Barley’s Pizza [Elizabeth City]

Barley’s Pizza opened up last fall in Elizabeth City but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I was able to get out there (even though it’s located just a few miles from where I work). The restaurant is a good example of re-purposing the space you have. Located in an old Burger King building, Barley’s Pizza still sort of sets off that BK vibe. Little has been done to really impact the interior, which makes sense to me. When you decide to start any business, everyday you are unable to sell to customers is money down the drain. Besides, this is a pizza joint. As long as the food is good, we don’t need white table linens and fancy decor.

So how IS the food? Not too shabby really. After returning from Alaska in October, I compare all of my pizzas to the delicious one we ate at Moose’s Tooth and the pizza I had at Barley’s Pizza was almost there. I tend to like a more unique pizza so we ordered the Capri [Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Garlic Oil , Mushrooms, Tomato, Spinach & Broccoli]. It may sound a little weird but all the flavors melded together nicely. There was a nice saltiness that I enjoyed and though we ate until we were stuffed, we still had plenty of leftovers.

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That’s another thing I noticed about Barley’s Pizza. The portion sizes are huge! A few weeks later, I ventured back and ordered a Reuben. I love Reuben’s but I’m not such a fan of corned beef sometimes, so I typically special order my Reuben with turkey. If you’ve never tried a Reuben with turkey then you are in for a treat. I ate half of my sandwich, a few waffle fries, and was beyond stuffed.

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Robb and I definitely plan to return and hope to someday have the occasion to order the party size pizza. That thing is HUGE!

If you read some of the reviews on the internet, you’ll find that most people say that the food is good but service is slow. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that, I think that in a new place, it can sometimes take a little while for the staff to get their footing. All in all though, definitely check out Barley’s Pizza for a great deal on good food.

Barley Pizza Family Restaurant
1333 N Road Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Monday-Thursday 10am -11pm
Friday-Saturday 10am-12am
Sundays 10am-11pm

 

Sucre King Cake [Review]

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Let the good times roll! We are celebrating Mardi Gras on the blog this week. What better way to start off the celebration than with a king cake?

Sales for king cakes typically start on January 6th – Epiphany or Three King’s Day (the 12th day after Christmas) and runs through the duration of the Mardi Gras/Carnival season (ending on the day before Ash Wednesday). It is my understanding that the day celebrates the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. Typically a small baby is hidden in the cake to symbolize baby Jesus. It is a sign of good fortune (and that you’ll supply the next king cake) if you find the baby.

I ordered my king cake from Sucré. Located in New Orleans, Sucré was established in 2007 and features macarons, chocolates, cakes and so much more delicious goodies. Their king cake is a danish pastry is sweetened by cinnamon and cane sugar, baked with a light layer of creole cream cheese.

The king cake was delivered on Friday and it didn’t take long for my boyfriend and I to dig in. Per Sucré’s instructions, we microwaved each slice for 10 seconds, which really gave it that delicious fresh-out-of-the-oven taste. Sucré’s king cake is delicious. The cinnamon and cream cheese isn’t overwhelming, instead it is a delicate whisper of flavor. It worked well as an after dinner treat or even first thing in the morning for breakfast. The king cake is beautifully decorated. Sucré even includes a plastic baby for you to place inside.

While my boyfriend technically found the baby (he sliced a piece and noticed it sticking out, so he brought that piece of me), I may be feeling generous next year and order another king cake out of my own pocket.

Check out The Southern Belle Blogs tomorrow for a review of “The Casquette Girls” by Alys Arden or back here on Wednesday for my delicious shrimp poboy recipe!

Sucré
3930 Euphrosine St.,
New Orleans, LA 70125
504.708.4366

The Fitzroy [Charlottesville]

[Note 12/5/2016: I had some website issues this morning that involved me just getting irritated, deleting the hosting system and starting from scratch. I only lost one post – this one – so I am attempting to recreate that lost post now. I did have a few drafts saved but since I had wanted to cross post them to The Southern Belle Blogs, I had copies there. Lesson learned: I need to back up my files more often. This post also doesn’t have any pretty pictures.]

Exhausted after a fun day at the Heritage Harvest Festival, mom and I went back to the campground, though we weren’t exactly excited about the notion of hot dogs cooked over the fire for dinner. Yes, they would have been delicious (and basically free) but we just were not feeling it that evening. Instead, we hopped into the truck and headed downtown to explore and hopefully find something good to eat.

The Downtown Mall in Charlottesville seems to be the happening place in town. It is a bit trippy for newcomers as sometimes the road runs right next to people dining outside, but there are lots of cute little shops and restaurants to check out. Almost too many options we quickly discovered.

Initially I wanted to eat at Citizen Burger. Citizen Burger had been on my to-do list for months but after having a burger for lunch that day, we decided to go for something else. My mom and I wandered the streets for a while, growing hungrier and hungrier, as I browsed through menus on my phone. While I wanted something tasty to eat, all mom wanted was a cold Bud Light and nothing “funky” to eat. I finally came across the menu for The Fitzroy, a relatively new establishment, but one that met both of our requirements.

I went with the Fried Chicken [boneless, buttermilk battered, a little honey, hot sauce] with a side of Broiled Mac & Cheese. Mom chose the Shrimp Po’Boy [fried shrimp, remoulade, tomato, crisp lettuce]. While my fried chicken was delicious and cooked exactly how I like it, I did have a rare bout of food envy once I tried mom’s dish. It was really good (though the remoulade could have used a bit more kick – mom makes a version that is perfect to me). I wasn’t crazy over the mac & cheese and wish that I hadn’t ordered it (it was good but we had so much left over).

Looking back, I wish I had tried one of their signature cocktails. The Majestic [St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Drambuie, Bubbles] sounded amazing but I simply stuck with water.  After being in the sun all day, that was probably not a bad choice though.

All in all, this place was a definite win. The service was good, the prices were reasonable, and the ambiance was great. The Fitzroy looked like it would be the place to come after work and hang out with friends or even a great spot to bring a date.


The Fitzroy

120 East Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 am – 12 am
Friday and Saturday 11:30 am – 2 am

Charlottesville KOA [Charlottesville]

If you are in Charlottesville and looking for a budget-friendly place to rest your head, I suggest checking out the Charlottesville KOA. Located about 10 miles from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the Charlottesville KOA is the place to go to experience peace and quiet in the mountains. This campground is a small one but don’t let that stop you. The staff was fabulous when we checked in (very helpful – even providing us with a great map of the area) and the facilities are very clean.

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Even though the pool normally closes on Labor Day, it was still open because of the heat. The water was certainly nice and refreshing! The pool was surrounded by trees and since we were the only ones in there, it felt like our own private oasis. There is a laundry/game room which we checked out (but never utilized – even though we had talked about playing a game of pool or air hockey), as well as a playground.

There’s also a fishing pond/nature trail you can check out on the property. I really liked walking the nature trail and the fishing pond was nice to gaze upon. Now keep in mind that there is a poison ivy out there. I did find several good sources of jewelweed however, which is known to help soothe poison ivy (as an herbalist, it tickled me to find so much jewelweed).

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There are three different types of cabins you can book: a one room cabin, a two room cabin, or a cottage. For our one room cabin (which sleeps up to 4 people – and provided us with plenty of room), it cost only $65 a night when we booked. We did have to bring our own linens, but the cabin provided us with a cable tv, AC/heat, electricity, and a ceiling fan. The larger cottages have their own bathrooms attached but since all of the cabins were located right near the restroom (and like I said, this is a smaller campground), that wasn’t an issue.

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One of the nicer perks was free wireless internet on the campground as well as free cable tv. All in all, this was a great campground and provided us with a nice and relaxing place to stay.

Charlottesville KOA
2016 Season: Open March 11th – Close November 13th
3825 Red Hill Rd.,
Charlottesville, VA 22903
434-296-9881

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel [Williamsburg]

Back in July, I found myself in Williamsburg, Virginia at the Scares that Care Weekend Convention. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, this was a 3-day horror charity convention that I had elected to attend as a vendor with The Southern Belle’s Garden. I decided to do a little write-up on the hotel/the hotel’s food for the blog as it might help some of my readers when they are in Williamsburg.

My lovely little booth. I’m already making plans on how to make it even better when I return next year.
My lovely little booth. I’m already making plans on how to make it even better when I return next year.

It took no time to check in and the cookies they gave us were probably the best thing I ate the entire weekend. The biggest issue with checking in had to do with our room keys. There were 4 of us in the room and every time I used the Digital Key feature through my phone’s app to unlock our door, it deactivated their card keys. If they got a new card key, then it deactivated my digital key. After about 4 or 5 trips, we all went down at once and had our keys activated at the same time and had no further issues. The staff was very helpful during this whole process.

The food was hit or miss as was the service from the staff. When I arrived on Friday, I elected to have a quick lunch at Pitchers (one of the in-house restaurants). The restaurant had maybe a dozen people dining at the time but it ended up taking over a hour and a half for me to receive my food (the food was just okay and my alcoholic beverage was not my taste so I stuck to water or Corona the rest of the weekend). Our original waitress forgot to place my order. The waitress that ended up waiting on us after our first one bailed was fantastic though.

I have to say that the staff worked really hard to make this a great weekend for the conventions attendees, even going so far as to have special food/drink menus themed around horror and wearing costumes. With the exception of that first waitress, I would give the remaining staff a round of applause. I know that the staff was tired. I could see it in their interactions, but that’s okay. We all get tired – I know I certainly was – and they are having to deal with hundreds of guests at once. It looked like the same group of staff members were the only ones working all weekend. I don’t know when they even had time to grab a nap.

For dinner on Saturday night, I had originally wanted to go out to one of the restaurants in Williamsburg (perhaps the Blue Talon) but ended up staying in the hotel so that I could dine with friends at Harvest Grille. We went for the all-you-can-eat prime rib (for $24.95). While it was worth it to spend time with friends, I do really wish I had been able to experience more of Williamsburg.

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The hotel gave us $2 off the breakfast buffet coupons that I took advantage of on Saturday and Sunday morning. While it was still pricey for breakfast, the food options were decent. The problem with me and buffets is that I can never eat enough though to justify the cost.

All in all, this hotel was worth it, especially if you are going to Busch Gardens (which was minutes away). The rooms were clean – what more can you really ask for? For two nights at the convention rate, it cost me $119 a night. I would recommend dining somewhere else however to get more of a feel of the town.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg
50 Kingsmill Rd.,
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 220-2500