Friday, May 28, 2010

Nathan Hula Big Burger

A good friend did some foodie recon and passed along word of an epic challenge in North Durham—a two-pound burger served up at Eno River Eatery off Roxboro Rd. Coined the "Nathan Hula Big Burger" after the original record holder, this gut check dares you to down a 2 lb. burger (coated with cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato), loaded fries, a small side of apples and a pickle in under 20 minutes. As the menu states, "if you can eat it all and beat the record, it's FREE!!!"—a lofty goal considering the meal will cost you $16.99 otherwise.
If you decide to take on this massive meat feast, prepare to wait at least half an hour while your burger is under construction—a perfect opportunity for you to prepare your game plan or do breathing exercises. Once the burger is ready, it is served up with appropriate fanfare to notify you and the entire restaurant that the challenge is on—waiters banging pots and pans surround you and place the beef tower and a timer on your table—the wait is over.

The burger is divided into four patties, so a natural strategy is to devour one layer at a time. The first bite will whet your appetite and make you think that anything is possible, but as you move to the second patty your pace will likely slow-down and swallowing may require effort. Both brave souls who attempted the challenge (one guy, one GWG) hit a wall at the half-way point (2 patties) and neither came anywhere close to beating the time limit. Even the most passionate beefeater will struggle with this one—the greasiness and density of the beef make for a formidable yet delectable opponent. The fries and apples are the easy part.
Even though no one won the challenge on this attempt, we did come away with enough leftovers for two additional meals! If anyone decides to try out this burger beast, make sure to let us know how you stack up. Even if you aren't up for the Hula, the Eno River Eatery feels like a nice place to frequent with fresh, tasty food and a friendly staff.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thursday Night on the Porch

With the recent warm weather, the idea of an outdoor dinner off the grill lured us to check out "Thursday Night on the Porch" at Foster's Market. As soon as we stepped out of the car, the aroma of the grilled meats teased our taste buds and got us excited for the food we were about to consume. There was already a crowd of people outside enjoying the pleasant weather and fresh food from the spacious and cozy porch area. Check out our slideshow including images of Foster's Market and our food.
When you step into Foster's you enter a unique space that feels like a country store crossed with your grandmother's kitchen. You will find unique candies, jams, wines, and other specialized food products and a bakery case stocked with southern classics--cookies, pies, brownies, and more. The serving counter displays fresh salads and casseroles that change daily, always one-of-a-kind recipes with fresh and unexpected flavor combinations.

In an effort to try all options, one of us ordered the hickory smoked sweet onion chicken and the other the spicy bourbon barbequed spare ribs and we each had the two sides offered with the meal. The flavors on the outside of the meat were unique and tasty but did not penetrate to the meat underneath, making it enjoyable but not overwhelmingly delicious. The sides however, were very good. The oven roasted sweet potato fries were large wedges of sweet potatoes roasted in herbs making them very tasty. The Gingered Apple Jicama Slaw was a great side to accompany grilled food because of the tangy sweetness of the crisp apples.

In true GWG fashion, we had to go back for dessert. We opted for the highly recommended peanut butter pie and the chocolate chip pecan pie. The chocolate chips in the pecan pie overpowered the nutty flavor but it was still good for a true sweets lover. The peanut butter pie on the other hand, was melt-in-your-mouth, out-of-this-world, amazing. The creamy peanut butter filling, the light whipped topping and the chocolate crumb crust was the best part of the meal. We also sampled a crumb cake that was great for those who may not enjoy as much sweetness.
Foster's also offers a selection of beer and wine for those who want to sit back and relax in the comfortable and eclectic environment. It is a great place to meet friends for an afternoon snack or to catch up on reading in one of the quiet corners of the covered porch. Foster's offers dinner on the porch every other Thursday in the spring/summer--the next date is May 20th--check their website for the menu closer to the event date.