Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chubby's Tacos is Hard to Beat

If you’re not familiar with wildly popular Mexican taqueria Chubby’s Tacos, you’ve really been missing out. Chubby’s originated in Durham and has several locations there, but there’s also a sister restaurant in Raleigh’s Lake Boone Shopping Center near Rex Hospital.

On any given day near lunchtime, the line out the door starts around 11:30 a.m. That’s because people come in droves for the huge portions, tasty provisions and cheap prices.

For just $3, you can get a fish taco as flavorsome as you’ll find anywhere. A 2-ounce side of house-made guacamole will only set you back a buck. You get the idea.

Even big eaters will find much to like at Chubby’s, as mammoth burritos and quesadillas provide plenty of sustenance—and likely some leftovers. In the mood for tacos? You can’t go wrong with spicy tinga chiken with onions and chipotle peppers with cilantro.

There’s also an eat-all-you-want salsa bar featuring six or eight varieties from mild to hot.

If you somehow manage to save room for dessert, must-try items include the dulce de leche quesadilla with sweet cream sauce and cinnamon sugar or the classic fried sopapillas with cinnamon and honey.

Take it from Lunchboy: Chubby’s is muy excelente!

Chubby's Tacos on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pawley's Island Delight

Greetings from Garden City, South Carolina, where the Lunchboy annual summer vacation has now reached its mid- and boiling-point. Let’s face it: a pale guy like me can only take so much sun, sand and waves, so I’m always looking forward to the next meal. Down here there’s so much from which to choose—mainly at nearby seafood haven Murrell’s Inlet.

Just a few evenings ago, the wife and I traveled a little farther southward, ending up in peaceful Pawley’s Island at Chive Blossom CafĂ©. This is one of those little eateries where locals gather to enjoy fresh, high-caliber seafood. It’s also one of those places where you don’t dare show up without a reservation. Don’t worry: I called ahead and got my name in the book, only I had to settle for a 6:30 reservation instead of the preferred 7 p.m. timeslot.

The ambiance at Chive Blossom is charming, romantic and cozy, albeit the tables are a bit too close together. Our server was attentive but lacked personality. Nevertheless, all was forgiven when he managed to point us toward a killer crab and Vidalia onion spread appetizer.

As for main courses, consider these tempting options: pan-seared scallops and shrimp with yellow stone-ground grits; black-pepper encrusted wild salmon; and grilled grouper with silver queen corn.

After the meal, we were too stuffed for dessert, but I plan to go back as soon as possible and take in the key lime tart. I’m a sucker for anything key lime.

Chive Blossom on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Way Making Its Mark

Tonight was my second trip to popular neighborhood eatery My Way Tavern, located in downtown Holly Springs. Overall, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen and tasted at this sports-bar meets gastro-pub.

It’s not every day you find a place of this ilk that serves Ahi tuna, fresh-cut and never frozen chicken tenders, slow-cooked beef short ribs, blackened mahi mahi and an impressive assortment of distinctive burgers and sandwiches.

While prices are somewhat high (to wit: $7 for a hotdog and fries), you get what you pay for with generous portions and tasty provisions.  For my money, the gourmet burgers (like pictured above) are the best value on the menu.

If adult beverages interest you, My Way serves more than 65 bottled beers and boasts 14 North Carolina brewed draughts.  A large, bustling bar serves as the restaurant’s cornerstone of activity.


While there’s still room for improvement (for example:  friendly but somewhat sluggish service), all indications point toward a long, prosperous life for My Way Tavern.

All photos courtesy of Jonathan Fredin/S&A Cherokee

My Way Tavern on Urbanspoon