Tag Archives: Porchetta

Much Ado About Cheese – Durham, NC

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Recently I was assigned to a new project at work and each Friday I have a conference call with the project director to review the status of the project. Since this is a Friday call we usually take a few minutes to talk about our week-end plans. This has grown into a sharing of events happening in the triangle area as well as discussing restaurants, food trucks, markets, etc. One of the things to come from our discussion was meeting face-to-face at a RTP 180 event. Both of us agreed it was an awesome event and will be attending more RTP 180 events in the future. It was during one of these calls that Much Ado about Cheese came up. My colleague had gone to the first Cheese Festival and thought it was fantastic. Knowing The Traveler enjoyed good cheese, I took this information to The Friends and we agreed to make plans to attend.

IMG_0873 American Meltdown’s second annual cheese festival “Much Ado about Cheese” was held in the Cotton Room in Durham. Last year’s festival at the Cookery had been such an overwhelming success this year’s event was moved to a larger venue. Much Ado about Cheese provided the attendees an opportunity to taste and explore what North Carolina has to offer in its awesome world of cheese. Free samples from some of the best cheese in the area highlight this celebration of fromage. Wine and beer were available for purchase. If you were still hungry after sampling all the cheeses the American Meltdown food truck was selling their tasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Porchetta and R Burger food trucks were also on hand.

We arrived early and the promoters graciously let us come in to take pictures and wait comfortably on the cushy sofas. While we were waiting, we met new friends Drew and Noelle and had a great discussion around food, food trucks and customer service. When the event opened, we all headed to the vendor’s tables to taste the cheesy delights offered. The Friends started out together tasting and talking about our favorites but as the crowd grew we became separated. We each plunged ahead to continue tasting. Coming from opposite directions The Traveler and I did meet up again at the same table and decided we would both purchase the Quatro Berry Chevre from Once Upon a Meadow. The Traveler continued her way and I mine to continue sampling and taking pictures.

At times the flow of participants was almost at a standstill due to the linear arrangement of the tables and the proximity of the bar to the line of tables. Maybe a different layout would lend itself to more mingling and a better flow. Eventually we all ended up in the entrance area and took a few minutes to compare our purchases. Bad Boy and I had Cheese Louise! a goat cheese and Tomme Sweet Tomme, a raw milk aged cheese from Paradox Farm and a Vermont Artisan Racletee from the cheese department of Weaver Street Markets in our bag. The Traveler had purchased a cheese Weaver Street Market was offering and a chimichurri blend by Piemonte Farm. Although we didn’t purchase something from each vendor here is a list for this year’s festival.

We agreed this was a great event spotlighting local farms and cheese makers. The Friends give Much Ado about Cheese 2 thumbs up (total of 6 thumbs up) and plan to attend next year’s Cheese Festival. – Belle

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Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

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mary_smToday was the first of four Food Truck Rodeos in Raleigh, North Carolina. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and there was a nice breeze, which carried the various scents of food prepared by the different food trucks. The Bad Boy, Southern Bell and I decided to take cab to the event so we could drink if we wished and we did not have to worry about parking.

The Southern Belle had supplied us with menus and a map, so we could take advantage of the extra time we had as VIPs before it opened to the general public, since we were Kickstarter Backers of the Rodeo. This was our first Rodeo, so next time we will know how to organize and budget our time.

For this event we are not rating the individual trucks but looking at the entire experience. It is obvious the various trucks have large followings. I wanted to try the Valentino’s jalapeno poppers, but did not get it done before the crowd poured into Fayetteville Street. The line was long and remained that the entire time we were there. It was the same for many popular food trucks such as Chirba Chirba and Porchetta to name a few.

As with anything there were ups and downs. I was very excited about a couple of things on the menu. I love soft shell crab. The Belle and I arrived at the same time. They took my order first. I received my soft shell crab sliders and the crab was limp and watery. A great disappointment. However the Belle’s crab was cooked perfectly. I was jealous!

We sampled wonderful crab cakes, awesome crayfish Etoufee and Boudin, which could have been made in Louisiana. We also had some items that were not as good, but it did not spoil our day. There were many dogs at the event, but no cats, so Bob was glad he decided to stay home. He is not big on crowds and has become less trusting since our house was robbed.

We sampled ice cream for dessert. Once again Belle received the better dish. My Elvis Milk Shake was melted as soon as the vendor handed it to me, therefore diluting the flavors. The Bad Boy was busy tweeting and taking pictures, so he sampled dishes selected by the Belle and myself. Of course he sampled some of the beer selections along with the food truck food items.

The Belle and I nearly came to blows when I complained about the extra-large baby strollers that assaulted me, abruptly stopped in front of me or in general annoyed me. She felt I was inpatient and had a lacking of understanding for the parents because I never had children. The Bad Boy took the safe course and said nothing. We finally switched topics so no injuries were sustained.

We left the Rodeo feeling full and content, utilizing the new transportation service called Uber. We felt the Food Truck Rodeo was a success and a great way to spend the day.   We are excited about the next three Rodeos and will be better prepared at the next event.

Until we meet again….

The Traveler