Less then a two hour drive South East of Raleigh, heading towards the Eastern Shore is the little country town of Kinston, NC. It's pretty quiet and rural, but its the home of two of North Carolina's finest gems, Mother Earth Brewing and Chef and the Farmer Restaurant. Located within a block or so of each other, it's the perfect overnight trip from Raleigh. We've been a couple times now and both times have been fabulous. Recently they have expanded their offerings to include two additional locations in the same block, the Boiler Room Oyster Bar (also offering some amazing burgers!) and The Red Room which is great for cocktails and live music.
We decided to make the trip last weekend, four moms uniting in Kinston to enjoy some great company, beer and food. We accomplished just that. Josh Brewer, Brewer Master for Mother Earth made us feel right at home when we arrived and even gave us a personal tour of the brewery. They are an amazingly efficient brewery with sustainability being a primary focus. They are known for their fabulous tasting beers and are expanding into the distillery business as well. We really enjoyed getting to see the inside of the brewery and spent the afternoon on the back patio sampling more Mother Earth beer.
MOTHER EARTH BREWERY
CHEF AND THE FARMER RESTAURANT
You may have heard of the show A Chef's Life based on the story of Chef Vivian Howard and hubby Ben Knight and her restaurant in Kinston, Chef and the Farmer. The series is available on PBS and features a 13 episode series of 30 minute stories each week showcasing some of Eastern NC greatest farmers and seasonal produce. True farm to table food. The film crew are especially creative and Chef Vivian is so fun to watch as she talks, prepares and explores local ingredients and how to incorporate them into her seasonal menu at the restaurant.
We enjoyed a late dinner at Chef and the Farmer on Saturday night and tried out flash fried collards, homemade grits with goat cheese and arugula, Blueberry BBQ Pizza and the delicious FarmerRita pizza. Chef Vivian was at the restaurant Saturday with her family enjoying a late dinner and was kind enough to stop by our table and talk a little with us. We chatted about the flash fried collards and the proper way to eat them. We talked about the show and we are excited about the upcoming season two coming this Fall. Southern hospitality at its finest!
Make sure to book a reservation before you go so you are sure to get a table! Cocktail specialties from the bar are also a must!
Within the same block you can spend some time at the Boiler Room Oyster Bar. Fresh oysters from the Eastern coast and freshly ground burgers are the main staples here. Cocktails and local beers are served up here as well. It's a fun lively spot and another must stop in Kinston. For late night, check out the Red Room. Around the corner from Mother Earth, check their schedule for the music line up.
Plenty of great local food, beer and "Motherly" love to be found in Kinston, NC. Make time for a road trip this Summer!
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