Downtown Raleigh miscellany

Includes (both in Raleigh, NC): The Raleigh Times, The Pit   

Okay, Carol was right. The Raleigh Times does serve the Triangle’s best veggie burger. How have I not known this before? And how have have I not eaten it before?

And a quick Google search just piles more evidence on top of my cluelessness. Several non-vegetarians claim online to prefer the Times’s veg version. Carol said someone she knew sent theirs back to the kitchen, convinced it contained meat.

I got mine all the way — lettuce, tomato, pickle (although I ate the two delicious pickle slices separately), and had them add gruyere and avocado.

There was no single part of the burger that I could find any fault with. The bun was puffy and soft, the avocado fresh and thinly sliced, the gruyere perfectly melted. There was just the right amount of tomato, and it was positioned so that it didn’t slide out when I bit the burger. (Don’t you just hate when burger or sandwich innards slide out?)

The burger patty was large and just the right thickness, and was juicy and had a just-grilled taste. I’m not sure how they make it.

My server asked if I needed mayo, ketchup or mustard, but one bite confirmed there was no need.

Tasty as it was, I couldn’t quite finish. It was, after all, an oversized burger. Even I had to stretch my big mouth to take bites. (This big mouth admission just begs jokes from my evil brothers, of course. I’m ready.) So opposite those good-but-tiny Boca burgers.

Add a yummy smoked dark beer, a seat at the bar by the open-to-the-outside doorway, fantastic music and scintillating people watching, and it was a pretty fantastic spring evening dinner.

One more notable edible to tell you about from my past week. Mom was in town and we supped at The Pit. I’ve written before about the awesome barbecued tofu and veg platter, so I won’t rhapsodize about it again. Mom suggested we try one of their appetizers, which I’ve never done since the portions are pretty generous. But I agreed, and I’m so glad I did!

She was curious about the “Fried Pimento Cheese with Spicy Pepper Jelly,” wondering how in the world one goes about frying pimento cheese. When our server asked if we wanted an appetizer, such as the fried pimento cheese … well, you know how I feel about signs, right? He said it was awesome. (Note: He was a knowledgeable, friendly server, and cutely chubby. No reason not to take his recommendations to heart.)

Holy moly!!! Little fried balls of perfection! They were the size of small round hushpuppies. Lightly crispy on the outside, warm and cheesy and gooey inside. It must take an adept hand in the kitchen not to over-fry them and makes the insides runny. It had the ideal amount of ooze.

The little spheres sat in a small pool of melted pepper jelly — ideal contrasting flavors. Each ball was a zesty, crispy, gooey, cheesy mouthful. I don’t think I’ll be strong enough to avoid them during future Pit visits. Sigh.

About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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