Our State #8: Coyote Kitchen (Watauga Cty: Boone)

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Finally have time to get another restaurant in from the magazine. T and I were both in the mood for Mexican food and were glad this placeserved it up.
Good things:
1. Got right in because we went early, by the time we left (630ish, it was packed and waiting line).
2. Our waiter. Definitely need water refills when eating spicy salsa
3. Speaking of salse…on the 4 salsa sampler platter, the cranberry chipotle was the best. So good.
4. The tilapia boat was the best thing of the night. Coconut rice, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled tilapia, cheese, other yummy stuff. So good. We also got the red pepper hummus (def not my fave) with rosemary bread (pretty good), 4 salsa sampler and chips (chips and salsa were great but you had to pay for them – not a good thing in my book), chorizo tacos – pretty good, not a ton of flavor.

Top 100.7: Southport: Provisions

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Yacht Basin Provision Company is a local’s haven. Provisions, as known by the locals, has its own t-shirts, honor-system beer, and great prices for fresh local seafood.
The decor is local fishing pier with all seating outside on the porch, under flaps by the pier. Fresh seafood marked up a chalkboard and buns were searing on the grill – that’s where you placed your order. They walked it out to you and you paid after you ate. Trusting owners.
I ordered the lunch special which was the crab cake and 1/4 fresh steamed shrimp. The crab cake was good but a little too wet for me. The shrimp were perfect. Steamed and seasoned to perfection, the 9 shrimp I had were the highlight of my day.
I will definitely go to this pier stop again.

Our State #6: Sunrise Biscuit Co. (Oxford)

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Heading north on HWY 50 gave us opportunity to hit up Our State Top 100 Number 6 on Saturday. Oxford, a little quaint town about 35 minutes north of Raleigh, was having its Hot Sauce Festival that day. I can’t imagine how dead the downtown would have been without the festival, but this restaurant I’m sure still would have been packed out.
Then line in Sunrise Biscuit Company never got any shorter while we were there, people just kept coming in. It was about 8:30am on a Saturday morning – people having more leisure mornings without having to rush off to work.
To be honest, this wasn’t the best biscuit I’ve ever had in my life. I’d rather have Bojangles any day of the week. The grits had no flavor and even after I put the salt and pepper in it – still they didn’t do anything for me. The biscuit was decent – but the sausage was better.
So…I think I’ll stick to Bojangles. But, the closest one to downtown Oxford was about 10 minutes. So…if you want a cup of coffee and a biscuit for a cheap price – you can go there.

Our State #4: Hot Dog World (Hendersonville)

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My friends are great. Not only were we able to knock off one of the places in my magazine on Saturday – but two!
This local hangout in downtown Hendersonville was packed out for a Saturday night. Might have had something to do with it being Labor Day wknd, or the NC Apple Festival around the corner, but I tend to think that Hot Dog World might be this packed every Saturday night.
Housed in what looks like an old Sonic, which I know isn’t true, but it gives you an idea: round cement or rectangular wooden tables under a covering, slanted parking spots (minus the call order box), walk-in to order your food, and cheap good American food. This place did have much more than hot dogs, but when in Rome…
I had the Slaw Dog: hot dog, grilled bun (my favorite part of the hot dog), chili, mustard, onions, and slaw. The slaw wasn’t too tangy which is good for me. The other great thing about this hot dog, while being messy (which is a good thing), was that it stayed together. The toppings didn’t fall off or anything. Every bite was good.
My friends also got hot dogs – only complaint I think was that they weren’t as big as they looked in the magazine.
We also ordered onion rings and french fries to share. The onion rings had a delicious batter that stayed on the onion ring when you bit into it. My complaint about most onion rings (I had more on Sunday night) is that most of the time the onion slides out or the batter falls off. These did neither of those things – so that is what made them the second best onions rings I’ve eaten (best being at Red Robin – the Tower o Rings).
And since it was the Apple Festival, they had baskets of apples around the inside of the restaurant to have for dessert. Cost: under 4.75 for a hot dog and large onion rings. I love cheap food. Wish I would have saved room for the Apple Festival though.

Our State #2: Sherefe – Fayetteville

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I used to be in Fayetteville a few times a week back 10 years ago, but this place wasn’t there. How I wish it was.
A non-descript inside decor gave room to a delicious meal that was fabulous – rivals anything The Grape Leaf (my fave Greek place in Louisville) puts out – and definitely better than anything I’ve had in RDU to date.
1. When I tasted my first shrimp out of this dish I immediately said “I’ve gotta learn how to make this!”. KARIDES ALA TURCA
Jumbo shrimp sauteed in white wine with garlic, tomatoes, feta cheese & mushrooms Served over fire-roasted eggplant mashed potatoes. I could have passed on the mashed potatoes, but I am not an eggplant fan. The shrimp was superb! Nice suggestion by our friendly waiter who was kind and helpful.
2. The falafel. I have grown to love this. And if a Greek/Turkish place can do this well, most other things are going to taste great as well. Their’s was perfectly fried with a pop of spice that hit you about 5 seconds after you put it in your mouth. I only had one of these, and definitely could have had more.
3. The small Greek salad. Fantastic, refreshing, diced tomatoes and cucumbers with a wonderful vinaigrette and smallish bites of feta (instead of bigger chunks). Next time I will get a large salad with falafel on it.
4. Their tzatziki sauce. Perfect to go with the spicy falafel and sop up the doughy and pleasantly warm pita bread served on the side.
1. Too far away (Took 75 minutes to get there).
2. I wish it was cheaper. Mom and I got the salad, sampler, and the shrimp dish, 1 tea for just under 40$. But, we got a TON of food – Mom had plenty for leftovers tonight which she just gobbled down.
So, if you ever find yourself traveling down Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, or there is a traffic jam on 95 and you want a place to stop, go here. You won’t be disappointed. Saturday – every table in the place was occupied.

Our State #1: Neal's Deli – Carrboro

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Here we go. This will be a journey. I picked up Our State – the edition with 100 counties and 100 restaurants you must eat in this wonderful state of North Carolina.
This quaint, slightly too small for everyone for eats there, deli is in the little town of Carrboro. If you still think you will be in Chapel Hill, you may be right. The two are so closely connected. When you cross through a red light you are in a new city.
Bill Neal, now deceased, who started such restaurants as Crook’s Corner (man, I wish they were open for lunch), is the father of Matt Neal, the man running the show. Their pretzel (brezel) rolls are fabulous and soft with just enough salt to make any sandwich better.
The sandwich that got my attention on the website was the local grilled zucchini and mozzarella sandwich. Tomatoes, basil, local mozz cheese, and fresh grilled thin slices of summer goodness of zucchini. With an olive tapenade. This such was great. I could have done without the green olive tapenade – too salty when mixed with the brezel roll. Still good – that basil. The fresh mozz cheese. The perfect tomato – fresh from a summer garden.
The other sandwich we decided to try was the egg salad on rye. I love egg salad but not a huge fan of rye. The two together – amazing. That was the best egg salad ever eaten (and I’ve eaten a lot). The perfect crunch of the lettuce added that toothy bite. The rye was not overwhelming which was very nice. No need to overpower perfectly good egg salad.
The only thing I would change would be the price. They are a little steep when you only get a sandwich and a pickle. I know you are paying for freshness, locavore food. That’s why I like – wish it was just a bit easier on the debit card.
Go, enjoy this local deli. Much better than the standard Panera or Bear Rock. Support your local growers!