The Queen's Quill

The Queen's Quill, 05.24.15.: The Summertime Bleus (and bacons...and jalapeños...)

Sorry for the lameness of that title, everybody.  I had to use it; came to me in a dream.  Yes, things have gotten so nutty over here that I’m actually dreaming about pimento cheese…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  It’s been another wild week with the Queen (then again, aren’t they all wild these days?!?); here are some of our top moments:

 

The week started off on a huge high when our spot at the 2015 Charlotte Southern Women’s Show was confirmed.  The SWS attracts tens of thousands of attendees from all over the region, and the Royale was selected as THE pimento cheese to rep the the Queen City.  Such an honor, such a joy.  Now, to figure out how we’re gonna quadruple production; something tells me these ladies are gonna come hungry…….

Tickets are on sale now!

Tickets are on sale now!

After months of blood, sweat, and tears, the fine folks at Old Town Public House swung the doors open this week, and we were lucky enough to be a part of things!  OTPH is Cornelius’ newest (dare I say coolest?) relaxation destination; craft beer, wine, coffee, and naturally, the world’s finest pimento cheese.  They’re carrying all 4 flavors, and if you act right, Melissa and Co. will probably even throw some free samples your way as you relax at the bar!  Make haste to OTPH, LKN.  

I got a free shirt out of the gig, too!!!

I got a free shirt out of the gig, too!!!

Tuesday was our lovely namesake’s 271st birthday!  If you ask me, she doesn’t look a day over 245.  Similar to the finely aged cheddar featured in our pimento cheese, Her Majesty just gets better with time.  

The Queen is bound and determined to bring poofy elbow frills back.

The Queen is bound and determined to bring poofy elbow frills back.

The last entry into our “Month of Burgers” compilation dropped Friday, and it was…we’ll say “intense”.  the “Baconham Palace Burger”: 2 diner-style 4 oz. patties, layered with the Queen’s smoked cheddar and bacon #‎PimentoCheese, and topped with Johnny Ray's Signature Sauces' (Mt. Holly) Peach Bourbon Sauce, Bone Suckin' Sauce's (Raleigh) Bone Suckin’ Sweet and Hot Mustard, homemade julienned pickles, caramelized onions, and two strips of sizzling #‎bacon. We piled it high on a buttered and toasted pretzel bun, and served it alongside the Queen’s “Mashed Tater Tots” (boiled fingerling potatoes we smashed, drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs, and baked at 400 for a few minutes).  

Like I said: intense.  We’re running a contest involving our burgers and free QCPCR swag later this week, so stay tuned for that!!!

 

Saturday saw the opening of 1897 Market, Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s new gourmet eatery/specialty food market.  It’s located just outside of Concourse A (where the Chili’s Too used to be), and they’re stocked to the brim with the Royale!!!  (Since I’m telling you about it, you’ve probably surmised that, but I just wanted to be clear.)  The next time the stress of air travel has you dragging and drained, decompress and reinvigorate with a tub of the Royale!!!  You’ll be flying high in no time.

Hope all of y’all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend filled with fun, food, family, and fellowship.  Have a ball, wave those stars and stripes, and most importantly, stay safe.  Until next time, everybody!!!

Patriotic Crest.jpg

The Queen's Quill 05.17.15.: Back with a Blogging Vengeance

When I came up with the idea of composing a weekly blog, I really don’t think I took into account how wild and wonderful (and crazy.  And chaotic) Springtime would be around here.  In any event, the Queen is back on the saddle!  A lot’s happened since our last entry in the Quill, so I’m going to do my best to hit the highlights:

We had an absolute BLAST at Moo and Brew Fest April 11th.  I know I hyped it up beforehand, but I’m telling y’all, it was just a perfect day at the NC Music Factory.  Beautiful weather, beautiful people, killer tunes, yummy suds and bodacious burgers.  There are already rumblings about next year’s throwdown; y’all need to make sure you don’t miss out!!!

Rhonda, Eric, Myself, and Prince Henry enjoying Moo and Brew 2015.

Rhonda, Eric, Myself, and Prince Henry enjoying Moo and Brew 2015.

 

While we’re on the subject of “delicious grilled meats”, the “Royale with Cheese” (our “Black and Bleu Blood” blue cheese pimento cheese, grilled onions, and dijon mustard pilled atop a housemade andouille sausage) is absolutely KILLING it at J.J.’s Red Hots!!!  Jon and the gang at J.J.’s order more and more of the stuff every week, and the Queen couldn’t be happier.  Y’all keep woofin’ down dogs, and we’ll keep supplying the cheesy goodness!!!

One of the major things I wanted to make sure to cover in this week’s blog is the fact that we’ve added 4 new vendors/restaurants, 3 of which are in towns that’re brand new to the Queen!  That’s right: you can now find the Queen’s finest on the shelves of the Market on Wylie (Lake Wylie, SC), the String Bean (Belmont, NC), Pam’s Cafe at Blacklion (Pineville, NC) and on the menu at Vintner Market (Arboretum, Charlotte)!  In addition to our seasonal retailers reopening for this beautiful Spring (Providence Produce Markets and Josh’s Farmers Market are killing us…in the best possible way), these 4 new kids on the block have kept us as busy as can be.  Seriously, y’all: take a look at our Where to Buy and Restaurants pages.  Simply put, we’re working with the very best of the very best,  and we couldn’t be any happier to have our new pals on board the Cheese Train!

USA Love List, a website dedicated to finding the best American-made products and telling the world about them named the Queen’s “Pimento Cheese Royale” their “favorite original pimento spread in America” last week.  No biggie; here’s the article

(J/K.  MAJOR biggie.  Wowza.)

(J/K.  MAJOR biggie.  Wowza.)

Oh, and one last thing.  As any of you who follow our Facebook page/Instagram account (@QCCheeseRoyale) know, we’re in the middle of our “Month of Burgers”, during which we’re using each of our 4 flavors to create a signature burger for each week.  I’ll spare y’all the details (check our Facebook page for all of the ingredients on all of the burgers), but yeah…this thing has gotten pretty intense.  We’ll be finishing things off this Friday with our BACON burger (y’all, it’s a monstrosity), and then I’m thinking about doing a little giveaway to finish off this gorgeous May, so stay tuned!!!

? = :D :D :D

? = :D :D :D

While this little entry has barely scraped the surface of all of the Queen’s comings and goings since we last talked 6 weeks back, hopefully it gets us back on track on the blog front.  The Queen will be back next week to regale her Loyal Subjects with tales of esteemed acts of heroism, ye olde fashioned turns of hand, and other assorted baubles of knowledge sure to dent the armor of the most hardened Knight of the Round.  That’s medieval talk for “more big news this week, y’all!!!”  The Queen’s wheel of cheese just keeps on rollin’………………:)

 

The Queen's Quill, 04.05.15.: IN LIKE A LION!!!

I missed the blog last week, and I’m a day late this week.  But I swear it…I have an excuse: IT’S Y’ALL’S FAULT!!!  And I mean that in the best possible way.  

Spring 2015: Sheer, shrieking, TERROR.

Spring 2015: Sheer, shrieking, TERROR.

You see, each and every one of our amazing seasonal retailers have swung their doors open for the 2015 season over the past 2 weeks, and you beautiful people responded incredibly!  That’s right, Providence Produce Market’s 4 locations (Ballantyne, Mint Hill, Stallings and Waxhaw) and Josh’s Farmers Market (Mooresville) all came out of the gate swinging, and y’all responded by buying up every ounce of the Queen’s Cheese we could get in stock.  It’s been an exhausting, wacky, exhilarating time period, and I just can’t thank y’all enough.  

We’ve really hit our stride over the past few weeks, and we owe it all to you guys.  Thank you.  Simply amazing. 

Now we transition from terrifying jungle cats to deliciously domesticated dogs.  After weeks of teasing, our collaboration(s) (that’s right…there are 2 of ‘em!) with J.J.’s Red Hots are officially LIVE!  First off, we have the “Royale with Cheese” which features a house smoked andouille sausage, caramelized onions, whole grain Dijon mustard, and our "Black and Bleu Blood" Blue Cheese Pimento Cheese, all atop a toasted bun. Yep. Serious, serious business. Put it all together and you get J.J.'s first "Barn to Bun" dog, in which local ingredients (in addition to our presence, the pork comes from NC's own Windy Hill Farm!) combine to form a truly "local" creation.  So. Much. PERFECTION.

The Royale with Cheese.

The Royale with Cheese.

For dog #2, J.J.’s has teamed us up with Triple C Brewing Company for their latest “‎Brew Dog” offering, in which local craft breweries match their wares with J.J.’s killer links. The "You Got Smoked" dog combines a ‎Triple C Smoked Amber-marinated smokehouse hot dog, Triple C Smoked Amber and Guajillo Chile BBQ sauce, fried jalapeños, and a healthy dollop of the Queen's "Baconham Palace" smoked cheddar and bacon Pimento Cheese to create the most decadent dog this side of Louis XIV's poodle. It's available starting TODAY (05.06), and it runs throughout the week. Y'all best come early and come often; when they're gone, they're gone!!!

You Got Smoked.

You Got Smoked.

We’ve covered ferocious lions, demon dogs…it’s only right that we finish things off by grabbing the bull by the horns and talking about Creative Loafing's Moo and Brew Festival!!!  That’s right: M&B is mere days away, and if you haven’t snagged your tickets, I’m telling y’all…you just gotta.  VIP tix are sold out, but a limited amount of General Admission spots are still available, so hustle!  In addition to helping sponsor the event, we’re also teaming up with Mattie’s Diner to compete for the title of “Charlotte’s Best Burger”, so we need all of y’all out there throwing your weight behind us!

Hope to see each and every one of your smiling faces there.  Until next time, everybody!!!

The Queen's Quill, 03.22.15.: The Queen's MEDIA BLITZ!!! (Oh, and we hear there's a burger in the works...)

Wednesday was just about the only “interesting” day we had all of last week, but man, was it ever a big one.  

I started out the day by dropping off all four flavors of the Queen’s finest to Chris MacClain, Jim Celania, and Travis “T-Bone” Hancock at WFNZ (610 AM).  The fellas (better known as “The Mac Attack”) immediately started devouring the feast, and took to the airwaves to tell their audience all about it it. 

So that was pretty flippin’ cool.

After that, I bolted over to Mattie’s Diner at the NC Music Factory, where we shot a live spot in promotion of our spot at April 11th’s “Moo and Brew Fest”.  Here’s a link of the piece; I come in at around 2:20.  Wilson and the WCCB crew were as amazing as ever, and I have to say, I CANNOT WAIT for Moo and Brew.  If y’all haven’t already, get your tickets ASAP.  It’s going to be an incredible day all around.

 

Maybe the most exciting thing to come out of Wednesday’s escapades was a connection we made at Mattie’s.  Matt dug into our cheese as soon as we got there, and he was immediately smitten.  The result: we’re partnering with Mattie’s on a burger to be featured at Moo and Brew, as well as an item to be featured on their permanent menu!  I dropped off their first “test” tubs Friday, and I’ll let y’all know when we have some more specifics hashed out!!!

We have a couple of really fun items on the agenda for this week, so stay tuned to our social media (we’re always updating our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!).  Spring is here, everybody, and it’s shaping up to be a wild one :)

The Queen's Quill, 03.15.15.: The Calm Before the Storm

The first flutters of Spring are finally in the air, and the Queen’s making all the preparations for the coming onslaught of cheese-starved pic-a-nickers that’s sure to be close behind.  That doesn’t mean we didn’t get to have a little fun here and there…

 

We had our most recent Hornets-tickets giveaways this week, and aside from the fact that our Bugs went 0-2 during the span, we couldn’t have had any more fun with the winners!  Everybody else: stay tuned, as we’ll be offering our last little giveaway of the year April 1st against Detroit!

Some of our winners, bookended by Eric and me.  

Some of our winners, bookended by Eric and me.  

 

One sure way to know that the Spring’s just around the corner: the first of our amazing seasonal retailers have opened up!  That’s right, Providence Produce Market’s “Rock Store” location (situated just behind the Rock Store Bar-b-que in Stallings) cleaned off the cobwebs last Saturday!  Their Waxhaw and Ballantyne locations are opening March 21st and 28th, respectively, and the one and only Josh’s Farmers Market (Mooresville) is swinging the doors open April 1st!!!

 

One thing’s for certain: it’s about to get REAL for your favorite mom and pop cheese makers.

 

On the Homeland Security Front: you’re not gonna find a leader that’s tougher on crime than Her Majesty.  It’s for that reason that she’ll settle for nothing less than the best than a top-flight personal guard.  Presenting Sirs Leonard, Rodney, and Felipe: the Queen’s New Security Detail!

 

You know...when your only friends are a pot full of anthropomorphized Venus’ Fly Traps, it might be time to take off the hairnet and get some fresh air.  I'll put that on the to-do list :)

 

We wrapped up the week sampling with our pals at The Peach Stand (Fort Mill, SC) and Frontier Meats (Waxhaw).  We’ll be hitting up both locations of Reid’s Fine Foods (Myers Park and Indian Land, SC) this Saturday (03.21), and I’ll also be hitting Carolina Fish Market’s Ballantyne location this Friday afternoon (03.20) in what I’m hoping will become a monthly-ish tradition for the Queen!  


Can’t beat a little fresh fish on a Friday, right?  Hope to see some of y’all there!


That’s just about it for this round of the Quill.  The Vernal Equinox hits Crown Town at about 6:45 Friday, meaning we technically still have a couple days of Winter left.  Well, y’all better use those precious remaining hours to get any hibernation you had planned out of your system now, because starting next week, the Queen has LOADS of exciting new stuff on the calendar…GET PUMPED!!!