Favorites of RDU

posted in: chocolate, food, photo shoot | 2

Ice.  That is what today is about.  There is ice, not snow, in RDU.  This has been one of the coldest winters I’ve experienced in RDU since moving here in 2000.  Note: we haven’t had 24 inches of snow (like in January 2000) or TONS of ice like we had in 2005 (or was it 2004)?  But, with temperatures not even reaching 50, really, not even 40, for most of the days for the past 6 weeks, its cold.

So, I thought I would talk about something happy and fun: favorite places in the Triangle.  There is a reason I love this place and am glad to call it home!

These are in no particular order:

Fosters Durham/Chapel Hill: I love her home-cooked food but upscale.  It is a place to sit all day with a book or a laptop and enjoy a scone with some snickerdoodle coffee or a glass of wine.  Her omelettes are fantastic and any of her baked goods are usually just what the doctor ordered.  I haven’t figured out which location I like better.

Best Dessert I’ve tried so far in RDU: Butterscotch Blondie at Bogart’s.  I had to share, it was my birthday, but I could have eaten the whole thing – with the ice cream.  So good.  Oh, and the inside out pb cup from Cafe Carolina .  So good.  Wish I could make.

Best Wine Experience: Sip in Cary.  Such a quaint, decorative place that you want to stay and get to know the owners and everyone who stops in.  They know their stuff: and everything is eco-friendly!

Best Thai Food: Chai’s in Durham on Erwin Road.  I haven’t been back since I returned to the state, because I’ve been trying out new places.  But, hands down, this is the best place by far if I want some delicious salty steamed edemame or a huge bowl of spicy chicken pad thai.

Go sit all day: Panera Crabtree.  The reasons are this: refillable unsweet tea, wifi free usage, overhear engaging conversations, 5 minutes door to door, and cheap, somewhat healthy food.

Outdoor Activities: Volleyball courts at Pullen Park, Shelley Lake for walking, Umstead park, summer movies at the museum of art, July 4 at Cary Amphitheatre, photo shoots at NCSU Arboretum or Duke Gardens, or anywhere on the campus of SEBTS or UNC

Best Cheap Mexican: Salsa Fresh is at least every 2 weeks – I’m going there tomorrow.

Best Jewelry: Moon & Lola

Best Pizza: Anna’s Pizzeria in Apex or Lilly’s at Five Points

Best Sushi: Champas at Briar Creek

What other places do I need to try?  I can branch out to anywhere in the Triangle.  I love new things.  What are some of your favorite things about living in the Triangle?

Taste of Cary: Sip – A Wine Store

posted in: photo shoot | 0

Cary is home to an eco-friendly, all organic wine store that is celebrating 8 months tomorrow – Sip.  You need to make it your New Year’s Resolution to make a trip to their store, have a tasting, and love the wine you taste. 

Not only is the wine superb, the staff, owned by April Schlanger, is friendly, knowledgeable, and not overwhelming.  The owner invited us to her tasting table and gave us knowledgeable information about her favorite wines of 2010. 

They have designed their store in such a way where you feel like you are almost in a cafe, a coffee shop, somewhere to stay all day.  And I needed a wine for dinner: shrimp angel hair (the sauce needed a good white), and April gave such an excellent recommendation. 

The store will also special order wines for you.  And they have different levels of “wine of the month” clubs as well.  They sell cork art, beers, wine racks, bottle charms, chocolate, and other wine accessories.

Some of the best on the tasting table tonight were:

2009 Lioco

2008 L’Aventure

New Must-See places in NC

posted in: Events, food | 2

The next 6 weeks are going to hold many adventurous and fun things to do for me in NC (after a quick trip home to FL for Christmas). But, with the birthday coming up, a little middle of the week trip to the coast, some time in Charlotte and every place in between…here are some fun places I get to go to in the Tarheel State. What places would go you go to? What places do I need to hit up or try out? What do I need to eat?

A roomie-birthday trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art which is just down the street for the Trotman exhibit.

I just saw this in a NC magazine and need to go here in January… Sipa new wine house in Cary. Tastings, cheese, affordable wines…should be a pretty tasty place.

The Stemmerman Inn – yes, I went here already, but this time I get to stay. My Mother’s Birthday present to me. I can’t wait. This is such a pretty and old inn on the river! And Wilmington won’t be so packed since it is winter. Looking forward to 24 hours away.

I get to go back to the String Bean in Belmont, NC (by Charlotte). Looking forward to tasting some more of their yummy food. Such a fabulous little place.

Another fabulous French place in Charlotte that I get to go and prepare for a women’s conference I’m doing is called Amelie’s Bakery. I’ve heard their croissants are out of this world! I’ll let you know when I go!

And to go with all this eating, I get to run a 5k on New Year’s Day in Cary. Great way to start a new year, hoping for a PR. Gotta have one!