Donuts seem to be all the rage right now; two new donut shops have opened up in Durham and are getting a lot of buzz. Monuts Donuts, which already had a loyal following from their food bike, has opened up a brick and mortar store in downtown Durham. Rise Biscuits and Donuts has opened up in the Southpoint area.
Ok, I must admit, it is more difficult than I anticipated finding time to blog with a newborn and a full time job but I’m trying. Needless to say it is more appealing to spend the limited down time trying out new places than it is to sit down and write about them! We have been able to try a few places so the posts will roll out slowly but surely.
A few weekends ago when the weather was nice we took the opportunity to take a walk in Duke Forest and try Bull City Burger and Brewery (BCBB). This is a cool burger joint right in downtown Durham. It is a casual, comfortable space with communal wooden picnic benches and floor to ceiling glass windows allowing visitors a glimpse into the brewery. They also have a nice covered outdoor space behind the restaurant for warmer days. Though casual in feel they are serious about their product. They use North Carolina pasture-raised beef, bake their own buns and make their own condiments. They also offer a nice choice of atypical beverages; in addition to their own beers, they have a self-serve wine dispenser, and a Boylan fountain soda machine.
Happy New Year!! This year has been incredible with great trips and wonderful foods but most importantly the arrival of our little peanut! Eight weeks ago G and I welcomed our baby boy, JJ. Needless to say, life has been very busy! It has been a wonderful and emotional several weeks and we look forward to many more adventures, challenges, and lessons in parenting!
I do plan to continue the blog posts though the frequency may be more sporadic as I adjust to motherhood and head back to work. I do have notes for several posts and, if you can believe it, we have actually tried a couple of new places with the peanut!
In other peanut related news, the latest obsession at our house is peanut butter by Big Spoon Roasters. They produce small batch hand crafted nut butters in Durham, NC using local peanuts and wildflower honey. We have tried the straight peanut butter and the peanut cocoa butter both of which were amazing!
One of our new favorite places is Vin Rouge in Durham. I know, as usual, it took us awhile to ‘discover’ it even after all the wonderful press and reviews. But, recently we have been there for dinner three times which is quite frequent for us to re-visit a place. Our first experience with Vin Rouge was brunch a little over a year ago. While our bunch meals were good, we weren’t wowed and weren’t feeling compelled to go back for dinner. But, with all of the great great buzz on the place we finally tried it again for dinner in February and had a wonderful experience and have been back a few times since!
The fifth in my approximately once a month guest posts over at Discovering the Southern Part of Heaven. This time we head over to Durham for my thoughts on Pop’s Backdoor South.
After a bit of a hiatus, we have reinstated New Restaurant Tuesday (NRT). Our most recent restaurant was Happy China in Durham. After several wonderful experiences of Szechuan food in Carrboro we decided to try another local place which is getting rave reviews for Szechuan food.
Happy China is a bright red building just off of 15-501 which can’t be missed. The restaurant itself is quite large and is separated into a few different rooms. The décor is nice and simple with grey walls and nice red accents in the decorations. There are several intimate booths which are nicely lit with hanging lights. The menu includes several typical Chinese restaurant dishes such as General Tao’s Chicken and Beef and Broccoli. The menu also includes a section with Szechuan specialties which is where we focused our choices. They list several daily special on a white board in the foyer as you enter. Our extremely friendly waitress had noticed me looking over the list of specials and helpfully answered all of my questions on the menu.
As I have suggested before, it is necessary to have a couple of default options where you can get a good beer and some delicious food. I have heard so much about the Federal (the ‘Fed’ if you are local!) as being this type of an option but have only recently tried it. The décor is a typical pub, with a wooden bar just as you walk in and several tables and booths. The bar area can get quite crowded as people wait for tables and enjoy their beers. There is a separate quieter dining area in the back with about 5 tables. We met a friend there early, 6pm, on a Saturday night before heading to a concert. She had been several times before and wisely, got us table in the back room before we arrived.