September 2021: The 12th Annual Food & Drink Issue

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My taste buds confound me. I love anything jalapeño-infused, yet I have to ask for yogurt at Viceroy alongside every dish. I put Sriracha and red pepper flakes in my Tecate, but still can’t bring myself to attempt any sauce past “medium” on my Heavenly Buffaloes’ wings (even then, I smother them with blue cheese dressing). Thankfully, assistant editor Hannah Lee and photographer John Michael Simpson are both more heat tolerant and braver than I am, and they took on the assignment to try some of the Bull City’s spiciest eats and drinks. (See how they rank starting on page 32.)

I mostly prefer my meals more mild, paired perfectly with friends, old and new. At the end of July, I was lucky enough to enjoy such an occasion at Grass Grazed’s farm, just a hop, skip and a jump from my own North Durham homestead. I was again joined by John Michael as well as editorial assistant Marie Muir. Farmers Paige Jackson and Derrick Jackson welcomed our group into their fold of friends, fellow farmers and guests at their monthly farm dinner, and it was a beautiful evening of community and cornbread. Read Marie’s story about the Jackson family on page 54.

Elsewhere in our 12th annual food and drink issue, meet Beverley Boitumelo Makhubele and Naledi Yaziyo – the couple behind East Durham’s new bookstore and coffee shop Rofhiwa Book Cafe – who are curating conversations around Black art and Black literature and making a mean cup of coffee to boot (page 44). Turn to page 48 to tempt your sweet tooth, learn more about food illustrator and author Emily Wallace’s inspirations on page 52, and catch up with longtime restaurateur Charlie Deal on page 30. In the meantime, I’m going to brave a bowl of ramyun for lunch from Park’s Food St. – don’t worry, I have a gallon of milk on standby.Amanda MacLaren


30 The Real Deal
After 20 years at the forefront of Durham’s restaurant scene, Charlie Deal knows how to ‘find a way’

32 Spice of Life
Put some pep in your step with these 10 fiery dishes, drinks and a dessert

44 Cafe Culture
A new bookstore and coffee shop invites the community into deeper conversations on Black art and Black literature

48 The Sweet Life
Three dessert dudes are pushing boundaries and garnering praise with their tasty, innovative takes on everything from pound cake to soft serve

52 Artist’s Palate
Get a taste for food author, editor and illustrator Emily Wallace’s work

54 We Are Farmily
Learn all about the benefits of regenerative agriculture on the Jackson farm

62 Harvest Season
Jump in a pile of leaves, pick your pumpkins, head to a haunt and other local fall hoopla 


84 Fall Forward
Local experts share autumnal landscaping do’s and don’ts  

89 Pet Projects
A guide to area vets, animal hospitals, groomers, boarders and pet sitters


6 Letter from the Editor

8 Go.See.Do.
September’s coolest events

12 The Big Picture
Staff photographer John Michael Simpson captures Durham in one shot

20 In Her Words
Columnist Tianna Spears shares how she defines her relationship with food and cooking

22 Noted
What we’ve heard around our city …

64 Dining Guide

72 Home Is Where the History Is
Step back in time in this midcentury Willowhaven ranch 

104 Wedding
Tying the knot, Bull City-style


92 Biz Briefs

96 Networking
A Bite of Boxyard

98 Back to the New Normal 
An update on our dining businesses

101 Welcome Back
Hotels attempt to make up lost ground


14 Royal Ice Cream sign commemoration at Museum of Durham History

15 Housing for New Hope’s annual breakfast

16 Book Harvest’s 10th anniversary

18 Durham Regional Association of Realtors’ 99th annual awards luncheon


28 Healthy Durham
What to know: COVID-19 vaccines and children

91 Adopt A Pet
A few pets are waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham

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