Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Huntersville, NC, to a restaurant recommended by a close friend, House of Taipei.

House of Taipei, Excited about Eating, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Ample parking, no wait on a Sunday night

This restaurant serves authentic style Chinese dishes, some labeled Favorable, Traditional, Unforgettable and Vegetarian. Dora here. We saw several people toting take-out containers on the way in, so it appears they may be just as popular with take-out as eat-in. Although we’ve heard that sometimes there’s a wait, on this particular Sunday evening, we were seated immediately. 🙂

House of Taipei, Excited about Eating, Ernie & Dora Hiers

No wait for our Sunday evening dinner

For my dinner, I chose the Pepper Steak. It’s a challenge for me to order at Asian restaurants fearing I will order something that has more heat than I can take. (Dora here. No worries. They offer a ramp-it-up or dial-it-down option. 🙂 ) The sliced tenderloin is sautéed with green bell peppers and onions in a brown sauce. The steak was tender and the veggies had just the right amount of bite, and the sauce would have been great on any dish. Full of favor, I would definitely order this dish again.

House of Taipei, Excited about Eating, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Pepper Steak, definitely a repeat

Dora here. The Flower Chicken intrigued me. Slices of chicken, water chestnuts (I love that crunch, don’t you?), red peppers, broccoli and mushrooms sauteed in a light, not-sure-if-its-really-there sauce. I’m not into heavy sauces so that was perfect for me. Delicate and light, colorful and pretty, the name of the dish really fits. And the best part? For just over $10, I had enough leftover chicken for another meal. Score!

House of Taipei, Excited about Eating, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Flower Chicken was delicious and I took home enough chicken for another meal

Your turn: What’s your favorite Chinese dish?

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

House of Taipei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Cornelius, NC and to Harp & Crown Pub Kitchen. This warm and comfortable pub features Irish favorites such as Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, and Bangers & Mash.

excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, fiction faith & foodies, Harp & Crown

Rather unassuming from the front, but just wait!

Dora here. This front entrance does not give you a clue as to what to expect. Wait until you see the patio. Soooooo wish it hadn’t been raining. I would’ve loved to sit outside here. I counted three fireplaces!!

excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, fiction faith & foodies, harp & crown

So wish it hadn’t been raining. I would’ve loved to sit outside. I counted 3 fireplaces!

The interior was nice and cozy. And packed for 11 AM on a Sunday!

excited about eating, fiction faith & foodies, ernie & dora hiers, harp & crown

The inside was nice and cozy. And packed for 11 AM on a Sunday.

For my brunch, I chose the Shrimps & Grits, a combo of Charleston style grits, shrimp, bacon, and chorizo sausage.

excited about eating, fiction faith & foodies, ernie & dora hiers, harp & crown

Shrimp and Grits, outstanding!

This dish was outstanding! Creamy grits, tender shrimp that melted in your mouth, ample sauce, and the sausage packed just the right amount of heat.

fiction faith & foodies, excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, harp & crown

Are you drooling yet? Shrimp & grits, outstanding!

Dora here. Ya’ll know by now that I’m a huge fan of Shepherd’s Pie. If it’s on the menu, that’s what I’m picking. And since I’d seen an intriguing picture on Yelp, I already knew what I was ordering. Shepherd’s Pie. 🙂

excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, fiction faith & foodies, harp & crown
For those of you who haven’t tried Shepherd’s Pie, it’s basically a layer of mashed potatoes smothering a blend of meat and veggies. In this case, hamburger and peas.

excited about eating, ernie & dora hiers, fiction faith & foodies blog, harp & crown
Shepherd’s Pie, what’s underneath that top layer of mashed potatoes

This particular version was not as thick as other variations, and, for me, it lacked a bit in the flavor department, nothing deep or complex in those layers. But that’s all good. Sometimes, like on this rainy day, you just want a dish to warm you up, comfort food, and Shepherd’s Pie is always a good choice. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What’s your favorite Irish dish?

We rate this pub 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

The Harp and Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Bodegas Kitchen and Wine Bar located in Banner Elk, NC. In the middle of the mountains, this newly-opened tapas style restaurant serves food with a Caribbean fare. Dora here. If you aren’t paying attention, you’ll pass this place. Like I did the first time. lol. It’s tucked back into a corner of Eagles Nest Marketplace.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Tucked into the corner

Inside is fresh and clean with ample space between tables. But…

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Inside is fresh and clean with ample space between tables

I’m really looking forward to sitting outside on this amazing deck when the weather warms!

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

What an amazing deck! I’m looking forward to sitting outside when the weather warms.

For our appetizer, we chose the Brussels Sprouts, fresh and lightly fried, and served with a tangy aioli sauce. The sprouts were outstanding, served al dente with a smoky char and worked well with the aioli. Dora here. I’m not a huge fan of sprouts, but Ernie loves them. The sauce was great, but the sprouts a tad too stiff for me.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Brussel Sprouts appetizer

For lunch, I chose the Cubano, a pressed sandwich packed with pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles, and served on authentic Cuban bread. The sandwich was great, loaded with meat and cheese, but the real winner here was the Fire Roasted Street Corn, slathered with mayo and queso fresco cheese and roasted to perfection.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Cuban sandwich with Fire Roasted Street Corn

Dora here. Oh my goodness, y’all, check out this ginormous fish sandwich!! Ernie actually took a picture of me trying to eat this monster, but I wouldn’t let him post it. lol. Perfectly fried cod, incredibly soft and the freshest of breads, a delightful crunchy slaw, and amazing flavors…what more could a person want in a meal? I would definitely order this again.

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Ginormous Fish Sandwich, amazing flavors! I would definitely order this again.

Typically, I only like plantains fried like chips, but our server made these Maduros sound delicious. And, oh, were they! They were fried to give the outside a slight crunch, but inside was soft and sweet, buttery even, with a hint of…brown sugar? Guessing here, but this dish was almost like dessert. Definitely another winner!

Bodegas, Fiction Faith & Foodies Blog, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Maduros, sweet fried plantains. Amazing! Almost like dessert.

Our food came out fast, and our server was attentive and friendly. Their amazing food and impeccable service won us over. Bodegas is going on our “favorites” list. 

What new restaurant have you tried recently? What did you enjoy most about it?

We rate this restaurant 5 fork out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.