Tag Archives: restaurant reviews

School Pride & New Homes

17 Sep

Growing up, I was never that invested in traditional sports at either the professional or collegiate level nor did I have any loyalty to a particular team or school. I got dragged to my sister’s basketball games for 8 years and would occasional cheer for any professional North Carolina team due to state pride, but that was about as far as my interest went in most sports.

Then I was accepted into UNC and the strangest thing happened. As soon as I put on my first Carolina blue t-shirt, I began to develop an irrational hatred of that school down the road, the epitome of evil, Dook University. It started with a few harmless “Go to hell Dook!”s while singing our fight song, but quickly developed into something much more. Any mention of the school or a glimpse of its ugly emblem would make my vision go red.

So imagine my surprise last spring when I ended up apartment shopping in none other than the hometown of the devil himself, Durham. I had just accepted my job offer and was looking for housing near the Research Triangle Park when I glumly accepted the fact that living in Durham made sense for a number of reasons. Having never really been to the town despite its closeness and unsure of what to expect, I started packing and prepared for the worst.

After moving to Durham almost three months ago, I am happy to admit that most of my fears have thus far been unfounded. I found a great apartment in the heart of Old West Durham, one of the city’s more vibrant neighborhoods and I couldn’t be happier. I’m within walking distance of great shops, restaurants, and bars with only a 12 minute commute to work. I’m close enough to Chapel Hill that I can go visit anytime I feel homesick and am nicely situated between my second homes, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Outer Banks. Though I still feel the urge to run over Dook students when I’m driving past East Campus, I am overall proud to call myself both a proud Tar Heel and Durham resident.

I use friends visiting me in my new home as an excuse to go out and explore the town and a night with my foodie hero, Meghan of the previously mentioned nestMeg.com, was no exception. After much debate, we settled on The Broad Street Cafe, a Durham staple providing great food, drinks, atmosphere, and music.

I knew we made a good choice when our waiter was surprised that we needed menus to order, a sure sign of frequent repeat customers. Torn by the many delicious sounding options on that menu, we finally chose the sweet potato fries with a roasted red pepper aioli for a starter and picked the shrimp (with bacon and pesto) and the spinach (topped with ricotta and fresh tomatoes). What followed was pure foodie bliss as we feasted on the simple yet delicious fare. Though I am not normally a fan of sweet potato fries, I eagerly eat my half of the basket and we had to ask for a second serving of the aioli. Meghan couldn’t decide on her favorite pizza, but the spinach had the slight edge over the shrimp for me, yet both were outstanding and their thin crusts are bound to inspire replica experiments in both our kitchens.

Overall, a great experience and a hopeful sign of many more in my new hometown of (gulp) Durham.

Both images from The Broad Street Cafe's website.