Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rosie And Mr. Hawthorne Take A Day Trip.

Rosie and Mr. Hawthorne made a day trip! This post is about the beginning, middle, and end of our trip.
Saturday, Mr. Hawthorne and I set out for Raleigh. Our destination? Plant Delights Nursery I've been wanting to go there since I found out about it. This is not your usual nursery. They're not open to the public except by appointment and they have 8 open houses throughout the year - 2 weekends each season when the public is welcome. I'm saving my pictures of the nursery and grounds for my next post. I have a lot of pictures and I didn't think you'd make it to the fun videos at the end of this post if you had to plow through all the pictures of the nursery (unless you're an avid gardener like Xmaskatie and Marilyn of FoodiesUntie blogdom). You'll have to wait until tomorrow for that post. The Beginning Whenever Mr. Hawthorne and I take a road trip, he usually drives and I am my wonderfully entertaining self. I'm a sparkling conversationalist, offering amusing anecdotes. I have a firm command of the language and I'm able to speak authoritatively on any subject. I am a fascinating raconteur. And when I drive? This is what I get:
He actually brought his damn pillow and blankie, immediately assumed the fetal position in the back seat, and promptly went to sleep. And this was before we were out of the drive way. Now that's companionship.
The only peep I heard out of him was his snoring. The Middle We got to Raleigh and my dear friend Marion's house (thanks to Garmin), then all headed out for lunch before touring the nursery. Marion's newspaper had a fairly glowing review of a new restaurant in downtown Raleigh, the Busy Bee Cafe, so off we went. From the home page of their website, one would never know this place is a restaurant. Just a little too hip and cutting edge for my tastes. It has an air about it. It's trendy. And that's just the impression from their website. I did like the exposed original brick walls in the actual restaurant. Here's their menu. All three of us ordered the fried green tomatoes. They were out of green tomatoes.
Marion and I started out with the Baby Baby Salad for $3. Mixed greens with walnuts and dried cranberries with an orange/balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was all right. Nuts are always good. The dressing was an orange balsamic vinaigrette - very mild, plain, but I liked the hint of orange. I might try my take on the dressing. It just needs something else. Perhaps a coarse mustard. Soy comes to mind. Freshly ground pepper. Maybe some basil, parsley. Some zested orange. And sourwood honey. That's the ticket.
Both Marion and I ordered the squash tart for $7. The restaurant reviewer had praised this particular dish in his article and mentioned that to avoid a soggy crust, the chef had baked this upside down, with the pastry on top, then inverted it for service. It was embellished with some innocuous, unnecessary, superfluous, gratuitous greens, adorned with limp onion slices, and unaccented by artless smearings of an uninteresting aoili. Don't put greens on my plate as garnish. I don't like garnish. Whatever you put on my plate I should be able to eat. I am not a rabbit. I do not eat dry greens. I must have dressing on my greens. The tart was rich. Overly so. Could've used more squash and more flavor. And the pastry crust was soggy. I would have used a light pie dough instead of the pastry (Was it supposed to be phyllo dough or puff pastry?), which just didn't hold up to the filling. And I would have brushed on a light coating of Dijon mustard on my crust. Perhaps used cheese you can actually taste. And maybe a few flecks of fresh basil would be nice. Maybe a slice of a nice ripe tomato on top with a dusting of Parmesan just zapped under the broiler. Oh wait. They're out of green tomatoes so I guess chances are low of getting a red one. Mr. Hawthorne had the Tom and Jack Burger for $8 except without the Tom. He got the pepper Jack cheese on his burger but no fried green Tom. The hamburger was good. He ordered it medium, but it came more on the rare side of medium rare. Good grilled flavor to the burger though.
He also had a side of mac 'n cheese. Creamy, unidentifiably herby. Meh. Mac 'n cheese has never blown my skirt up. The waiter was attentive but service was slow, which was very nice since Marion and Mr. Hawthorne and I had time to chat and reconnect and reminisce. After lunch, we headed to our destination, Plant Delights Nursery. Post forthcoming.
The End.
The following videos are from the trip home. This is going over Alligator River Bridge. Note that we are driving to the Atlantic Ocean. We are on an easterly path.
I'm convinced the Mother Ship is underneath this bridge.
Tomorrow, Juniper Level Botanic Gardens at Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.


Mr. P said...

I think Mr. Hawthorne sleeping with you behind the wheel shows how much he trusts you.

Your comment at the end of the last video was very true.

Anonymous said...

Riveting commentary on the bridge videos, had me on the edge of my seat!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Xmaskatie, that's what keeps the people begging for more.