Saxapahaw General Store, NC -- Shall We Try Again?
Last two times we ate the Sax General Store, not the pub, (last spring and fall) we were progressively less delighted than when we first tried it two years ago. Looked like the owner left things in the store to the staff who produced some overcooked, oversalted, and inconsistent dishes. But it appears that there may be more attention to the store, or at least I see FB updates regularly.
Heading for Liberty tomorrow, so shall we try the Pub, or can we safely dine at the store? It's a half hour ride ... What do you hounds in the area recommend?
Thanks from what will be a bunch of hungry, tired and thirsty antique dealers!
I meant to reply to this weeks ago. I've been slammed by work and things outside of work.
I should say at the outset that the Eddy (the Pub) and the store are our locals and our go-to places. My wife and I eat at the two places 2-3 times/week and are at the store for something pretty much every day. Obviously, we're really happy with what we get both places. We live nearby, but we have cars and work in Chapel Hill and Durham, respectively, and can eat and shop wherever. We choose to support the locals, who are, in turn, supporting locals.
Inconsistent? I guess. Things we order are pretty different on different days. Part of this is the consequence of sourcing locally (we cook the same stuff, the same pork from the same farm will cook differently, week to week); it is also the consequence of workflow. The stove at the store is smaller than that at my parents' house. When they're slammed, the food is different.
Still, it is almost always good. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes, it misses, usually owing to under-seasoning.
At the end of the day, at either the store or the pub, you can get a dish that features an animal raised humanely across the road. If you ask, you can get a real, hormone-free, farm-fresh egg at brunch. There aren't many places in the region where the commitment to community and sustainability is as real or as deep.
Broke: You know I really really want to like this for all the reasons you mention. And we were so delighted the first time, everyone looked forward to a revisit. Still, I'm not going to drag a dozen friends for something I am not sure about that takes an hours round trip. And note they were not slammed the last two times we went.
I may try it myself next fall.
BTW, no chickens or laying hens are ever fed hormones as far as I know. Antibiotics are used as growth stimulants instead. Not acceptable, but not hormones.
I can appreciate all your points but, for the most part, I don't want to make a political statement when I eat out. I just want a good meal.
By inconsistent, I don't mean from visit to visit. I mean within the same meal. At one meal at the store, two members of my party ordered main course salads. One was served far more than most people can eat in one sitting. The other received a much smaller serving and was left hungry. At another meal at the Pub I was one of 4 people sharing an appetizer. My fourth of the app was larger than the entree that followed. Everyone at the table looked at my plate and wondered what was going on.
The food can range from good to outstanding. The service can be a total crapshoot. The kitchen can be lackadasical. And portion size is random. There are other places in the Triangle where you can get "real" eggs (my backyard, for one, but I don't do retail :-) ). Without having any idea what I may end up with, it isn't worth the drive out to Saxapahaw for me anymore.
My husband bikes a lot, and often ends up out that way. He had lunch there sometime in the past week, and while he thought it was good, it was fairly inconsistent. He thinks people who ordered long after he did got served earlier, and their lunch looked better than his did. Still, he did enjoy it.
Not sure what to tell you. We saw the same problems with the Store that you did, although I believe they had issues with consistency from the get-go. However, the one time that I ate at the Pub I was significantly less than thrilled. The service was mistimed and the portion sizes were all over the map. My main course was smaller than our apps.
If you do eat there please report back on your experience. I'd love to hear that the Store has its act together again. It's a long drive from Raleigh, but it used to be worth it. I'd like to see it come back again. And have a great weekend at Liberty.