Tag Archives: food

Julia Belle’s Southern Restaurant

It’s getting cold all around the country, and my long pants had come out of retirement; that meant it was time to go south. From Fuquay (near Raleigh, North Carolina), where we were visiting friends, we headed to South Carolina, in order to see an aunt of mine who has a restaurant there (specifically, in Florence). It’s called Julia Belle’s, and is widely considered more than fantastic; even one of Guy Fieri’s friends was in raptures with my Aunt Fran’s macaroni and cheese.

The restaurant is in a large red barn, which is divided into many sections; it used to be used for animals, and so the rooms are small and slightly awkward. Despite this, Julia Belle’s  manages a homey, comfortable feeling, with many small dining rooms. The first room on one side of the building is the kitchen and main sitting area, and directly opposite is the bakery, where buns, pie, and things of that sort are made, with another space for eating. It’s a beautiful but difficult old building, and though many restaurants have attempted to make it work over time, it’s only Julia Belle’s that has managed to pull it off.


And now onto the food. I’m really not the best person for the job, being gluten-free (and also not a fan of eating in general), but I’m the only critic available at the moment, so I’ll have to do. Truthfully, the options for someone like me were fairly limited, but I settled on mashed potatoes, green beans, and a burger without a bun. Gordon, who could elaborate on his food for hours, got the chicken and waffles, which came topped with cinnamon-covered peaches. Mom got the same thing, but then she started to wish she hadn’t; what she’d really wanted had been the shrimp-and-chilli sandwich that Dad had gotten. But the moment she took the first bite of her chicken and waffles, her expression was beyond words. I can’t tell you what it looked like, but I can tell you that it conveyed a simple but clear message: wow.

Dad loved his sandwich as well, and by the time we were stuffed to the gills with wholesome food, we were also convinced that dessert could only be better. So Mom and Dad got a piece of White Russian Pecan Pie, Gordon got a small “fried pie” that looked like a strudel. Meanwhile, I asked what they had gluten-free. My options? Zip. Having nothing for me on the menu didn’t hold the kind folks at Julia Belle’s back, however. Before long, I had some banana pudding filling in a small bowl in front of me, and boy was it good. There was a strong yogurt base, with sweet, banana-y flavor throughout, and I found myself eating slowly to savor the taste.

The bakery.
The bakery.

Having eaten our fill, and hugged Aunt Fran goodbye, we waddled out of the restaurant to the motorhome. Dad got into his van, Gordon, Mom, and I piled into our house, and off we went. That day we would cross South Carolina, Georgia, and get a decent way into Florida. Then we would arrive at TTO (Thousand Trails RV Park, Orlando) and meet up with friends. We’ll all be here until early February, when the families will start to disperse. And that’s when Turtletells will leave, headed out West once more.

Food in Different Places

Since we’ve traveled, we’ve discovered new restaurants and places to eat that we love. For example, we ate at Bojangles a lot when we were in the south because it’s delicious, less bad for you than a lot of fast food, and an awesome southern experience.

Eating Cherry Garcia (My favorite flavor!) at the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont.

When we were in North Carolina, we ate at 12 Bones a few times. The place has two locations and is known as the best barbecue in Asheville. We’ve eaten seafood in Pikes Place Market in Seattle, surf and turf tacos at a street taco stand in San Diego, and chicken and waffles in Kentucky.

A little cafe in Little Italy in New York.
A little cafe in Little Italy in New York.

In Cape Cod we had lobster a few times, and I found out that even though I tried to eat it many times, I’m mildly allergic to lobster. So sad, right? At least it’l save me some money. IMG_2760 (1)

The point of saying this is that when you travel, you try new things that you wouldn’t have been able to at home, and sometimes it’s amazing, like Bojangles or 12 Bones! And sometimes you find that it’s even better than amazing, like Pikes Place! So if you want to read more about travel and experiences, make sure to buy our new book coming out soon: The Kid’s Guide to Life on the Road!

12 Bones


the sandwich, mac, and slaw.
chowing down

When Grandma Ruth came last time, she took us to the 12Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina. It was awesome barbeque and the sides were also great. I got a pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. The pulled pork was some of the very best I’ve ever tasted, and the mac and cheese was awesome too, but I wasn’t very into the slaw because I think it was too sweet. We had an awesome time.

We found out that President Obama came there in ’08 to eat, and ever since it’s been all the locals can talk about. They even think he is going to buy a house and move here!