North Carolina - Kinston - Boiler Room Oyster Bar / by Dave Hileman

So we are starting out this section with a shout out to our new home state, North Carolina, specifically, Eastern North Carolina. And no one is more engaged with that style of food than Chef Vivian Howard at Chef and the Farmer. You can view her show, A Chef's Life, on PBS and it is a joy. We were able to stop here after an engagement I had at New Bern, NC for a late lunch on Sunday afternoon. I doubt that our experience of walking right in about 3:15 would be the norm at more regular dining hours. I had Fish and Chips, CJH had a Blueberry BBQ Chicken Sandwich with smoked gouda & bacon. Both dishes were simply excellent. The atmosphere is neat, it is in an old boiler room and nicely updated. Kinston is clearly declined from happier times but the few blocks around Chef and the Farmer were in the midst of renewal. The Boiler Room is simpler food and less expensive than Chef and the Farmer but our experience there has encouraged us to try the main restaurant. Soon!