Conceived by Knightsdale native and seafood connoisseur Annette Brown, A' Nets Katch hauls in a vast assortment of deep-sea delicacies cooked in-store or packaged for at-home preparation. The shop’s display case brims with more than 25 types of ocean-fresh fare, from crab legs and oysters to pink-hued salmon fillets and broiled krakens. Annette’s signature dishes include such maritime favorites as marinated-fish tacos, low-country boils, and pan-seared, almond-crusted fillets of mahi-mahi. In addition to its artfully arranged seafood displays, A' Nets Katch stocks an array of amenities to assist with at-home preparation, including tartar sauce, coolers, and wooden peg legs.
The chefs at Draft Carolina Burgers & Beers craft specialty burgers out of high-grade, local beef, boasting an extensive array of chuck cylinders alongside salads, sandwiches, and shareable appetizers. Every day, grass-fed Angus beef is ground in-house, eventually transforming into finger-bound feasts such as the Southern Lovin', a burger topped with fried green tomatoes, Holly Grove Farms goat cheese, bacon, and balsamic. Thanks to their partnership with the Mash House Brewery, Draft Carolina's bartenders decant ice-cold brews such as the Mash House blonde and the Mash House IPA, which won the 2001 Great American Beer Festival medal for Hoppy Hour IPA. Billiards and shuffleboard make ideal after-dinner entertainment, and a casual, welcoming atmosphere greets diners inhabiting all points of the monocle-to-jorts fanciness scale.
For hours, the smoke gently rolls over racks of ribs, chicken, and brisket, tenderizing the meat until it's ready to pull apart without any effort. The chefs at The Prime Smokehouse do this every day, barbecuing meats in the Texas tradition of slow-smoking over hickory wood. Co-owner Ed Wiley III learned this style of barbecue from his father, whom he revered for his "kitchen wizardry." As a further homage to his dad, a saxophonist who toured the Chitlin' Circuit, Ed and his team book live jazz every Friday and Saturday night.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.99) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, non-fat yogurt, $4.29), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein ($4.89 each). Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.59 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
Midtown Olive Press stocks a wall-to-wall assemblage of olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. Sample a recommended EVOO and vinegar pairing or concoct your own fresh blend at the full tasting bar, where take-home selections are bottled and corked to order. Hints of green grass, herbs, and robust pepper resonate in the organic picual oil, which, like a boiling egg's final scream, pleasantly harmonizes with the sound of sauce making or sautéing ($10.50–$28.99). Tunisian blood oranges are fused with chetoui and chemlali olives to create an oil that soothes shy seafood and chicken ($11–$29.99). Traditional 18-year balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, couples well with sweet flavors ($10–$26.99), while pomegranate balsamic melds sweet and tangy tastes to distinctly accent lamb and duck ($10–$26.99). Midtown also features imported pastas, sauces, stuffed olives, and EVOO- and balsamic-infused chocolates.