Weaver St. Market

Weaver Street Market is a community owned grocery store (co-op) with locations in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Carrboro North Carolina. They offer a wide selection of the types of foods one would expect to find at such a business, lots of healthy, earth-friendly, general hippy wares and goods. They have a vibrant community of supporters, and do a lot of good in the area in the form of food donations for those in need, supporting local farms, and hosting outdoor events. Their community of supporters is really what sets them apart in my opinion. There’s always a colorful cast of characters lounging about in the shared space of the Carrboro location, sharing wine, laughing, dancing, and doing general hippy stuff (I saw a hacky-sack once, and I thought those were all but extinct). One character is particularly interesting, the wife and I have named him “The Bun: Mayor of Weaver”. This is on account of the fact that he is not only always there, but always engaged socially with others, generally holding court whilst wearing fancy clothes, and also his hair is kept in a bun.

Land of wonder, merriment, and The Bun: Mayor of Weaver St.
Land of wonder, merriment, and The Bun: Mayor of Weaver St.

Do not take this jovial description as implying that The Bun: Mayor of Weaver is a soft man, only capable of merriment, no no no, he is a strong ruler. One time I bore witness to his wrath in the adjacent Bank of America parking lot where someone was not watching where they were going, and almost struck him. He let fly with words so powerfully delivered, that fear was deeply instilled in the offender, who fled in shame, with nary an apology. I just stood there and gave The Bun: Mayor of Weaver a knowing nod, this was his turf, and he would suffer no foolishness.

I don’t really shop at Weaver St. except to grab food from their ready-made section and sit outside in their common area, but it’s nice place, and they also do an amazing breakfast buffet, where they happen to make their own biscuits! You can see where this is headed…

Mmmmmm
Mmmmmm

On this trip I was privy to a golden brown buttermilk biscuit that was big, yet perfectly shaped…unnervingly symmetrical. I thought it might be a bit burnt, but nope, still flaky on the outside, a little dry and crumbly on the inside (but it is a buffet, so c’mon now), LOADED with high-quality/thick bacon, really good flavorful cheddar, not a ton of egg, but that’s ok, this is a strong choice for only $2.99.

IMG_8478

I forgot a measuring device, but take a look at this thing next to a quarter…it’s no behemoth, but it’s no slouch. I’d go as far to say it represents one of the best bang for your buck biscuits in the triangle region.

IMG_8480 IMG_8479

Bonus points for great coffee, and the fact that their breakfast buffet has migas. So there it is, Weaver Street Market – great place all around.

See you soon biscuiteers!

Your Host,

Charlie Mewshaw

Scotchy Scotch Scotch

What can I say about Scotch? It’s revered around world, its production is rife with rules regarding may and may not be considered Scotch, its unit of measure is known as a dram, and I almost never buy it for myself. It isn’t that I dislike it, just that I feel it requires a level of appreciation I’ve yet to develop. I drink Scotch at weddings, I drink it at my mom’s house, I’ve gratefully received it as a gift, yet there is just something about the fact that people form such strong opinions around what is and is not good Scotch that makes it difficult to approach. So when my boss graciously got me a Glenmorangie sampler box as a gift, I was really excited. This represented a chance to try multiple variants of Scotch and not break the bank picking up multiple bottles. I cautiously held on to this box until a visit from the aforementioned Scotch fan, my mom, so that I could share it with her. Here’s what we came up with.

Look at these little guys! So cool!
Look at these little guys! So cool!

The Original

Aged 10 years, this staple offering is warm and lovely. A wonderful single malt with an herbal nose, not light, not heavy…which I guess would make it medium bodied. I’m not sure if that’s the correct way to describe it, but Ive had some Scotches that are way too peaty and overly smoky, this is not that. The finish is spicy/peppery in nature. I like it.

Sherry Casked

Aged 12 years, this one is surprisingly sweet up front, extra spicy, and has a longer finish. It’s warmer overall, but for me just a little bit too spicy compared to the original.

Port Casked

Aged 12 years, tastes like the 10 year but with fruit. Interesting but unremarkable, I wouldn’t go get a full sized bottle.

Sauternes

Aged 12 years, this one has a vanilla nose, rich coffee flavors, with a familiar spicy finish from the 10 year. This one is amazing. It’s complex, and brings something new without stepping on what makes the 10 year so great. This one I would buy a larger bottle of.

So there you go, I talked about Scotch.

The packaging was cool too.
The packaging was cool too.

Until next time,

Charlie Mewshaw

Steel String Brewery Round 2 – Rollie Pollie

 

In previous post about them, I waxed philosophical about the general high quality of Steel String Brewery’s people and beer, so I’ll be sparing that narrative and getting down to business. They now have a beer called Rollie Pollie that knocked my socks off. Coming in at 6.5%, it’s a sipper with a lot going on. There’s a smokey nose (yes, smokey), a sweet but peppery flavor, very light…OMG WITH A BBQ SANDWICH, THIS WOULD BE UNSTOPPABLE! Its kind amber to orangey in color and a little cloudy, and I would drink a lot more of this if I could.

They were going for a BBQ inspired beer, and nailed it.
They were going for a BBQ inspired beer, and nailed it.

There happened to be a really fun comic book event going on in partnership with Chapel Hill Comics on this visit that was worth mentioning. If you ordered a flight there were comic book pairings, and you got to keep two of the books. I have to say that the folks at Chapel Hill Comics have always been very easy to talk to, informed, and able to make great suggestions. It only makes sense that friendliest brewery in Carrboro team up with the friendliest comic shop in Chapel Hill and have an event.

The final bit of praise for Steel String I’ll leave you with today will be the fact that you can now get their beers in bottles in select areas!

Bottling = more for later = good times
Bottling = more for later = good times

Next up on the whiskey front, I’ll be taking a flight of single malts from Glenmorangie. See you then!

Your host,

Charlie Mewshaw

Check out Steel String here: www.steelstringbrewery.com

Chapel Hill Comics here: www.chapelhillcomics.com

 

Eat Like You Mean It…or dont…whatever

Sometimes in life you can never go back.

Hardee’s breakfast will always have a special place in my heart, in no small part because of their California Raisin figurine campaign from the late 80’s. I loved those little guys. As a child I was told that you could only get them from Hardee’s at breakfast time, and only if you ordered a cinnamon-raisin biscuit. This may or may not have actually been the case, it may have been a way of preventing me from asking if we could stop at Hardee’s every time we passed one. Needless to say, as a 7-8 year old, getting yourself to fast food in time for breakfast (let alone procuring money to purchase anything with) is a daunting task, so in my mind, I was S.O.L. Whether or not the breakfast bit was true, my parents somehow managed to collect me a fine lineup of California Raisin’s, or as I called them “raisin men”.

I stole these off the grape vine...or Google image search, either way, these are the guys I remember.
I stole these off the grape vine…or Google image search, either way, these are the guys I remember.

Given my predisposition for bending to nostalgia, I recently took an excited visit to a Hardee’s for breakfast only to sadly find that unlike the McDonalds biscuit review, sometimes you can never go home. With garish signage imploring me to “eat like you mean it”, promises of “new thick cut bacon”, and the continued existence of ::gasp:: the fabled cinnamon-raisin biscuit, I was entranced by the Hardees siren song.

Whoaaaa...
Whoaaaa…
THEY STILL MAKE THESE?!?!?!
THEY STILL MAKE THESE?!?!?!
How can I say no to this face?!
How can I say no to this face?!

I decided that I was going to go big. I opted for the chicken, egg, and bacon biscuit with swiss cheese. It looked gargantuan, it promised “thick cut bacon”, it had a novel cheese, it called to me in a way that I hadn’t realized was possible from a sandwich. I was moved by its visage, inspired to achieve greatness. So inspired was I that, that caution was thrown to the wind, and a cinnamon-raisin biscuit was added to my order as well! If was going to consume a caloric intake more appropriate for a 48 hour period in one sitting anyways, why skimp?

My first impressions were that the chicken biscuit was enormous, and that the biscuit looked a little wimpy/broken up. Measuring in at 5″ wide (tip to tip on the NJ shaped piece of chicken) and a smushed 2″ tall, this was one serious sandwich.

njchix
The chicken looks like Jersey!

2inchtall fromtiptotip5Unfortunately, the chicken turned out to be way too over-breaded (even for fast food fried chicken), too salty, and too greasy. The bacon was sad, pathetic, burnt up bits, and absolutely not the stuff represented in the pictures. There was a lot of egg, so that was cool, and the novelty of swiss cheese instead of the standard American or cheddar was cool. Tragically, not even the biscuit itself was good. It was a greasy, crumbly, overcooked mess. Biscuiteers, I must confess that I didn’t even finish it. It was that bad.

It falls apart if you look at it too hard...
It falls apart if you look at it too hard…
Look at this sad-sack bullshit!
Look at this sad-sack bullshit!

I ran to my cinnamon-raisin, icing covered biscuit hoping for some redemption…alas, it also did not live up to my expectations. It was probably 3.5″ wide, and not too tall (1.5-2″).

Redemption?
Redemption?

It was really soft, almost cake-like in texture…like Duncan Hines box cake (which I love…chocolate cake with white icing and a little bit of red crystalized sugar sprinkled on top for color and added texture…so gooood). It had a TON of icing on it, but only like two sad little raisins hidden in it. It was too sweet for my liking, but went alright with a nice black coffee.

raisin
Hello raisins my old friend
noraisin
ONE RAISIN?! ONE. RAISIN.

Thanks to the excessive icing here, and the excessive salt from prior I do believe that there was a possibility that my blood pressure was now through the roof, AND I had just developed diabetes. In the end, to Hardees I say: I’ll start “eating like I mean it” when you start making food like you mean it. Maybe I’ll try a different location down the line…maybe.

Shut up.
Shut up.

This was a let-down. At least I’ll always have the raisin men…actually, no I wont, I dont know what happened to them. I hope that they’re in a box somewhere to be discovered down the road.

Your host,

Charlie Mewshaw