This past weekend my mom and her husband Dave visited our new hometown and we took a whirlwind tour on Saturday. Mostly a tour of food. We did Taste Carolina's Durham food tour. We learned a lot about the town's tobacco industry history:
We visited the American Tobacco complex. There was a family festival, so lots going on, including this great band:
Out of nowhere came this scary-ass clown:
We went to six restaurants and had a tasting at each. This is the mushroom dumpling at Rue Cler:
There was A LOT of walking, but it was fun (see fun pictured below):
A mural in Durham:
This was crostini and amazing butternut squash soup at Toast, a paninoteca in downtown:
And we had LOCOPOPS!!! I have raved about them before, and now we got to meet the owner! She is a lady who was in IT middle management and hated it but didn't know what to do next. She had paletas one weekend (Mexican popsicles), quit her job on Monday, sold her house, and drove her dog in a jeep to Mexico to learn the popsicle making trade. Now she's a successful business owner here. So inspirational, huh? She said she got the name from her parents' opinion of her new venture. Mom and Dave had a pumpkin spice popsicle, I had passion fruit margarita and Gabe was brave and had a truffle mushroom popsicle.
We then took Mom and Dave to a couple restaurants in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Many a martini was had, and some amazing barbecued quail at Cypress on the Hill, easily the best dish of the day. It's now officially surpassed Acme as my favorite restaurant in these parts. We all came home fat and happy, and even managed to have a big brunch the next day at famous Crooks Corner. (I think their food suffered a bit with the rush of brunch, but I'd go back at a slower time. And who serves hushpuppies with marinara sauce?)
It was fun to show them around town, because I realized I know the place so much better (obviously) than when we first moved. I also got a new appreciation of Durham through the tour. It's so awesome to see the town developing into a unique, artsy community with a great restaurant scene. I'm so used to the Northeast where everything was established in Pilgrim-time, or at least Thomas Jefferson-time.
Have I mentioned I love living here?