There are hundreds of reasons to celebrate Georgann Eubanks’ third and last in her “Literary Trails of the North Carolina” series.
Follow her travels in the just released “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina,” and you will have the most enjoyable and efficient survey of authors and literary connections in that region.
But one of my favorite parts of her books are the descriptions of the places where literary-connected people eat.
Here are some of those eateries.
In Raleigh, Eubanks remembers the old Ballantine’s Cafeteria as the hangout for the writers. The K&W Cafeteria has taken its place, at least for some. Kim Church set her short story “Cafeteria Lady” there. “She checks my drinking glass. ‘Sweetened?’ she asked, in case I want refills.”
Jill McCorkle recommends Candy Sue’s Café at 111 West Third Street in her hometown of Lumberton.
Melvin’s, on West Broad Street in Elizabethtown, “is a hot dog and hamburger stand that has been beloved by travelers and townspeople since 1938.”
Calabash, just north of the South Carolina border, is a Mecca for seafood fans. Eubanks recommends Ella’s and Seafood Hut as “the most authentic, according to locals” and Inlet View Bar and Grill in nearby Shallotte “if you are in town between Thursday and Sunday”.
The popular barbecue and seafood restaurant in Newton Grove, Eddie’s Café, is a part of Eric Martin’s first novel, “Luck.”
Eubanks suggests stops at “two of Goldsboro’s most famous eateries – Wilber’s Barbecue and McCall’s BBQ and Seafood Restaurant.”
Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks and his family often eat at Baker’s Kitchen, 227 Middle Street, New Bern. Eubanks recommends their French toast.
In Morehead City, a short walk from the wonderful bookstore named (not after me) DeeGee’s Gifts and Books at 508 East Evans Street, you can grab a bite at the famous Sanitary Fish Market and restaurant or at Captain Bill’s Waterfront Restaurant.
In Weldon near Roanoke Rapids, Eubanks reminds us that travelers coming from north of the Mason Dixon line “have their first chance at down-home North Carolina seafood and barbecue at Ralph’s – an establishment operated by the same family for more than six decades.”
Poet Cherryl Floyd-Miller gives a “rhythmic appraisal of the beverage of choice at Ralph’s and in her family’s household” in her poem “The Way of (Carolina) Tea.” Here is a short excerpt:
“Tea – juice we could afford.
Bags of caffeine, boiled them twice.
Southern sake mama poured
tea into tupperware gourds.”
In Jackson, Northampton County’s county seat, which is connected to author Mebane Holoman Burgwyn, Eubanks suggests the Embassy Café at 124 W. Jefferson, “where town folk trade stories and fill up on fresh seasonal vegetables and various delectable treatments of chicken and pork.”
In Duck, Eubanks tells us about Paper Canoe, a restaurant that is popular with locals, and “which sometimes serves – what else? – barbecued duck.”
The Sunny Side Oyster Bar at 1102 Washington Street in Williamston was described by two authors, Lucia Peel Powe in her book “Roanoke Rock Muddle,” and Bland Simpson in his travelogue “Into the Sound Country.”
According to Eubanks, “this one-of-a-kind restaurant serves only steamed oysters, shrimp, clams, and crab legs. The sole side dish on the menu is steamed broccoli with cheese sauce (unless saltines and beer qualify as sides). Sunny Side nearly closed in 1991, but devoted patrons came to the rescue. It is open in the months that contain the letter R.”
In Edenton, Eubanks recommends Edenton Coffeehouse, Bakery and Café, a used bookstore and a good place to get breakfast or lunch.
In Washington, N.C., Eubanks quotes poet John Hoppenthaler about his favorite place to eat. “A quick stop at Food Lion for beer & whole wheat buns, then Hog Heaven for pints of barbecue, baked beans, & slaw.” Check it out at 1969 West Fifth Street.
D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit the webpage at www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
Next week’s (April 28, May 2) guest is Georgann Eubanks author of “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook.”
The third and final volume of the “Literary Trails of North Carolina” series establishes Georgann Eubanks as the master guide to our state’s literary history. She has already taken us to Murphy and now in “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook,” she takes us from Raleigh through the Coastal Plain all the way to Manteo.
The program will also air at Wednesday May 1 at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on UNC-MX, a digital cable system channel (Time Warner #172 or #4.4). In addition, airing at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday on UNC-MX will be a classic Bookwatch program featuring Sheila Kay Adams author of “My Old True Love.”
A grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council provides crucial support for North Carolina Bookwatch.http://chapelboro.com/columns/one-on-one/eastern-north-carolina-eating-the-literary-way
Ready or not, spring is here and it is time for a seasonal update on new books important to North Carolinians.
This month’s most important literary news is the release of “Life After Life,” popular author Jill McCorkle’s first novel in 17 years. McCorkle fills a southeastern North Carolina retirement facility with quirky residents, staff, and visitors whose encounters with each other make readers wonder whether to laugh or cry. She will be the guest on North Carolina Bookwatch at noon on Sunday, March 31 and Thursday, April 4, at 5 p.m.
Understanding the actions and attitudes of our parents and grandparents in dealing with the system of oppressive racial segregation that confronted them is one of our great challenges. Some of the best Southern writers deal with our past in ways that make for compelling storytelling. UNC-Chapel Hill creative writing professor Pam Durban steps up to that challenge in her new novel, “The Tree of Forgetfulness.” (April 7, 11)
The recent temporary closings of the Hatteras Ferry and coastal Highway 12 remind us that our coast is fragile and unstable. How do we protect it? In “The Battle for North Carolina’s Coast: Evolutionary History, Present Crisis, and Vision for the Future,” retired East Carolina professor Stanley Riggs and his coauthors give the background we need to make good decisions. (April 14, 18)
Vicki Lane sets her popular novels on the farms and small towns in mountainous Madison County north of Asheville, where she and her husband have lived since moving there from Tampa, Florida, in 1975. In “Under the Skin,” she turns her mountain surroundings into compelling fiction. (April 21, 25)
The third and final volume of the “Literary Trails of North Carolina” series establishes Georgann Eubanks as the master guide to our state’s literary history. She has already taken us to Murphy and now in “Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook,” she takes us from Raleigh through the Coastal Plain all the way to Manteo. (April 28, May 2)
Everyone knows our health care system is in trouble, but UNC Medical School Professor Nortin Hadler is more specific and troubling when he says that conflicts of interest, misrepresentation of clinical trials, hospital price fixing, and massive expenditures for procedures of dubious efficacy point to the need for an overhaul. Who is responsible? Every citizen, says Hadler, has a duty to understand the existing system and to visualize what the outcome of successful reform might look like. Hadler provides a primer and guide to action in “The Citizen Patient: Reforming Health Care for the Sake of the Patient, Not the System.” (May 5, 9)
Do you remember “Big Fish,” the wonderful novel by Daniel Wallace and the movie it inspired? They made us suspend disbelief and go into a magical world of stories and characters. Wallace has done it again in his latest novel, “The Kings and Queens of Roam,” which is full of the magic he uses to draw us into his worlds of imagination. (May 12, 16)
How could one of North Carolina’s most important political leaders be both a progressive champion for education and economic development and, at the same time, the leader of the white supremacy movement in our state? N.C. State Professor Lee Craig wrestles with this challenging question in his new book, “Josephus Daniels: His Life and Times.” (May 19, 23)
In reviewing Duke Professor William Chafe’s “Bill and Hillary,” Jonathan Yardley wrote, about the Clintons, “No personalities in recent history speak more compellingly to the importance of understanding that the personal and the political are inseparable.” Chafe’s detailed study of the relationship between the power couple of all power couples shows how their relationship shaped our history. (May 26, 29)
Watauga County native Sheri Castle’s “The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes” is a guide to finding the best seasonal foods in our region. She organizes her recipes into about 40 chapters, each featuring a different vegetables or fruit.
More about Sheri Castle:
Castle is a popular food writer and cooking teacher who celebrates delicious and healthy home cooked meals made possible by fresh, local, seasonal food. She has packaged that enthusiasm into “The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes.”
Castle’s book has about 40 chapters, each one devoted to one particular fruit or vegetable from apples to zucchini. She suggests that you go to the market without a shopping list, buy what is the most freshly available and tasty, bring it home, consult her book, and find all kinds of ways to prepare your purchase.
Castle entertains her readers with stories about her mountain family and even a song or two. Because I love tomatoes, here are lines she shares from a song by Guy Clark: “Only two things that money can’t buy/That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”
But tomatoes are not the only stars in Castle’s catalogue of fresh foods. For instance, she gives great advice to overcome two different contradictory ideas about how long to cook snap beans. “At one time, most snap beans were sturdy pole beans with thick, tough pods that required extensive cooking to become edible. However, subjecting the newer stringless varieties to long cooking would dissolve them into a tasteless mess. … If a bean pod is delicate and tender enough to eat raw, it needs quick, gentle cooking. If a bean pod is thick and has strings…, it needs long slow cooking. When you know your bean, you know your cooking method.”