North Carolina Travel Tip #458772

If you ask for butter, you will get margarine.

If you then ask as sweetly as possible whether the waitress might be a doll and get you some butter instead of this margarine, she will look right at the packet of butter, the one which reads butter-tasting spread made from 60% vegetable oil, and tell you that that is indeed butter, hon. She'll then probably wander into the kitchen and laugh at the stupid snotty Yankee tourist who doesn't know what the hell butter is even when she's staring at a whole dish full of it not six inches from her nose.

Coming up in Future Installments of North Carolina Travel Tips: If a burger costs only $2.79 in a restaurant, there's generally a reason; and that reason is not "wow, things are so much cheaper down here!"


Blogger yoo hoo said...

ewwwww, I knew there were some reasons I didn't take that job in NC, I have noticed in my travels there are rednecks everywhere. Aren't glad to be home?

6/7/06, 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA Love the last comment about the price of burgers!!! HAHAHAHA!

6/7/06, 1:29 AM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Yeah, and butter only comes in gold foil-wrapped squares, right? I'm pretty sure that's right. Yep, I think I'd fit right in in NC.

Or not.

6/7/06, 2:10 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

I used to want to visit NC, especially after seeing Last of the Mohicans, but you are slowly changing my mind!!!

Too funny. Butter.

6/7/06, 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, that's funny.

6/7/06, 7:04 AM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Mmmmm...cheap burgers and margarine.

6/7/06, 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheap burgers are scary. They induce scary bathroom situations.

Butter's the best. Insist on butter. Margarine is like plastic.

6/7/06, 7:45 AM  
Blogger Carolyn S. said...

Wishing you some NYC fine dining in the near future.

6/7/06, 8:39 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

My husband has been threatening to move us down there, so I think I'll make him read your posts on NC. Maybe that will change his mind. Thanks, Hon.

(Why does every southern woman over the age of 45 insist on calling everyone "Hon"?!)

6/7/06, 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world, except about 4x as South. :)

6/7/06, 9:07 AM  
Blogger Arwen said...

You were just one the wrong end of the state, I promise. Especially if you were in the Carolina Beach area (Redneck Riveria). Almost everyone who comes to the west end of the state (where the Last of the Mohicans was filmed) loves it, even if there isn't a beach. And not everyone speaks in tongues, just some religious folk and some folk with a fever.

6/7/06, 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During some travels of my own, I wandered into a restaurant in NC. Picking up on my accent, the waitress said "You're not from around here are you, hon?" I said, "No, I'm from St. Louis." And I swear to you she said "St. Louis? Don't they have that big arch thing there? What's that called?" Um, the arch.

6/7/06, 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NC isn't all bad...

...really I swear....I lived in PA for 24 years and now live in NC...it takes awhile but eventually you come around to the:

Friend Everything
Sweetest sweetend tea ever
Shopping carts being called buggys
Extension cords being called Drop Cords
Fixin' being used constantly
Everyone is known as 'hun' or "sweetie"
Everyone talks to you...and expects you to talk back

- Jon
- Daddy Detective
- www.daddydetective.com

6/7/06, 10:22 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Oh Liz, darling, next time you want to go country, check out the Midwest instead. You know, those flat states you fly over on your way to work?

I promise we at least know the difference between butter and margarine here, if nothing else.

(You know, because of all the cows).

I know you don't have any in-laws types here, but you could stop by my apartment and we could pretend we were related. Hey, and if we set up that keep-the-kids-from-dating-skanks arranged marriage deal while you're here *nudge nudge* then we WILL be related!

6/7/06, 10:29 AM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Ah, quitchyer belly-acin'. Yer lucky ya didn't get a pat of lard. ;-)

If you want real butter, you need to order grits and then just scrape it off the top.

BTW, we travel oto NC one a year to the shore. I love NC. I love the grits and lard, too.

6/7/06, 10:59 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Yes, that means that it is something other than beef, more like plastic.

6/7/06, 11:23 AM  
Blogger shade said...

poor thing!!!

6/7/06, 12:21 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Things are very different in the south. Asking for a Coke also doesn't mean that you literally want Coca-Cola. It means "pop" or "soda". But you probably knew that.

6/7/06, 12:30 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I'm taking copious notes since we'll be there Sunday.

However, I have to defend NC for a minute. Last time we were there, we had car trouble. The manager of the Firestone on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro, NC was THE NICEST MAN EVER! He knew we just wanted our car fixed, but it was a problem only the dealer could do because of a warranty issue. So after fixing what he could, he PAID FOR A TAXI HIMSELF for us to go to the dealer, my husband and I, our 6 month old son, and my father-in-law. He understood we just wanted to get home finally, and he was so nice and accommodating I considered sending him a Christmas card that year. So at least part of NC is a good place to be.

But I'll be watching out for the fake butter.

6/7/06, 12:50 PM  
Blogger j.sterling said...

LOL- bless her heart.

6/7/06, 1:02 PM  
Blogger Miguelita said...

Let me echo what Andrea said about nice people in NC. We were in the Outer Banks when the car started making a horrible sound. We pulled into the nearest parking lot, which happened to be a body shop/warehouse/bait store. The guy there put the car on his lift, found the problem - a HUGE missing Bolt that was supposed to be holding together something important. He didnt think we would find a part anywhere on the Outer Banks that day so he MADE one - ground it out on his machine/welder thing and we were back on the road in less than 30 minutes. And he would not take any money for it. Or margarine.

6/7/06, 1:19 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

It drives me batshit when my dad (a displaced Southerner) calls the tub of margarine "butter."
Then again, it also drives me batshit that my dad eats margarine. Dammit. Grr.

6/7/06, 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny. When we were apartment hunting in NYC, our semi-sadistic broker thought it would be really fun to show us weekly listings of houses that we could get in N. Carolina for the same amount of money. Instead of living in a cramped apartment with doors made out of balsa wood and closets the size of a shoebox, we could have a lovely Southern estate with trees, a lawn and a babbling brook. To this day, whenever my wife and I get discouraged about living in NYC, we always say, "Well, there's always North Carolina!"

But now that I know they think butter passes as margarine? Not in a million years!

6/7/06, 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, have you had that lovely "honey butter" in mini tubs that they are serving with hush puppies down here? That stuff's like crack. I didn't check to see if it was real butter or just margarine, though.

We didn't yet lose power with all the thunderstorms coming through (knock on wood) but TWICE I had to delay heading out to the pool after getting myself and the girls all lubed up and dressed, because we could hear the thunder starting up again. Sigh.

6/7/06, 8:58 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Maybe I'll cancel our family vacation to North Carolina after all...

6/7/06, 8:58 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Did you get asked if you wanted "grits"? I still have no freaking idea what it is. Mineral, vegetable, animal???? No clue.

6/7/06, 9:03 PM  
Blogger Jezer said...

I hate margarine. And Miracle Whip, too.

But, now I do love me some grits, Melissa. Y'all just come down here and I'll fix ya some. But you won't catch me serving them with margarine, that's for damned sure!

6/7/06, 10:27 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

LOL! Welcome to my life! Even after nearly 20 years there are some things that surprise me.

But on the butter thing...see, the reason they don't mind pseudo butter is that they don't slather it on everything the way people up in my neck of the woods (WI) do. Southerners coat everything in corn meal and fry it in lard so you don't need butter.

When you use it like Ketchup, (WI) it has to be high quality grade A pure milkfat butter and nothing else.

I've actually gotten strange looks for asking for butter at all, when served rolls or other bread type foods. Have you ever tried to choke down a cornbread muffin without something to help it slide down? Gah. It's like trying to swallow oatmeal right outta the box.

But I have to say, despite unfortunate culinary proclivities such as Collards, grits, and giblet gravy, most of their food rocks. You need to find some sweet little old grandmotherly woman and follow her home. Browbeat her until she cooks authentic southern food for you. You'll convert. I swear it. And your thighs will bear the evidence forever.

6/7/06, 11:24 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

I learned all about the differences in Southern dining when I spent a month in Alabama while I was in college caring for an elderly relative. And everything was fried. I did enjoy the boiled peanuts, though.

6/7/06, 11:33 PM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

What kind of meat are they servin' down there?

6/8/06, 8:32 AM  
Blogger zinalasvegas said...

Don't forget to order a "Diet Coke" that is really a "Diet Pepsi."

Oh yeah--and I'm late to the party, but in true George Costanza fashion I thought of another t-short for ya for BlogHer:

"Be nice to me, or I'll write mean things about you on my blog."

6/8/06, 10:11 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

i'm sorry, margarine is EVIL. PURE EEEEEEEEEVIL, I SAY!

6/8/06, 10:31 PM  
Blogger mbbored said...

I know I'm about a year too late to post a comment, but thanks to everybody who defended the state of NC. There maybe still be some who think that margarine and butter are the same, but those who can tell the difference way out number them.

Eat our fried foods! Go to the beach & the mountains in the same weekend! And enjoy the hospitality.

11/15/07, 4:15 PM  
Blogger shanice said...

You should contact the bizymoms Greensboro community to get your blog featured to their large mom community. I am sure they would love to read your posts.

There is a form on their expert page, http://www.bizymoms.com/experts/index.html </a

8/7/09, 8:13 AM  
Blogger Charles Rinehart said...

A very good blog. Cheap burgers can make your belly a "Sack o Suds" and the rest of you "Soggy Bottom".
The last cheap burger I had, I was soon "A Man of Constant Sorrow". I do Florida travel blogs. Hope you all can take a peak. All the best.

9/6/09, 1:14 PM  

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