Monday, July 12, 2010

Another one down!

Yes, I am now 4 down and 96 to go with the Our State list of 100 places you must eat in North Carolina's 100 counties.  My little sister, Moo, came down to spend a week with me and we went to High Rock Lake, near Lexington, NC, for a few days.  Lexington, the seat of Davidson county, is very well-known for its pork barbecue.  There is an annual BBQ Festival there every October.  So, you just can't go without eating the local speciality at least once.
Our first stop was at Jimmy's Barbecue.
I love BBQ sandwiches with coleslaw.  The coleslaw is vinegar-based in Lexington.  I am also a huge fan of hushpuppies.  Jimmy's did not disappoint.  Moo had the daily special, barbecued chicken with mac and cheese and green beans.
We had a a few wonderful, relaxing days on the lake.  Sunbathing, reading, working crossword puzzles, catching up on family gossip...  sister stuff.  Moo is a pretty good Southern cook.  But she had never had risotto so I made the Almost Hands Free recipe, adding shrimp this time.  She really liked it, thank goodness.  (Otherwise, I'd never hear the end of it-- you know how sisters can be!)  I used Picpoul de Pinet wine from Wine Authorities in the recipe.  Trop bon!
How about this for a beautiful North Carolina evening?
On our last day there we decided to go into downtown Lexington.  We made a stop at The Candy Factory on Main Street.
If you are old enough to remember penny candy stores, this is as good as it could ever get.  A quarter used to go a long way...  The Ex-Ex always talks about a candy he loved when he was growing up in Nebraska.  I found what I thought was this candy and bought one for him.  I bought a Big Cherry.  Silly me, the candy of his childhood was Bing Cherry.  He said the one I bought was a pretty good imitation, though.  It was a kind of chocolate covered cherry with chopped nuts in the chocolate.  (No photo available-- he ate it pretty quickly.  Must not have been too bad!)
Then we walked across the street to Conrad and Hinkle Food Store, a real grocery store that's been around for 90 years. 
There is a real butcher there, just ready to cut your meat to order, fresh local produce and the best pimento cheese I've ever eaten.  It is made fresh daily.
I meant to make a grilled cheese sandwich out of mine, but it didn't last long enough.  (The BFF is from Lexington... it was her mom's lake house we stayed in.  I have a container of pimento cheese for the BFF in my refrigerator right now.  Hope she gets it before I am too tempted to make a grilled cheese sandwich...  Hmmm, wonder what wine Salamanzer would recommend to go with that??)
It was really good on this piece of toasted French bread, though.
The last stop on the way out of town was at The Barbecue Center.  David Bailey, author of the Our State article, recommends the Q soup and the banana splits.  I did not try the soup, opting instead for another sandwich.  Comparison eating, I suppose.
Yes, with coleslaw, of course.  It was delicious.  Moo had a BBQ salad.
She really liked the barbecue sauce.  She did let me try one of her hushpuppies.  Really good.  More cornbread taste than Jimmy's and crunchier on the outside.
After watching several banana splits head for other tables, we decided to take the plunge.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I ate one of these to-die-for summer treats.

A perfectly ripened banana, sliced lengthwise, on the bottom, large scoops of strawberry and vanilla ice cream on the bottom, an equally huge scoop of chocolate ice cream on top of that, chocolate sauce, walnuts and whipped cream.  Oh!  And a maraschino cherry on top, of course.  We did our very best to finish it, but just couldn't.
Ah, summertime...

Bon appétit, Lexington and Davidson County!


MPK said...

Glad you spent some time in Big Lex, and keep your paws off my minner cheez :)

The Sabbatical Chef said...

You better get over here and get it out of my refrigerator, BFF. I take no responsibility for minner cheez left on the premises...