Monday, September 6, 2010

Downtown Durham and Bull McCabe's

The Ex-Ex and I went roaming around downtown Durham again a couple of Saturday nights ago.  (I think this is becoming habit-forming...)  We started off by looking for E. Parrish Street and the future site of Bull City Burger and Brewery.  We found it!
I love this shade of green and the lamp post in front is a great touch.  I would love to live in one of the apartments upstairs... the smell of freshly baked bread and grilling burgers wafting up (I spent a week in Sète, in the south of France, in a hotel above a bakery back in 1978- un vrai paradis).  Oh là là or Oh my goodness gracious, as we say here in the south of the US.
We left the car parked in front and made our way to the CCB/Suntrust Plaza where the food truck round-up was going on.  OnlyBurger was there, of course.  Brian is the organizer of these truck events.  (Have you voted today??  If not, or if you have no idea what I'm talking about, click on OnlyBurger's link and find out)
Then we decided to stroll over to Revolution for a glass of wine (a really nice 2007 Mencia) at the very elegant bar.  It was just fine that we were dressed in shorts and polos.  It may be elegant, but it is also casual.  One of these days we are going to dine there, too. 
We left there after an hour or so and decided to make our way to Bull McCabe's Irish Pub.  What a great watering hole!  We've been there three or four times in the past couple of months.  Tables outside, a bar and tables inside, interesting church decor (haven't figured this out yet- more research must be done), televisions to watch whatever games are on, a DJ sometimes, cool bartenders (one a former patron, now an employee).  We had never eaten there, though.  Since we were quite hungry, we decided to take a look at the menu.  The Ex-Ex loves burgers, so he ordered a chili cheeseburger.  The first thing I saw was a BLT with avocado and I needed to look no further.  I am crazy for those.  I had this sandwich for the first time about six years ago when I was out in California for a computer course and I have fond memories of that.  Of course, sitting outside in the May California sun with Mr. Reg, one of my favorite colleagues and human beings, helped.  Oh yeah, and a lovely icy drink to wash it down...Yum yum, miam miam
Anyway, we ordered our sandwiches and a couple of Coronas.  In a little bit, out of the kitchen comes our food, carried to to us by none other than John Spicer, the chef at Bull McCabe's.  The reason we got such personal service?
He loved the way the cheese had melted down the side of the burger!  No kidding.  This picture is not my best...  it just doesn't do the burger and cheese justice, but it is the best I could do evidently.  (Let's be honest, photography wasn't really on my mind once the food arrived.)  John had no idea that I was about to photograph and write about his food.  The avocado BLT was amazing, too.  Great bread.  Thick cut crunchy bacon.  Fresh juicy tomato.  Shredded lettuce.  Just the right amount of mayonnaise.  Perfectly ripe avocado.
I know, I know.  Lousy photo.  I really must figure out more about my camera.  Very low lights in Bull's, too.
I learned that John makes his own sausage, gets his bread from Guglhupf's and Rue Cler, buys local as much as possible, makes about 90% of his menu items from scratch, and he has been at Bull McCabe's for 3 years but has also worked in other local restaurants.  It was such a pleasure to meet him and eat his sandwich!  And yes, John, we ate those pickles.  I promise.
To cap off the night, we stopped in at Whiskey where we ran into OnlyBurger's Brian Bottger, taking an evening off from cruising town in the truck.  He is busy with getting the new restaurant ready to open at Shannon Plaza (just around the corner from chez moi!) and trying to garner votes for The Great Food Truck Race this fall.
I love Durham.  I really do.  And I just learned from Bull City Rising, the website for good downtown gossip, that there will be a wedding ceremony for those of us who wish to marry Durham because we love it so much.  I am not kidding.  How could I ever make up something like that?  Check out Marry Durham for details on the ceremony planned for March 19, 2011.  I will be roaming through Durham thrift shops looking for the appropriate attire.  I do love to dress up for such occasions! 
I have added it to my social calender, mes amis.  One really should have at least one such occasion every month.  Just last week I added September's--  the second annual Wine Authorities Grape Stomping at Grove Winery will take place on September 26.  Ah oui, the Lucys and I have a seat on the already sold-out bus.  Stay tuned!

Bon appétit, Durham!  Je t'aime!

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