Tag Archives: Glenwood Avenue

Big Mike’s BBQ at View Bar in Downtown Raleigh


The View – Raleigh, NC

I recently attended a media event with a group of my fellow foodie blogger friends to sample some great food from Bike Mike’s BBQ. Big Mike’s started as a food truck and while they still have the mobile aspect of the business, their food can now also be found in its permanent location at View Bar on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. This was my first visit to View and I was excited to check out the space and enjoy an evening of great food with friends.


Tasty Chicken & Pork

Big Mike kicked the evening off explaining how we would get a chance to sample some of his signature creations paired with locally brewed beer from Triangle Brewing Co. out of Durham. This was an added bonus as I am a big fan on Triangle Brewing and find they don’t get as much recognition as  they deserve on the local beer scene.

We started the evening off with a healthy serving of chooped chicken and pork (boston butt) that was dry rubbed and smoked. The dish was accompanied by several dipping sauces which ranged from “Crazy Stupid” hot all the way down more mild vinegar based sauces. I am pretty tame when it comes to levels of food hotness so I opted for the weaker sauces. Of course the Habanero Pale Ale paired with the dish had a little bite to it as well making for a great start to a night of excellent eating.


Best Chicken Wings Ever!

Next up were some incredible smoked dry rubbed crispy chicken wings. These babies are flash fried.  This process that keeps the flavor trapped in the meat and makes the wings nice and crispy.  I loved these wings and am already looking forward to going back to get some more. I believe they are offered on the menu for $1 a wing. I could easily make a nice lunch out of 5 or six of these succulent yet crispy wings.


Big Mike’s BBQ “Meatup”

One dish that got a lot of attention was the “Redneck Nachos”. They are comprised of Fritos topped with Eastern NC pulled pork, baked beans, blue cheese coleslaw and a dab of sweet hot mustard. At this point I was already getting full so I dialed things back a notch, enjoyed some more Triangle Beer to wash down the BBQ goodness and snapped a few pictures my friends tearing it up on Instagram.

Another fan favorite of the evening  was beef brisket and collards paired with a Belgian Abbey beer.  The brisket drippings are used to cook the garlic and onions for the collards / kale making for a flavorful side.  I’m usually not a fan of collards but this dish won me over!


Brisket & Fries

From there we sampled some of  Big Mike’s “fatty” fries, served as a bed of steak-cut fries underneath a layer of brisket, pimento cheese, and jalapenos piled high on a plate. Plates like these make eating Big Mike’s fare family style very easy. At this point I was getting really stuffed so I only took a few flavorful bites of the fries and threw in the towel allowing my fellow diners to finish off the plate and rescue me from my food induced coma.


Triangle Brewing IPA

Throughout the evening Doc from Triangle Brewing did a great job introducing the beer pairings he had selected to accompany each of Mike’s dishes. I’m a big fan of their IPA and it remains my solid favorite to enjoy with food.  All in all it was a great night filled with some of the tastiest BBQ I have ever had. I was also very impressed with the vibe of View. It’s a nice space to enjoy some food, have a drink and catch a game on the TV. Now that I have been there I look forward to going back during March Madness to catch a few games while dining on Big Mike’s addictive crispy chicken wings. Who’s hungry?

Big Mike’s BBQ at View Bar
610 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27603
Follow Big Mike’s BBQ on Facebook and twitter at @bigmikesbbqnc


Filed under BBQ, Food, Raleigh

A Peek Inside Dos Taquitos Xoco in Downtown Raleigh


Dos Taquitos Xoco – Raleigh, NC

In case you haven’t heard, Dos Taquitos has opened a second location in Raleigh. Their newest restaurant is located on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh. I have been a fan of the Creedmoor Road location in North Raleigh ever since I moved hear and am excited about the new downtown location. A few weeks ago I popped in after work for a quick peek at the new place. Here are a few of my shots of the inside.

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Xoco Interior

The downtown location is called Dos Taquitos “Xoco” which means ” little sister”. True to form, this location continues the tradition of the North Raleigh location with an eclectic assortment of cool decorations & lighting throughout the dining area. I loved all the colors and lights strewn across the ceiling. No matter the what time of day you visit, you feel a world away from Raleigh.

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Booth seating

Seating at Xoco comes  in the form of large booths, many of which have their own distinct decorative theme. There is a little train that runs around the restaurant on a along the wall next to the booths that delivers your chips and salsa. This is a nod to their north Raleigh location that features a similar train that runs along the ceiling.

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One of the bars at Xoco

There are two bars inside the restaurant, and I understand their will be a third bar located in the outside patio & dining area that was still under construction during my visit. From what I saw, once completed the outside dining area and bar will add a totally new aspect to the restaurant and will practically double the seating availability in the warmer seasons. This was a quick drop in visit and regrettably I didn’t have time to sample the menu, but I plan to go back soon for lunch and will update this post with some food pics then. I can tell you that the menu is practically identical to the awesome menu at the North Raleigh location.

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Booth inspired by artwork of Frida Khlo

I did get a chance to speak to the friendly owner, Carlos Salamanca, for a few minutes and he explained that his goal is to expose customers to authentic Mexican culture through the cuisine at Xoco. While their menu does have a few “Americanized” dishes it features many authentic Tex-Mex and regional Mexican specialties that people can’t easily find elsewhere so there is something for everyone and room to experiment for those looking to expand their horizons.

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I love the atmosphere of Dos Taquitos Xoco and look forward to going back to eat and to explore their cool outdoor seating area. Their new location is sure to be a  popular destination with the summer dining crowd. Check out their facebook page below for more great pictures and updates on their menu and Sunday brunch offerings!

Dos Taquitos “Xoco”
410 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27603 (Map)

Website:  http://dostaquitosnc.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DosTaquitosXoco

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Filed under Raleigh, Restaurant Reviews

Cafe Helios in Downtown Raleigh ~ Great Coffee and Good Times!

Helios Interior 2

This past weekend I had the opportunity to stop in for a quick cup of coffee at Cafe Helios on Glenwood Avenue in Downtown Raleigh.  Helios is pretty popular among the downtown crowd and is well known as spot to get a great cup of coffee, sandwiches, and other libations.  They serve Counter Culture Coffee which is roasted in nearby Durham and I think you will find it to be pretty darn good.  I was there on a Sunday morning so I grabbed a cup of coffee and resisted the temptation of ordering one of their delicious breakfast sandwiches and opted  instead for a bagel with cream cheese.

On my few visits to the cafe I have noticed the crowd to be a good mix of ages. As I sat my table waiting for my coffee to cool down I noticed a steady stream of what I can only assume were regular customers being that they were on a first name basis with the barista.  I even noticed a few familiar faces including the guy who sells me the occasional wine bottle over at Seaboard Wine, another of my favorite downtown haunts.

As with most coffee places they offer free Wi-Fi access so the cafe is populated with the typical laptop lurkers perched at tables quietly crusing the internet or working on their college research paper.  I had my work laptop with me so I felt like I fit in nicely tapping into their wireless connection while I enjoyed my coffee.  It has been a while since I last visited the Cafe, but I think I am going to try and stop by more often.  It has a good vibe to it and offers more than just a good cup of Joe and free wireless internet access.

You can also stop by in the evening to enjoy a pint of beer or wine and take in some art and catch the  occasional live music act. They even hold occasional events and will be hosting a Valentine’s Dance Party with a DJ this weekend.  You can click on the flyer below for more information about their “Spread the Love” dance party. For more information on itshistory and how the cafe was created from what use to be the old North Carolina Association for Plumbing Heating and Cooling Control building on Glenwood  check out this extemely informative blog post over on Goodnight Raleigh.  

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Filed under Businesses