Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to The Cardinal, a place serving “classic American road food” in Boone. This neighborhood meeting spot boasts burgers made from different meats combined with fresh ingredients to excite the flavor buds in your mouth.

The Cardinal Excited about Eating Ernie & Dora Hiers

So excited this place is just up the road from our home-away-from-home!

Dora here. Aren’t you amazed that we actually went out for dinner? lol. What can I say? We prefer to dine out for lunch and stay in for dinner. The crowded restaurants might be one reason why. 

I chose the 50/50 burger, half Emu (an Australian bird) and half chorizo. It was slathered with housemade queso and packed with jalapeños (not after I got a hold of it), and onions, and served with fries.

The Cardinal Excited about Eating Ernie & Dora Hiers

50/50 Burger, full of flavor and packed with heat!

Now this burger was full of flavor, very juicy, and packed with heat! Spicy enough that they had to keep refilling my diet coke. The bun was very soft and worked perfectly with the burger and the fries, which were thin and crispy just like I prefer. This is definitely a place we will have to go back again.

Dora again. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a great burger, right? At least, I am, and the Gringo Burger satisfied my craving. Bison topped with an avocado spread and wonderfully strong cheddar, sandwiched between two of the most amazingly soft buns I’ve ever tasted. While it was a bit heavy on the avocado, I would’ve liked more cheese. And I know Ernie adores those potato sticks, but I prefer thicker fries.

The Cardinal Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

The Gringo Burger satisfied my burger craving

Still Dora. I tend to be noise-adverse, and since we visited for dinner, it was a tad loud for my liking. Could be because we sat in a more confined section of the restaurant, where the ceiling was lower. Overall, we’re thrilled to find a great hamburger joint just up the road from our home-away-from-home and we’ll definitely be repeat customers. Although probably for lunch rather than dinner. lol.

What’s your go-to hamburger spot? What’s the most unusual burger you’ve tried?

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

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to an 1861 historical house in Valle Crucis, NC, to Over Yonder, An Appalachian Kitchen. This picturesque house has had many different uses over the years but I think this may be the best one yet.

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Love the farmhouse exterior!

Dora here. The owners added on over the years, but the left side is original. Stunning, isn’t it?

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

The original side: just stunning!

We were seated in the front right room, the added-on side. Can you guess why we called this the game room? That’s right. Old fashioned games hung from every wall.

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

The Game Room. Can you see why? 🙂

I chose the Potlikker Gumbo, loaded with chicken, andouille, ham and okra in a brown broth of collard greens and blanketed with jasmine rice. The gumbo was outstanding without being spicy, hardy, and the perfect choice for a cold day in the mountains. All of the ingredients mingled together to form one tasty bowl of goodness.

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Potlikker Gumbo, tasty bowl of goodness!

The Roasted Okra appetizer drew my attention when I first looked at the menu. Being from the south, I have had okra cooked just about every way possible, but never roasted. Let me just say, this has to be some of the best tasting okra I have ever had. The okra is cut in half, roasted until soft and then flashed fried until crispy. I would recommend this dish to anyone who visits this restaurant. Which I did, actually, as we were leaving.

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Roasted Okra Appetizer…amazing!

Dora here. Before the food came out, I teased hubby that he’d be eating this okra by himself. I like fried okra, but roasted? Not in a million years would I like it prepared this way. Well, let me just tell you, the joke was on me. This okra was delicious! And my hand kept straying to his side of the table, swiping a delectable goodie whenever he wasn’t looking. haha. Now on to mine…the OY Pork Burger should be called the Oh My Pork Burger! Messy, but packed with flavor!

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

The OY Pork Burger should be called the OH MY Pork Burger. Messy, but PACKED with flavor!

Good to the last bite, I even scooped up the overflow because I didn’t want to miss any ounce of the awesome flavor! Ground pork topped with smoked Gouda and a wonderfully intoxicating slaw…divine! Kind of like a chilled sauerkraut, but in the very best way, adding a whole new dimension and texture to the sandwich. And, oh my stars, those pickles! The chips were salted with rosemary, giving them a zesty bite. YUM, YUM, YUM! There was nothing left on any of these plates! We might’ve licked them…lol.

Over Yonder Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Demolished these dishes! Not a crumb left!

Dora here. Amazing food. Quick, friendly, and very knowledgeable service by an employee who obviously loves his job (thank you Justin!). Lovely atmosphere. Over Yonder is definitely a repeat!

Are you an okra fan? What’s your favorite way to eat okra?

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.
Over Yonder Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to a family owned restaurant located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone, NC, and to Coyote Kitchen. This mountain eatery features Southwest Caribbean Soul food and offers burgers, bowls, boats, and tacos just to name a few.Coyote Kitchen Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Dora here. Winter has to be tough for this restaurant. They have ample outdoor space with tables that extend down a long sidewalk, but a cozy interior (translate small). Not really a restaurant for romantic ambiance or a place to chat privately. But, hey, the food is fantastic and the service friendly and quick. It’s one of our go-to spots in Boone now.

Coyote Kitchen Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

I ordered the chef’s special of the day, the Blackened CAB Tacos with beef, chipotle flavored cream cheese, spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions, pineapple, and crumbled feta cheese served in flour tortillas. Wrapped in huge soft shells, the sweetness of the pineapple, the crunch from the raw spinach, and the spiciness of the chipotle cream cheese combined to give these tacos a mouthful of favor. Outstanding!

Coyote Kitchen Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Dora here. The trouble with visiting Coyote Kitchen is that I want to try everything on their menu! lol. I finally decided on the Laos Boat. Amazing! Like a party in my mouth. A dash of sweet, a blast of sass…all those flavors zinging my tongue at different times. Cornbread, black beans, chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, plantains, tomatoes and cheese along with a healthy dollop of a chipotle infused cream cheese. This is the half sized portion, which really was a good size for lunch. Drool alert! 

Coyote Kitchen Excited about Eating Ernie Hiers

Laos Boat…party in my mouth!

What’s your heat scale? Raging inferno, fully involved, or simmering sweetly on the back burner?

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

Coyote Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato