Ahhh, sleeping in! It’s always nice to sleep in until 9:30 AM. I remember my freshman year of college when I would sleep in until noon. It’s impossible for me to do that now. After eating so badly all weekend, I went for a run outside with my friend Kristin. I like running on an empty stomach so I skipped breakfast and ate lunch after I got back. Lunch was fabulous. I made what my dad likes to call a “power salad.” However, I like to be a bit more girly so I’ll call my creation a strawberry field salad. I used fresh lettuce from the State Farmers Market, boiled an egg from Latta Farms, and sliced some local tomato and strawberries. Delicious and healthy!
After feeling rejuvenated from my run and lunch, Kristin and I visited Escazu Chocolate. Obviously the cocoa isn’t grown in North Carolina. However, at Escazu Chocolate you can see where they produce all of their delicious chocolate. The girl at the register told us that they tried growing a cocoa tree in their store, however, it’s now being nursed back to health. I suppose cocoa trees just don’t like Raleigh.
Kristin and I were in chocolate heaven. We watched the machines making chocolate through a glass window in the corner of the shop. We stood by the glass for a few minutes watching the chocolate spin around on a stone wheel. We were in awe. Kristin even commented that she could take a bath in the chocolate, which made me die laughing!
We went over to the case of chocolates. It took me at least five minutes to decide what to order. The girl at the register was so friendly and helpful. I decided on the honey and chamomile dark chocolate. The honey used to make this chocolate is super local, from the hives in their backyard! I also ordered a coffee, the beans were roasted by Counter Culture Coffee in Durham. Kristin spent a lot of time debating between a chocolate push pop or a chocolate covered marshmallow. When the employee told us they made their own marshmallows at the store, Kristin was sold.
We both loved the atmosphere of Escazu Chocolate. We were surrounded by local jewelry, pottery, and paintings made my artists throughout the Triangle area. The shop had such a great feel and I was happy to support my local artisan chocolate shop. Kristin and I enjoyed our little chocolate treats that were entirely too pretty to eat at a wooden picnic table. I knew I was going to feel bad eating the hand-painted honey and chamomile dark chocolate; it was truly art! However, after my first bite, the art didn’t even matter. The chocolate had such an amazing flavor. When the dark chocolate shell cracked and I reached the center, I tasted the creamy mixture of honey and chamomile. The perfect combination of sweet and floral. Yum! I will definitely be visiting Escazu Chocolate in the near future.
After working on homework for the rest of the afternoon, I met up with Courtney and Autumn for dinner at Tyler’s Taproom. I called the restaurant before we went to make sure there would be something for me to eat. The employee told me they use a lot of produce and meats from North Carolina. I was sold! We sat outside on the deck. The weather was beautiful and the deck had such a great vibe. Everyone was hanging out. There were older men relaxing in adirondack chairs with a beer in their hand and families enjoying a burger and fries at a picnic table.
I ordered a Fullsteam Sweet Potato Carver beer. Fullsteam is a brewery located in Durham. They proudly support the agricultural heritage of the South, which is why they have a sweet potato beer. As you all know, I love sweet potatoes. It’s kind of a problem. I could eat (or drink) sweet potatoes every day of my life. So, I had to order this beer! This amber ale was delicious. I smelled the sweet potatoes the most, and wasn’t hit by a strong sweet potato taste.
I told our waitress about my blog and she looked worried. Darn! I had called earlier and thought I wouldn’t have a problem eating local. She told me that I would be safe ordering the corn dog appetizer. I really wanted to get something else but I had to stick to my local food challenge. She assured me that the sausage inside of the corn dogs is made by a North Carolina company. The corn dogs were just alright, they were kind of chewy. I’ve never had gourmet sausage inside of a corn dog and I wasn’t a fan. Thank goodness I was happy with my sweet potato beer. Tyler’s has a great local beer selection though. They have pages in their beer menu dedicated to local beers. I would definitely come back to the deck at Tyler’s because it’s fun place to enjoy a NC brew.