Our daughter the art student came home after her first two weeks at college and we took her to Picasso and the Allure of Language at Duke University’s Nasher Museum. I learned a little about Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude Stein and Honore de Balzac and their relationships with Picasso, that Picasso published poems and saw several powerful works by Picasso.
I’ve been campaigning to eat at Watts Grocery for some time. After leaving the Nasher, we made our way to Watts Grocery for Saturday brunch. We arrived late and were quickly seated. There were few people dining.
We were thirsty and hungry. Alex Schultz quickly brought us water, coffee and diet Coke. He talked us through the menu and got answers for questions. Shortly, after taking our order he brought quick bread to the table. Very light and delicious with blackberries. Umm.
My daughter ordered grits. My son ordered the pancakes. My wife ordered the omelet and I had the shrimp and grits.
The Grits Bowl was creamy cheese grits with a choice of several toppings. My daughter picked chopped bacon, grated cheddar and salsa. She said it was delicious. The bowl was a very large serving and she finished about half of it.
The Buttermilk Pancakes were served with baked apples. Three light and fluffy pancakes that quickly and completely disappeared from the plate.
The NC Shrimp Omelet with caramelized onions, roasted chiles and fresh farmer’s cheese came with hash browns. My wife said it was delicious and ate nearly all of it.
The Bill Neal’s Shrimp and Grits with bacon, green onions and mushrooms was a large plate filled with creamy cheese grits, about a half dozen large shrimp, small chunks of bacon and mushroom, dotted with onion. Each shrimp was large enough to be cut into four bite sizes. The taste was spectacular. Despite the large serving, I ate it all. It was that good.
One of the reasons I have been so interested in eating at Watts Grocery has been Amy Tornquist’s leadership in the eating local community. Her menu notes that they work with local vendors and artisans as much as possible and listed Four Leaf Farm, Peregrine Farm, Fowl Attitude, Latta Eggs, Homeland Dairy, Chapel Hill Creamery, Elodie Farms and Glenn Lozuke.
Interestingly, she worked with Bill Neal, at the Nasher and attended the La Verenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris. She is committed to sustainable agriculture and is President of the board of directors for SEEDS, the Durham community garden and youth program.
We all loved our brunch at Watts Grocery and now I’m looking forward to eating dinner there. Special thanks to our server Alex who was working his first brunch.
I’ve used their online reservation system and its indicated they’re fully booked. The folks at the restaurant suggested calling so that they can work you in. The phone is 416-5040. The restaurant is at 1116 Broad Street in Durham.