Hometown Discovery

*happy 30th birthday to me!*

It's always nice to discover hidden gems or rediscover places in your own town. It's not often that I get out during the day unless I have a specific purpose. Days of driving around aimlessly are far and few between, no thanks to $4 gas. Two years ago, I made a pledge to ride the bus to work every day in order to save money, be green, and get extra sleep.

Since I no longer ride the bus to work, I still use the bus to get around town and go to places to get away from monotony of boredom.

I went to Soup's Vietnamese Pho & Grille with my friend, Andrea and it was both our first time.

The first time I'd heard of pho (pronounced fa as in fa-la-la-la-la) it was season 2 of Top Chef. I'd never heard hide nor hair of Vietnamese food. I was still in culinary school at the time and when I wasn't pounding out conch or adding butter to my sauce, I was glued to the tv. Noodles in a super-hot broth that you slurp up in a loud, ceremonious fashion while adding crunchy bean sprouts, a squeeze of lime or ripped pieces of basil? Ok. I can do that.

Apparently there really is a right & wrong way to eat this enormous bowl of. noodles & broth. Here is a humorous (but entirely factual) way to eat.

Next stop! My old-old place of employment, Simplyummy. If you don't know--let me tell you: I am lucky. Every week I win something. I haven't won anything big like a trip, the lottery, or a new car, but I have racked up free meals, t-shirts, gift cards, certificates, mugs, services,and other things. Well--I just happened to win a $20 gift card (and tickets to RiverRun) from Simplyummy. That's my friend, Andrea, enjoying a bite of her FIRST red velvet cupcake. 

Despite the photo, we didn't like the cupcake. It tasted minty and it interfered with the smooth, tangy, mild chocolate taste of a delicious red velvet cake. There were chocolate mint cupcakes displayed next to our dessert and we suspected this was the culprit. Also on our thumbs down list--the espresso machine was broken this day. We had to resort to coffee from Starbucks (so much for supporting local businesses!).

This photo has very little to do with food, but I will give a prize to the first person to guess whose home this is. This is a painted block print of a famous Southern home (I found it at the snob shop)

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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