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I did everything I could to get a fix: I waited for months; I predicted a range of dates for the next drop; I looked at previous patterns to determine when that email would come through; and I signed up for text notifications that would inform me if the menu landed in my inbox. At 2:24 a.m. on Aug. 15, while I was undergoing a late-night Netflix binge, I received that fateful text on my phone: “Late Summer Pints,” it read. Was anyone else awake? I didn’t know. All I did know is that I would need to pick up that phone and get my order in before it was too late. A few taps later, and the message reached their inbox. “One Hokey Pokey, please!” it read. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
Livelihoods, economies and entire cultures have been affected by COVID-19. No longer do we live in days with mindless meddling; now, we must consider the effects of our actions, and how the presence of others might drastically impact our lives.
North Carolina’s seafood culture exists in relative silence. Compared to its more popular regional spins on barbecue, the marine bounties from the state aren’t given much of the spotlight (with the exception of Saltbox Seafood Joint, chronicled on PBS). Saint James is trying to change this. With a menu encompassing a vast spectrum of fish, shellfish and oyster varieties, the ethos of the restaurant is rooted in providing quality seafood from local sources. I believe it achieves this with grace and impeccable finesse.
Four courses prepared with the precision of an esteemed chef for $15, a rotating menu with profits going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, merely six seats per dinner and all of it in an apartment at 300 Swift—meet The Black Tile.
Days are shorter, nights are colder, break is almost here and the smell of peppermint makes everyone tremble with the spirit of the holidays. There’s no better season for curling up with a warm drink as you cram for finals. For some that might be coffee, for others it’s tea, but for many, it’s a good cup of hot chocolate.
Sometimes an urge rises within you to feel fancy and still feel cool. Though you might consider spending your work-study funds on the newest Off-White release, the best solution would be to go visit Counting House, a downtown Durham restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere and just enough pizzazz to make you think that you’re a Great Value Gatsby.
Popular eateries can be conflicting. Perhaps it boils down to the fanfare surrounding a place, the high expectations that stem from it or simply the lingering thought that it’s among the “best” a city can offer. Compare the expectations with the reality and unfortunately, you’ll often be met with disappointment. Such was the case with Raleigh’s Benchwarmer’s Bagels, an eatery in Raleigh’s Transfer Co. Food Hall.
The quest for good noodles in Durham can lead you down various paths, including Juju on 9th Street and Dashi downtown. Both are highly acclaimed, but for something unique, head to the Brightleaf District for a hybrid bakery and noodle shop. Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets was born in 2017, the result of Justin and Katie Meddis’ dream of opening a restaurant where they could fuse their skills in the kitchen together to produce a welcoming concept for people of all backgrounds. Worry not: they manage to execute the idea impeccably.
Recently named one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit, Durham’s M Tempura specializes in exactly what its name suggests. Dinner consists of multiple courses of tempura-fried vegetables, meats, fish and beyond, but such a menu will run you either $29, $43 or $79 — a bit hefty for a student on a budget. Go for lunch, however, and you will find simpler offerings of katsu dishes that demonstrate the precision and technical expertise that can be manifested within a cooking technique as simple as frying. I have never tasted a fried food more precise and delicate than the one served at M Tempura. It was a joy to experience their perfected iteration of an often misunderstood style of cooking.
Sandwich shops rarely get attention, but Eastcut Sandwich Bar — Brad Bankos and Steve Wuench’s ode to the deli subs they grew up on while living in New York and New Jersey — deserves the love and respect of the entire Triangle. Although it’s about an hour’s walk from campus (or a five-minute drive), it’s undoubtedly worth the journey.