If you hadn’t guessed already by the name of this blog, this local buzz is a bit different than my normal routine of sitting down with the owner(s) of a locally owned business and get the whole backstory about themselves and the business.
Unfortunately, I don’t always have the extra time to fit an interview into my hectic schedule which is really my toddler’s schedule. So this time around, instead of highlighting one business I am highlighting a few businesses that I have recently visited that I believe warrant a shoutout. Hopefully one day I will be able to sit down with the owners of some or all of these and get more details!
Scratch Kitchen & Taproom – Apex, NC
The first time I visited Scratch Kitchen & Taproom (located on South Salem Street in Historic Downtown Apex) was a Friday night. I was taking a friend out for a surprise birthday dinner and at the time of our visit Scratch did not take reservations. Since we were having a mom’s night out we inwardly cheered when we were told the wait was an hour and twenty minutes. We relished in the long wait as we enjoyed a cold beer from the bar while chatting without interruption.
Within the mixture of rustic wood, warm blues and mason jar lighting, the restaurant is filled with a combination of booths, low tables, and high-tops. There is a bar that takes up almost the entire backside of the restaurant with cheese-grater lights hanging above it. There is also a great patio for those days and evenings that are not too cold.
On the menu you can find everything from burgers, sandwiches, and salads to bowls (think poke), mac & cheese and entrees that are on the heartier side. They also have a small selection of homemade desserts.
On my first visit the food of choice was Firecracker Shrimp, Fish & Chips Tacos and the Bibimbap Bowl. All items were delivered quickly and tasted as I expected… like they were made from scratch. On my second visit with my mother and son, which came less than a week later, we started with an appetizer of pork belly mixed with these absolutely to-die-for brussel sprouts. My son had the chicken tenders, I had the Truffle Mac & Cheese Burger and my mom had the Cast Iron Chicken. Again, all items were outstanding.
I had a chance to chat with one of the owners, Jon, after he came to our table and realized he was also the owner of the Mason Jar in Fuquay and Holly Springs. I tried my hand at convincing him that he needed to add the brussel sprouts to the menu at MJ but unfortunately, he could not make any promises.
Scratch has definitely been added to my list of restaurants I will go back to again and again as both visits have had exceptional service from both waitstaff and management, as well as quick service and delicious food. The dress is casual and if you are going for dinner I would suggest getting there early.
Check out their Facebook for photos and updates!
Big Dom’s Bagel Shop – Cary, NC
My husband and I love trying out new places to eat (or drink!). We recently started a new Sunday morning tradition where we find a new breakfast restaurant, coffee shop or bakery to try.
I am a sucker for many things and a homemade perfectly-toasted everything bagel with cream cheese is at the top of the list. We usually going to NYBD (at Waverly Place) since Fuquay is lacking a true homemade bagel shop. (Edit: I know Fuquay has a bagel shop but I believe their taste, quality, and customer service are lacking, which keeps me from going there or putting them on my go-to list). A few weeks back our Sunday morning adventure took us to Big Dom’s Bagel Shop. In addition to wanting to taste their bagels I also had to try them because of their name. My brother’s name was (is) Dominic but I, and pretty much everyone else, called him Dom.
Big Dom’s hadn’t been opened that long, maybe two weeks, when we ventured to downtown Cary from Fuquay. The line to order was out the door and the line for people waiting for their orders was about seven deep. Luckily it was a beautiful morning so we took turns playing outside with our son while we waited for our name to be called.
Big Dom’s is a carry-out only coffee, bagel, and B’donuts (Baked Donut) shop. There are a couple benches outside but most people were taking their food home. Luckily a bench opened up right before our food was ready so we sat outside the shop and enjoyed one of everything. The bagels are hand rolled so you get the perfect amount of bagel to cream cheese. However, this also means that when they are sold out, they are sold out, and this tends to happen a lot based on their social media. The B’donut was mouth-watering good that I wished I had ordered two more. Luckily my son enjoyed the bagel and cream cheese more so I ate most of the B’dnout myself.
Since our visit, it appears that (based on their social media) their menu has grown to include bagel sandwiches and specials which means we will have to go back sometime soon!
Jubala Coffee – Lafayette Village, North Raleigh
Most recently our Sunday adventure took us to North Raleigh. We were headed to my parents house and decided to stop at Jubala Coffee thanks to recommendation from a friend. She warned me that their biscuits were heavenly and she was not kidding.
When we arrived the line was twelve deep and I instantly thought “great, we are going to be here forever.” Luckily, Jubala works like a well oiled machine with individials dedicated to all the various tasks of taking your order, making drinks, delivering food and drinks, and clearing tables. We had ordered and received our coffee and food within fifteen minutes despite all the customers.
No exaggeration, their sweet biscuits might be one of the most delicious breakfast foods I have ever eaten in my entire life. My husband and I both ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and ordered our son a biscuit with their homemade apple butter. Fortunately for my husband and I, our son wanted nothing to do with his biscuit. He only wanted to play in the courtyard with the other kids so we got to enjoy it for ourselves. Their apple butter paired with the biscuit is something dreams are made of. It is definitely a good thing we don’t live in North Raleigh because if I did I can almost guarantee I would be twenty pounds heavier from going to get one of their biscuits every morning.
If North Raleigh is too far of a drive for you there is also a Jubala Coffee downtown Raleigh off Hillsborough Street.