Holly Springs Farmer’s Market

On Saturdays when my sister Emily and I are both in town, we like to wake up early-ish, make coffee, and go walk the lake trail by our apartments. Since the weather has been cooling down a little, it has been so nice to start off the day with a brisk walk!

A couple Saturdays ago, we were driving back home and passed by a tiny farmer’s market on the way. We didn’t have our wallets with us, but we pulled over and walked through, vowing to return the next week more prepared! There were so many local businesses represented by food, drink, produce, body products, etc. Last Saturday, we got up and went on our walk and then swung by the Holly Springs farmer’s market a second time. This time, I had cash and was ready to buy a few things (particularly some swanky dog treats I had seen the week before).

We got a delicious iced coffee from Five Star Coffee Roasters while we browsed the rest of the tents. I picked up a birthday gift for my friend Jordan from a tent full of bath bombs, soy candles, lip balms, soaps, lotions, and more! The lady who owns it also has an Etsy shop. I also picked up some fresh baked bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. (I got the extreme cinnamon swirl!). There was a tent from Paradox Farms, and if anyone knows how much I love goat cheese, you know I had to pick some up! I got the pumpkin goat cheese spread and it DID NOT disappoint.

I mentioned the swanky dog treats earlier – you know I love spoiling the dogs! This company, Good Grace’s Dog Treats, sells handmade specialty dog treats. I picked up a variety pack for Bruno, Oliver, and Nala to share. The flavors include sweet potato fries, P, B, and YAY, Eat your Carrots, Piggly Wigglies, and more! I love that the ingredients are listed on the back and that they put sticker pictures of their doggie customers on the front of the bags ūüôā ¬†I’ll have to send in a picture of my three hooligans! They go CRAZY for the treats.

It was a really fun Saturday morning activity and I can’t wait to keep going back to see new vendors! I love supporting local businesses and if you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend it! We are lucky enough to have the NC State Farmer’s Market close by, but each little area also has their own smaller versions, and I think you can find some real treasures sprinkled among those! Lots of free samples, doggies walking around, and local goods to peruse.

Taste Carolina food tour

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This past Saturday, I finally got to enjoy one of my wonderful birthday gifts! My best friend Whitney helped me celebrate my birthday last month, but she knew I was on my 6 week shred. So part of her birthday gift to me had to wait until I was done with the 6 weeks because she bought us tickets to a walking food tour of downtown Durham!

Our food tour was with Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours, and we had the best time. Every stop fed us delicious food and gave us a sample or two of a drink. Our food tour lineup:

1. Pompieri Pizza¬†– This place does¬†real,¬†classic pizza like you would find in Naples, Italy. You cut it with kitchen scissors, and Sundays are family meals from 4:30-6:30 (no phones allowed!). I can’t wait to go back there. The pizza was SO good, the wine was straight from Italy, and they had a really cool sustainability program for their herbs. Local, fresh, delicious.

2. Tyler’s Taproom¬†– I have to admit, I’ve been to another Tyler’s location and was kind of bummed to see it on my list, but the pimento cheese and fried green tomato biscuit they gave us totally changed my mind. The Durham Tyler’s just has a cooler vibe, and their beers on tap change frequently enough that you have to get them while you can!

3. Alley Twenty Six¬†– This bar was so cool. The bartenders are so knowledgeable about cocktails, and it’s a hip place with house-made syrups and mixers, creative cocktail recipes and names, and light, hit-the-spot snack food. We got mini gin &¬†tonics, and they were amazingly refreshing and not like any I have had before.

4. Dashi РOne of the people on our food tour ordered two bowls of fancy ramen for our table to share. What. A. Delight. We also got some Asian wings and seaweed popcorn with our tour. The inside was all wood, with hanging lights (we were in the upstairs part of the restaurant).

5. Piedmont¬†– This was the fanciest food we had on our tour, and our last food stop before dessert. The atmosphere and restaurant were amazing. The waitstaff was very friendly, and the plate looked beautiful. We got quail, spoon bread, and fig here – everything was presented perfectly, but for me, the quail just didn’t do it. I like trying new things, but something about it just didn’t suit me! I’d love to go back sometime, though, and try something different!

6. The Parlour¬†– Yassssssssss. This is all home made, delectable ice cream. The owners have a cool back story that you’ll have to find out about when you go there! They gave us a sample of pumpkin ice cream, and it had bits of real pumpkin pie crust throughout. It was heaven, and not too pumpkin-y, if that’s possible. Just light and so satisfying. I will definitely be back!

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I had¬†been to a few restaurants in Durham before the food tour, but it is always fun to learn about new places – and our awesome tour guide gave us some Durham history facts as we walked from stop to stop! The weather was perfect, the food was amazing, and the company couldn’t be beat ūüôā I highly recommend Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours¬†as¬†a gift if you’re looking for ideas for the holidays (or if you just like to eat good food)!

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