While I am really looking forward to Raleigh Supercon, I am also super excited about getting some great food while I am there! Raleigh has some amazing places to eat, and the Convention Center has some pretty tasty places right outside its back door like Fire Wok, Happy Hole (a pizza joint), Shish Kabob, and Jimmy John’s. While those places are good, they tend to get crowded very quickly especially when events are going on. That is why I went on a mission to find some super tasty, affordable, and off the beaten path but still walkable places for you to enjoy while at Raleigh Supercon. The best part of my round up? All these places are less than a 10-minute walk from the Convention Center!
My top choices that won’t break the bank are
The Remedy Diner: Remedy is one of the few places downtown that offers diverse vegan and vegetarian options. They also offer selections for the meat eaters like myself. I tend to get their Cuban sandwich, and it is amazing! Also, their desserts are delicious! Chocolate cake for the win!
Walking Time: 7 minutes
The Mecca Restaurant: This place is great! They offer a late night menu, so when the con is winding down and you have the munchies, head to Mecca for the Pig in a Pup appetizer. It is hushpuppies stuffed with bbq pork! Culinary genius! Mecca also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the hushpuppies are a late night menu item only.
Walking Time: 7 minutes
Carroll’s Kitchen: Not only does Carroll’s have great food, but they also support a great cause. This non-profit restaurant strives to help the female homeless population by giving them job training, life skills, and housing. Definitely try the kolache, which is a sweet roll stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Walking Time: 7 minutes
Calavera Empanadas and Tequila: This place is seriously one of my favorite places downtown. The empanadas are perfectly crisp, and the flavors are amazing. Also, you have to try the street corn! The flavor is completely worth getting corn stuck in your teeth. The drinks are also delicious. But be warned, the place is affordable as long as you don’t order a drink. It is the drinks that push this place out of the cheap eats range, but if you can swing it, order the Caipirinha.
Walk Time: 7 minutes
Some honorable mentions that are a little bit more expensive are
Jose and Sons: A unique blend of Mexican and Southern cuisine. The brunch is one of the best around!
Walk Time: 8 minutes
The Pitt: A Raleigh restaurant staple. This place has been written up numerous times for its barbecue and for good reason!
Walk Time: 8 minutes
Bare Bones: Rustic atmosphere with great burgers. Seriously, the Bear Claw Burger is amazing.
Walk Time: 5 minutes
I remember visiting The Blowing Rock as a child. My mother would never let me go to the edge of the rock in fear that I would fall off. I also told her I would be fine because the wind would just carry me back up. She never bought it.
The Blowing Rock became a tourist attraction due to its distinct wind pattern and the legend that explains that wind flow. Due to the rock formation’s shape and the gorge where the rock is located, the wine blows upwards at that particular point. But according to legend, it is the Great Spirits who changed the laws of nature for love. The legend tells of a Cherokee brave being in love with the chief’s daughter.
After much debate, my husband, Trae, and I decided to get a hotel for Raleigh Supercon. The thing is we live about an hour away. We have done cons before where we drive home for the night and return the next day, but considering that Raleigh Supercon is slowly morphing into our seventh wedding anniversary celebration, we both figured treating ourselves to a hotel was the right decision.
But our wedding anniversary wasn’t our only reasoning for getting a room. Some other reasons we decided to get a hotel were:
Let’s be real for a second: Life is hard, and sometimes a girl just needs to escape to the mountains. I hadn’t been writing on the blog as much and in general, just feeling overwhelmed, so I did something a little unexpected for me. I booked a treehouse cabin/tiny house in Boone, NC for a whole week. Just me and the trees. And ya’ll, it was incredible. I started this post while in Boone, writing while I was drinking coffee, listening to the Moana soundtrack (my newest obsession), and looking at the mountains. My soul couldn’t have asked for more.
I booked the cabin based off of seven atrocious, blurry photos on VRBO and a gut feeling that this place was meant to be mine. I am so happy I listened to my gut. Trees surrounded the cabin, and each morning I have had my coffee while sitting on a giant rock. Friday I didn’t even leave the cabin but instead sat in the hot tub while the rain sprinkled down, sipping wine. Pure bliss.
This really isn’t a post. It is more of a “Wow. North Carolina can be a super random state!” When Trae and I went to Bath, I found myself telling Trae to make u-turns because I just had to get a shot of this most bizarre/ random/ awesome thing for Instagram.
It wasn’t until after the trip and I started editing my photos that I realized I just had to share them on the blog. So please, enjoy this “not really a post, but more of a visual journal with some commentary” post!
This Yogi Bear, located on some twisty backroads, was the mascot for a defunct storage unit business.
Before going to Bath, we ended up in Belhaven, which happens to be the perfect setting for a Twilight Zone episode. The town has an apocalyptic feel with a few upscale boutiques spread out among the abandon storefronts. Everyone walking around was either multi-colored from finishing a color run or wearing wife beaters with cut-off jeans.
I saw the new Beauty and the Beast movie on opening night, and of course, I went in costume with a group of friends. We had a blast and ended up being featured on the movie theater’s Facebook page. And yes, we were the only five people dressed up in the theater. I will take any opportunity to wear a costume. I love dressing up, which is why I jumped to do my first cosplay at last year’s OakCity Comicon.
Problem was I had never really sewed before. I am a wiz at thrift-find transformation, but sewing from scratch? Not my thing. I own a sewing machine, so at least I had that going for me. Armed with YouTube sewing tutorials, I was determined to make something, especially since I saw that the con had a novice category in the cosplay contest. After racking my mind and look at all the patterns I foolishly (but cheaply) purchased when Jo-Anna Fabric closed, I decided to make an Arrietty costume from the Ghibli film The Secret Life of Arrietty.
Videri Chocolate in Raleigh, NC is a sweetery and coffee shop located on the outskirts of downtown. Honestly, it is the perfect place to go for a light dessert after an amazing meal at The Pit or Jose and Sons.
Videri Chocolate has a rustic feel with exposed beams and brickwork. To the right is glass cases filled with truffles. To the back left is the coffee shop where shipping chocolate is being churned.
Never thought that I would say those words to my husband. Honestly, we had written off Crank Arm in Raleigh, NC when we tried it several years ago after it had been written up in a prominent publication. I can’t remember the exact one; it may have been one of New York Time‘s travel articles. When we tried it, we thought all the beers tasted the same and didn’t offer the dimension in flavors like Trophy Brewing or LoneRider. But we kept hearing our friends rave about how good the beer was there.
So that is how I found myself telling my husband a couple of Sundays ago that we should retry Crank Arm. And to be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I remember.
We got the flight of Crank Arms staple beers: Whitewall (Belgian Wheat with Citra), Unicycle (single hop ale), Rickshaw (American Rye IPA), Darkways (dark Saison with blackberries), and Eat Sleep Bike (extra special bitter).
Trae and I went to PlayThrough gaming con in Raleigh on February 25. When we first moved here four years ago, we didn’t realize Raleigh had a con scene, but since discovering it, we have become hooked. And lucky for us, Raleigh’s con scene is growing.
PlayThrough is a smaller con held at the Raleigh Convention Center. A significant portion of the con floor is reserved for gaming from board games to vintage Nintendo games. Another part of the floor is for vendors and game developers. Trae and I had a blast walking around and testing out games like Sausage Drop and Rocket League. We also attended some great panels. I really enjoyed Shawn Long‘s talk on “How to Start a YouTube Gaming Channel.” Honestly, the steps for creating a successful YouTube channel and creating a successful blog aren’t that different.
Last year’s OakCity was set up very similar to PlayThrough. The only major different was PlayThrough’s cosplay contest seemed to be a lot more organized. I honestly hadn’t even planned on entering PlayThrough’s contest, but a fairy told me I had to. Judging for Oak City’s cosplay contest took over an hour, which caused us to miss a lot of the con’s activities. Oak City’s judging did take place on the main stage area, so while waiting in line, Trae and I could people watch. However, PlayThrough’s judging was in a separate room and took like five minutes. Quick and painless!