Durham: not your mama’s meatloaf (part 2)

So a month or two ago I was talking about Durham. OK, so where was I? I was eating Mexican food. Upon completion of that task w’all head off to one of the couples’ house. There I believe I drank more and talked about stuff and was offered some homemade habanero jelly. I was ready for that jelly and it was, how do you say, the best jelly I’ve ever had while intoxicated. I was offered an entire jar and gladly accepted… and promptly forgot it at their house. Dammit that was good jelly. My friend Jeff was nice enough to spare me some from his stash, but I would have rather had a baby pool full of it.

Wake up. Where am I? Am I dead? No. Ok. I need a glass of water.

After hydration, Jeff and I took care of some bidness. Then we went to Triangle Brewing Co. this was nice because it was beer. It was even nicer that it was really good beer, they were doing tastings, Jeff knew the owners so we got a great tour, and saw some behind the scenes devil magic (AKA science) relating to how bacterial strains are monitored along the brewing process.  I tried the IPA, Belgian White, Belgian Golden, and Belgian-Style White Ale. Given the lack of food and that I had a good time the previous night I found the Belgian White to be my favorite du jour. It was ridiculously well balanced but retained a mixture of lightness and complexity not frequently seen in the 8% ABV range. Overall fantastic experience, with a group of down-to-earth people who really have a passion for their work. Somehow barbecue came up in conversation while in the brewery and I was able to score some information that would later prove very useful.

Next stop: the house, as it was obviously time to drink some beer. But beer deserves food and what could possibly be a better match than pretzels? What this part of my plan? Of course this was part of my plan; I had brought the maximum allowable amount of punch-you-in-the-nose Zingerman’s hot mustard allowed by TSA. Who better to help make pretzels than Alton Brown? Jeff was able to fold the pretzels to make them look like pretzels, I was not. Who cares? After way more work than asking a guy behind a cart for a soft pretzel, we had soft pretzels. They were really good and I’d make them again assuming I could plan my consumption of beer far enough in advance.

What time is it now Mr. Fox? Dinner time. How about BBQ? Great, I got a super tip from a super guy at Triangle Brewery that said we should go to Backyard BBQ Pit. Awesome it’s close-ish. [After navigating possibly one of the worst websites on the face of the interspace] Yipes, they close soon. In the car! Arrive, and the conversation goes something like this:
“Hello, I would like one of basically everything you have, minus pork chops, turkey, and fish.”
“We don’t have ribs because we are about to close in 30 seconds.”
“I know, and I’m sorry for coming in so late like a huge jerk, but please feed me delicious things in exchange for money.”
“Ok, I like you, I will feed you delicious things for money. Please get these men delicious things”
“Thank you, please make sure some okra finds its way into my bag of treats.”
“The fryer is off, no okra for you.”
“What about those hush puppies sitting on the tray over there?”
“Those are cold and lifeless puppies, you do not want them, we are throwing them out.”
“If you throw those poor puppies out I will drive my friends car through your front door before we leave.”
“Ok, we will give you these puppies but beware they are not our best and we refuse to charge you for them.”
“I could marry you.”
So the awesome people of Backyard BBQ Pit took care of us and we left with BBQ (pulled pork), chicken, mac ‘n cheese, collards, and brunswick stew… and some hush puppies. There was a spicy vinegar sauce, in true NC fashion, and a traditional molasses sauce, we stocked up on both. The BBQ was awesome because the Carolinas know what they are doing. Chicken was also delicious and the collards were my favorite side. The hush puppies were wonderful so I imagine a hot, fresh puppy would probably cause arrhythmia. Recommend+.

Upon waking the next morning, I decided I wanted to eat more food, so it was off to Guglhupf. It is a really interesting and well done cafe, with a huge outdoor area featuring architecture that makes you feel like you are in the gorilla exhibit of an urban zoo. I had a Vietnamese coffee and their frittata of the day. The coffee was not made in the traditional Vietnamese fashion but was more like a fully-mixed iced coffee, Vietnamese-style; but it was not too sweet and well done, so no complaints. The frittata and everything else I tried was fresh and really well-done. Overall, it was a very chill place to spend a pleasant Sunday morning.

Then we headed off to Weaver Street Market in Chapel Hill. It is a large food co-op with a large shaded area in front. People come, as we did, on Sundays to hang out and listen to live music. Include a couple chairs, some beer and cheese purchased at the market, and a couple canine if you want for a really good time. Inside the market was similar to other co-ops I’d been in, but it was definitely larger than most and was very much capable of being a one-stop shop. They had a peanut mill which made peanut butter on the go similar to how you could have coffee beans ground in the store. That was neat, just like Durham.

Then I was whisked off to the airport, never to return until next time. Should be a good time.

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