My Mother’s Visit, Part I
I survived the Great Mother Visit of 2012!
Chances are my mother will read these posts, so I guess I’ll stick to saying nice things about her and the visit! Just kidding, there’s nothing mean to say about her time here. She flew in from Mobile, Alabama, last Thursday evening after I got off work and I dropped her off at the airport yesterday morning. In the interim was a fantastic “Best of Roanoke” vacation featuring wineries, festivals, al fresco dining, so so so much great food, tubing, hiking, and a bit of antiquing. Given that we hadn’t really spent time together in over two years, it was a great opportunity to catch up. Surreal that it’d been that long.
On Friday, we ended up cooking dinner for my friend C. and her father who had come down to Roanoke to help her move out of her apartment. A going-away dinner party of sorts. Before that, though, I decided my mom & I needed a refreshing lunch. So off to Lucky we tromped. I’d never lunched there before, so I was excited to check it out–and try the infamous Lucky Burger I’d heard so much about.
First up, though, a margarita. I love those margaritas. So fresh and tart and smooth–perfect way to start a long Memorial Day weekend.
My mom ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich which features Lucky’s famous fried chicken pulled off the bone and served on a brioche bun with BBQ sauce (I think…I can’t remember, actually). Note the fantastic pub fries with in-house curry ketchup–yum. I’ve eaten the fried chicken on several occasions, and this sandwich was a great take on the classic. The brioche bun was burned on the bottom, so that detracted a little, but, hey, it wasn’t a buzz kill.
I, of course, had to order the Lucky Burger–a burger featuring Waygu beef and the standard fixings on a brioche bun. (Note again the fries–for reals, they’re fantastic.) I’m really hoping I hit the lunch hour at a bad time because my burger was cooked beyond well done when I’d asked for medium-rare. Mistakes happen and it was still good enough to eat, but it wasn’t the juicy, rich burger I’d heard so much about. So I’m hoping to make it back again soon (the chef during lunch doesn’t appear to be Jeff, the head chef–I need to look into that) and give the burger another whirl. For all the accolades, it’s got to be good!
Post-Lucky, we headed back home for a marathon cooking session for the dinner party. Considering that I’m (obviously) obsessed with food and my mother made her living as a caterer, you can imagine how easy and fun it was to cook together. The menu was simple–hummus with toast points, deviled eggs with Rick’s Picks, roasted Springer Mountain chicken, pestoed quinoa with greens and peas, a side salad with local lettuce and a lemony vinaigrette, and a local peach & cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Ok, maybe it doesn’t sound all that simple, but with two sets of hands, it was easy peasy. I didn’t take any pictures of the food (of course. gah.), but did get one last picture with C. I’m really going to miss that girl!
The next day we grabbed brunch at Angelo’s (I’m waaay too scared to take pictures in there of either the food or Angel) and then headed out for an afternoon of wineries. Our first stop was Virginia Mountain Vineyards where I subjected my non-boozy mother to a full tasting of the winery’s bottles. Fun fact: my mother no longer likes sweet wines! Hooray! But she wasn’t too keen on the fuller bodied reds either. Win some, lose some. More red wines for me to taste. (smile)
After Virginia Mountain, we were off to Blue Ridge Vineyard, one of my favorites in the area, for their 2nd Annual Jazz Festival. As soon as we paid and parked, we received a tasting of several of the wines (not the full gamut) as well as the red & white sangria. It was a hot and sunny day, so the sangria really hit the spot and we all bought glasses, complete with a curly straw and drink umbrella (those two are key, in my opinion), to enjoy with the music. (Addendum: I drank two.)
Lucky for us, there was one picnic table unoccupied outside which afforded us some shade (no idea what we would have done otherwise as it was a little too loud under the patio where the music was), so we settled in with one of the prettiest views in the valley to listen to some great jazz and sip sangria. Perfect afternoon.
Couldn’t resist taking pictures of ourselves though–G & I have so few photogenic pictures! I don’t know what our issue is, but I swear only 1 out of 4 ever turns out decent. Had to take as many as possible since we had another photographer with us!
By the end of the afternoon, though, we were needing a little snack and, thankfully, Blue Ridge Vineyard had arranged for several food vendors to be on the premises. One was a mom & pop place, another a fried catfish joint, and then a BBQ trailer. Can you guess which one I had to check out? The BBQ one, of course!
I’ve been on the lookout for good BBQ in town and it turns out that this trailer, Smoke House BBQ, travels around and spends 2 Saturdays a month on Williamson Road, here in Roanoke, and every Sunday in Salem, which is basically Roanoke. Awesome! But how was the BBQ? Really stellar. The pork was charred on the edges, juicy and not dried out, and the sauce was tangy with a smokey depth. Nothing not to love. We’d wanted to try the ribs, but they were still cooking for another hour or two when we ordered. Can guarantee we’ll be searching them out some weekend soon.
Upcoming–dinner at Blue Apron, tubing, & hiking! Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend here in the states!
18 Kirk Avenue Southwest
Roanoke, VA 24011
Smoke House BBQ
1st & 3rd Saturdays: Old Mill Primatives in Stewartsville, VA
2nd & 4th Saturdays: Williamson Road, Roanoke, VA
Every Sunday: Autozone, West Main St., Salem, VA