Parker & Otis

        Parker & Otis
112 S Duke St
Durham, NC 27701

Second time in Durham, second time at Parker & Otis.  The place is rustic, charming, and full of fun little trinkets.  It’s a place where you find yourself meandering through the aisles of goodies but end up leaving with nothing.  A bar of chocolate was $7.  Enough said.

The food, on the other hand, is decently priced.  I split two sandwiches and three sides with LAW.  Pictured here is the turkey and Stonewall Kitchen mango chutney sandwich with bacon, lettuce, red onion, mayo, and yellow cheddar on sourdough ($7.99).  The ratios of their sandwiches are not quite my ideal because they give waaaay too much meat for the thin slices of bread that they use.  The turkey was decent though a little dry and the sourdough was also just meh.  The mango chutney, on the other hand, was delicious!  It was sweet, slightly spiced, and added a great kick to the sandwich.  Bacon was crispy and not too fatty, giving the sandwich a little texture.  Though, the best bacon in a sandwich can be found in my last post: Fosters Market.

Pictured here is the turkey and Stonewall Kitchen red pepper jelly sandwich with white cheddar, green herb dip, lettuce, and red onion and whole wheat bread ($7.99).  The red pepper jelly was interesting… it was actually more sweet than salty and so tasted like a red pepper fruit jam.  It was a little off-putting to an otherwise decent sandwich.

Looking back, the sandwiches are really not that amazing.  Especially after checking out Foster’s Market.  The sides, on the other hand, were amazing.  LAW is obsessed with grits and asked for them every meal we had in Durham.  Naturally, we had a bowl of the cheesy grits.  I actually just learned from E.H. that grits have their origins in how the American Indians prepared their corn.  After shaving off all the corn kernels, the little gritty white bits stuck to the corn are boiled into a porridge consistency… aka. what we know as grits.  They may be white or yellow depending on the color of the corn.  The appeal of grits is similar to the appeal of oatmeal… it is somewhat bland and has just enough texture.  It always seems to soothe my stomach when things are a little rough… The cheese in these grits added a slight bit of creaminess and saltiness.

A.E. got the side of Pimento cheese.  Yes, that is an entire bowl full of cheese.  He was so excited to get it and kept telling us about how awesome it tasted.  Pimento cheese is a common southern food made of cheddar, mayo, pimento (red heart-shaped chili peppers), salt and pepper.  Eating the cheese straight up was a bit much for me but I can definitely see how awesome this would taste in a grilled cheese.

Obligatory cole slaw.  The ratio of cabbage to mayo was perfect.  I hate it when the cabbage is sliced paper thin and is drenched in watery mayo sauce.  This cabbage had a crunch to it and was lathered with a creamy mayo.  I felt like I was eating a real salad, not a sad excuse for one.

My favorite side is the corn and tomato salad.  As you can see, the salad is made with REAL CORN, not the stuff that comes in a bag and is thrown in the back of your freezer.  Thick slices of corn are tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes, some cilantro, and a little bit of vinaigrette and salt.  If you’ve never had a slice of corn before, you really need to go get yourself a cob and try it.  It is so satisfying to stuff your face with an overwhelming amount of sweet kernels.


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