Archive for February, 2011

Everybody’s French Toast

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Most bed and breakfasts have recipes….lots and lots of recipes.  It is what we do, although not always as scientifically as people would like.  At Camellia Cottage Bed & Breakfast, our recipes are based on the season, first, so we can use as many local ingredients as possible.  Some ingredients, like our blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, come from our yard right here in Wilmington, NC.  Can’t get much more local than that!

Next, we tweak our standard recipes to accommodate our guests’ food restrictions.  Vegan, no problem.  No gluten, no problem.  South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers’, no problem.  Allergic to tomatoes, nuts, dairy or shellfish, no problem. 

For example, French Toast.  Safe enough, you think, but if you have dairy intolerant breakfast eaters, substitute soy milk for cow, fry in canola oil instead of butter.  Vegan, add some maple syrup instead of eggs to the soy milk.  It helps the milk adhere to the breadand gives it some flavor.  Gluten intolerant, use a gluten-free bread, now widely available in supermarket.  Add some cinnamon, orange juice concentrate or pumpkin to the mix when soaking your bread for fun!


Local Pleasures

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The “living local” movement is starting to catch on around here and people are maybe working just a little bit harder to find locally sourced goods and services. Obviously, a Wilmington NC bed and breakfast represents a nice locally-based option to staying at a chain motel or hotel and we’re happy to lend some local and friendly luxury to your stay.

The Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast also wants to help you enjoy locally based activities, products and cuisine once you arrive in wonderful Wilmington. Here’s a sampling of some uniquely downtown Wilmington pleasures to enhance your eating, drinking, reading and cultural activities. We’ll also eventually share with you our lists of local enjoyments for the rest of Wilmington and the surrounding area. If you have any locally-based favorites that deserve a place on the list—let us know.

Slice of Life
Great pizza downtown in a friendly, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Slice offers salads, tacos, burritos, homemade soups, nachos, subs and of course, pizza. Hours are from 11:30 am until 3:00 am, 7 days a week. Daily lunch special (11:30 am to 4:00 pm) — 2 slices with 2 toppings, side of pasta salad and beverage or steak or chicken quesadillas, also with a beverage. Voted “Best Pizza and Best Late Night Eatery in Wilmington” several years in a row by Encore Magazine.
122 Market St (910) 251-9444

Burchetta Glass Blowing Studio and Gallery
New and imaginative works of art for all occasions, as well as custom glass pieces large and small, are handcrafted daily and can be shipped anywhere. You can visit the art glass gallery, tour the glass blowing studio, or take glass blowing lessons.
201 Redcross Street (910) 399-7614

Old Books on Front Street
With two miles of books on the shelves, there’s something for everyone here, whether you’re into horror, romance, sci-fi, local history, the classics, mystery, etc, etc, etc. There’s a great little café in there to keep you fueled during browsing, reading or chatting.
249 N. Front St. (910) 76-BOOKS

Barbary Coast
The quintessential dive bar in downtown Wilmington. You won’t be ordering fancy mixed drinks or upscale wines here. The good news is that you can bring your dog inside with you. It’s Wilmington’s oldest bar, and was started by Buddy Best, a prize fighter, tugboat captain, and tale spinner. You’re invited to drink, argue good-naturedly and tell your own lies!
116 S. Front Street (910) 762-8996

Wilmington Railroad Museum
This museum, located in an old railroad building, provides an educational and enjoyable experience concerning the history, technology, and impact of the rail industry with emphasis on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, which was headquartered here in Wilmington until 1960.
505 Nutt Street (910) 763-2634

Cinematique is a series of classic, foreign and notable films staged at historic and newly renovated Thalian Hall Theatre. Admission is only $7. Check for previews of upcoming movies. P.S. – you can have a glass or two of wine or beer with your movie!
310 Chestnut Street (910) 343-3664

Where’s The Beef?

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Despite the fact that the Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast is surrounded by a dozen excellent fine-dining establishments in downtown Wilmington, sometimes ya just gotta have a burger and nothing else will do. You fight the urge as long as you can (which may only be several microseconds in my case) and then you grab the wife, but not the dog, and make a monomaniacal march toward the best burger purveyor in town. But, hold on another microsecond….where do we go to get the burger monkey off our backs? After undertaking some arduous, painstaking research, I’ve got a few suggestions. (You didn’t really think there was going to be only one answer, did you?)

We begin this brief, best-of-burger blog four blocks to the northwest at Hell’s Kitchen on Princess Street. I’m a sucker for the Hickory Burger which boasts bacon, cheddar and a nice tangy barbecue sauce. I’m also had good reports on the Baja, Black &Bleu and Carolina Chili Burgers, a diversified line-up capable of satisfying most burger aficionados.

Just three blocks west of us is a rare treat for the burger connoisseur, especially if she or he likes to occasionally stray off the beef bandwagon. To my knowledge, there aren’t too many joints within 100 miles of here whose menus include angus beef, turkey, black bean, tofu and veggie burgers. This burger line-up is what makes Nikki’s special for me, however most folks around town actually go there for the sushi. Go figure.

You’re going to have to create some carbon emissions to get yourself to the final burger venue in this blog, but after having one of these beauties I think you’ll be willing to sit in the dark for a week to balance your carbon karma. PT Grill is where to head for your basic, all-around tastiest, nothing fancy, best burger in town. It beats down a burger craving like no other burger I’ve ever had. And the fries are something to write home about, too. Enjoy. And let us know your favorites.