Thursday, November 1, 2012

Raleigh, North Carolina

In September, we traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina for a week.  Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and the capitol building is situated similar to Madison, Wisconsin's capitol with a major street leading right up to the building.  In Madison, State Street, a pedestrian street, with some limited access vehicle traffic is lined with restaurants, bars, shops, and has an overall college-town vibe.  In Raleigh, Fayette Street leads up to the capitol building.  It's not technically a pedestrian street; however it does close periodically for events.  The sidewalks are large and encourage pedestrian traffic flow.

While in Raleigh, I stumbled upon some lovely places.

Stitch - Who can pass up a purse made by a designer with your same first name?  Not me!  Stitch is the storefront for a local graphic designer, Holly Aiken, who makes some gorgeous purses.  I spent a small fortune, but walked away with two purses, 2 tablet covers, and 2 smart phone covers.  Thank goodness she has a website to feed my new addiction.  My new purses are the Coupe Paspartou in Avocado/Olive and the Coupe Poppy in Tomato/Gunmetal.

Dos Taquitos el Centro - Just down the street from Stitch is a small Mexican restaurant.  In a word, YUM!  Holly (from Stitch) wrote down a list of restaurants that she recommended and this was at the top of the list, so we decided to give it a try.  El Centro takes a classic dish and puts a little modern spin on it.  I had the three enchiladas plate. One enchilada was chicken with a spicy green salsa that has a nice sweetness to it.  One was beef with a smoky chipotle sauce and the last one was black bean with a white creamy cheese sauce.  Yum!  Oh, and for the record, the margaritas were quite tasty.

The Pit - If you read the guidebooks and tourist pamphlets, they all recommend the Pit for North Carolina BBQ.  Perhaps we are a bit spoiled or our palettes are now refined, but this was good, but not great.  The rib meat fell off the bone...which is a clear sign that it's been steamed too long.  The meat was tender and had great flavor, but it was more steamed than smoked.  However, given the size of the restaurant and the packed tables / reservation demand, I understand that it would be next to impossible to keep up with the orders for meat right from the BBQ pit.

 The capitol building

 A nearby church

 Fayette street leading from the Capitol to a performance hall

Sand sculpture near the capitol

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