North Carolina: Tasty foods & where to find them.

I arrived just a couple of days ago In Monroe, located in the State of the Wright Brothers, North Carolina. The Hampton Inn has been great with the staff. One of the first things I have noticed is that I went looking for items to buy by the front desk and the staff pointed out before I picked an item that a store down the road had the same items for half the price as the hotel. Right at that moment, I was fairly sure people around here were good. Like the people in my home state. So far no one had proven me wrong.

Shake Shake Seafood


 The first place I ate at on Sunday was Shake Shake Seafood. I have a friend in the state that told me about it and said it was good. One thing I will never forget is on the menu it points out that the shrimp, fish, and other types of seafood were headless. Where I come from restaurants don’t need to point that out, that is just how it is supposed to be. The food was marvelous. This picture doesn’t show it well, but the shrimp was massive and a monster amount of it to. In the state of Iowa, you can get a lot but only a bunch of small shrimps. I had so much massive shrimp I had to take some back to the hotel. There was sausage, which was good. My favorite part was it came in butter. When the waiter brought us our food it was in transparent plastic bags. To make sure no butter got on the table. Logically it was messy, but it was impressive. Just like Red Lobster in Iowa, you need bids and an enormous number of napkins. To an Iowan, this is an expensive dinner at Red Lobster but in North Carolina significant difference, only pay what a basic restaurant dinner in Iowa costs $13. At Red Lobster, just shrimp, with nothing else cost $19.99 or more.

Crackel Barrel

On monday was cracker barrel which is located all over the south. I saw dozens of cracker barrels by the road on my way through Kentucky and beyond. The staff was fabulous, and it was the only place with postcards, no other place had them. No gas station, truck stop, gift shop, or store even had one postcard themed for North Carolina, that I could send back for my family in Iowa. The staff at Cracker-barrel at the checkout and shopping register were polite and respectful. They helped me find the postcards for my family. At my table, the waitress had good skills in dealing with out-of-state customers. I ordered a U.S. farm-based North Carolina catfish, mash potatoes, and homemade coleslaw. The food was very enjoyable. The catfish was crispy, with an appealing flavor. The mash potatoes were flavorful with the gravy. While I started to eat the fish, the waitress brought me a plate with fresh biscuits. The biscuits were warm and soft, I could smell the freshly baked scent. The butter melted immediately as I put on the biscuit. The biscuits only added to the flavorful taste of the dinner. In full, the cracker barrel in Matthews NC was excellent in food quality and outstanding in customer services. I recommend that restaurant to all people visiting North Carolina.

north Carolina

Reb Bowl Asian Bistro

While in North Carolina on Tuesday I stopped at a Local Asian food restaurant called Red Bowl Asian Bistro for lunch. To get details on the menu here is a link to the website The staff was polite and nice. I learned, that in North Carolina if you mention tea, like the hot tea you get at most Asian restaurants in Iowa, North Carolina tea automatically means sweet tea. It is much different from what an Iowan is used to. And sweet tea in North Carolina you can taste the sugar in just one sip. The catch to it is, it was impressive. On the menu of red bowl, you find that a good amount of basic Chinese food, but in Iowa is not labeled the same. 

For example, for most places I have gone to in Iowa, there is always a side dish called crab ragoons but in North Carolina Red Bowl they were called cheese crispy wonton. Now maybe name difference but flavor-wise, they were just as good, even more crispy. Also being closer to the Atlantic Ocean there is much more variety of seafood. On the menu, there were Nigiri Sushi & Sashimi meals such as octopus, crab stick, shrimp, Smelt Roe, Eel/freshwater, yellowtail, scallop, along squid salad, crabmeat salad, and seaweed salad. One of my biggest goals, while I travel in North Carolina, is to eat authentic food, especially the closer I am to the Atlantic Ocean the more I need to try fresh seafood. As an Iowan fresh seafood is nowhere to be found.

Wayback Burgers

Later Tuesday after going to Your local Game store located in Mint Hill NC, I stopped at local Wayback burgers. To get a copy of the menu, go to It was a small little place, but the staff was friendly and extremely polite. I am an optimistic person, it’s a fast-food place but not from around where I come from, so let’s try it I thought. Trying it was not a bad choice. The burger I got was good and juicy, with fresh toppings and homemade baked potato chips. It was an outrageously better burger than your normal McDonalds burger where I come from. The homemade potato chips were nicely baked and crunchy. If only they sold bags of them back where I come from.


Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar

Wednesday after a momentous day at the World War 2 Battleship North Carolina, located in Wilmington North Carolina. I stopped at a local place downtown called Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar. More information is located on the website This place was smaller than the rest I had been to but had a calm and relaxing atmosphere the minute I walked in. The waitress was nice and polite. Sadly, it took her a little while before asking any questions. But the food delivery was great timing, and she was respectful the whole time. I order Crab legs, which I found out were freshly caught from a little up north. It was delicious. It looked much better than from Iowa. The price was up a little but mainly because they bought it from straight-on fisherman, and it was based on the price of fresh-caught crab.

That was impressive to an Iowan who gets only frozen and packaged. The crab legs were good and big. I don’t know much about eating crab legs, so I started out using the tool to crack the shell to eat. I was messy and I knew I was doing something wrong. It wasn’t till after using the restroom that I learned a much easier way it could be done. There was a sign on the wall by the bathroom door pointing out you take the legs and snap them apart at each joint of the leg. Then snap the leg part in half. It makes the shell breaks into pieces but does not cut the meat up and does not make a giant mess as I did at first. No matter what, I left the restaurant with a smile on my face from great services and impressive food 

Twin Peaks

Friday, I went to a place called twin peaks in concord NC. Now being from the north I had no clue what they sold but I got the hint that the theme of the restaurant was going to be the same as hooters. I have one close to where I live located in davenport IA. Because it was like hooters, you have the same type of waitress, young attractive women. From where I am from the young ladies wearing closes that are like full swimsuits but with tight shorts at the bottom, but twin peaks were much different, and I know plenty of men who would have their jaw drop or maybe older generation men who may say it was too much skin. (I don’t know any older men like that from where I am from, but there out there). 

The place was huge and loud with sports on TVs everywhere. We had a young African American woman at start but after getting us drinks, she pointed out her shift was over and that she will be sending over a new waitress. You know that is not a big deal until they don’t send another waitress over for 20 minutes or more to give you a menu. I ended up going to the front counter to talk to someone about the situation. Not long after a waitress came over. Immediately she points out they have no more menus, and I would have to use their website to see the menus. I wasn’t angry or upset but I was getting extremely irritated with this situation.

After googling the restaurant’s menu, the waitress returned, and I gave my order. I got a smoked pork Cubano. The meat and spices were delicious along with good smooth juicy pork. I say the burger was fabulous. And the side thing of fries and mozzarella cheese bites with a ranch dipping cup and marinara dipping cup. Both were great with the cheese bits. My favorite part of the food was the mozzarella cheese bites. But all-around food was great, but service could use work. Not 100% horrible but still not even 75% good. It was a busy night and maybe next time it will be better if I run into one ever again. Even with that, the place was great with cute hot girls, wearing extremely inappropriate for young boys to see outfits.

Cook Out

Friday was another place until this trip I had never heard of the Cook out. When my friend pointed out, he wanted to go to a cook out at least once this trip. I asked, “who’s the cook?” thinking he was referring to friends that he had that lived in North Carolina. I was wrong, he was referring to a small fast-food place called the Cook out. The one we went to is in Monroe NC. This place had a different menu than what I am used to. You had lots of stuff to get, of course since you could get corn dogs as a side dish. I had gotten a meal with two side dishes I got corn dogs as one of them. Along with a considerable size burger and fries. The people who we ordered from were nice and the service at the window was good. Once we got to where we were going to eat, I found out the food was great and tasted much better than the local McDonalds where I live at. Frys was crunchy and hot, not your saggy and soft fries you get at other fast-food joints. The burger was good and tasted fresh. Of course, it wasn’t but whoever made it did an excellent job at not making that obvious. If someone wants some fast food in North Carolina I recommend Cook out and Wayback burgers as places to try.


On my way back to the cold state of Iowa. I stopped at a place that I have never been to, Denny’s. This place reminded me of what’s called the village inn where I come from. Good menu. Basic food, multiple breakfast choices. It all looked good. After this full week of eating and eating breakfast at the hotel before leaving, I was full, but my friend needed food. While we were there, they got a big breakfast and an enormous amount of bacon. That was my friend’s favorite thing to try out at every restaurant possible. I did get dessert for no apparent reason besides getting sugar high. I had a New York-style cheesecake with strawberry topping it was good with a lot of strawberry cream. The waiter was nice and let out a couple of good jokes while she was around. If I could only remember what random road, we got on to get food I would let you know.

The one thing I do know about this trip was the food was amazing and almost all the restaurant I ate at were good, people were polite and respectful about everywhere we went. I recommend the food and plain just taking a trip and staying in North Carolina. It is an amazing state to visit, and I hope to return sometime in the future to go to unfamiliar places and try new stuff.

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