Wow, I’ve been terrible about updating y’all. Well I guess no news is good news, and that’s what I have to share right now. I took a load of things to Columbia last weekend. The only things left to go down there are the last of my clothes and my dresser and TV. The rest of my things are going into a storage unit in Charlotte. On Thursday I stopped by the team office and sent about an hour talking with everyone there. It was nice to see everyone from work. The last time I was there was September of last year, so it had been a long time. I also got the skinny on a good BBQ event in Unionville. I’ll definitely be checking it out. After I went to the office, I went to Greg’s BBQ.
Greg’s is a family owned and operated joint in Matthews. They have a lot of offerings in addition to their BBQ, but I only have had the BBQ. Their BBQ is pretty good, not legendary like Allen and Son or Jimmy’s, but it does stand out. The meat is always moist and tender. It is finely chopped almost to the point of being minced. Again, I don’t know how Greg prepares his meat, but I suspect an electric smoker or gas cooker is used. I really need to start asking when I go to these places. Greg’s sauce is by far the most distinctive sauce I’ve had. It is a vinegar based sauce with lots of black pepper, some sugar, and a few other ingredients that I have yet to identify. Unlike traditional Eastern sauce, which is red due to the red pepper content, and Lexington dip, which can range from red to brown depending on the tomato content, Greg’s sauce is brown, but definitely neither Lexington nor Eastern style. It is a little thicker than most Eastern style sauces and not as thick as many Lexington dips. The sauce has a distinctive bite from the pepper and vinegar that borders on hot. Some people might find it too spicy for their taste. Greg also kindly provides a bottle of milder, sweet, thicker sauce, reminiscent of the St. Louis or Kansas City style sauces that most people think of when they think of BBQ. Greg has acceptable hush puppies. They’re neither outstanding nor terrible it’s just your run of the mill hush puppy. His slaw is mayo based and as a non-slaw guy I don’t particularly care for it. People who do like slaw, however, have told me that it is very good, so I’ll let your palate decide. The restaurant is always spotless, the service is excellent and it is usually pretty full. An added bonus is many officers from Charlotte and Matthews love to eat there. In my opinion this is always the sign of good food. I’m not saying that police officers are just stuffing their faces and killing time between meals, but believe me, in that job, a good meal after a couple of stressful calls does wonders.
After gorging my self on Greg’s BBQ, I continued to Columbia. The trip down was uneventful. I arrived around 3 pm and waited for Fipp to get home from work. We went to dinner, but I can’t remember where. We then spent the night relaxing and watching TV. I was pretty beat by this point because I had loaded boxes in my car in the morning, driven to Charlotte, hung out at the office, then drove to Columbia. On Friday, I picked up some groceries for Fipp so we could make dinner that night. Friday during the day I slept in a bit, then hung out around her place. I picked up Maurice’s BBQ on a recommendation from a friend. I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about Maurice’s since I’ve only been there this one time, but it wasn’t bad for a chain of fast food style BBQ joints. Their tea was mediocre but their hash and rice was the surprise of the meal. It was very good. That night we watched Hot Tub Time Machine. It was surprisingly funny and I loved all the references to John Cusack’s 80’s resume in it. Watch it and see if you can spot them all. Even if you don’t, you’ll see a very funny movie in the process.
On Saturday Fipp and I woke up early and went to Charlotte to try yet another wedding cake contender. We didn’t have to be there until 10 am, so it was a little more reasonable to be eating cake at that hour. We went to a place in Ballentyne called Decadent Designs. This time we were impressed with both the frosting and the cake and the superb customer service. We chose them almost immediately. They had an overwhelming selection of fantastic frostings and fillings as well as some amazing cake flavors. Fipp and I decided to have a 3 tier cake with one tier being vanilla cake with lemon and vanilla mouse filling, a second tier of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling, and the third tier (for our anniversary) is a fantastic vanilla almond cake with butter cream filling. The cake itself tastes like a Christmas cookie. We chose a traditional vanilla butter cream frosting with blue frosting bands around each tier and out initials and some scroll work in frosting as well. We came in just under budget on the cake which is an added bonus. The cake will look beautiful and taste amazing. I promise. After eating cake, we went to Karat Patch and picked up our wedding bands, they are beautiful and the engraving came out perfectly. I couldn’t be more happy with the service and quality that I’ve received from them over the years. We then got lunch and went to rent a storage unit. After renting the storage unit, we returned to Columbia. Fipp wasn’t feeling well for most of the afternoon so I made her some noodles with butter and got Doc’s BBQ for my self. Doc’s is a Columbia institution and they had interesting BBQ. It was good but I felt it tended towards gourmet. Again, I won’t go into a lengthy review since a couple of trips will be required to get a good feel for the place, but I will definitely be going back. Doc’s is located jut behind Williams-Bryce Stadium where USC plays football so they offer some very appetizing tailgating packages. I think one moth be in order when I go see Navy play USC in September.
On Sunday I took it easy, relaxing at Fipp’s. I had to leave that evening because I had a doctor’s appointment at 9 am Monday. I left about 4:30 to come back to Durham. The drive was uneventful. I went to my appointment on Monday which was a follow up with the Infectious Disease doctor. They didn’t have anything new for me and I haven’t had any change in any of my symptoms so it was a short visit. They’ll see me back there in 6 weeks. I have an appointment with Dr. Horwitz tomorrow afternoon so I’ll update later this week. I’m also moving on Saturday, so I’ve been sounding a lot of time during each day organizing my stuff into things to go to Charlotte and things to go to Columbia.