July 29, 2016

“Fast Food” at the Orange County Speedway

Text by Sol Weiner, photos by Sol Weiner and Anna Keneda When I think of the Orange County Speedway—when I picture it in my mind—it sizzles like the grease on a flattop grill. On alternating Saturday nights from March through October (with a few extras and exceptions), the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont hosts stock car races on what they call “America’s Fastest ⅜ Track.” Saturday nights feature five to … [Read more...]

Poitín and The Great Wagon Road Distilling Company

Text and Photos by Caroline Miller The Great Wagon Road Distilling Company in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood is the first distillery in North Carolina to have its own bar, The Broken Spoke. My friends and I wandered into The Broken Spoke one summer afternoon after enjoying a delicious pint at Sugar Creek Brewery next door. As I perused the drink offerings, I was surprised and delighted to see poitín listed on … [Read more...]

Visit the Goats

Text and photos by Ray Linville If you like artisan cheese, visit the creamery where it’s made. Even better, get introduced to the animals. If you like chevre, a word we borrow from French for goat cheese, don’t forget to talk to the goats. When Paradox Farm held Spring Farm Day and opened its property in the Sandhills to visitors, I learned more about its goats and cheesemaking. Its creamery was open for … [Read more...]

The Great Pumpkin Diaries, Pt. II

Text by Frances Dowell Photos by Randi Byrd The last month in Randi Byrd’s pumpkin patch has been a nail biter. In May it was all good news—the seedlings bursting forth in their little seed cups, tiny leaves unfurling and then almost immediately entering into a gangly, adolescent stage. Mid-May, five plants were transplanted into the prepared patch, protected from the sun by shade cloth, beautifully … [Read more...]

Vit Goal Tofu

Text and photos by Evan Hatch Vit Goal Tofu Restaurant is elusive. The restaurant is situated around two corners, up a hidden drive, at the end of a nondescript strip mall, hidden behind a Big Lots that is difficult to access. Though centrally located minutes from I-40, near the crossroads of NC 54 and Hwy 55 in Durham, Vit Goal is a difficult destination to reach on the first try. However, the journey, and … [Read more...]

El Restaurante Ixtapa

Text and images by Sol Weiner On a recent lunch break, fellow NC FOLKer Evan Hatch insisted that we go to El Restaurante Ixtapa in downtown Hillsborough. I’ve been hearing friends talk for months about Ixtapa’s no-frills combination of surf-and-turf options typical of Guerrero-style Mexican food. As Latino migration to North Carolina continues to grow, more and more states and regions in Latin America are being … [Read more...]

The Great Pumpkin Diaries

Text by Frances Dowell. Images by Randi Byrd. 240 lbs of gypsum, 80 lbs of lime, 50 lbs of kelp meal, 50 lbs of very well-aged chicken manure, and 30 lbs of bone meal went into the patch today. —Randi Byrd’s Facebook page, March 19, 2016   Every year Randi Byrd prepares the soil, chooses her seeds, and sets out to grow North Carolina’s biggest pumpkin. Randi is Community Engagement Coordinator … [Read more...]

Saltbox Seafood Joint

Text and photos by Monique LaBorde I’ve visited Saltbox Seafood Joint three times in the past year, but I only recently made it there in time to eat. Saltbox opens at 11am and cooks seafood until they run out, which is usually around 5 p.m. On a busy day, Saltbox can run out of their seafood supply after the lunch rush. Every morning for three years, the small stand in Durham’s Little Five Points … [Read more...]

The Pit

The Pit BBQ in Durham, across from the famed Motorco, is part of the new Durham--a Durham of renovation and reinvention. The Pit is the perfect example of a business taking the traditions of a city steeped in Southern history, and presenting them with a modern aesthetic to a new generation. The Pit is gleaming inside, with shiny hardwood floors and tables, and a ceiling-high glass divider with a frosted pig … [Read more...]

Allen and Son Bar-B-Que

Text and Photos by Lauren Fulcher and Monique Laborde In the big cities of NC, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the south. Especially in college towns like Chapel Hill, it’s hard to find authentic southern cooking. If you drive out though just a few miles from Franklin Street, there’s a little place called Allen & Son BBQ that is famous for keeping North Carolina food traditions alive. On the drive to … [Read more...]