Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Jazz, Jambalaya and a Jolly Good Parade: Fun in the French Quarter

French Quarter Fest Jackson Square 2013

Brad and I recently went to New Orleans to catch the 30th Annual French Quarter Music Festival. This was Brad’s first visit to NOLA. I attended a conference here last year while the festival was going on and thought Brad would enjoy it much more than Mardi Gras (plus I’ve been there, done that, got the beads, etc.) The weather was beautiful and Brad even got to enjoy a parade!

Parade time!

Love a parade!

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Restaurant Review: Guasaca Arepa & Salsa Grill, Raleigh, N.C.

Guasaca Courtyard entrance

If you live in Raleigh and want to try some fresh and wonderful food based on Venezuelan cuisine, head on over to Guasaca, which recently opened off of Lake Boone Trail, right down from Rex Hospital. Believe me; you’ll be glad you did!

According to Guasaca’s website, the restaurant was “born out of the belief that it is possible to offer food that is delicious, affordable, fresh and healthy, all at the same time.” Well guess what? Guasaca lives up to all of this, and more! Needless to say I am thrilled that this new restaurant is less than three miles from home. It is set up somewhat like a submarine sandwich store – you stand in line and once you get to the counter you choose your ingredients. The line has always moved quickly when I’ve been there and the service is some of the friendliest I’ve seen anywhere.

Guasaca order here

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Raleigh’s Five Best Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled pimento cheese

I love pimento cheese and chances are if you’re from the South, you do, too. There’s nothing more comforting than a warm and gooey grilled pimento cheese sandwich and a bowl of yummy soup or some homemade chips. I recently shared my recipe for Kel’s Reduced-fat Jalapeno Pimento Cheese, which is quick and easy to make and tastes great.

Kel's Grilled pimento cheese

However, sometimes I want to order a grilled pimento cheese sandwich when I’m on my lunch break, so lucky for me a number of area restaurants offer this classic on their menus. Here are my Top-5 favorite places in Raleigh to get a great pimento cheese sandwich, hot off the grill.

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Restaurant Review: Community Deli, Raleigh, N.C.

Community Deli Raleigh

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”  ~  old English idiom

I probably drove by the Community Deli (901 Oberlin Rd., Raleigh, N.C.) a thousand times before finally stopping in a couple of weeks ago. The building itself is fairly nondescript – nothing really special to entice me to try it. Community Deli is close to Cameron Village Shopping Center, so if I’m hungry, I usually go to one of the many good restaurants there. But I kept noticing the daily special sign, with sandwiches, burgers or hot dogs at great prices. So I finally decided to give it a try and have been back several times in the past couple of weeks for the good deli food and the friendly, friendly service.

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What to Do In Snowshoe — Foodwise, That Is

Fun on the slopes, Snowshoe 2011

Located in West-By-God Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain is one of the most popular ski areas in the southeast, with slopes and trails for all levels of skiers, snow boarders and tubers. I wish I could say that it is a popular dining destination as well, but I can’t. Food options are extremely limited, especially if you are used to skiing in the western United States.

First, there just are not a large number of restaurants. I think this is partly because Snowshoe is not a big summer destination for travelers, so restaurants must make the bulk of their income during ski season. A bad season or two can cause a place go under. Second, since there are not that many restaurants, the ones that are there get extremely crowded, especially on the weekends, and the waits can be quite lengthy and the service rushed.

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Raleigh’s Best Brunches: Part 2 — Menu-Only Ordering

Tribeca brunch

In May I asked my readers what were their favorite places in the Raleigh area for brunch. I received numerous recommendations and have tried to eat at most of the places suggested. So finally, after many months of research, I’ve come up with some of my favorites. I’ve divided them into two separate posts: Buffets (read about them at: and Menu-Only Ordering. This part focuses on places that serve brunch only from their menus, and many offer it both on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s always good to check with the restaurant first for its hours and to see if you need to make reservations.

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Raleigh’s Best Brunches: Part 1 — Buffets

Oxford buffet items

In May I asked my readers what their favorite places in the Raleigh area for brunch are (and congratulations to Jennifer K. for winning the $25 gift card to Target for her suggestion.) I received numerous recommendations and have tried to eat at most of the places suggested. So finally, after many, many months of research, I’ve come up with some of my favorites. Because I like so many places I tried, I’ve decided to divide this post into two separate parts: Buffets and Menu Only.

This part concentrates on some the buffets I visited in Raleigh, which are only open on Sundays. I actually prefer ordering from a menu rather than going to a buffet, mainly because I tend to eat too much because I want to try everything in sight. I then wind up feeling miserable for a few hours. Oh the things I do for this blog!

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Restaurant Review: Taverna Agora, Raleigh, N.C.

I was craving Greek food the other night, so Brad and I headed over to Taverna Agora (6101 Glenwood Avenue Raleigh, NC 27612), our favorite Greek restaurant in Raleigh. I love the “rustic ambience” of this place – it is so warm and inviting. There’s a great outdoors patio that is open most of the year, weather permitting. I’ve never sat outside since I like the atmosphere of indoors dining room (sorry for the dark pic), but maybe next time.

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Raleigh’s Best Creamy Chicken Salads


There’s just something about creamy chicken salad that makes it one of my favorite sandwich fillings. I like mine mixed with fresh chicken (preferably white meat) celery, onion, lite mayo, salt and pepper – that’s about it, although every now and then sliced grapes and sweet pickles can slide into the mix. I’m not too picky about the bread it’s served on (rolls, sourdough, rye, wraps, etc.) as long as it’s good and fresh. Or I can eat it right out of the container, plain.

Several months ago I posted my favorite Chunky Chicken Salads in Raleigh, with the promise to follow up with the best creamy chicken salads in the area. I could research this topic forever (and probably will) so I finally decided to get on with it and publish my favorites so far.

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Restaurant Review: Krave, Raleigh, N.C.

Early this summer Brad and I were on Glenwood South, trying to figure out where we wanted to eat when we happened upon Krave (510 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, N.C. 27603). Krave opened in late May in the space that was formerly the Red Room. Like the Red Room, Krave serves tapas, but also has added many sleek updates to the bar and restaurant as well an after-hours lounge on Friday and Saturdays, where the menu is available throughout the night and the DJ’s spin their original blend of acoustical magic until 4:00 a.m.

Note: Krave closed its doors the end of 2012.

Our meal was excellent, and  a couple of weeks later there was a Groupon offer to Krave, which I jumped on. We finally returned this past weekend and once again enjoyed some excellent food in a great atmosphere.

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