how to say it she took French.

Get out and try a new Restaurant.  If you are in south Durham I suggest you give Primal Food and Spirits a try.  You won't be disappointed.
Happy travels and adventures!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Recipe Review, Bell Peppers and Broccoli from Readers Digest....."Fettuccine Primavera"

I enjoy Readers Digest because of the short stories and tidbits of information.  I was reading their food category and came across an article on Superfoods and your appearance.  This is what they said about Bell Peppers and Broccoli....

Bell Peppers and Broccoli
Vitamin C increases production of collagen, the skin's building block.  
In other words, fewer fine lines around your eyes and mouth.  
(Hmm, I wonder if it will take away the fine lines if I start eating it now?:-)

I decided I should find a recipe with both bell peppers and broccoli.  I consulted Google.  It did not take long to find one. Here is the recipe.....

Fettuccine Primavera from BUITONI

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
Recipe By:BUITONI(R)


  • 1 (9 ounces) package BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Fettuccine, cooked according to package directions, kept hot
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup NESTLE(R) CARNATION(R) Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup BUITONI(R) Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat water in medium saucepan to boiling. Add broccoli, carrots and bell pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 to 7 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour. Gradually add evaporated milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Stir in Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, cayenne and black pepper until cheese is melted. Toss with pasta. Add vegetables; stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Which wine should I choose?  I decided to go with the Chardonnay.

I enjoyed this recipe.  It was cheesy and yummy.  I wold give it  8/10 on my cooking scale.  It needed a bit more flavor.  I would also add more veggies.  I have leftover fresh broccoli and red bell peppers.  I think I will cook them up and serve them with my remaining Fettuccine Primavera.

The article did suggest that you eat 1 cup of fresh or 1/2 cup of cooked bell peppers and/or broccoli per day.  Not sure if I can do that but I can increase the amount that I do consume.  

As always good advice from Readers Digest.
Happy reading, cooking and eating everyone!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Restaurant Review....Peak City Grill and Bar in Apex NC

One of my favorite restaurants is Peak City Grill and Bar in Apex NC.  I love the ambience and the food.  Several months ago Erica and I ventured to Apex and enjoyed a delicious lunch.  Below are my photos and some quotes from their website in italics. 

                           "It has a rich history, which began with its construction in 1905." 
                                            "Excellence & charm since 2004"

 I love the interior.  Warm and rustic....
"The building consists of 9500 square feet of which 5400 square feet is occupied by the restaurant." 
                   "The church pews which provide the seating for the large booths are 
                      from a 100-year-old church in Warrenton, North Carolina."

 I have been to Peak City Grill several times.  The food is always delightful. Erica had the fish tacos and I had a chicken salad with avocado.  We also shared a slice of Goat Cheese Cheesecake.  Yummy!
        "Our menu changes frequently, so we can provide fresh ingredients in our seasonal dishes."

 The bar is beautiful....

To quote one of the Chefs....
"Fantastic, chef crafted food in a magnificently restored turn of the century (19th) hardware store. Fabulous granite bar, great artwork, 16 ft. high original tin ceilings, and incredible food! 
Full-service bar to compliment all dining options."
This is one of my top restaurant choices.  I will definitely be back.
If you are visiting Apex NC, I suggest you take the time to visit Peak City Grill and Bar.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Restaurant Adventures....The Pit, Authentic Barbecue.

It's the weekend.  A good time to seek out new adventures in downtown Durham.  This time Cindy and I decided to check out The Pit.  

(The logo from their site)

I like this quote I found on their web page.

Gone to a ‘barbicue.’ Back in three days.
~ diary entry by George Washington~

(Cindy and I should have stayed longer according to George.  We only stayed a few hours.
I wonder if that is a good excuse to miss work?  I may try that:-)
(The outside, photo from their site....)
Our adventures and my photos start here with some quotes from their website in red...
"Our dedicated pitmasters then cook the pigs  around the clock to bring you 
the best barbecue you’ll find in these parts."
"You’ll get a fine dose of Southern hospitality when you walk through the 
doors of our beautifully restored warehouse-now-restaurant."
We arrived a bit early and were greeted by a friendly staff.  They said it would be fine if we went to the bar.  They did not have to tell us we went.
(Lovely Bar, Lots of Bottles:-)
 My choice of beverage...Hard Apple Cider
 Cindy's choice was The Bull City CiderWorks Sweet Carolina
 I took a sip, very good.  I am not a beer person, but I sure do like the hard ciders.  
I can just pretend I am drinking beer:-)
Everyone gets hush puppies and biscuits.
Which are delicious.
"At The Pit, we proudly carry on the tradition of wood-fired, free-range, 
vinegar-based, whole-hog Eastern North Carolina barbecue. " 
I decided to get the combo so I would have leftovers.
I love leftovers.
Fried Chicken
Chopped Pork
Mac and Cheese
 "..the hogs meet Animal Welfare Approved standards, guaranteeing the natural behavior of each animal. That means the hogs are raised outdoors and without the use of antibiotics, growth promotants, or animal byproducts

We enjoyed a delicious meal at The Pit.  I enjoyed the barbecue.  They have 3 types of sauce at the table for you to try.  I used them all.  The mac and cheese was a 10.  I enjoyed the chicken the next day and it was moist and tasty.
If you are hungry and find yourself in Durham NC.  I suggest you check out The Pit.  You won't be disappointed.  I would suggest reservations, sometimes the line is out the door.  You also may want to try their Brunswick Stew.  I was talking with a friend today and she said it is amazing.  I know what I am getting next time.
Get out and try a new restaurant...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Caleb and Nana's Adventures....National Ice Cream Day At "Fresh Local Ice Cream"

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  In 1984 President Ronald Reagan decided that July would 
be National Ice Cream Month and the 3rd Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day.  As luck would have it 
Caleb and I were both free, as were his Mom and Dad, on the 3rd Sunday in July and so decided to indulge.
Now where should we go to enjoy some ice cream?  I went to my favorite source, Google, and did a bit of research.
 I decided on Fresh Local Ice Cream in Raleigh.
We drove up to a cute little stand alone ice-cream shop.  You order at the window and then take a seat at
 one of their outdoor tables.

So many tempting flavors.  It was hard to choose.  I finally decided on the Coconut Almond Crunch.
It was delicious!!  The girl at the window was friendly and answered all of our questions with a smile.

My Coconut Almond Crunch and Caleb's Chocolate with sprinkles.  Good choice Caleb:-)

A few ice cream facts from the Farmers Almanac..."The History of Ice Cream"
A.D 54–68: For centuries, iced desserts were a luxury.
A.D. 618–907: The origins of ice cream date back to China's T'ang period, probably as a dish for the 
country's rulers.
1744: American colonists brought along recipes from Europe.
1851: Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory. 
1939: Grocery stores didn't start selling ice cream until the 1930's, and by WWII, 
ice cream had become so popular that it turned into somewhat of an American symbol 

If you are in the mood for ice cream and you are in North Raleigh I suggest you try Fresh Local Ice Cream. 
I think you will love it.  I did.
Get out and try a new restaurant or go on an adventure.