48 hours in Raleigh: Where to eat and drink
As North Carolina's capital city, Raleigh has it all: a thriving downtown, several notable music venues, sports teams for days, an exploding arts community and, as of late, a growing culinary scene that rivals its neighboring Southern cities—going way beyond shrimp and grits, biscuits and pimento cheese.
Most visitors tend to sandwich Raleigh and Durham into one area simply because of the airport's name, “Raleigh-Durham International Airport," but let it be known that Raleigh has a shining personality of its own—and quite frankly, some of the most notable chefs in the South who continue to pave the way. "It's such an amazing time for food in Raleigh," says chef Ashley Christensen. Poole's, Christensen's first restaurant situated in downtown, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on December 13. “In that time, we've seen a real boom of new restaurants with unique perspectives that have really enriched our community," she adds. “It's been tremendously energizing as a chef. We used to look beyond Raleigh for inspiration—to big cities like New York or San Francisco—but these days we have so much to inspire us right within our own city."
If that's not enough to prompt a quick trip to Raleigh, well, here's a 48-hour eating and drinking guide that will.
With so many direct flights into RDU daily, you should have no problem arriving shortly after noon, if not earlier, to start the weekend off right. Head directly downtown for one reason only: Christensen's hyped fried chicken and a glass of Champagne at Beasley's Chicken + Honey (237 S Wilmington St.). Whatever you do, don't forget to order a side of pimento mac-n-cheese custard—it's worth every calorie consumed. Just around the corner is 42 & Lawrence (134 E Martin St.), a science lab-meets coffee shop, where a pick-me-up is in store. The draft latte, crafted with locally sourced milk, cold brew and house-made vanilla syrup, resembling the “creaminess of a milkshake," is all the rage—or sip on a refreshing coffee soda if the weather permits. A brisk stroll downtown is mandatory to survive the remainder of the day.
Brewery Bhavana (218 S Blount St.) is anything but an ordinary brewery. Co-Owner Van Nolintha and head brewery Patrick Woodson brought to life a beautiful space that serves as a brewery, dim sum restaurant, book store and flower shop, all in one. Sit at the gorgeous marble top bar and throw back a “Grove," the most delicious, cloudy Double IPA you'll ever taste. Order the scallion pancakes and don't share with anyone. Trust us, you'll want to slurp up every scoop of oxtail and bone marrow as you weep for joy (plus a few steamed buns and dumplngs). Nolintha also owns Bida Manda next door, one of the country's very few Laotian restaurants. If time allows, peek inside and order the best pina colada in the South. The secret? It's made with fresh juice and coconut cream.
Once hunger strikes, make your way to Death & Taxes (105 W Hargett St.), Christensen's latest outpost with a focus on wood-fired cooking. Roasted oysters, grilled North Carolina fish and embered veggies will leave you feeling giddy inside. Watts & Ward (200 S Blount St.), a swanky underground speakeasy, is an exceptional place for a proper Negroni and jazz music after dinner. Andust down the street, Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria (106 S Wilmington St.), North Carolina's first mezcal-centric bar, offers an award-winning list of rare mezcals and an innovative cocktail list.
Look no further than Big Ed's (220 Wolfe St.), a downtown staple since 1989, for a quintessential Southern breakfast. Salt-cured country ham and red eye gravy served alongside fresh tomatoes, eggs and a mouthwatering homemade buttermilk biscuit is a combination you won't soon forget. On the sweeter side, hot cakes (pancakes) the “size of a hubcap" made with cake batter exist and are everything you'd imagine.
For beer geeks, spend some time getting hungry again while making your way through Raleigh Beer Garden's (614 Glenwood Ave.) entire room dedicated to North Carolina beers. If you're lucky, they may even have Foothills Brewing's Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, a beer that sells out in Winston-Salem the day it's released. And if the sun's out, the rooftop garden is the perfect place to throw back a few cold ones.
Tonight's dinner is a toss-up between Scott Crawford's Crawford and Son (618 N Person St.) and Steven Devereaux Greene's eight-course Kaiseki tasting menu at Herons (100 Woodland Pond Dr.). The decision making is simple; casual and cool or fine dining? We'll let you decide your dinner fate based on the below:
Scenario one. Venture to Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood and post up at The Station (701 N Person St.), housed in an old Amoco gas station, for pre-dinner libations and a charcuterie board. Crawford & Son is just across the street, so mosey over when its time. Note that reservations are strongly recommended for this hotspot. Start with a “Lemongrass Gimlet" and order everything under the “raw" section. No, seriously, do this now. The Yukon potato chowder with crispy oysters and ham; Kabocha squash with mushrooms and farmers cheese; and cornbread pudding with onion marmalade and pecans showcase Crawford's seasonal and down-home approach to cooking. But save room for dessert, the olive oil cake with goat cheese is out of this world. Just next door, William & Company (616 N Person St.), specializing in locally sourced cocktails, will satisfy all post-dinner nightcap cravings.
Scenario two. Herons, located in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in neighboring Cary, is arguably one of the most immaculate dining experiences in all North Carolina. Executive chef Steven Devereaux Greene concocts whimsical, gastronomic bites that tell a story through taste and texture, so you'd be a fool not to explore his eight course Kaiseki menu. The 62-degree egg with grit chips and uni is a mainstay for obvious reasons, but each dish and presentation will delight and surprise every step of the way. Bonus: on the way to Herons, stop at La Farm Bakery (4248 NW Cary Pkwy.) to score a few of baker Lionel Vatinet's coveted white chocolate mini baguettes.
Rise and shine, as you've still got a few more spots to hit. Start strong with the “Pedro," a giant, fluffy biscuit filled with house made chorizo, egg, avocado, ranchero sauce and habanero cheddar from The Pharmacy Cafe (702 North Person St.), where you can also pick up your prescription drugs. It's wise to use the top portion of the biscuit as a vehicle for house made jams via the jam bar. Next, hit Videri Chocolate Factory (327 W. Davie St.) and sip on a frozen hot chocolate while shopping for the best edible souvenirs around.
A departure lunch at Garland (14 W Martin St.), helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef and musician Cheetie Kumar, is a no-brainer. Sip on the “Dalai Palmer," Kumar's take on an Arnold Palmer, while noshing on flavorful warm hummus, a pork loin bahn mi and a spicy chili peanut cucumber salad. It's the most delicious and not-too-aggressive way to end any trip to Raleigh.
Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.
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We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.
We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.
As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.
Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.
They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.
Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.
Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.
Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.
But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.
We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.
It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.
On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.
Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.
"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.
"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."
Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.
The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.
Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.
Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.
Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.
"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."
When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.
For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.
Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.
That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.
"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."
The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.
About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.
"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."
When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.
"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."
On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.
"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."
For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.