Sunday, April 7, 2019

CRUST Kitchen and Cocktails- Wilmington, NC


My granddaughter has been raving about this place for a couple of weeks now and after stopping by for lunch after the Azalea Parade I can see why. 

We looked over the menu and there were so many things that looked good. We finally decided decided on the Bada Bing, shown above, and the Desperado, shown below. Both were quite large, and quite delicious. 

This will definitely be a place we will visit again, and soon. They have a website for more information. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

La Bella Airosa- Wilmington, NC

La Bella Airosa has the most amazing taco food trucks, and I've sampled their food several times at local breweries. Today we stopped by their restaurant on Kerr Avenue for lunch. The restaurant is every bit as good as the trucks. 

I got the Bisteca A La Mexicana shown above and it was delicious. Just the right amount of heat and fresh tasting. The rice was also quite good, and I'm not a huge rice fan. My wife had the enchiladas verdes, also excellent. 

We have a new favorite in town, and close by too. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Katy's Grill and Bar- Wilmington, NC

I've driven past Katy's hundreds of times and today a friend suggested that our after church lunch group stop by for a bite. It turned out to be a wise suggestion as the food and service were quite good. 

It was 10:30 and I wasn't in the mood for eggs, so I went with the Tiko burger, cheddar cheese, bacon, onion straws and BBQ sauce with a side of onion rings for $9.59. Very nice burger. 

We'll definitely be going back again sometime. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Flying Machine Brewing Co.- Wilmington, NC

Flying Machine Brewing is the fifteenth brewery to open in Wilmington. My first impression is that someone spent a whole lot of money on this place. It is huge with a nice clean feel to it and doesn't have that cookie-cutter brewery look. Come to think of it, most of our breweries have distinct looks. 

They went with an old fashioned theme, but I think they should have gone a bit further with the aeronautical aspect and have a large propeller and some photos on that walls, as well as perhaps a large model of the Wright Brothers flyer hanging from the high ceiling. Just my opinion though. 

I started with the Albatross II, a double IPA at 8.2%. It was quite nice with a clean taste that belied that gravity, making it go down a bit too easy. I decided on a 5.2% IPA to follow, also nice. 

What I liked was that they had at least fifteen of their own brews on tap, as well as ciders and wines. Even better is the addition of coffee, hot chocolate, and expresso for the non beer drinkers, like my wife. 

Overall, Flying Machine has potential and should be a welcome addition to the local brewing scene. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Joe's Oasis- Wilmington, NC

Joe's Oasis sits in a strip mall on Carolina Beach Road on the way to Carolina Beach. It's a nice sports bar with a Pittsburgh theme. They are very friendly, the food is good, and the prices reasonable. 

The main attraction for me is that they make their own pierogies in house, and in multiple flavors. They are properly cooked with plenty of oil and butter, onions and scallions and are quite delicious. The best thing is that on Mondays they put them on special for a buck each until they run out in order to clean out the weekend inventory and start fresh. 

They also have a lunch special offer several options for $5.99. I got a BLT half sandwich and side salad. Good and cheap. 

They have a website for more information. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Skytown Beer and BBQ- Wilmington, NC

Skytown Beer and BBQ on New Centre may be the newest brewery in Wilmington, but they are a part of Beer Barrio downtown and have plenty of experience with good food. I stopped by with high expectations for the food and wanted to see how the beer was.

I had a sample of their Creamsicle, an IPA with orange and vanilla beans. It was good, but I don't think I wanted a whole pint so I opted for the New England IPA and found it quite light tasting and refreshing despite the 7.2 ABV. 

I had one of the lunch specials, the Southern Fried Chicken Nuggets, Buffalo style, with a side of mac and cheese for twelve bucks. The chicken was excellent, as was the mac and cheese. 

I decided on a lower gravity for my second pint and went with the Door Mouse Porter at 4.2%. That was an excellent porter. 

Overall, the beer was quite good and since they just started it will only get better. The food was excellent, as was the service. Nice ambiance and convenient to local shopping and businesses. Stop by sometime. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Edward Teach Brewery- Wilmington, NC

Finally got a chance to stop at Edward Teach Brewing in Wilmington and I was quite impressed. The interior has a bright, clean nautical look reflecting the Blackbeard influence. I only had time for one so I went with their tangerine IPA. Quite good. I'll get back soon and do some more exploring, and add some more photos, soon. 

They have a website for more information. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Common Bond Brewers- Montgomery, Al

We were in Montgomery Alabama to hide out from hurricane Florence at relatives. My brother-in-law took me out to both of the local breweries. The first one was not impressive at all, but the second one we went to was quite good. 

Common Bond is a neat little brewery in a reclaimed factory, or warehouse, with plenty of cool brick, open space, good acoustics, and plenty of places to sit. The staff was quite friendly and the beer was good. I had the IPA, twice. We also tried the Blond and the Stout, both good. 

Nice place. Check out their website for more information. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Rams Head Tavern- Annapolis, MD

I have family that just moved to the Annapolis area and they took us downtown for dinner at the Rams Head Tavern. It was a very good experience with excellent service, good food, good beer, and nice ambiance. 

I had the Ram Head IPA which had a nice, clean taste to it. For dinner I had the Dynamite Burger which had candied cayenne bacon, lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli, American cheese and a fried jalapeño on top. There was a bit of heat to it, but not overpowering.  Very good overall.  

They have a website for more information. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cheese Smith Food Truck- Wilmington, NC

Nothing says comfort food like a grilled cheese sandwich, that taste brings me back to childhood and even a simple one made from American cheese on white bread makes my mouth water. Taking that simple sandwich and ramping it up with artisan bread, different cheeses, and flavor add ons is a great thing. Cheese Smith food truck in Wilmington does just that. 

After having heard some rave reviews of them we decided to stop by Fermental for a try. I got the Brendito which had aged white cheddar, roasted jalapeños, cilantro, cream cheese, bacon, and a jalapeño chutney on a nice bread for eleven bucks. Pricey, but it was absolutely worth every penney. Think of it as a deconstructed jalapeño popper in a sandwich. 

Cheese Smith is amazing and I will be catching them again soon. Check out their Facebook page for more information. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mad Mole Brewing- Wilmington, NC

Mad Mole Brewing kind of snuck up on me. I didn't have any idea it was in the works until I saw a Facebook page about them. I mean I went to the Boathouse Restaurant next door a few times and hit the Salt Works kitty corner from them, but I had no idea that there was a brewery in the works there.

My son-in-law said he was going over with a friend and invited me to come along and of course I said yes. We were quite pleasantly surprised with the build out and the design of what was once probably a failed retail store.  

Since the staff knew we were new to the brewery, they gave us a copious amount of samples. In fact, we tasted just about everything they had to offer and all of them were excellent. I had three pints, the first was the Penitent Mole, a strong golden Belgian. I followed that up with a Tunnel Digger, a New England IPA, and I finished with a Boston Mole Party, another variation of a New England IPA. All were excellent.

Overall, the brewery has all of the right elements to lead to success. excellent brews, nice ambiance, friendly staff, and adequate parking. When we were there Kristie Lynn was playing music and the acoustics were great. You could hear her sing while people were talking. She was quite good. There is an outside seating area too.

One other thing that is really cool is that they brew using a rather large array of solar panels on the roof. It's nice to see that they are eco-responsible. I will certainly be going back for a few more pints Stop some time and see for yourself. They have a website for more information.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Beach Bagels- Wilmington, NC

Coming from New York originally, the state not the city, I know what a bagel is supposed to be. Beach Bagels is as good as any I have had in Upstate New York, and the best in the ILM. I spend a couple of mornings a week taking sunrise photos at the beach and quite often stop by to pick up a nice pair of bagels for the wife and I. 

They make some interesting looking sandwiches too and one day I'll try one. Friendly service, excellent bagels, and a cool shop. Stop by sometime. 

Update- I did stop by for lunch and had the Jose Carne on a poppy seed bagel. Excellent. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Catch- Wilmington, NC

Catch is one of those places I have wanted to go to for quite some time, so when our anniversary rolled around we decided to go. I have visited their food truck and was impressed and I wanted to see what they had to offer at their restaurant.

Catch bills themselves as modern seafood cuisine and the owner has been on Top Chef, as well as having won many awards. They are located in a small strip mall on Market Street, a quite unassuming place for a slightly upscale dining place. The inside is well appointed and the service excellent. 

We started with the calamari and I got one of the specials, seared divers scallops and mussels over sweet potatoes in a medium curry sauce. Excellent. Teresa had ribs and shrimp which were also excellent. Everything was amazing. 

We'll definitely be  headed there again sometime. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Original Salt Works- Wilmington, NC

We stopped by The Original Salt Works on Sunday for breakfast and I must say that we were quite impressed. It's a small, homey place with excellent service and very good food.

I had the sausage and cheese omelet, a three egg omelet, with a side of grits. The omelet was very good, but the star was those amazing grits. They were quote probably the best I ever had. I complemented the chef and he said that he uses a lot of butter and slow cooks them for an hour to get that flavor in. 

Teresa had eggs over easy with bacon and home fries. The fries were cubed and had a nice crust on the outside with a soft middle. Excellent. 

We'll head over for lunch sometime. You should too. If you go bring cash, they don't take credit cards. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bills Front Porch- Wilmington, NC

I have been meaning to get to Bill's Front Porch for some time now. I have heard good things about them, especially that they have amazing fried chicken. Well, better late than never and I must say that I was quite impressed.

The place has a warm rustic feel to it that would be at home in the mountains and the staff was friendly and helpful. I started with a Curl Your Toes, a small batch variant of their flagship Citra and it was good. I followed that with an English Pale Ale that was excellent. As good as, if not better than, any I've had in Britain. 

I didn't get the chicken because on Wednesdays they have a special where if you order a pint, you can get a classic burger for five bucks. No brainer there. The burger was quite good and the fries were outstanding. Teresa had the Philadelphia cheese steak sliders which she said were good.

I'll be back for that chicken, and a few more pints in the near future. They have a website for more information.