Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eat your way through Raleigh

This past weekend was Gransefest 2010: Burton Edition, redux.

That means that I got together with Emmel, Amey, and Char for a weekend. (FYI: I don't really call them Emmel and Amey. I call them by their first and last names, together, always, but don't want to mess with their online anonymity). The first time the 4 of us got together Edwin called it a Granseefest, and the name stuck. This weekend we celebrated Char's engagement, hence the Burton edition. It was redux because we had to reschedule from the snow weekend. Remember, when I was bummed out and had to go here to drown my sorrows in cream?

So I didn't actually take any pictures of my food.

I know, I know.

But I'll tell you everything I ate, which is almost as good. Then you too can go to Raleigh and eat your way through it, fancy style.

Before you continue, you need to know I really am going to chronicle my meals and not much else. Consider yourself warned.

I got in Thursday night around 8. I went to Moe's at Cameron Village and ordered a burrito to go. Burritos from Moe's are a big deal to me, and Cameron Village holds a special place in my heart. It's where my parents took us to buy shoes at Ryan's and then go to Baskin Robbins afterwards. It's where my library was, which is where I met Miss Benjie at age 3. At age 23 I decided I wanted to be Miss Benjie when I grow up. It's where Emmel and I spent summer nights outside the Village Draft House trying to decide if we liked our boyfriends or not and naming her future dogs. It's where Susanna and I went to the K & W. A lot. It's a good place.

This is what I ate at Moe's on Thursday: junior Joey Bag of Donuts with steak. No rice. Black beans. Cheese. Cilantro. Little onion. I had salsa verde with my chips. It was perfect.

Friday Emmel and I went to Starbucks (decaf grande skim cinnamon dulce latte no whip) after breakfast (cheerios). For lunch, we went to Sitti, Neomonde's new sit down restaurant. I looooove Neomonde (more than Med Deli in Chapel Hill, haters) and I knew I'd looooove Sitti. I did.

We shared hommos and each had the day's special pizzette, which had green apple, beef shawarma and mozzarella. YUM.

For dinner, we went to Irregardless, another Raleigh classic. Amey had arrived by then, so there were 3 of us. I ordered the Morgan Street Chicken, which is odd for me because I never order chicken at restaurants. I'm glad I did, though, because it was delicious. Some of the best chicken I ever had, I think. It was probably the lemon tahini dressing they used to marinate it.

Saturday we went to Starbucks again (I need it as much as possible when I'm out of town. Our closest Starbucks is in Ellijay, Georgia. That's not really close.) I ordered another latte, and we had to get Barbara, Emmel's mom, a drink because we were going to see her and drop off the dog. Barbara, I kid you not, always orders this:

Triple tall skim peppermint wet capuccino. It's her signature drink.

For brunch, we went to The Weathervane at A Southern Season. I thought about breakfast items, as I am a longtime fan of the breakfast quesadilla, but the salad sampler was calling out to me. I ordered it and got a scoop of these salads: apple and fennel, black bean and corn, and brocoli and bacon. The apple and fennel was definitely my favorite, but they all were scrumptious.

We were eating a late dinner (when I called the restaurant they could only get us in at 8:30) so I texted Amey and Char to tell them to eat a snack. Yes. I know that is a mom thing to say, but we all needed a snack. (4:30: I had a bag of freeze-dried fruit from Fresh Market and an Izze.)

After reuniting with Char, squealing at how pretty her wedding dress is, oooohing over the ring, and ahhhhing at her wedding notebook, we headed out on the R-Line to Gravy.

Okay Gravy? Amazing. Not Southern cuisine, like you might think because of the name, but Italian-American deliciousness. It was packed when we got there and the hostess told us it would be just a tiny wait for our table. The tiny wait turned into 30 minutes, in which I poured Char some water so she could take her cold medicine, the manager brought us free wine, and the co-manager brought us a free appetizer.

Once we sat down we got another appetizer.

Thank you, Gravy!

Our first free appetizer, which we ate standing up, was some sort of bruschetta. It's not on the menu, so I'm not exactly sure what it was besides fantastic. She asked us, before bringing us anything, if we liked lamb, and we all do, so I was hoping for that. But when she came with the bruschetta, she apologized for just selling out of the lamp appetizer. It was okay and I didn't have to throw down, because the brushcetta was excellent.

Once we sat down, they brought us Crispy Polenta and oh my. Think of a fancy mozzarella stick, but inside is polenta. It comes with their signature gravy, which is basically this really amazing tomato sauce.

We all had to get lots of feedback about the menu from our server, who was really nice, and I ended up ordering the Pork Cannoloni. It had red pepper flakes in it, but it wasn't spicy. It just had this nice, full-bodied flavor and I was in absolute heaven. Edwin and I enjoyed the leftovers when I got home Sunday. (I was full from the apps!)

I looooove Gravy. I want to go back. Now.

For breakfast Sunday we all went to Whole Foods at Ridgewood, another favorite Raleigh spot. I gazed at the hot bar for a while but ended up with greek yogurt and honey, fresh fruit, and granola. It was a perfect meal before hitting the road for my six hour drive.

I ate like a queen, and I'm missing Raleigh (and my sweet friends) already.

I hope you like it. I [haven't] made it.


  1. ...and while she was gone, I had peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have her back home.

    The Pork Cannoloni was great, like something you'd order at a 5-star TexMex restaurant.

  2. Oh my gosh! That sounds soooooo good! I have to get to Raleigh!


    PS Would you join my blog? http://music-and-the-lyrics-of-life.blogspot.com/ Have a good day! :)