Tag Archives: fuquay-varina

A Week-end of Entertainment for the Traveler

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B I N G O Spells Murder

bingoThe Stars Theater and Arts Center located at 123 East Vance Street in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina hosted the Murder Mystery Theater Dinner; B I N G O Spells Murder on November 7 and 8. The community theatre production was a joint effort between the town of Fuquay-Varina and the Stars Theater & Arts Center. The mission of Stars Theater and Arts Center is to encourage the development of self-confidence through the arts; specifically: music, art, dance, drama and technical skills through education and the art of theater. All youth classes, camps, and programs at Stars Theater and Arts Center build acting skills, speaking skills, leadership abilities, creative thinking, confidence, and self-esteem.

The evening began at 6 pm with appetizers consisting of shrimp, cheese and crackers. There was a cash bar serving soda, beer and mixed drinks. On vestibule walls, art work done by the students was displayed and available for sale. Promptly at 6:30 the doors opened to start our evening of mystery and bingo. We were assigned seats and had a nice dinner salad waiting for us at the table.   I was seated with parents of high school students; Meghan Chung and Charles Robeson starring in the play as Jennifer and Greg a young couple in love wanting to get married.

The play took place in Our Lady of Almost Lost Causes Orphanage that was raising money to pay off the mortgage. They needed nearly $4000 to pay it off. They were hosting a bingo game with the hopes of getting the money from the game. Sister Mary played by Cindy Swank was energetic and did an outstanding job as frenetic nun running the orphanage. Her sidekick was soon to be Sister Maria played by Abby Cotton in this humorous production.

Their loan was purchased by a Mafia Don from New Jersey and his representative played by Jon Bateman, was there to collect. Bateman was outstanding as Joey Verricione, with his great Jersey Mafioso accent. He has been instructed to get the money and the property. Bunny DeVaine played by Laura Baker and Claude Chandam, played by Steve Tucker, as a married couple in which Bunny ruled the roost over her spineless husband. She wanted the Orphanage to redecorate as their home. Baker and Tucker played their parts well. Judy Tresmont, the bookkeeper played by Tina Early, is murdered and the money is missing. Now it is up to the audience to figure out who murdered Judy.

Dinner consisting of chicken parmesan with a pasta primavera with garlic knots served by the cast and crew was actually quite good, followed by cookies as dessert. The show was good and provided a reasonably priced evening of entertainment. The Star Theatre and Arts center is a great addition to the community and the entire cast and crew are to be congratulated. The theatre has several more shows such as Miracle on 34th Street in December, Steel Magnolias in February and Arsenic and Old Lace in May. Check them out on http://www.starstheatreandart.com

Rufus Wainwright

badgeThe Best of Rufus Wainwright was performed to a full house at The Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC on Nov 8, 2014. Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation.

He delighted the audience by performing such songs as: Hallelujah, Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, Going to a Town, Oh What a World and Montauk. While you may not recognize the titles, if you listen to the songs on YouTube you will recognize the unique style of this talented artist; Rufus Wainwright. He performed at the Carolina Theatre 2-3 years ago and I will definitely get tickets to see him perform again. Do yourself a favor and purchase a CD or listen on YouTube.

mary_sm-Traveler

Philly’s Cheesesteak at Draft Line Brewing Co. Grand Opening

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Street Eats. We are all familiar with its recent evolution, as well as the surge in the popularity of curbside cuisine. Chefs are using imagination to develop their own specialties to entice customers to experience something that was once only available in brick-and-mortar bistros. Dynamic delicacies from rolling kitchens have created a culture of faithful followers, who are loyal to each one. Evidence suggests that this trend will continue to grow at a pace that is exponentialin the future. This is very encouraging for both, patrons, as well as the entrepreneurs who have decided to break with traditional foods, and develop a menu line that is unique and vibrant. But what about the traditional street eats, and where do they fit into the dynamic of this popular culture? It is the mission of Team Triangle Street Eats to explore all of the aspects that make up food truck cuisine, and give it a fair and impartial review. In this edition, we visited one such staple of the food truck industry, the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.

We planned on attending the Draft Line Brewing Company’s grand opening in Fuquay-Varina on June 28th. We had also anticipated that we would be able to select from ample food trucks, but as fate would have it, several that were scheduled to attend experienced mechanical problems, leaving just one food truck, Philly’s Cheesesteak. Some things are just meant to be.

bruce_smBad Boy:

The Belle and I arrived at Draft Line Brewing Co. a little before noon. It would a little while before the Traveler would be joining us. A crowd had already started to form for the grand opening. I had looked over the line of crafted beers, and had decided on the Hemmings Pilsner for a ‘primer’. I’m more a Lager/Pilsner drinker, than a PA/IPA drinker. It was evident that only Philly’s Cheesesteak truck was the only one to make it to the grand opening that afternoon. The others who had been scheduled had reported on twitter that they had problems, and would not be able to attend.

The menu for Philly’s Cheesesteak was straightforward, plain chicken or steak or chicken cheese sandwich, or cheesesteak sandwich. There was also a veggie sandwich. You could have it topped with onions, peppers and/or sweet peppers. There was also a side of fries, or cheese fries. We opted for chicken cheese sandwich and cheesesteak sandwich, with a side of fries to sample from. I had optioned mine with Provolone Cheese, mushrooms and onions.

All the sandwiches, chicken and steak, were hearty and satisfying, especially with a good crafted beer. The fries were firm and crispy. It was good food and went well with the festivities. I must admit, when you consider that choices were limited, everything worked out – especially the food.

mary_sm The Traveler:

The Draft Line Brewery had planned an outstanding event with Sol Tacos, Valentino’s, Philly’s Cheese Steaks, Red Eye BBQ, Deli-icious, Jam and Stephens. However sometimes even the best laid plans go awry.   I had my food selections picked only to find that Sol Taco and Valentino’s were not coming due to problems with their trucks. I have no idea why Red Eye BBQ failed to show up.

The Philly Cheese Steak truck was the only food truck, and were super busy.  There was a small cart which was serving hot dogs, sausages and pizza.  I opted for a plain steak with raw onion and mushrooms.  I am on a diet so had left off the cheese.  The sandwich was okay, it was not the cheese steak I had sampled in Philly.  It lacked seasoning.  I probably should have added the green peppers, and this would have improved the flavor.  The steak was of good quality and was tender.

Belle had selected the chicken cheese steak.  It too was under seasoned.  The meat to bread ratio was good.  The French fries were awesome.

The cheese steak with provolone, onion and mushroom did not bring back the memories of the cheese steaks I had eaten while living in Pennsylvania.

The band, Camp Ground was good.  I enjoyed their music.  I did have the opportunity to meet Paul and his lovely wife Susie.  I hope to meet up with them again to continue getting to know them better.  There was not enough outside seating present at the event and hopefully at Draft Line’s next event this will be rectified.   Parking was ample and well organized.  All in all a very pleasant day despite the overcast weather, spent with friends.

s_belle_smSouthern Belle:

It was evident from the time we arrived that Draft Line Brewing had put a lot of thought into organizing their grand opening.  The attendant at the gate made my day when he asked to see my ID.  He then went on to explain the coupon system for the tap room and outside stations.  Thus eliminating the frustration of standing in line to purchase a beer to only find out you needed a coupon not cash.

Due to the mechanical problems being experienced by two of the scheduled food trucks Philly’s Cheesesteak was the lone food truck.  So why not turn this into a truck review opportunity.   While waiting for The Traveler to arrive, I walked over to check out the menu and discovered pads of order sheets and pencils available.  Since Philly’s sandwiches are made to order (you have all kinds of combos and add-in choices), this made ordering easy.  It also assured the customer received the correct sandwich.  All three of our sandwiches were exactly as ordered and they also accommodated us by cutting our sandwiches into thirds so we could sample each of the three we ordered. I found our cheesesteak selections to be flavorful with plenty of meat on good bread.  Both the beef and chicken were tasty, tender and moist.  The ratio of meat to add-ins was just right.  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with our sandwiches.  However, I am not a Philly cheesesteak connoisseur so I’ll stick to 3 Tires for each of our selections.  I was delighted to see fries on the menu instead of a bag of chips.  Philly’s are “real” fries.  They were hand cut and fried to perfection.

bobcat_smBob:

I liked the steak. It was cut into thin slices and easy to eat. I liked the provolone cheese, but had no use for the onions or mushrooms. While the bread was soft and not soggy, I left it. I do not like chicken so I did not bother to even sample it. I did not eat the fries, even though they were expertly cooked.

Jack_smJack:

I loved the chicken cheese steak, eating everything except the veggies and bread. I enjoyed both the plain and the cheese steak. The meat was wonderful. I loved the taste and ate until I could eat no more. I left the bread, French fries and veggies, because I am a growing boy and I need the protein.


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