Archive for the ‘Apex’ Category

We happened to go to Chick-Fil-A in Apex on the night they were having an elementary school fundraiser, so the place was insanely busy.  I’m not going to count the crowds or lines against them, I’m sure they’re normally very quick and easy for getting food.  I’m sorry I didn’t get an exterior picture, but it was a very stormy day out as well.  This Chick-Fil-A is across the street from Lowes and Target, near other restaurants like Chili’s, TGIFridays and IHOP.

Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich

My husband ordered the Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich meal, which came with their waffle fries and a Coke for $7.  $7 seemed expensive to me, I remember when value meals used to cost $3.  Guess I’m old and don’t go to fast food places much.  I tried one of the waffle fries.  It was decent, but I think I prefer regular stick-shaped fries.  My husband really liked them though, he said they were the best fast food fries he’s ever had.   They taste very much like real potatoes.  The chicken club wasn’t as good though.  He said the bacon was good, the chicken not so much.

Chicken Nuggets

My son got the 4-piece chicken nugget kids meal with a fruit cup and chocolate milk.  I figured as far as kid’s meals goes, it wasn’t too bad.  It even came with a toy, a small timer.  The price was $2.95, which I guess is normal for kid’s meals these days.  He drank all his chocolate milk, but wouldn’t touch the fruit cup.  I ended up eating the fruit cup later, I thought it was good.  It had bite sized pieces of apple, mandarin orange, grapes and strawberries.  He did eat 2 chicken nuggets, but he fought me quite a bit on those 2.  I thought they were good quality though, they appeared to be real chicken meat as opposed to ground chicken bits.

Chicken Tenders and Fruit Cup

I got an order of 3 chicken tenders and a side of medium coleslaw.  The chicken tenders were real white meat chicken breast, which was nice.  But they seemed very greasy and had a lot of stringy bits in them, like they hadn’t trimmed off that one big vein that goes down a chicken breast.  I dipped it in their honey mustard sauce, which unfortunately isn’t nearly as good as my own honey mustard or the honey mustard I get with Tyler’s chicken tenders.  The coleslaw was edible but certainly not my favorite coleslaw.  It had a lot of creamy sauce and sugar in it, whereas I prefer mine more vinegary.   But at least they don’t put a ton of pepper on it like some places in the South.  The chicken strips were fairly priced at $3.05 and the medium coleslaw was $1.65, so it was a nice cheap meal.

Waffle Potato Fries

As I said, I forgive the restaurant for being overly busy on this night, and I certainly won’t judge them on that.  The restaurant was decently kept up considering the hundreds they were serving tonight, and they did get out the food as fresh and hot as possible.  I think the main problem is, I just don’t really love chicken all that much.  I really prefer beef, pork or lamb if I’m going to be eating meat.  I didn’t love the fries all that much either, I prefer steak fries with no skin on them.  But my husband sure did love them.  And I like that my son can eat real white meat chicken instead of the usual ground chicken pulp, but unfortunately he didn’t appreciate the chicken nuggets for this fact.  If I’m ever on the road and had to stop in for food, I would probably pick Chick-Fil-A over a Wendy’s or Burger King, but I don’t think I’ll probably be visiting this place again on purpose, with there being so many nicer restaurants in the area (especially IHOP next door, my son’s favorite).

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We went to IHOP in Apex on Friday night.  It was my son’s pick, he’s 4 and it’s his favorite restaurant.  It’s one of the few restaurants where he’ll order off the menu and actually eat the food he gets.  It’s located just off 64 in the Beaver Creek Commons, across from Target.

I’ve been to IHOPs across the US before, and they’re all pretty standard.  This was actually my favorite restaurant when I was a kid too.  I loved getting pancakes for dinner.  I still like the place well enough, and every once in a while it’s nice to have breakfast food without having to make it yourself.

Create Your Own Face Pancake

My son always gets the Create Your Own Face pancake.  It comes with 2 strawberries for eyes, some whipped cream for a nose, and banana slices for a mouth.  It also has some “Go-Gurt” yogurt, for which to add hair and other things with.  My son doesn’t actually decorate the pancake with the yogurt, he eats it last.  He’s got his own ritual with this thing, first he eats the nose, then the eyes, then the mouth.  Then he has me cut it all up and add syrup.  Then he eats the pancake, as much as he can.  This evening he didn’t eat much of it, but he had cake earlier.  Then he eats the yogurt last, sucking it up like a freezy pop.

Club Sandwich

My husband got the club sandwich with fries.  Typical club sandwich with turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and some decent fries.  Not much to say about this one.

I got the new “New York Cheesecake Pancakes” of the “regular” variety, that comes with 2 pancakes with cheesecake stuff in between then, plus 2 eggs, hashbrowns, and a choice of bacon or sausage.  I chose the scrambled eggs and bacon.  I had previously liked IHOP’s stuffed french toast, which has the same kind of cream cheese type filling in it, so I figured I would like this as well.

New York Cheesecake Pancakes "Regular"

The strawberries and strawberry sauce were awesome.  There’s extra strawberry sauce at the table for adding to this.  The filling was as I expected, very cream cheesy in flavor, rich and delicious.  The hashbrowns were good too.  I don’t generally eat bacon strips on their own, I prefer them with food, so this isn’t my ideal serving style for the bacon.  The scrambled eggs weren’t that good and I didn’t finish them.  I think if your meal has 2 plates you’ve probably ordered too much.  In the future, I’m going to probably just order the 4 pancakes with cream cheese in between instead of the “regular” sampling, it was just way too much food.

Cheesecake Pancake Insides

I lifted up the side of the pancake so you can see inside it.  The cheesecake filling is kind of like frosting, they just tube some on and put the next pancake on top of it.  It’s good though, a very rich flavor that’s very much like real cheesecake.

The service on this particular night was pretty slow.  It took us an hour to get in and out, which is unusually slow for an IHOP.  I’ll give this place another chance though, I think they were having a busy night with a birthday party going on in the back.
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Today we went strawberry picking again at DJ’s Berry Patch. I think it’s a great activity for kids, to get a better appreciation for their food. I was just thinking while I was there though, the place doesn’t smell like I remember a strawberry farm smelling. I remember going out on June summer days to the Kirschbaum’s Strawberry Acres back in Wisconsin, and the moment you got out of the car, the smell of ripe strawberries was in the air. I think the strawberries tasted better back then as well. I’m not sure if they use a different variety of strawberry in Wisconsin than they do in North Carolina, or maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me.

I also went to Southern Season in Chapel Hill to pick up some nice things for myself for Mother’s Day.  The Fromager d’Affinois was the free sample cheese today, both the plain and the herb varieties.  I had a couple crackers full of the plain, and also tried the herb for the first time.  The herb was good, but I think the plain will always be my favorite.  I was surprised to see some Fromager d’Affinois at my local Kroger as well, but unfortunately they only carry the black pepper kind.

So I picked up 2 wedges of my Fromager d’Affinois, some Haribo raspberry gummies, some Almond Toffee corn from the Carolina Popcorn shop, Moravian mint/chocolate cookies, and some Rabitos Royale fig bonbons.  I’m always on the lookout for fig treats, since one of my favorite foods while in Germany was the chocolate covered marzipan figs.  I haven’t been able to find them at all in the US, but this Rabitos Royale fig bonbon is almost as good.  It’s a simple treat, just a dried fig injected with cream and brandy, then covered in chocolate.  The price is terrible though, I paid $5 for just 3 individually wrapped fig bonbons.

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It’s strawberry season!

Last Saturday morning we went to DJ’s Berry Patch in Apex, less than a mile from where we live.   For $10 you can get a bucket and fill it to the top with fresh-picked strawberries.  I think it was a great experience for my 4 year old.  The field was really nice and clean, with raised rows for the strawberries and clean straw to walk or kneel on.  http://www.djsberrypatch.com/

Strawberry Mojito

When we got home I washed them all up, sliced them, and sprinkled sugar all over them.  Then I let them soak in their own juices in the fridge while I made a pound cake.  I’ve always thought that pound cake made for the best strawberry shortcake.

The juice also makes for some great strawberry mojitos.  Since we’ve got some fresh mint growing in little pots outside, it’s been a good summer for mojitos.

Strawberry Mojito

  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry juice (from the bottom of those sugar-covered strawberry slices, after it’s been sitting a day)
  • 2 oz. light rum (I like mine strong)
  • 2 oz. club soda
  • about 10-15 mint leaves

First I juice the limes to get the juice, and add the sugar to the lime juice.  Mix it until the sugar dissolves.  I add the strawberry juice to that and mix it in, then the rum.  Last I add the club soda.  I know you’re supposed to use a shaker, but my hands always get so cold I don’t use mine any more.  I just tear my mint leaves in half and layer them between the crushed ice.  Then after I pour the mojito over the crushed ice, I just bash those mint leaves in with my straw and mix it up some more.

Limes seem to have been in season too, so I get some fresh ones from the grocery store and juice one whole one to get about 1 oz. of lime juice.  I like to add a couple strawberry slices to make it look nice too.  These have been so refreshing on these hot North Carolina evenings!

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Tyler's Taproom in Apex

Tyler’s has some pretty good bar food.  The chicken fingers with honey mustard is great with some beer, the fried pickles are surprisingly awesome, the fries are great if you love garlic, and their other appetizers are pretty good as well.  They also make some pretty good burgers here.  The only problem is, most of their other entrees aren’t all that good.  Most recently I tried the ribs with the sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.  The ribs weren’t cooked properly, so I needed a knife to cut them off the bone, and the ends were so hard they couldn’t even be cut.  The fries with it were good, the beans had some delightful little bits of crunchy bacon in them, and the coleslaw was very soggy and flaccid.  It may have helped a bit if they had the coleslaw in a separate dish instead of just throwing it under the ribs, but the core sauce was bland so it wouldn’t have helped much.  I’ve been to the Tyler’s in both Durham and Apex many times, and for both of them I’d say the entrees aren’t cutting it.  I’ve tried the french dip, the pear salad, the fish and chips, but I have to keep coming back to the burgers.  They only seem to do the burgers and appetizers well.

The reason I keep coming back to Tyler’s is for the beer.  They have a wonderful selection of beer, and you’ll never run out of things to try.  It was at Tyler’s where I first tried the Kasteel Rouge, and began my love affair with Belgian Beer.  They also have the Lindemans Frambois (raspberry lambic), Chimay, and Delirium, as well as many others I haven’t had a chance to try yet.  They have beers from all over the world here, so even people who don’t like beer are sure to fine something they do like.

Tyler’s has a 20’s speakeasy vibe, with the woodwork, tin beer ads, and jazz music playing in the background.  They have private rooms for parties and other group functions, which makes it an ideal place for after work gatherings.  The Durham location has some excellent outdoor seating with a good view of the American Tobacco Campus.  The Apex location has outdoor seating as well, but no good view of anything.  I haven’t been able to visit the Carrboro location yet, and I hear they’re opening up a Tyler’s in Raleigh soon as well.

Tyler’s is at the southern end of the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, and at the Beaver Creek Commons (west, past the movie theater) in Apex.  Their site is here: http://www.tylerstaproom.com/

Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom on Urbanspoon

Tyler's Tap Room on Urbanspoon

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