Last Christmas, I went to Charlotte for some holiday cheer and to see some friends who had relocated to the Queen City. 2017 had been a great year for real estate and with all the articles in Forbes
Raleigh Named One Of The Top Food Cities By Zagat
Zagat, the bible to foodies around the world, ranks restaurants with it's infamously stingy star system. When we lived in Manhattan, I bought myself the odd shaped maroon book and read it on the subway during my commute. I would make notes on the pages of restaurants we enjoyed and fancied myself a real New Yorker when the back cover began falling off. Food defines a city as much as a recipe box can define a family's tradition. Good restaurants often create a buzz and can help draw tourists for a weekend jaunt. So when Raleigh was named one of the top food cities by Zagat, I thought to myself, we have arrived. We are constantly getting attention as a place to move because 60 people a day come to the Triangle. But being known on the food scene ads a level of culture and excitement that speaks to my soul.
I love to eat. I love to cook and to bake. People say it is unusual to find someone who enjoys baking and cooking but my Momma did both and she passed on the trait. As a child, I got to lick the beaters of cookie batter and help pour pancake batter on the griddle during lazy Saturday mornings. But I also helped on the savory side. I used to squish the eggs and ground beef together for meatloaf with my bare hands. After grilling a steak, my brother and I would line up for a spoonful of the "juice" and be told it was a special treat filled with vitamins. My great grandfather was a butcher and my grandparents lived through the depression so food meant two things: NOTHING was to be wasted. And food was a part of every celebration.
Food plays a big role for southern hospitality and culture. We have casserole brigades for births, illness, and deaths. We have supper clubs and tailgates that look more like a Food & Wine photo contest than a picnic for the back of a car. We have bunko and book clubs which are more about the bar and snacks than the dice or literature. It is of course about the ingredients and flavors. But it is also about the process. The sharing of a recipe shared by generations. The time and love it takes to create a meal from scratch. Don't get me wrong, Biscuitville's sausage balls are almost as good as my grandmother's recipe and I have no problem procuring yummies when time is at a premium.
Sharing a meal is part of living, some say it is a sacred act. Now that the secret is out about Raleigh, I imagine some New Yorker's may come on down. For the weather, the food, and of course, The Tar Heels!
Melanie Jones is a real estate broker in Raleigh and the greater Triangle area who is known for her tenacity and passion. The key to her success hinges on one thing: people. Melanie starts every trans....
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