It’s here, y’all. The Southeastern Wildlife Expo, where full-bred Blueticks and Boykins walk upright and smoke cigars while their human owners dressed in Bean boots and Barbour jackets sit slack-jawed watching other humans strut around in the same gear, but nicer.
If you had the chance to catch this week’s City & Paper SEWE issue (psst, it’s a parody), you’ll see there are lots of wild happenings taking place on the peninsula all weekend. Locals and visiting Barbourians alike will need to fuel up to ready themselves for Jack Hanna presentations, birds of prey demos, sheep and duck herding demos, a Jeff Foxworthy (!) Q&A, fancy soirees, and more.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best places downtown to veg out (if you’d rather watch a duck quack around happily than eat it) and some great places to feast on a charcuterie board, juicy burger, or other meat-based iteration (if you’re like, screw the duck, let’s eat!). And if you would rather DIY your SEWE snacks, check out three recipes for the finest artisanal totchos here. Bon appetit.
Veg heavy spots
You’ll find your gnome sweet gnome at this quaint President Street cafe. Order a side of the tofu scramble and tasty portobello bacon or a solid Southern grit bowl with kale, tofu, and said “bacon.” Can’t go wrong with the veggie burger, either.
[location-1] Basic Kitchen
The newest kid on the veg-heavy block, Basic Kitchen is a dream. Beautiful spacious interior, quirky “where have you been” map in the bathroom, fresh-pressed juices, and inventive cocktails. Oh, and the least basic “Basic Bowl” that ever existed. We’re talking braised beans, brown rice, sesame kale, grilled Brussels sprouts, and grilled sweet taters with sides of Magic Green and carrot ginger sauces. It’ll last ya two meals. [location-2]
Order the Jazzy pizza. That’s all you need to know.
[location-3] The Harbinger Cafe
Worn out from watching seemingly indefatigable dogs leap into the air and splash in the water? Get your caffeine fix at The Harbinger. While you’re there order up a box of vegan sweet treats — from a matcha sourdough scone to a balsamic macaroon cookie with fudge — and some savory bites like the sharp cheddar and ricotta quiche; asiago flatbread; or one of the many rotating salads like the roasted golden beet, shaved cauliflower, goat cheese and dill rice salad, or broccoli and bleu salad.
Hurry to Huriyali for the OG Acai bowl, made with acai, banana, strawberry, peanut butter, coconut water, cut fruit, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, goji berry, pumpkin and chia seeds. It’s the antithesis of the meat sweats. [location-5]
Meat lover’s havens
If you’re a sophisticated carnivore, get your meat fix at goat.sheep.cow.north, where they expertly prepare cheese and charcuterie boards available in small, medium, and large sizes. Wash it all down with one of their light and divine glasses (or bottles) of rose.
[location-6] Edmund’s Oast
The charcuterie boards at Edmund’s are no joke. Come hungry, or bring a buddy, if you plan to order the large. Pairs well with any of their 40 beers on tap, or the Red Wedding Cocktail — made with bourbon, averna, and hibiscus/ginger/thyme/black tea ice cubs — if you’re feeling especially frisky.
[location-7] Tattooed Moose
It’s got a moose in the name, for god’s sake. With fries cooked up in duck fat and a famous duck club on the menu, it’s hard not to get in the SEWE spirit. If you don’t go with Mike’s famous quacker, go ahead and order the 1/4 lb. moose burger. Throw on some pork belly for the ultimate “I need a nap now” afternoon.
[location-8] Bar at Husk
The Bar at Husk is often frequented by well-dressed parties killing time before their Husk reservation. There are just as often, though, the well-informed bar flies who know that nothing beats sipping on a whiskey neat in a corner of the cozy upstairs bar. Pair the whiskey with the Husk burger — reasonably priced and juicy AF — and you’ll wonder how anyone ever makes their reservation. [location-9] Little Jack’s
This past December, Bon Appetit named Little Jack’s tavern burger the best in America. Here’s how they described the little burger that could: “For a mere $8, a juicy four-ounce, 75/25 meat-to-fat ratio patty made from half chuck, half brisket is griddled, topped with a sunchoke relish that mimics the flavor and texture of long-cooked onions, and is then topped with a gooey slice of American cheese and mayo-based ‘special’ sauce. It’s all tucked inside a super-soft sesame bun, which you can pick up with one hand.” I mean just look at it:
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