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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tour Diary - Wilmington, NC


We are moving really fast through the South, but not so fast that I feel like we're missing a whole lot. First, I'd like to take back what I said about Southern drivers. They're not slow or bad. I think that was just a bad experience in Atlanta. If anyone is slow, it's Bruce and I. We've been following the letter of the law when it comes to driving since we'd hate for the pork wagon to land n hot water. Speaking of, we'll be in barbecue country tomorrow and if you see this vehicle parked in the area -find us and chat us up.

I should start off by saying that there's no way I can do justice writing about any of the places we've eaten or been while I'm on vacation. It will have to wait so that I have time to think about the places and write about them fairly and in my usual style. As it is now, we're staying at lot of places without wi-fi and we're going at line the various cafes we can find with free wi-fi. By the way, thanks to Port City Java in Wilmington for letting us use the wi-fi!

I want the whole country to have free wi-fi NOW! Come on already! Instead, Bruce and I are braving hurricane-like weather to bring you this check-in...which shows you how dedicated I am to my readership.

I love yall!!

Speaking of hurricanes, we've had weird weather ever since we arrived on the coast but it has made for some interesting adventures. Today we went hunting for carnivorous plants deep in the Carolina State Beach preserve and literally had to run from the middle of a savannah back to the visitor parking lot before we were caught in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm. And while Charleston was GORGEOUS, it was also windy as hell and colder than a witches tit.

By the way, Charleston *is all that* - and a bowl of grits.

It's a beautiful old city with tons of character and friendly locals, like Sean at City Lights Cafe on George Street. Stop by if you're in town and grab a cup of java - you'll be glad you did!

Also, Bruce and I have decided that we're to fly to Charleston each day from San Francisco to have dinner at the Hominy Grill. Despite eating phenomenal food since we've landed at ATL, the Hominy Grill really stands out as one of the best places we've eaten thus far. This place rocks!

Shrimp Purloo at Hominy Grill

But besides the excellent Lowcountry cuisine to be had at the Hominy Grill, we've eaten high and mighty on the hog at:

= The Silver Skillet in Atlanta - awesome grits, country ham with red-eye gravy, gooey good pecan pie, and biscuits so sinfully delicious one bite will make your head spin and say things to a priest that'd make Linda Blair blush.

= Bobby's Bar-B-Q - We stumble onto this place outside of Aiken, SC after we got all the way to Hot Foods by Calvin in Augusta and found it closed for renovations...Ahhh! Nevertheless, I'm sorta glad it was since Bobby's was truly a unique experience. The short and skinny: actually no one was skinny in that place - this was South Carolina mustard-based barbecue buffet heaven. Highlights include pulled and chopped bbq pork, kickin' hushpuppies, banana pudding, cracklins, Brunswick stew, soft-serve ice cream, and fried pork chops.

= Nana's boiled p-nuts stand - side of the road Highway 78 outside of Summerville: Say hi to nana and her daughter in Bakersfield, CA. Stop by and get some hot boiled peanuts in 3 different flavors: regular (just salt), cajun, and ham. By the way, all you Californians could stand saying "yes sir" and "yes mam" a little more often in Nana's opinion. Just sayin'....

= Hanks Seafood in Charleston - Yummy she-crab soup, tasty shrimp and grits, roasted grouper on lobster/rock shrimp/leeks/sweet corn risotto, fried shrimp and calamari.

= Hominy Grill - Love this place! High, high, highlights include fried green tomatoes, rockshrimp and okra beignets, shrimp, chicken and sausage purloo, country captain(!), and the best slices of coconut cake I've ever had and the best slice of buttermilk pie I've never had.

Oh yeah: and I'm sweating sweet tea at this very moment. I think I've finished off 3 gallons so far. In fact, we stopped by Piggly Wiggly and you can buy sweet tea by the gallon there.

= Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant - A very cool place with a very friendly waiter; definitely a place to visit if you're ever in the area. Bruce had the crab cakes with gullah rice and fried okra and I had the BEST friend soft-shell blue crab with succotash and Hoppin John. At this point, I think I'd kindly trade the citizens of Charleston/Mt. Pleasant our dungeness crab for some of their blue crab...at least for a little while.

= Calabash Seafood Hut in Calabash, NC - Crisp and lightly breaded fresh and fried seafood at its best! Shrimp, oysters, sea scallops, whiting, and deviled crab to die for; all made the better with a basket of hot fried hushpuppies and homemade seafood cocktail sauce with a great horseradish bite. Loved this place!

Deviled Crab and friends at the Calabash Seafood Hut.

= Bowman's Seafood in Carolina Beach - Fish...again! We're going seafood crazy while we're here on the coast, but that's (mostly) why we're here. Bowman's was recommended by our motel manager and it was a great choice. Not as great as the Calabash Seafood Hut, but then those are pretty high standards to live up to. By the way, I think Bruce is hooked on deviled crab. I don't blame him - it's always been my favorite as well.

= A&G Barbecue in Carolina Beach - Okay, so I lied. We're here at the beach and we had to have barbecue. A&G is near where we're staying and it's a great local barbecue spot. Straight forward Eastern Carolina style barbecue, although not cooked over wood on a spit as some of the better places do. Nevertheless, it's the beach and this is probably the best place for barbecue in the area. Great Brunswick Stew, cole slaw (made with sweet pickles as an ingredient), fried yellow squash and okra, and chopped and sliced barbecue.

Okay! Does it seem like we've gone hungry?!

Yeah, we basically are rolling from one town to another on our full bellies. We're leaving the Wilmington area tomorrow and we're not sure where we're going tonight. Probably seafood...although there are lots of interesting restaurants in Wilmington.

I'll try to check in sometime this weekend or perhaps next week. Stay posted and I promise I'll do a proper review slash write-up slash blog post when I get back to the bay area.

In the meantime, can someone please hand me a paper towel?

I haven't seen one in the men's room since we landed!

(I guess I should be more eco-friendly - but I'm a total germphobe.)

Over and out.



Blogger Chubbypanda said...

Mouth watering...

Arteries hardening...


You lucky bastards.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous abbersnail said...

I am SO HOMESICK looking at your pictures. Not that I don't love San Fran, but sweet jebus, what I'd give for some fried crab and sweet tea!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous 20itemsorless said...

I'm overseas for a few years, and I thought I was coping well with the homesickness factor until I saw your food photos :-(. Seriously, awesome trip.

10:49 AM  

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