Monday, June 11, 2012

Marmalade Skies Delights

Frozen yogurt is enjoying a huge resurgence, and among the most distinctive self-serve joints around is independent shop Marmalade Skies in Cary. Not just another typical strip-mall-situated fro-yo establishment, Marmalade Skies features many items free of gluten, sugar, fat and lactose. Never mind the various offerings contain high levels of healthful live and active yogurt cultures.

With more than 20 rotating flavors of yogurt like cake batter, vegan lactose-free pomegranate-raspberry or nonfat lemon frenzy, choices abound. When it comes to garnishes, 50-plus selections cover all the bases. Want fresh mango, strawberries or kiwi? Or how about dark chocolate chips, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or dried cranberries? Don’t forget to add requisite coverings like hot fudge, caramel and — of course — sprinkles.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Fredin/S&A Cherokee

Whenever you go, select your cup, swirl in yogurt, add toppings, weigh, pay (currently 45 cents per ounce) and enjoy. Samples are available upon request. Prepackaged 20-ounce to-go containers are also accessible.

Prefer a yogurt-based smoothie with fresh fruit instead? Marmalade Skies has that covered as well. The store also offers Tuesday specials when kids 10 and under get 50 percent off.

Vibrant orange walls and several inviting couches inside encourage lingering. Open daily, Marmalade skies is also a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Marmalade Skies Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pam's Pleases

Beloved by white- and blue-collar patrons far and wide, Pam’s Farmhouse restaurant in Raleigh serves up bona fide Southern comfort food as good as you’ll find anywhere. Where else do you go and find blackstrap molasses on the table along with a pitcher of sweet tea? Sit there for just a few minutes, and you’ll also find a basketful of scratch-made biscuits and hushpuppies.

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Well, actually it does. Once you order the best jalapeño-infused bar-b-que chicken you’ll ever taste, then you’ve entered otherworldly culinary terrain.  Just be sure to ask for white meat (well worth the 50-cent upcharge) as well as an extra side of sauce (no additional outlay). Take it from me and my good friend Forrest, there’s nothing else that even comes close to the zesty righteousness of Pam’s bar-b-cue chicken.

Just in case you’re looking for something different, consider the fresh filet of flounder with creamy coleslaw or country style steak with rice and gravy. In the summertime, a fresh vegetable plate of three or four choices also hits the spot. At any given time, fresh veggies will include squash and onions, collard greens, steamed cabbage, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.  Deviled eggs are also commendable.

Breakfast at Pam’s is equally rewarding. The menu features the requisite offerings like pancakes and French toast but also authentic country-style selections such as brains and eggs.

Not surprisingly, service at Pam’s is fast and friendly. A seasoned all-female wait staff is eager to please and calls patrons “sug” and “honey.” Consider it the epitome of Southern hospitality.

When it comes to décor, Formica tables and vinyl-padded chairs fill the modest dining room. A row of mirrored walls makes the already sizeable space look even more expansive.

Did I mention that Pam’s prices are a great value? A meat plate with two vegetables and bread costs less than $7. Keep in mind, though, that the Farmhouse is a cash-only establishment.

Pam's Farmhouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Ruckus Rolls Out Sushi and More

Continuing its tradition of offering quality food, friendly service and a vibrant, family-friendly atmosphere, Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits recently debuted its newest eatery in Morrisville. The 4,700-square-foot restaurant is located in the Park West Shopping Center at the corner of Chapel Hill Road and NW Cary Parkway.

The largest and most innovative Ruckus location yet, the new establishment showcases signature menu items like spicy chicken alfredo (a Lunchboy favorite), mama's cannelloni, chopped salad and a 24-inch pizza that will feed a whole family--and then some. Among the most significant new menu offerings is fresh sushi, which is made to order by a bona fide sushi chef. A dedicated sushi station near the bar area allows patrons to watch the chef’s meticulous preparation. 

Ruckus sushi

Besides an easily accessible bar area and comfortable indoor dining room, a spacious covered patio also provides patrons the chance to dine outside and enjoy live music and popular bean-bag toss game cornhole.

The new Ruckus also reflects a commitment to environmental responsibility. An energy-efficient lighting and electrical system features LED-based ambient lighting throughout the restaurant. 

When it comes to décor, even the booths are eco-friendly. All the materials like stuffing and seat cushions comprise 100 percent post-consumer recycled product, according to Ruckus Managing Partner Ryan Pilz.

Ruckus Morrisville is situated in the Village area of the Park West Shopping Center at 1101 Market Center Drive. For more information, call 919-388-3500 or visit

Ruckus Pizza, Pasta, & Spirits  on Urbanspoon