Church Pub?


It’s been a couple of weeks since the last blog due to life so this is from a visit a couple of weeks ago.

As part of the life stuff my sisters and I were visiting my Father in the hospital and we decided to go out and grab some lunch in Durham, NC.  We strolled one of the downtown streets looking for something struck our fancy among the many options available and Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub fit the bill.  It might have had something to do with its being at the end of the street where we decided we were going to turn around but nevertheless it won out over the plethora of other options.

This place has quite a bit of outside seating on a porch running the length of the building and a lawn to add more or have events.  We decided to eat inside amid the interesting decor.  The pub is long and narrow and said decor is a mix between a church, library and soccer (football for the non-Americans) pub.

The booths are old pews with some high back wood panels and there are bookshelves with old books and knickknacks plus lights of a lantern design with crosses that makes the place feels like they plundered an old church for the furnishings.  It was a cool look.  As you can see from the second picture they have various team jerseys on the ceiling and a ton of TVs around the bar.  It was a nice atmosphere and the server was very pleasant and answered our questions on the beers with tact concerning the ones she didn’t care for or had not tried.  I got a local Lynwood Brewing Concern Bill & Ted’s Excellent Amber since it was a bit warm for a Irish stout.

The menu isn’t loaded with traditional Irish fare so I opted for a dish that did have a nod to Ireland, corned beef macaroni & cheese and a side decidedly not Irish, creamy mango slaw.

The macaroni was cooked just right and the cheese sauce was nice and thick with plenty of cheesy goodness.  I wasn’t sure how the beer braised corned beef was going to be incorporated and the nice big diced chunks were a great treat.  They were tender and big enough you got great corned beef flavor.  The mango slaw was tasty as well with significant hunks of mango.  I was a bit surprised at the spiciness of the slaw but the sweetness of the mango’s mitigated the heat.

My sisters chose the Chipotle BBQ Carnitas sliders & the Open Faced BLT which by all accounts were quite good and worth the trip.

The circumstances that brought us together weren’t ideal but as always it is a treat when I get to spend time with my sisters and enjoying a meal together just elevates it.  Thanks Lynn & Dee.

Judgement on Bull McCabe’s is that the food is good the atmosphere is pleasant and I suspect might be rowdy when a good match is being televised and the outside area probably let’s them have some great events when the weather is good.



Strawberry Festival Food

SC Strawberry Festival 2018

You’d think on Cinco de Mayo any American food blogger would be heading for Mexican but nope for me it’s Strawberry Festival time.  The day was overcast so while it wasn’t the beautiful Carolina blue sky of last year the temperature was very pleasant for a day of walking around and enjoying  the exhibits, music, wrestling, food and classic car show.

After checking out the options and deciding which lines looked ridiculous and which looked scary short I decided to try Red Oak Barbeque and specifically their BBQ bowl.


The BBQ bowl was basically a BBQ plate just layered in a container.  There were baked beans forming the base layer topped with mac & cheese then a layer of smoked pulled pork which was covered with a little coleslaw all topped with a flourish of BBQ sauce.  The best two things about this were the pork and the convenient container.  The baked beans were nondescript and the mac & cheese was on par with packaged mac & cheese from the grocery store.  The coleslaw was ok but a again nothing to spend many words on.  The pork was obviously where the time was spent and it had a good smoked flavor and was nice and tender.  In hindsight a sandwich would have been the way to go.  On the upside I got to hear a good band, Carolina Rhythm Band who had a set that varied from beach music to Blondie.  I’m not sure what’s going on with the two ladies by the tent in the picture but it looked awkward.

Not to be deterred by the just OK experience with the BBQ bowl I headed off to find something with strawberries from the many options available.

Had the day been sunnier I’d have almost assuredly had some strawberry ice cream but instead I was lured over to the Sweet Dough tent by their options of strawberries & cream, strawberry doughnut and strawberry fritters and the fact they were a local business.  They all looked good and I was leaning toward the fritter when the choice was cemented by one of the folks manning the tent telling me they were still warm from being delivered from the store.  I happily forked over my money and proceeded to step away when it turned out the little wax paper bag turned out to be more of a sleeve with two open ends and while I was opening one end the fritter was exiting the other.  When I turned around with a “What the heck” look on my face the guy just handed me another.  I was so shook-up by the pastry incident I forgot to snap a shot of the fritter so you’ll just have to imagine a golden brown fritter that had strawberries folded into the dough and glazed just lightly enough to give a shiny sweet coat to the fried doughy goodness.

I also couldn’t pass up these just because it sounded so different.

I did try one and the strawberry taste starts out stronger than the dill and the sweetness doesn’t go away but the dill side tries to assert dominance as you finish the pickle.  It never does but it tries.

Lastly I just wanted to share a couple of the cars from the car show that had quite a number of really nice cars.  For the older folks the Gran Torino is the Starsky & Hutch car.