If you live in Eastern NC, I’m sure you’ve heard of Vivian Howard. And if you haven’t, then you must live under a rock.
Vivian Howard became a household name thanks to her restaurant “Chef and the Farmer” located in Kinston, NC. But her real fame came after a t.v. show aired on PBS titled “A Chef’s Life.” Not only has Vivian been a James Beard Semi-finalist but she was also featured in the most current issue of “Southern Living.”
Yesterday, on the way home from a wedding, Big Guy and I finally got the chance to check out Vivian’s latest venture, Boiler Room.
We arrived right at 12pm to guarantee we would get a table. Boiler Room does not take reservations (though Chef and the Farmer does) and is first come, first serve.
Once seated, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the decor and the vibe of Boiler Room. It’s a small restaurant but the food is anything but small in flavor.
To start, we both ordered one of their seasonal cocktails. I ordered the Putnam Punch which included gin and fresh strawberries. It was delicious.
After our drinks arrived, we ordered an appetizer of Southern Poutine. Crisp, fresh-cut french fries were doused in a sauce with pulled pork along with cheese curds for an over-the-top french fry appetizer.
There isn’t one thing healthy about the fries but they were worth every calorie. On the side, a dipping sauce made with vinegar and BBQ sauce.
For lunch, I was torn between the #1 and the #2. And then I pulled a fast one and ordered the #5.
Butterbean Burger, Caramelized Onion Mayo, Smoked Gouda, Tobacco Onions
If you’re scared of a “vegetarian” burger – this will change your mind. The flavors were nothing like what I expected but everything that a burger should be.
One of the best parts was the fresh made, buttered bun that was perfectly soft on the inside but sturdy enough to stand up to any burger.
I ate every.single.bite.
If you’re in the area, make plans to visit now. I know I’m planning on a cold-weather trip so that I can enjoy oysters and pimiento cheese with crackers.
A fresh perspective on an oyster and burger bar.
Vivian Howard has done it again.