Monday Lieblings- Durham Edition

Oh Durham, I love you so.  My year in Durham has been amazing, and it is truly one of my favorite cities.  I can bike everywhere, there is amazing food, I have a great house, etc etc.  So in honor of having only one week left here, this Monday Lieblings is dedicated to all things Durham – particularly my favorite things.

1) Toast

So yes, as an employee of Toast I might be a tad bit biased, but that doesn’t matter- Toast is awesome.  It’s a paninoteca on Main Street that serves panini, tramezzini, bruschetta, and crostini.  They also have amazing dinner specials, soups, and a delicious house salad.  I honestly have to say that my job at Toast was one of my favorites, and it was mainly because of a)getting to eat there every day and b):

These awesome folks- the owners of Toast and my bosses.  Anyway, Toast is surprisingly cheap for what you’re getting and everyone in the vicinity should go eat there RIGHT NOW (well, wait until they open tomorrow).  Now, lets drool over some food photos:

chilled cucumber and basil soup with pesto crostini

chilled cucumber and basil soup with pesto crostini

beef shortribs with polenta

beef shortribs with polenta

kale panino

kale panino

octopus salad bruschetta

octopus salad bruschetta

goat cheese crostini with honey and pepper

goat cheese crostini with honey and pepper

If you go, I highly, highly recommend the three cheese panino. you’ll thank me.

2) The Durham Dino

The durham dinosaur (the bronto) is near northgate park and is the last remaining part of the Museum of Life and Sciences’ 1960s-70s dinosaur trail.  It has deteriorated quite a bit, and a few months ago some stupid kids ripped its head off.  Luckily, there is a wonderful movement that is dedicated to preserving the bronto- and you can help! You can buy an awesome “save the bronto” shirt like this:

anyway, the dino is my happy place- I go there when I feel sad, and then I feel much better (usually).

3) Local Yogurt

ok, ok, you all know how I feel about this place by now- but still, I cannot repeat myself often enough: local yogurt is AWESOME.  My new favorite mix is peanut butter yogurt with oreos and bananas:

I hope I can find something half as good as this in Manchester.

4) Daisy Cakes

If you know me, you know that I know cupcakes.  Daisy Cakes is one of the best spots for cupcakes outside of my personal kitchen.  Not only are the cupcakes great, the atmosphere is really cute and fun.  Daisy Cakes is located inside an old air-stream trailer past the Durham farmers’ market and is only open on Saturdays.  Here are some cupcake shots:

Ok, not that great, but we usually eat them before photos can be taken.  Now, the cupcakes are all well and good, but the best part of Daisy Cakes are their pop t’arts- a delicious home-made poptart stuffed with all sorts of seasonal fillings.  They are served warm and are just about the best thing you could put into your mouth on a Saturday morning. Behold:

The nutella and strawberry is my favorite.  Most importantly, Daisy Cakes has the Grant seal of approval:

5) The Scrap Exchange

Have you ever had the problem of needing to buy a couple dozen iv bags, a few feet of industrial hazard label stickers, some old valentine’s day cards, and 30 party buttons- but you only have ten dollars?  Fear not! The scrap exchange can help.  This place is truly amazing- a storehouse of leftovers that can, and should be used to make awesome new things- and all very cheap.  This is a place you really need to experience in person in order to believe.  Here are some photos:

There are so many more things I love in Durham- I’m going to throw in some honorable mentions:

Vin Rouge: This is a French Bistro in downtown Durham that is delicious (but expensive)  my suggestion is to go sit at the bar, order a bottle of les heritiques wine and have the Frisee aux lardons salad (greens with pancetta, potatoes, and a fried egg).  Thats all you need, and it is so amazing.

Whiskey:  I’ve written about this in a past post- it’s a new bar in Durham (next door to Toast).  Its atmosphere is nearly perfect.  I recommend the Hendricks and tonic with cucumber.

Rockwood Filling Station:  A fancy pizza place across the street from local yogurt- great salads, even greater pizza.

Locopops: Who doesn’t love locopops?  This is in Chapel and Durham- cheap and delicious ice pops. My favorite is hibiscus cherry (second favorite is mango chile)

Durham Bulls Baseball Games:  A cheap alternative to major league baseball games- very, very fun.   I especially love the between innings games, such as “fish or no fish?” (where you guess if a particular word is the name of a fish or not).

Dolly’s Vintage:  This is one of the best vintage stores I’ve ever been to, and certainly one of the cheapest.  It’s located in Brightleaf square (has a small menswear section) and is a real delight.

That’s it! I love you Durham! I’ll miss you so much!

~ by gakather on September 8, 2009.

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