N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 18)

It’s truly hard to believe that we’ve been in North Carolina for 4 years as of next month! We’ve celebrated several birthdays, bought our first house, welcomed a niece and soon a nephew, and we have eaten a lot of great meals here. Also, I keep discovering local food in our region that amazes me.

So, let’s dive in with what I’ve explored over the past few months:

Full Bloom Coffee Roasters

full bloom garner nc

We had a few chances to explore some new spots in Garner this summer, which was a treat. We live kind of in between Raleigh and Garner, so it’s nice to support local businesses like this coffee shop/bar. They roast their own coffee, and they have a selection of local beers on top. They also host food trucks every so often!

La Republica Taco Truck

la republica taco

Speaking of food trucks at Full Bloom, we got the chance to try tacos from La Republica there, and they were really great. I especially enjoyed the vegetarian option with sweet potatoes. They also had an impressive array of hot sauces for topping your order.

Two Roosters Ice Cream

two roosters ice cream

Even in the cold months, local ice cream is a real treat. And Two Roosters is no different with the cutest little food truck and really good flavors. Their Cookies n’ Cream flavor hit the spot!

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 17)

Time has really flown around here. It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve posted an N.C. One Bite at a Time! Although I have been traveling here and there and there are still plenty of Triangle spots on my list, I have had the chance to try a few new places.

Carroll’s Kitchencarroll's kitchen

Finally, I was downtown during breakfast so I could try some tasty bites from this awesome little deli that supports homeless women in Raleigh. The food is so good, too! I got an amazing cinnamon sugar pop tart and a spinach feta kolache.

Bond Brothers Beer Companybond brothers beer

Bond Brothers is relatively new to the beer scene in the area, but it has certainly made a name for itself. The IPAs are on point, and the sours are super tasty, too. They also have a nice patio section.

Loafloaf durham

Recently when in Durham, I stopped by Loaf to grab some baked goods. The thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies were a treat and made the perfect sandwich for these.

Jessica’s Handmade Donutsjessica's handmade donuts

I tried out this little donut shop in Garner and was impressed with the range of flavors and prices. This would be a great weekend morning stop for families nearby.

Chanticleer Cafechanticleer cafe cookie

Speaking of more bakeries, it was fun to explore this cafe in Cary for a lunch date. They have a nice selection of sandwiches and salads, as well as a range of baked goods. This massive tiger cookie was full of flavor!

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 16)

N.C. One Bite at a Time is a series in which I share about all of the new places that I’ve explored or eaten at in Raleigh, Durham or the surrounding areas.

Guys…This post is waaaay past due.

I’m not even sure how it’s been six months since an update on my whereabouts in the Triangle.

Seasons have passed, temperature have cooled, and there are so many new spots in the area that are on my list for 2017!

Let’s get to eating and exploring!

Person Street Pharmacy

person street pharmacy raleigh

I have had this downtown Raleigh spot on my to-eat list for a long time, so it was a treat to finally visit. This is the perfect place for a tasty lunch, a classic ice cream sundae or a creative fizzy drink. I was very impressed by my pimento cheese sandwich and sweet potato salad, paired with a homemade ginger beer!

pimento cheese at person street pharmacy

Honeysuckle Tea House

honeysuckle tea house chapel hill

While we were back visiting Haw River Brewery in Saxapahaw, we hopped on over to Honeysuckle Tea House in Chapel Hill, a 15-minute drive from the brewery. What a delightful spot to drink tea, study or just relax! It’s surrounded by trees, and it’s one of the few places where I’ve drank the tea right next to tea plants. How cool is that?!

honeysuckle tea house chapel hill

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 15)

Hello, folks!

Today, we’re going to take another trip around the beautiful, fun and tasty Triangle of North Carolina. I hope you’re ready for some fun pit stops.

Fair Game Beverage

fair game beverage

We finally got to visit this local distillery (well, twice in the past few months). Everything from the fortified wine to the aged rum and the atmosphere are top notch. It’s so worth the trip to Pittsboro to hang out in this idyllic area (and get a tour, some samples and some to take home).

NC Seafood Restaurant at the Raleigh Farmers Market

NC seafood restaurant at raleigh farmers market

When you order fried shrimp at this seafood spot, you will get a seriously good ton of fried shrimp. Everything is Calabash style, which I guess means a light, flavorful fry on lots of little shrimp. Also, everything comes with slaw, fries and hush puppies, so it’s a whole package of southern seafood.


lantern chapel hill

My husband and I ate at Lantern in Chapel Hill to celebrate our 4th anniversary. Although my whole sea bass was quite delicious, I was overall underwhelmed with this restaurant (from the ambiance to the prices).

Virgil’s Taqueria

virgil's taqueria

We have a new favorite Mexican spot, and it is Virgil’s Taqueria. Go to downtown Raleigh, visit Virgil’s, get some of the homemade tortilla chips and try a fried avocado taco. You will not be disappointed. You might as well try an horchata or jamaica (hibiscus tea) while you’re there, too.

Linus & Peppers

linus & peppers

Right next to Virgil’s, you might notice a cute little sandwich shop. And if you’re there during lunch hours, you’ve got to try it out! I loved my sweet potato soup and avocado BLT sandwich.

Read more

$6 Lunch in Raleigh

You may know that I’m really into baking, cooking and eating out (on occasion), but you might not have known that I am a budget lover!

I am the budgeter/saver at our house, and proud of it! #daveramsey

Although I can definitely spend some hard-earned money on a nice cocktail or a three-course meal, I love it when I can eat out and not break the bank.

So, here is my personal list of 7 delicious (some healthy) $6 lunch options in Raleigh, NC:

Half Falafel at Neomonde– $3.59

This is probably the cheapest option on the list, but don’t even think that you’ll be missing out on taste. Although I love the $9 sampler platter at this Mediterranean spot, sometimes the $4 falafel just hits the spot, stuffed with creamy tahini and pickled vegetables. Also, you can get free pita to go along with it (just ask at the register)!

Soup at Capital Club 16 or State of Beer– $5-6

soup at state of beer

Ordering soup is one of the best ways to get a tasty and budget-friendly meal. Capital Club 16 and State of Beer are two of my favorite soup spots in the city because they often have a different seasonal flavor every day (or at least every time I’ve been there). A bowl of soup is also quite filling and sometimes comes with bread.

Read more

Made in NC: Crude Bitters & Sodas


*Made in NC is a series that showcases North Carolina artisans who make exceptional products. This is not a sponsored post, and all of the opinions here are my own.

It’s been quite awhile since I had a Made in NC feature on the blog, but I’m SO EXCITED about starting it back up again today with an incredible feature.

This Made in NC product, while perfect to be used throughout the year, is especially handy within the summer partying/drinking around the pool or yard months.

I first discovered Crude Bitters & Sodas when I purchased their Rizzo bitters (grapefruit, peppercorn and rosemary) at a local market of sorts in Durham, NC. Since then, I’ve been hooked on their unique flavors.

My husband and I also recently discovered that Craig, the guy you’re about to meet behind Crude, gives cocktail classes at his shop in Raleigh every few weeks to share his wonderful bitters, along with some of the best cocktails (and drink tips and historical accounts) that I’ve ever had. In fact, his bitters are now in 22 states across the country, and his products have even won a Good Food Award and a Southern Living Food Award!

So, without further ado, I hope you can get to know Craig and Crude a little bit better, and see how you can win some bitters for yourself at the bottom of the post!


*Product photos (except for the last one) taken by Stacey Sprenz Photography.

Here are 5 questions that I asked Craig about Crude Bitters & Sodas:

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 14)

It’s coming up on a year that we’ve been in our home, and it’s over two years that we’ve been in North Carolina! Wow!

All I have to say is that I’ve loved all of the food and other adventures so far…and I can’t wait for more.

Here’s what I’ve enjoying locally for the past few months:

Crude Bitters Cocktail Class

Crude Bitters cocktail classes

We were so thrilled to recently discover that Crude Bitters (near downtown Raleigh) offers very affordable cocktail classes at their cozy little shop. We had a fabulous time trying the amazingly creative cocktails featuring Crude Bitters combined with Foggy Ridge Cider. Both of these companies are worth supporting! You can sign up for other Crude cocktail classes here.

Fair Game Beverage Co.

Flying Pepper vodka

The cocktail class also helped us realize that we have a lot of local distilleries. One of them that we got to try was The Flying Pepper vodka from Fair Game. This stuff is incredible. It’s got heat, and made an amazing cocktail that tasted like pepper jelly. We hope to tour Fair Game in Pittsboro sometime soon.

Read more

Ruckus Pizza

ruckus pizza

*This post is sponsored by Ruckus Pizza. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a restaurant nearby where after you go once, you feel like everyone knows you? A place where you feel that you belong no matter what you’re like…or what you like to eat? A place where you would be happy to take your family, friends or anyone who loves eating and drinking together?

ruckus pizza

Ruckus Pizza, Pasta, & Spirits in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and Apex is just that.

ruckus pizza

It’s a friendly neighborhood spot with great food options, whether you want a tasty salad, a creative pizza or you just want to grab a craft beer with some friends.

ruckus pizza

When you eat at Ruckus, you really will feel like you’re one of the usuals. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and it’s a fabulous family spot.

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 13)

Another three months have flown by here in NC.

For me, that included a Thanksgiving in Charleston, Christmas in Arkansas, and lots of local eating, drinking and discovering in between.

Here are some of the highlights:

Cedar Falls Snack Company

cedar falls snack company

Cedar Falls Snack Company is an honorary NC product because it’s made by one of the first North Carolina natives that we met…while living in Arkansas. These delicious and well-branded snacks are made by one of Jason’s former coworkers, and they are perfect with a good local beer. Thanks for the snacks, Stewart!

Groovy Duck Bakery

groovy duck

If you’re looking for a place to get rugelah in Raleigh, check out the Groovy Duck Bakery. They also have plenty of other baked goods and decorated cakes to choose from.

State of Beer

state of beer

I know that I’ve mentioned how much we love State of Beer, but you might not have known that they occasionally have events like this Sour Beer Tasting. The beer and the food pairings were incredible. Another expert tip: They serve soup now!

Read more

N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 12)

I can’t believe it’s been a full four months since I posted about our NC adventures!

The seasons have changed, the weather has cooled, and there’s still so much to do and explore!

I hope you’ve been up to some fun adventures, as well.

So, here’s what’s been happening:

Brew N Que

brew n que cary nc

If you’ve ever been to the Big Mike’s BBQ food truck, then you’ll be happy to know that they have a brick and mortar spot in Cary. It’s on Maynard Road and is part bottle shop and part bbq dive. Get the Redneck Nachos…trust me!

Read more