Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Reel Cafe

   The Tennessee storms of yesterday have made their way to my little corner of North Carolina.  I happen to love mornings like this: grey, rainy, and cozy with a big cup of coffee.  Currently I am watching old reruns of Melting Pot on the Cooking Channel.  It's pretty funny; I used to watch this show a lot when it was airing regularly but I never recognized any of the people.  Retrospective viewing is amusing, at this moment, Padma Lakshmi is awkwardly fumbling through a vegetarian episode but it doesn't really matter because she is still impossibly gorgeous.  Yesterday, Micheal Symon was a way too charming, way too bald chef who vainly tried to bottle his excitement.  (Sorry, I had to share that.)

   Lunch this past weekend....  The Reel Cafe.  I hear there is a pretty kicking nightlife scene that often attracts the actors from the various shows/movies filmed in Wilmington.  However, we have never made it there at night.  (You can go to their website to read about the roof deck and live music.)  We tend to gravitate there for lunch because most of the menu is sandwhiches and fried things.  That happens to be what we enjoy around the noon-ish time of day.

   First of all, Louis and I agree that they have some of the best fries:  medium thickness in their cut, fluffly on the inside, light and crispy outside and tossed with cracked black pepper and sea salt.  They are the kind of fries that when you are full from the sandwich and half the pile, the waitress doesn't pick up your plate right away.  You sit there picking at them while talking, and before you know it, you've finished what was left on your plate!

   Louis had the crab cake sandwich (fried).  I was a little skeptical of the frying, but it wasn't greasy and the breading was a lot lighter that I expected.  Now, you aren't going to find lumps of crab meat in this cake.  They have to keep cost down... But it is loaded with crab: backfin, claw, and the leftover meaty bits.  The cake is sweet, meaty, and crunchy with limited fillers (like bread crumbs and mayo).  The cajun remolaud served alongside is tangy and the perfect compliment to the crab.  I should mention that all of the sandwiches and burgers (except the po'boys) are served on kaiser rolls.  These rolls are great, I don't know where they get them, but they better not change the supplier!
   I had the chicken sandwich.  Sounds boring, I know, but that's what I was in the mood for.  They grill the chicken breast to order so it is hot, flavorful, and actually juicy... none of that stringy dried out stuff.  I had the Jamaican Jerk sauce on it.  Immediately after ordering, I regretted it.  Normally jerk sauces are fiery hot and have no flavor; they just sear off your taste buds and that's that.  Luckily, I was wrong about my regret.  Their jerk is mildly spicy, could have been hotter for me, but really tasty.  The cumin and allspice are upfront, but well balanced with the other spices.  I will not say it is the best jerk sauce I've had out, but it is the best jerk sauce I've had in a non-Caribbean restaurant.  The only problem is that I could have used more of the jerk sauce and maybe a little mayo... though, I could have asked for that stuff.  I just didn't; so, my fault.

100 S. Front St.
Wilmington, NC

This Post is Dedicated to Jessie over at 87Life (because I know how much she loves this place!)

1 comment:

  1. hahahaha THANK YOU!! It is probably our favorite place down there, we have seen some great bands play and the roof top bar is quite interesting!



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