Home / Blog / Features

Features

A Pig Pickin’ to Remember with Sam Jones

sam jones, cureat raleigh scavenger hunt, cureat raleigh, cureat, what to do in raleigh, raleigh nc, visit raleigh,

I’ll never forget the day I took this photo of North Carolina pitmaster Sam Jones. We were sitting in the middle of a field at Green Button Farm in Bahama, NC (pronounced Ba-hay-ma). He had just finished prepping a whole hog for the NC BBQ Revival, and I was patiently waiting for his famous storytelling. While sipping my Cheerwine, wide-eyed like a child, I listened as Sam relived stories from his past with the detail of a bestselling novel. He is a 3rd generation, award-winning pitmaster who is rising to fame in his own right. But in that moment, surrounded by blades of gold, I met a humble Eastern North Carolina man who didn’t keep with his family’s craft for fame’s sake. He was simply following in his grandfather Pete Jones’ footsteps.

Throughout the remainder of the day, we continued to bond over Southern gospel music, Dolly Parton, and Sweet Home Alabama (yes, the movie with Reese Witherspoon). Sam has since become like that family. So when planning the CurEat Raleigh Scavenger Hunt and the After Party at Transfer Co. Food Hall, I knew I wanted Sam to be there. And sure enough, he will be! Even though we won’t be on a farm in the middle of a field, I want folks to have a little taste of what I experienced.

The guys of Longleaf Swine BBQ will join Sam with the sides, and Transfer Co. Bar, STEM Ciders, and Lassiter Distilling will bring the drinks. Raleigh singer/songwriters James Davy and Zach Wiley will provide music. It’s going to be an urban pig pickin’ to remember.

If you’ve registered for the CurEat Raleigh Scavenger Hunt, then you have automatic entry into the After Party. You can still claim a pre-named team or join a friend’s team. If you would prefer to just show up to the After Party at Transfer Co., you can purchase a ticket! Proceeds from the CurEat Raleigh Scavenger Hunt and After Party go toward the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Agriculture Education Program!


Follow Sam Jones on CurEat for his restaurant and bar recommendations!

Seat for One at the Bar, Please!

seat for one at the bar, atlanta, best restaurants atlanta, cureat, cureaters, where to eat atlanta

It’s a Thursday night and I have a hankering for a cocktail and chef Scott Crawford’s apple-parsnip soup and warm malted wheat rolls. I’m single and my friends are busy. After all, the craving hit last minute, and I plan to walk in and sit at the bar. I throw on jeans and a sweater, slide my feet into the first pair of flats I see in my closet, and make my way to Crawford & Son.

Opening the heavy wooden doors, I am instantly greeted with warmth. Because I decided I needed soup and bread at 4:45 p.m. and Crawford & Son opens at 5:00 p.m., I am able to grab a seat for one at the bar. I chat with John May, who now serves as the general manager, for a few minutes before placing my order. The bartenders know me by name because I always sit at the bar whether I’m flying solo or introducing a friend to one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh.

Once my order is in, chef comes out to say hello. I have zero regrets about sipping a cocktail and eating malted rolls alone because I’m able to learn more about the men and women who create community through food and beverage. It’s quite magical.

Why am I telling you this story? I recently found CurEater Angela Hansberger’s “Seat for one at the bar” CurEat list for restaurants and bars in Atlanta and thought about how much I enjoy solo dining experiences. I scoped out a few menus from the restaurants on her list and chose the items that I would order when I find myself sitting alone at a bar in Atlanta.

Kimball House

Cocktail: Gin Hat

Dish: Duck Liver Pate, Hawaiian Roll, and ½ dozen oysters

St. Cecilia

Cocktail: Punch the Lion

Dish: Squid Ink Spaghettini

Ticonderoga Club

Cocktail: Death is Not the End

Dish: POH’s Eggplant

8arm

Cocktail: Golden Toddy

Dish: darby farms half fried chicken

Watershed

Cocktail: Boozy

Dish: Red Dragon Cheese Burger

The cocktails and dishes I chose while laying on the couch at 8 p.m. are the first that caught my eye. I would most likely change the dish after tasting the cocktail. But then again, I could always order a pre-dinner cocktail and a cocktail that would pair better with my meal. Regardless, I look forward to asking for a seat for one at the bar the next time I find myself in Atlanta. And, I will use CurEater Angela Hansberger’s CurEat lists to guide me.

Build a Community of CurEaters and Friends

cureat, cureat app, cureaters, find best restaurants, best restaurants

We talk a lot about our CurEaters for a few reasons: they inspire us, most are changemakers in their community, and they know the best restaurants in different cities. As much as we like our CurEaters, we equally like you. CurEat seeks to build a community of friends and CurEaters in which the common thread is food. That being said, did you know that you can find and follow friends on CurEat?

It’s simple to search and follow your friends on CurEat. You can search friends without a profile. The only caveat is that you need a CurEat profile to follow friends and for your friends to find and follow you!

How to Search for friends on Cureat

To start, open CurEat and find the “person and plus sign” icon at the top left-hand corner of the home screen. If you are on your CurEat profile, the icon will be in the same location. When you click the icon, the “people search” screen will open. Enter your friend’s name, check out their lists and give them a follow. Simple, right?

How to invite friends to CurEat

If you don’t see your friend’s name, they have yet to download CurEat and/or create a profile. This is your chance to welcome people to CurEat’s table. To invite your friends, click the box with the arrow in the top right corner of your profile. You’ll have the option to send the link via text, email, Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms that support link share!

Stop loafing around, it’s National Sandwich Month

National Sandwich Month

Forgive the bad pun, but we had to do something to get your attention.  If you’re like us down here in the South, August really isn’t your favorite month.  It’s hot, like really hot, and not to mention humid.  And, well, August usually means back to school and summer’s end.  But, we now have our silver lining — it’s National Sandwich Month!

Now before you go out and order your favorite sando, first a little history lesson.  According to the experts (yes, there are sandwich experts) the official written use of the English word “sandwich” dates back to 18th Century England and was named after eighteenth-century aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. The word first appeared in a journal owned by Edward Gibbon referring to a “sandwich” as “bits of cold meat”.

Sandwiches officially debuted in American cookbooks in the early 19th Century with avant garde fillings like fruit, shellfish, nuts and mushrooms. By the end of the 19th century, sandwiches were everywhere with many of them earning their own names like the “club sandwich”, the “BLT” and  the“Reuben”.  Things really took off in the late 1920’s with John May's definitive Durham Sando listGustav Papendick’s invention that made  it possible to slice and package bread.  Sandwich lovers were finally free to concoct their sandwiches as they pleased.

Today sandwiches are everywhere, in almost every country.  There’s the Philly Cheesesteak, the Cubano, the Croque Monsieur, the Falafel and the Shawarma.  Then there’s the South’s almighty tomato sandwich. (The Bitter Southerner shows us the proper way to make the Southern staple.) We could list sandwiches all day, but we want you to go out and welcome National Sandwich Month at your favorite sando shop. Need help finding one? CurEaters like Piedmont Durham’s John May have made lists of the best sandwich shops in their community.

Are you an authority of sandwiches shops? Download CurEat, make a profile and create a list of favorite sammy shops.

Hot Diggety Dog it’s National Hot Dog Month

July is National Hot Dog Month

July is National Hot Dog Month, which means we have an excuse to eat hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Ok I know what you are thinking, hot dogs, really?  And to that we say yes, really.  Who doesn’t love a hot dog?!

Now, it’s time for a few, fun facts. Did you know that the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that over seven billion hot dogs will be eaten by Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That is with a “B” for billion. During the July 4th weekend alone (the biggest hot-dog holiday of the year), an estimated 155 million are downed each year. That’s an aggressive amount of franks.

Best hogs in the CarolinasFor those curious, the term “hot dog” has been linked to the sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan. According to the history books in 1901, vendors began selling hot dachshund sausages in rolls at a baseball game the Polo Grounds in New York.  Dorgan was in the press box and could hear the vendors yelling, “Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!” From that he sketched a cartoon depicting the scene but wasn’t sure how to spell “dachshund” so instead he called them, “hot dogs.”

So, now you must be asking where can I get the best hot dogs.  That’s where have you covered.

CurEater Robert Donovan has 3 CurEat lists to inspire your hot dog journey this month with over 60 of his favorite spots. If you’re in North Carolina, you’ll want to reference his “Carolina Hot Dogs” and “Old School NC Hot Dogs” lists. Traveling to the Windy City? Robert has a “Chicago Dogs” list that will be your best friend. Hot dogs aren’t limited to N.C. and Chicago, and we know there are hidden gems around the U.S. We challenge you to make and share lists of the best hot dog joints in your city and state. Now, go forth and eat as many hot dogs as you can.

Big shout out to one of our faves

NC Food and Beverage Podcast

At CurEat it’s clear we love all things that are independent, local and have to do with food.  So it is no surprise we are huge fans of Max Trujillo, Matthew Weiss and their NC Food & Beverage Podcast.  We listen on our walks, our runs, our drives to and from the office, any chance we get (Quick disclaimer here: we are sponsors of the app).  And if you have downloaded it you know why.  If you have not had the chance yet, download it now…seriously don’t wait, click here to download and listen.

Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss are both veterans of the hospitality industry and they use that along with their personalities to create an unbelievable auditory experience that will make you immediately hungry. Each new episode is release on Thursday and runs about hour.  So far they are up to episode 39 and with the holiday weekend coming up you have plenty of time to catch up.

It’s a great mix of the food and beverage world.  Their past guests have included Henk Schuitemaker (Angus Barn’s wine director), G. Patel owner of Echelon Experience and the founder of Larry’s Coffee, Larry Larsen.  Not to mention CureEaters Mattie Beason, who owns Black Twig Cider House and Mattie B’s Public House, Craig Rudewicz the founder of Crude Bitters, Piedmont restaurant’s Chef John May and Chef Cheetie Kumar of Garland.

While we give you the opportunity to find independently owned and operated restaurants, bars and bakeries, the NC Food & Beverage Podcast gives you the opportunity to learn more about North Carolina chefs, bartenders and bakers.  We are excited to see what they have in store as they bring on more guests from beyond the Triangle to share the North Carolina’s food story.