Recently Mike & I went on a vacation out east. We flew down to Raleigh/Durham, NC, to visit friends & family, then rented a car and drove up the coast to Delaware, to spend some time with even more family. It was a whirlwind vacation, but needless to say, we wanted to make the most of our trip out there and sample the foods, flavors, and beverages of the areas we visited. Here are a few highlights from our trip:
Being homebrewers, we can never pass up an opportunity to support local breweries when we travel. We hit up Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, taking the bus from our hotel to get there (which apparently you never do in Durham, but we did, and survived). They had a nice selection of beers, and I know that Mike was very pleased with the quality. The highlight of the visit was splitting a bottle of their First Frost persimmon beer, aged. It was absolutely divine and probably a brew that will be very hard to find in the future, unless we head back down south.
In planning for our trip, Mike mentioned to his stepbrother (he & his fiance live in Chapel Hill) that he really wanted to try chicken & waffles. So, he took us to this great place in Durham (Dame’s). It, in short, was awesome. You choose your dish based upon what kind of cut of chicken you want, then choose your waffle and ‘schmear’ (flavored butter. Genius). I chose the classic waffle, with a chicken cutlet and maple-pecan schmear. The flavor combination was so unique – sweet meets savory, but done right. When we head back to RDU next May for their wedding, we may have to drag some of the family back here. Yes, it’s that good.
The next portion of this post may make some people uncomfortable because it involves whole crab. If this is you, scroll down. You’ve been warned! No hate, please! 😉
Mike & I lived in southeastern Pennsylvania for the first 8 months that we were married; the 2008 crash moved us back to Ohio. We lived about an hour north of Baltimore, MD – a great place for fresh seafood. This is where my husband introduced me to the world of blue crab. He would have it when he’d go on vacation growing up – I on the other hand was a bit creeped out by the fact that it was a whole crab in front of you. I took him out to Baltimore for his birthday that year and he taught me how to eat blue crab. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely and remember that evening fondly; thus when we came back to the East Coast this past week, we had to find ourselves some crab. My father-in-law recommended Claws, a seafood place out in Rehoboth Beach.
With blue crab, you eat all the meat in the claws & body; rarely do you get anything out of the rest of the legs because they’re so small. In short, the blue crab are steamed, covered with Old Bay, and dumped onto your table where you get crackin’ with some small wooden mallets & your fingers. The crab is delectable, and for many it takes a while to get all the meat out of the crab. As a person who got ‘turned on’ to seafood after graduating high school, I can say that it’s definitely well-worth the effort. Even if you cut both of your thumbs on the claws and they sting from Old Bay (sorry, Hubs ;-)) We had a great ‘date night’ on our vacation at Claws and walked off our crab coma on the beach.
End Whole Crab portion.
The last portion of our trip took us to Baltimore for the Indians vs. Orioles game. We went with Mike’s sister & brother-in-law, and had a fantastic time. Of course, we arrived in Baltimore that evening during a huge thunderstorm, and rush hour. We drove around and ended up at the Rusty Scupper, which happened to be one of the nicer places in town, but had wickedly awesome seafood. I believe really hit the spot for my sister-in-law, who was 8 months pregnant. 🙂 I had the shrimp scampi – a dish I probably could make at home, but really had a taste for since I was still a bit ‘hungover’ from crab.
We had a wonderful vacation, and I had fun documenting some of the culinary adventures that I had. Maybe I’ll have to document more as we travel in the future!