Saturday, August 15, 2009

On the Road Eats - Our Daily Bread & Espresso News

Before leaving Boone, NC, we had two further stops for lunch and an afternoon pick-me-up. For such a small town, Boone has a goodly number of local eateries that are worth the trip. Many of them are closer to the side of town with Appalachian State. One great thing about North Carolina that I've found in after moving here over a year ago is that there are enough good local restaurants to compete with the big chains. I think getting off the beaten path is healthy for the body and soul. Studies have shown that eating a variety of foods helps you get all the nutrient your body requires. So going to Outback and ordering the same meal every week could have an effect worse than just the calories you're taking in. Plus, if you become bored with what you eat, you're more likely to seek out snacks and treats. Now I'll get off my soapbox and sit down at the table at these two Boone establishments.

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread has, over time, slowly transformed into a casual yet modern bistro. Their menu comes in two flavors - meatatarian and vegetarian (my words, not theirs). They have an extensive selection within each category, so if you can't find something to eat, then you probably just plain don't like sandwiches.

Brie BLT

This is the brie BLT (brie-LT?), that is a normal BLT plus sliced, melted brie and slices of green apple. What a marvel this sandwich turned out to be! Some cheeses, like brie, are an order of magnitude better when warm. Add in some salty bacon plus the sweet and crisp apple slices and you've got a winner. A side of Southern potato salad finished off this lunch well.

Tempeh Ruben

From the vegetarian side of the menu comes the tempeh ruben. A normal ruben has pastrami, saurkraut, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on rye bread. A tempeh ruben substitutes tempeh for the pastrami and, oddly enough, Dijon mustard for the dressing. Name-wise, it is more in line with a pastrami sandwich (I'm not sure if thousand island dressing has meat or animal-derived products in it), but flavorwise it is unparalleled. If meat substitutes were always cooked like this, I think more Americans would be open to incorporating them into the diet (which could, in turn, decrease the carbon footprint from livestock). I'm not advocating a completely vegetarian, let alone vegan, lifestyle since meat is so tasty and chock-full-o-protein, but trying something new could go a long way.

Espresso News

Tucked away behind some buildings is Espresso News, one of the local coffee shops for all the java jockeys. Not only are the coffees pretty good, but they also have smoothies in great flavor combinations that only a coffee house could do well. For instance, I ordered the chai-nana (chai + banana) smoothie. I love chai tea for all of the warm spice flavors it has. Add a banana and you've got a winning combination that almost tasted like caramel. Sweet.

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