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Dining with Daphne … Sweet Potatoes

Last week Daphne and I cruised downtown to a spot I had not been in a long time, Sweet Potatoes Restaurant.  I was so excited to get back to this southern food gem in our fair city.  As soon as we walked in the door I started to smell the delicious scents of  down home cooking and forgot about my waist line.

The front of Sweet Potatoes on Trade Street

 

Daphne and I were seated right away and I was delighted to see the striking art on the walls in the crowded restaurant.  I was instantly back in love with Sweet Potatoes.

As we sat down and started looking at the menu I was excited to see what was for lunch.

It was time to order.  Daphne selected the Curried Chicken Salad and I decided on the V.V.’s Mama’s meatloaf.  Daphne got a side of sweet potato fries and I got the fried okra with my meal.

 

Daphne’s Curried Chicken Salad

I asked Daphne how she enjoyed her meal, “I loved it!! They definitely put classy into southern food!”

The Sweet Potato Fries

 

Like I said I had the meatloaf… OMG it wasn’t fair that I had to go back and work after that meal.  I just wanted to enjoy the rest of my day.  It was so good and I was so full.

V.V. Mama’s Meatloaf

 

Yes there is meatloaf under the crispy tobacco onion and gravy… Good MAMA it was knock your socks off good!!

I asked Daphne if there was anything else she’d like to tell y’all :

“I loved the art work. It fit the restaurant well. For elegant southern food they should definitely give Sweet Potatoes a try. They have everything from fried green tomatoes to okra. It is delicious! I would go back a hundred times!”  I agree with her 1000% and it won’t be so long next time.  It was the most enjoyable meal.  Yum!!!

First time this has ever happened… the guy’s finger got in the way of the picture. I didn’t notice it until tonight. Oh well!!

 

Dashing – xoxox

 

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Covington Vodka

A couple of weeks ago my Uncle Creigh was in town and bought some vodka on his way into my mom’s house.  He bought a brand I was not familiar with called Covington Vodka. Covington Vodka is distilled in Snow Hill and made of sweet potatoes that are grown right here in the Eastern part of North Carolina.  (If you know me, and know my fond feelings for the Eastern part of our state (thanks to my many Meredith friends from there) you know I was really, really excited to try it!)  The vodka is smooth with its own unique flavor, and completely delightful.  I drink my vodka with just a splash of sparkling water and was pleasantly excited of how smooth the taste was.

image via ABC Store

I’m not the only one who think it is good.  The vodka was awarded the Gold Metal at the San Francisco, World Spirits Competition 2013.  Beating out competition from all over the world.  The second place winner was from the UK.  Pretty huge for a product that is completely made and packaged in North Carolina.

Last week I had the pleasure to speak with Jim Eason of Covington Vodka and he was kind enough to answer my questions.
D: I love that this is a North Carolina product and have seen many recipes online,  including the Johnson and Wales competition winning recipe?  Which is your favorite?
Charles Zimmerman with his 1st Place “Maria Sangrienta”
JE: Yam Slam Martini from Applebee’s.  They are currently doing a trial in the Triad’s ten local locations.  Around North Carolina Covington can be found at the Angus Barn and also 42nd Street Oyster Bar to name a couple spots. 
** Dashing Note: you can order a cocktail made of Covington at Foothills Brewery **
I thought y’all might like to try the winning recipe from Johnson and Wales:
Winner: Maria Sangrienta Martini
2.5oz Covington vodka
5 oz tomatoes
1oz jalapino (seeded)
0.5oz lime juice
0.1 oz Worcestershire sauce
0.1 oz hot sauce
Season with celry salt & black pepper
Blend all ingredients except vodka, shake the blend over ice with vodka, strain into cocktail glass.
Make a foam with 3.5 oz of gelatin,  0.5 oz egg white, 2.5 oz of lime juice and 2.5 oz of celery puree.  Garnish with foam & lime twist & small celery stick 
D:  Where outside of North Carolina can you purchase Covington and are you surprised at how fast if has taken off?
JE: Currently you can purchase it online outside of NC at www.internetwine.com.  Soon it will be available in South Carolina and Georgia.  It will be in twenty two states in 2014.
D:  What has been the best surprise to come out of Covington?
JE: Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC)  is the second largest distribution firm in the country.  They turn down nine out of ten products but have chosen to distribute Covington.  It is validating to know your product is thought to be worthy of this.
image via New Bern Sun Journal
D: What is the most important thing you’d like the readers to know about Covington Vodka?
JE: It is gluten free, “Best “Yam” Vodka on Earth!, and it is all local.
Again, I’d like to thank Jim who was so kind answering my questions and also providing more pictures to me.  It was such a pleasure to talk to you and I wish you and your partners nothing but success with Covington Vodka.
Dashing – xoxo