2013 Maggy Awards: Restaurants

We North Carolinians never seem to get our fill of barbecue. Downtown Raleigh’s The Pit rose above the pack, winning Best Barbecue for the second year running. The Pit’s Executive Chef Darrell Brown strives to preserve the authenticity of traditional barbecue (he grew up eating Eastern style ’cue) and add whimsy and innovation to keep it fun. We asked Chef Brown to settle the score on N.C.’s oldest argument: Which barbecue reigns supreme.

Pulled or Chopped? Chopped
Whole Hog or Shoulders? Whole Hog
Eastern or Western? Eastern!
Sauced or Plain? Plain, outside of sopping during cooking. Sauce is a condiment.
Cooking Method? Slow smoked in a pit (duh!) with hickory and oak.
Side Dish? Collard Greens. We use heirloom cabbage collard greens that are real soft and sweet.
Favorite Non-Pork Offering: Beef Brisket, and our meatloaf is pretty good too.


Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom

It’s no wonder Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom won Best Neighborhood Bar — the Apex watering hole boasts 80 beer taps, the most of all four area locations. Located in the Beaver Creek Shopping Center, Tyler’s of Apex lures guests looking for a unique bar atmosphere into its Speakeasy, complete with pool tables, video games and weekly trivia. Any night of the week, you’ll be sure to Find something to quench your thirst.


Pint Night
Buy the beer, keep the glass, featuring one select brewery every week.
Trivia Night
In the Speakeasy at 7 p.m.

Flight Night
Choose any four unique beers on draft in 4-ounce samples.

$1 off
All North Carolina beers on draft.

Half-price bottles of wine
And a rare or vintage specialty brew on tap.

Photo by Dave Severance


Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Great value, fresh ingredients and toppings galore are only a few of the reasons why readers continue to vote Five Guys Burgers and Fries the Best Burger and Best Fries year after year (since 2008 to be exact). When Area Manager Donnie Killian, who oversees all locations in Orange, Durham and Wake counties, indulges in a burger, this is how he orders it.


BEST BAKERY: La Farm Bakery
The driving force behind La Farm’s artisan bakery and café, Master Baker Lionel Vatinet, trained in a prestigious French artisans’ guild, where he learned the traditions and skills to craft exceptional European breads and pastries. We asked him to divulge the secrets of French baking techniques.

What makes the French masters of baking?
Their deep-rooted tradition in quality and excellence, and the knowledge and skill passed down from generation to generation. Artisan bread is in the fiber of French society, something people of all ages share at the table together throughout their life. And highquality bread is really found on every street corner — in cities, little towns and in the countryside.

Which La Farm bread is the most traditionally French?
The signature “La Farm” sourdough bread — an impressive Five-pound boule with an intense fl avor, similar to those still enjoyed on farms throughout France. In years past, families in small villages throughout France would visit community ovens to bake breads for the week; the “La Farm” bread pays homage to that time.

As you’ve grown your career, have you strayed from your French roots?
I have been inspired by Americans’ zeal for innovation, and as a result developed imaginative breads such as Asiago-Parmesan, White Chocolate Mini Baguette, Cinnamon-Raisin-Pecan, Multi-Grain and Honey-Spelt — all breads that you wouldn’t likely fi nd in France, but breads which I have grown to love and feel are a real expression of who I have become thanks to life in France and America.

Which La Farm bread is your favorite to bake?
I love the signature “La Farm” bread, since it holds such history and memories, and is just such a great bread for every day. But I’m always working to create new breads based on new inspiration. The newest, 100% Carolina Ground Whole Wheat Boule, is a bread made entirely from wheat that has been grown in N.C. and milled in N.C. (something N.C. has never had before), so it’s exciting to have a totally local bread for the Fi rst time!

Which is your favorite to eat?
I love the “La Farm,” but also the Multigrain and new 100% Carolina Ground. These breads are among the healthiest and most flavorful.


The Angus Barn

“Wine is meant to go with food; it’s a way of life. Wine enhances your whole dining experience,” said Henk Schuitemaker, wine and beverage director of The Angus Barn. Schuitemaker is charged with maintaining and expanding the 52-year-old restaurant’s vast wine collection. Awarded Wine Spectator magazine’s Grand Award in 1989, the legendary dining destination has received the award every year since.

The Angus Barn

An 86-page wine list accompanies a menu brimming with beef (Angus Barn won Best Steak House as well) and seafood. Schuitemaker says the staff attends mandatory wine training and certified sommeliers are available to answer additional questions and suggest pairings.

Schuitemaker says unusual blends and wines from new regions are gaining popularity with customers. “This tells me that guests love experimenting,” he said. “I have two pages on the wine list that are called ‘Adventure Wines’ that I see people really ordering quite a bit.”

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