Holy Blackstrap Molasses and Red-eye Gravy – THE Big Ed’s Restaurant has opened a North Raleigh location in Quail Corners’ Shopping Center (Falls of Neuse & Millbrook). ….. BobLee, Blondie and AgentPierce were among area celebrities on-hand for the VIP pre-Grand Opening Tuesday morning.
The legendary downtown City Market “country cookin’ eatery” is venturing into the midst of the “you ain’t from ’round here, are you?” people a/k/a “Yankees”. Far Fashionable North Raleigh isn’t quite as “Yankee-fied” as Cary %-wise but it has a LOT of’em in its Mc-Mansion neighborhoods. Will this new target market trade in its bagels and lattes for biscuits slathered in that aforementioned blackstrap molasses? We expect they will do so.
THE Original “Big Ed” – Ed Watkins sold his “print money” restaurant a few years ago to our buddy Sam Hobgood who was savvy enough not to change much of anything. OK, Sam doesn’t sport Ed’s signature bib overalls; but otherwise Sam’s Big Ed’s is all that was so successful for Ed’s Big Ed’s.
Unlike the City Market location which serves only breakfast / lunch; the Quail Corners’ location will also serve “supper” on certain nights. Big Ed’s @ Quail Corners will be fully-operational later this week.
As I was sipping’ my coffee, I get this big ol’ hug around my neck and an unmistakeable “Hi, how are you folks?” from The Undisputed Queen of Raleigh Restauranteurs – The iconic Angus Barn’s Van Eure.… also on-hand to celebrate Sam’s opening.
Raleigh Restaurant Royalty – Big Ed Watkins & Van Eure
Enjoying our breakfast while hobnobbing with the assembled glitterati, AgentPierce recounted his favorite Big Ed’s story.
Back in the Spring of 2012, prominent Republican Senator Pat Ryan came to Raleigh. Ryan was going to hold a press conference and it was to be at Big Ed’s. Big Ed’s has been a popular bi-partisan breakfast hang-out for The Jones Street Bunch FOREVER. On any given morning for over twenty five years, you could not swing a cat in Big Ed’s without hitting an elected something-or-other or a lobbyist buying him/her breakfast “in exchange for considerations”. Democrat messiahs His Majesty Jim Hunt, Sleazy Easley and Dumplin’ Purdue were all regulars. That background is important BECAUSE:
The N&O had this “twerpy little weasel” reporter – John Frank – whose goal in life was to get to shine RobRielleWho’s tassel loafers. Frank’s front page story on Ryan’s appearance began with….
The Prominent Republican will hold his media event at Big Ed’s Restaurant in City Market…. which has Confederate memorabilia on its walls.
This was three years before the current brouhaha over Revising History By Pretending It Never Happened. Journo-Weasel Frank was implying that bedsheets, hoods, lynchin’ ropes and burning crosses would be the order of the day. It was the lowest form of yellow journalism even by the bottom-feeding standards of The N&O. …. hang on. It gets better.
A week or so later, AgentPierce is having lunch at Big Ed’s with longtime Big Ed’s regular – the Notorious “Good Neighbor” BELO – prominent Raleigh AfAm “activist” and provocative opinionator. Pierce pulls out a $20 and slaps it on the table.
“BELO, this is yours if you can find that ‘Confederate memorabilia”? …. He couldn’t.
AP and BELO called Sam (Hobgood) over and he showed them one old 8×10 b/w photo of a civil war graveyard hung over in one back corner. Anyone who has been to Big Ed’s knows its walls are covered in antiques and old photos of Raleigh history. That twerpy weasel – John Frank – like 75% of N&O employees from the past ten years – “is no longer employed at The N&O”.
I did not check the walls of the New Big Ed’s @ Quail Corners. Why don’t you visit Sam’s new location and check it out for yourself. Mention “Blondie sent me” and you’ll get an extra biscuit.
Oh…. Big Ed’s @ City Market is still going full-steam and will continue to be…. a whole lot more successful and popular than The N&O. …. Ouch!