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Restaurants & Bars 4

The Eclipse, Hand to Mouth

small h | Aug 27, 201703:43 PM

Moon eats sun, small h eats other stuff.

Three regions on one plate at Soul Mountain in Front Royal, VA. Crab & artichoke quesadilla (Mexico, sort of), coconut rice (Thailand, I guess), and collards (da South). To be honest, this was not all that good. Oh, well.

THIS was good, though. Grilled pimento cheese sandwich with arugula and tomato, accompanied by a cucumber & onion salad. Early Girl in Greenville, SC is worth the wait for a table. And the wait for the food. And the wait for the check. Service is a little slow, there. But charming!

Fine dining in Asheville, NC at Nightbell. This beautiful panzanella salad would have been perfect with more mozzarella.

Nightbell also offers a Caesar salad you can eat with one hand. Lovely. And so neat!

Also a squid and cauliflower dish that tastes pretty good and looks pretty bad. Like beige roadkill.

The Bull & Beggar (also in Asheville) had some of the best food we had on our trip. Here, a butterhead lettuce salad with buttermilk dressing and probably some other kind of butter as well. Unfortunately, the hip 'n' cool bartender who was our server seemed to hate us, his job, Asheville, and possibly life itself.

But who cares, when there's a plate of potatoes with creme fraiche and caviar in front of you. We got more caviar at The Bull & Beggar than mozzarella at Nightbell. Just sayin'.

There may come a day when I take shrimp and grits for granted, but that day has not come yet. This is from The Speakeasy in the basement of the Mimslyn Inn, Luray, VA.

What we saw at the totality.

Not pictured: The crabcake po'boy (served on a hamburger bun, so not really a po'boy at all) at Smoke on the Water in Greenville, SC. It was excellent, although I think I make a better fried okra than they do. Smoke on the Water was also the site of my favorite brief conversation.

Gentleman at bar: You're not from around here, are you?
small h: What gave it away?
Gentleman at bar: You don't know me.

The Bull and Beggar,
Early Girl Eatery,
Soul Mountain Cafe & Grill,
The Speakeasy Bar & Restaurant,
Smoke On the Water
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