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BBQ Served Up with a Side of Live Music at The Blue Note Grill

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Need your fix of "BBQ & Roots Music" in Durham? The Blue Note Grill has that and much more to tantalize your taste buds and wet your whistle. Featuring a full bar alongside classic North Carolina barbeque served up with a substantial side of live tunes, this is one of the area's newest hotspots.

Co-Owner Bill Whittington talks about how The Blue Note Grill opened in 2010: "My wife Andrea had lost her job after 23 years with the same company. I was tired of working for a large company. We opened thinking we would have music- primarily Blues, Bluegrass and Americana, just a couple nights a week. We now have music almost every night we're open (closed Monday)." Considered an entertainment venue, not just a blues club, Blue Note now offers a wider variety of music, drawing local, regional, and national touring acts.

Let's not forget the food. From burgers to burritos, the menu selection has options for everyone. "Our ribs are extremely popular," notes Whittington. "The pulled pork barbeque is a close second. Other top items are our smoked chicken wings and our Cow Jumped Over the Moon Burger featuring local beef, cheese and brioche bun." Vegetarians won't be disappointed either with menu items ranging from their Chipotle Black Bean Burger to burritos, starters, salads and sides.

Whittington is right about the ribs and pulled pork being popular. Many diners rave about the restaurant's barbeque. "This place is the essence of North Carolina BBQ," says one reviewer. "Might be the best ribs in all of Durham," exclaims another about the fall-off-the-bone meat.

But it's the interestingly named appetizers that have my mouth watering. It's hard to resist these menu items with names such as So Sweet-Sweet Potato Fries served with cinnamon butter or Not Quite a Peck of Pickled Peppers plate with a variety of pickled items including okra and dilly beans and including housemade cheese pimiento-stuffed celery sticks. How about the deep-fried Jalapeno Shrimp Poppers with Blue Note's special chipotle sauce? These appetizers work great as meal starters or as a light nosh with a drink while you're listing to music.

"Our bread pudding is by far our most popular dessert," states Whittington. Served with candied pecans and homemade whipped topping, it is a delicious finish to your meal. Share a full size pudding or get the individual shooter size for yourself.

A true tribute to its owners, The Blue Note Grill is considered one of the friendliest places around by both musicians and customers and has developed a loyal local following. Such a following that the music venue and restaurant has expanded in a nearby location. Being voted INDY Best Place in the Triangle 2015 to Hear Blues and Bluegrass and given Honorable Mention for Best Place to Hear Jazz and Open Mic just proves why The Blue Note Grill is such an exceptional place to eat, drink and groove to the beats.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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