"Don't Hate The Foodie, Hate Your Tastebuds"

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"Don't Hate The Foodie, Hate Your Tastebuds"


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Oh, How Things Change

 REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

In other parts of the country, having an amazing hot cooked meal in a grocery store is odd. But in the south, it’s the norm. A lot of our grocery stores serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it’s not just sandwiches and salads. I’m talking a full 3 section delicious meal. And they're usually at a great price.

Ruttabegas, corn, and field peas

Sunday, August 30, 2020

You Won't Feel Like Royalty at China King

     REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

I recently visited China King in Kenansville. It wasn’t my first time, and just like every other visit, I left pissed off. I am not going to lie, their food is good. I had a large order of garlic broccoli which so BOMB, and I also had vegetable lo mein. I really enjoyed my food so it sucks that I had such a bad experience.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mae’s Grill…the Legacy Continues

   There are always those people whose food you will never turn down. My friend Kiona Bowen and her mom Marcella McClarin are those people lol. Kiona and I have been friends since middle school so I have had many meals from their house, and I promise you I have never had anything from them that I didn’t like. When I found out that Mrs. Marcella was opening up a brick and mortar, Mae’s Grill and Catering, I was stoked! Now I don’t have to feel like a nuisance when I beg them to cook me something. I can just go to the grill and get it anytime.

    Mae’s was named after Mrs. Marcella’s grandmother Lessie Mae Bowen of Beulaville. She was a legend and used to have a café called Mae’s Country Kitchen in Pink Hill where Mrs. Marcella worked at throughout her childhood. She is the true inspiration behind her love for cooking and all of her skills in the kitchen. The first thing she learned to cook from her mother was homemade biscuits. Come on now, who’s 1st meal is homemade biscuits for goodness sakes!? Usually, you learn how to make eggs, or grilled cheese, something simple and fast, but biscuits! Enough said I don’t even have to finish this column. You get my gist!

Marcella preparing for opening day at Mae's Grill & Catering

    Mae’s Grill isn’t her 1st run at serving delicious meals to the world. She not only grew up working in her mom’s café but has been managing local and chain food locations as well as doing her own catering for many years. Mae’s opened up July 14th and is located at 1660 E. Charity road inside a J’s Mini Mart in Rose Hill. It is a family-owned and operated business. On any given day you can see her husband, children, and other close family members working at the grill.

    I was in the building on opening day getting me, my dad, and my grandmother a plate. I had been wanting some homemade chicken pastry for some time, and although I do know how to make it because of laziness and my carb-conscious mind, I have been pushing my cravings to the side. I also have a slight distrust in people’s chicken pastry. My grandma’s chicken pastry gave me VERY high standards. LOL! I had the yams and potato salad with my meal (yes I went carb crazy, don’t you judge me)! And baaaaybiii! It was delicious! I had to force myself not to finish the entire plate so that I would have some left for dinner. I kept going into my plate and getting one bite at a time throughout the day. The pastry definitely passed my test and the potato salad was amazing! I like my potato salad creamy and sweet with not too much relish or pickle cubes.

    Although Mrs. Marcella says that she doesn’t have a favorite style of cooking, her heart in the kitchen belongs to soul food. She said it is her passion. They have so many options, and the breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials change daily. They also sell items off the grill such as cheeseburgers, chicken salad, and wings. You won’t be disappointed with anything you get from there. To make it even better, they are just friendly, loving, good ol' country folk that want to fill your tummy and your spirit. You might come in for a good soul food plate and get some encouragement as well, and for those reasons, I give Mae’s Grill & Catering an A+!

You can check out their website for more information about their story, hours, and photos of their food at www.MaesGrillAndCatering.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Trio Sabroso – A Thanksgiving Miracle


    REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

I dropped off my vehicle, I call him Roscoe, at a mechanic shop in Teachey last week. I had my mom come pick me up, and we somehow wandered into Wallace instead of going straight home. It was later in the evening, so I was beginning to get hungry. I decided I wanted to go to The Last Taino, a food truck that I wrote about in a previous column. I follow them on Instagram and have loved everything I have tried from their food truck so far. Unfortunately, they were not open that day. On the way to their truck, we passed another food truck that caught my eye because it was bright green. I was thinking, “That is an interesting looking food truck". I was curious about what it was, but I had my mind set on The Last Taino, so I drove right by it.
Once I figured out I had to find something else to stuff my face with I figured what the heck, why not try it out. It’s located on Norwood Street in Wallace. So it’s right in town on one of the main roads. It’s not too far from Bill Carone Chevrolet and it is also where the stockyard is (on the opposite side of the road). Once I arrived, I realized that it wasn’t Mexican food but instead Salvadorian food so my first instinct was to get the pupusas because I already knew I liked them. I usually get pupusas from El Sol restaurant in Faison. I wrote about them in last month’s column. I decided to be brave and try something new.
It’s called Trio Sabroso which translates to “good tasting food”. It is owned by Yully (jewl-e) Martinez and her 22-year-old son Nelson Martinez. They opened it up Thanksgiving 2019 when they set up at the popular Thanksgiving Day flea market event that typically hosts many food trucks. It was a Thanksgiving Day miracle because the truck did very well which is why they now set up every day in Wallace and are open to doing events as well. Yully has always wanted to sell food. Before having a food truck, she would sell plates on the weekends, according to her son who I spoke with about their restaurant.
Nelson Martinez, Yully Martinez, and Carlos Martinez

I had the baleadas. It is a Honduran dish that is also found in El Salvador. It is a flour tortilla folded like a taco with beans, eggs, cheese, avocado, and your meat of choice inside; I added sour cream. I went with chorizo. I was scared to get the chorizo because it is normally spicy, but their chorizo wasn’t very spicy. I guess you can say I had breakfast for dinner, Honduran style. I liked it. It wasn’t as good once I warmed it up, so I would definitely suggest eating it fresh. I also had their purple cabbage slaw. It had a vinegar base to it. It was different but it complimented the taste of the baleadas well.


The feel like the food was very authentic, and Nelson confirmed that when he told me, “not many people know how to make good traditional pupusas around here”. The only downside to my visit was I did not feel very welcomed. She was not rude, but I almost feel like we caught them when they were ready to go, and so she was kind of short with me. It may have also been a language barrier. Either way, it wasn’t a bad experience that would prevent me from going back, so I give them a B.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Little Sunshine on a Rainy Day - A Visit to El Sol Mexican Restaurant

    REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

It seems like dark rainy days have been hovering over us ever since the Coronavirus made its grand appearance into our lives, but it’s the little things in life that bring us joy. My little ray of sunshine came from a restaurant called El Sol, which means the sun.
El Sol Restaurant in Downton Faison, NC

Monday, May 25, 2020

National Wine Day

Today on #ItsAFoodieThang we're celebrating not a food, but a drink. It's #NationalWineDay yal! There is nothing more relaxing than getting cozy, grabbing a glass of wine, and relaxing in front of the tv or with a good book in a soft fluffy robe or underneath a warm blanket.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

National Empanada Day

I've only had empanadas a couple times and it was from a restaurant not homemade, but with today being #NationalEmpanadaDay I think I want to try to make some myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

#TeamWaffles


Today on #NationalInternationalWaffleDay, I was pondering on how many people are like me and prefer Waffles over pancakes. My mom is team pancakes, so we are often battling between going to a pancake spot or to Waffle House because I love me some Waffle House!


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Keepin' it Sloppy

I don't know about you, but a childhood favorite meal of mine was sloppy joe. It was one of those simple meals that was both fulfilling when eaten with bread and that also satisfied your need for something sweet, especially as a child. Today is #NationalSloppyJoeDay and it deserves the acknowledgment for all the smiles the sandwich has put on our faces in our youth.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Duff’s Café gets an A+ for Southern Hospitality

REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"


NC and the south, in general, are known for its southern hospitality, and Duff’s Café in Beulaville falls right in line with that stereotype. From the moment you walk in, everyone is friendly, smiling, and very welcoming. You can tell the people that are in there are regulars and enjoy just hanging out there just because of how the environment makes you feel. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

National Muffin Day

Today we celebrate the goodness of the muffin on #NationalMuffinDay. The most common, English muffin, originated in Europe and Wales and was first sighted in literature over 1000 years ago. The word muffin is thought to have come from the Greek bread "maphula" which is said to refer to a cake baked on a hearth or griddle. Also, the word "mouffin" which means soft bread in old French. American style muffins, on the other hand, have been around since the 18th century.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

National Pizza Day


This week we're celebrating #NationalPizzaDay all week! Sunday the 9th was one of America's favorites food's day to shine. No matter your age, you probably can't pass up a good greasy slice of pizza. It's the way to a kid's heart and a great party or event food for almost any occasion.


Friday, February 7, 2020

National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

I needed a reason to fill up on some carbs and what better reason than #NationalFettuccineAlfredoDay! It just so happened to be a church night for my mom's church and we tend to serve food at least once a month AND it was one of our member's birthday. How serendipitous right!? It was meant for me to cook alfredo today! Because of the national holiday, Olive Garden actually has shared the secrets to their alfredo sauce recipe! This is a #FlashbackFriday photo from the 1st time I ever made chicken fettuccine alfredo.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Wee Bit of Scottish Culture - Tasting Haggis

On January 25th, I attended a very interesting event for the 2nd time. The Robert Burns Scottish Dinner Celebration at the Country Squire Winery and Restaurant in Kenansville. The Squire is known for being a family-operated business that celebrates its Scottish background. While at the event I tried a Scotland national delicacy, Haggis. But what the heck is it?


Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Last Taino Puerto Rican Food Truck

REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

When I was first introduced to The Last Taino, I was under the impression it was a Mexican food truck which is great because I do love Mexican food, but once I checked out their Facebook page and found out they had a Puerto Rican Twist, I was sold! It was going to be the next stop on the “Duplin Eats” train. My mom grew up in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood called Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, NY, so as kids, she introduced us to the tastes of Puerto Rico and my siblings and I have loved it ever since. We found a great spot near my sister’s old apartment in Fayetteville and almost every time we are in the area we go there. We actually went last week. She also cooks it sometimes at home. It’s hard to find Puerto Rican food in this area, so we were excited to go check it out.

Monday, January 27, 2020

National Chocolate Cake Day

Chocolate cake is one of those go to foods that pretty much everybody likes. Even grumpy old Ms. Agatha Trunchbull loved chocolate cake! Do you remember the movie Matilda and how she tortured a little boy for eating some of her chocolate cake? Man, memories. My family and I used to watch that movie all the time. Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! Let's learn a little more about one of America's favorite desserts!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ann's Thai Kitchen

REPOST FROM MY DUPLIN TIMES NEWSPAPER COLUMN, "DUPLIN EATS"

I moved away from Duplin County for 10 years, and honestly not much has changed since before I left to go to college, but on one of my visits home to see family, I was in the town that my high school, East Duplin, is in and noticed a Thai restaurant. I had to do a double-take because I couldn’t believe there was a Thai restaurant in little ol’ Beulaville. Duplin County definitely isn’t known for our variety of foods.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

National Popcorn Day

Lately, on my journey to trying to eat a little better and make better snacking choices, I have been eating a lot of popcorn! I've always liked popcorn and kept some on reserve, but for some reason, lately, I've been going through box after box. Today on National Popcorn Day, the popcorn crave continues.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Nobody Appreciates Strawberry Ice Cream

Anyone who knows me knows that ice cream is one of my addictions. I could literally eat it every day. Especially with some warm baked goods underneath it! My favorite ice creams are cookie dough, cookies and cream, butter pecan, and strawberry. So of course when I was checking out my National Food Day Calendar and saw that today was National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, it was a no brainer that I was choosing it for my weekly National food day post. July 1st is National Ice Cream Day, but on January 15th each year, one of my favs gets it's 15 seconds of fame.


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Whipped Cream Day

It's National Whipped Cream Day! Whipped cream enhances the flavor of so many desserts. It is a perfect topping for pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, drinks, trifles, and so many other desserts. This light but sweet goodness, as simple as it may be, actually has a deep history.