Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Wilmington’s New Sub Place

Capriottis Sign

We had heard that Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop makes some of the best subs across the country. I knew down the road we would have to come to our own conclusions about that statement. It proves to be sooner than later. They have shops across fourteen states and their newest one happens to be in Wilmington, NC. Only a couple of hours from us, we decided to head for historic Wilmington for some photos and grab some lunch at Capriotti’s newest location.

The shopping centers in the area made it an ideal location for Capriotti’s.  But I was surprise that they pick a location that already has a few sub shops within few hundred feet. I’m guessing that Capriotti’s feel they deliver a superior product and once you try a sandwich you’ll be hooked. The layout was very clean which was expected for a new place. As soon as we walked in Capriotti’s, we were greeted and educated about the menu by the staff. The first thing I noticed about the menu was the size options: 9″, 12″ and 20″ subs.  I was very tempted to go with the 20″ meatball sandwich but I was still committed to my new diet plan. If two people were having same sandwich, the best deal would be to split a 20″ sub. The cost would be around $7.30 for 10″ while normally 9″ cost $7.59.  ( Sample of menu at very bottom)

Inside Capriotti's Sandwich Shop ~ Wilmington, NC

Inside Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop ~ Wilmington, NC

The most popular and famous sandwich on Capriotti’s menu, “The Bobbie”: Homemade Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo. Basically the sandwich is described as Thanksgiving meal that you could have any time in the year.  A very interesting sandwich but I lack the fondness for cranberries. Even before I left the house I knew the meatball sandwich was my goal for lunch. I’ll be honest, I usually eat at fast food style sub shops, where the meatballs taste artificial and the bread becomes soggy from the sauce. The complete opposite can be said about Capriotti’s meatball sandwich ~ the meatballs were large full of flavor and the bread manage to stay together. Overall a very well done meatball sandwich and I should have gone with the 20” version.

Caprtotti's Meatball Sandwich 12" ~ Their own signature homemade meatball recipe and topped off with Provolone cheese, grated Romano cheese, and sauce.

Caprtotti’s Meatball Sandwich 12″ ~ Their own signature homemade meatball recipe and topped off with Provolone cheese, grated Romano cheese, and sauce. It’s hard to make a meatball sub look pretty. All that matters is the taste.

Josh decided that he would try the 12″ Grilled Italian. He said it was awesome and the only improvement was if the cheese was more melted. I think the new staff was still learning “timing” with the hot subs because my cheese needed little melt too.

Capriotti's Grilled Italian ~ genoa salami, capacolla and prosciutini makes for an awesome sandwich.

Capriotti’s Grilled Italian ~ genoa salami, capacolla and prosciutini makes for an awesome sandwich.

The verdict about being the best sandwich shop in the country still up in the air. It would be only fair to check out other worthy opponents. But I will admit they have very good meatball sandwich and anytime I’m on the road near a Capriotti’s, I’m stopping for a 20″ sandwich. Hopefully Jerry or Nick is not afraid of cranberries so I can get “The Bobbie” review.

specialmenu_CAPCapriotti’s Sandwich Shop

3501 Oleander Dr. #2
Wilmington, NC 28403

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, No Bacon Shortage Here

A little bit of a delay on the review, we visited Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar back in early August. The first food stop on the Charlotte road trip was not up to our standards and Carowinds, our main goal, was closed. I made the failed assumption that Carowinds would still be open during the weekdays in early August. I needed to find a great place to make up for my prior mistakes during this particular road trip. After reading some reviews and our love for good burgers we settled on Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. I had 2 strikes against me during this trip, this burger bar may keep me from striking out.

The customer service was outstanding from start to end. Our server, Ashley (maybe misspelled) was on her “A” game. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and offered up her personal favorites. The conversation didn’t seem fake and she was very up beat. She will go down as the best server to date that I have ever had in a casual dining atmosphere. The manager on duty didn’t charge us for our fried pickles starter because he thought the fried pickles were slow getting to the table (For us ~ no time issue). The service alone will have us come back when we make a return trip to Charlotte.

Let’s go over the food:

We started with the Fried Pickle Starter served with ranch dressing. ($7.25)

Fried Pickles

This would be the second time I have had fried pickles and this version had a little more of a kick in flavor. The batter was crispy and fell apart from the pickle easily. As you can see the pickles were lightly battered. Overall they were alright, I’m slowly becoming a fan of fried pickles.

Jerry’s Build a Burger: Bison burger with Fried Egg, Buttermilk Fried Bacon, Blue Cheese and Bacon Mayo. Along with House Made Chips ( $17)

Jerry’s Build a Burger

Shawn’s Build a Burger: 6oz burger with Fried Egg, Buttermilk Fried Bacon, White Cheddar, and Bacon Mayo. Along with Sweet Potato Fries ($15.50)

Jerry and myself decided to get creative with our burgers from a wide variety of topping options. We highly recommend getting the Buttermilk Fried Bacon, it takes the burger to a whole new level of awesomeness. The fried egg starting to be a “must” for me when available. The busted yolk adding to the flavor of the burger. The bacon mayo was not a big impact so next time I’ll probable leave it off the burger. The cost of the burger was well justified and had no problem paying that price. I will never have an issue paying higher price for better quality burger over a $6 tasteless mess from a fast food place.

Josh’s Southern Burger: Basic burger topped with chili, American cheese, relish, mustard and slaw.($10)

Josh’s Southern Burger

Josh’s memory of his burger experience was lacking. I guess in future reviews I need to get his information right away. He was able to say his burger was good, the chili was mild and tater tots were normal.

The overall experience was great! We’ll definitely make it back. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar so we can sample the shakes (Chunky Elvis) along with the burgers.

Service: 9.5/10

Burger: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

We Visited Bad Daddy’s Ballantyne Location: 15105 John J. Delaney Drive, Ste. A
Charlotte, NC 28277

Georgia Aquarium: Whale Shark of a Good Time

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the biggest and best aquariums in the world. It was easy to put it high on our bucket list of “Must Go” places. We would like to start by saying a big “Thank You” to Jessica for being so cool with us. We always appreciate it when people open their doors and show us everything we wanna see. Now the highlights and details of the Georgia Aquarium.

Parking: Use the parking garage connected to the aquarium. It’s $10 for all day parking pass. We initially had some confusion on where and when to pay the parking fee. Here is the scoop on that subject: Pay when returning to your car at the kiosk near the elevators. Make sure to grab the receipt which you will use to raise the gates at the exit. Do not be cheap and use nearby parking lots offering $5, your car is much safer in the garage.

Hours: Sunday through Friday: 10am-5pm Saturday 9am-6pm Allow for 2-3 hrs to explore all that Georgia Aquarium has to offer.

Cost: General Admission Adult $29.95 Child $23.95. The experience for the child is “off the charts”, leaving long-lasting memories and making the admission price well worth it overall.

Our pictures and videos from the Georgia Aquarium centered around four permanent exhibits. We will give an overview of each exhibit. We decided to skip the Dolphin Tales because we heard it was geared more toward children. We also decided to pass on Georgia Explorer, we had been to a few aquariums in the prior months that feature local habitat similar to Georgia Explorer exhibit.

The Ocean Voyager Exhibit has to be the pride and joy of the Georgia Aquarium. It was a jaw dropper for us when we entered the exhibit and stood in front of the enormous viewing window for a long time just gazing into the blue hue. It is easily the largest tank in North America holding 6.3 million gallons of salt water, with four whale sharks and four manta rays . They are the only manta rays in an aquarium in the United States. An added bonus is the 100 foot underwater tunnel through the massive tank bringing you up and close to the giant groupers.

Nick standing in front of Ocean Voyager. Nick stands 5’11” The Ocean Voyager viewing window measure 23 feet high by 61 feet wide

Here is a tip: Have your camera ready when entering with a child, the expression on their face is priceless and needs to be captured.


The River Scout was pretty interesting to walk through compared to the other exhibits. The exhibit carries an outdoor theme throughout the entire exhibit. River Scout features animals that can be found across the world. Some of our favorite animals in the exhibit: Asian small-clawed otters (sleeping) and red piranhas.

White American alligator in River Scout Exhibit


The Cold Water Quest has a lot of stars in the exhibit The beluga whales (4 of them) are constantly swimming by the viewing window entertaining the crowd. They definitely acknowledge and know when people are watching them. The southern sea otters are huge compare to some other otters I have seen in the past from other aquariums. The otters were play wrestle with each other like siblings in their childhood years. In the penguin area, I convinced Nick to crawl through a tunnel to reach an up-close viewing area. The penguins were very active, swimming and waddling around their surrounding.

Nick trying to get a close up of the penguins in the Cold Water Quest exhibit


We have to agree with Georgia Aquarium’s statement “Tropical Diver is a living art exhibit”. The Pacific Barrier Reef filled with so many moving colors making it rough on the eyes to select just one fish. We never saw a garden eel before and it was helpful that one of the volunteers was present to tell us more info about the eel.


Our Closing Thoughts

Shawn: Great aquarium, really appreciate the high theme level for each exhibit. It works well in setting the overall mood for the exhibit. I could easily sit for more than a half hour in the Ocean Voyager and watch the whale sharks.

Georgia aquarium is a “Must Visit” if you have children. The kids in the area are lucky to be able to go on field trips to the aquarium and see the behind the scene workings. My childhood field trip consisted of trips to Johnstown Flood Museum which barely reached exciting on fun score.

Nick: The aquarium was amazing. If you have not been to Georgia Aquarium, you need to plan a trip ASAP. Going behind the scenes with Jessica was awesome. She was very hospitable, and knowledgeable about everything going on at the aquarium. She showed us some great stuff behind the scenes. I loved the penguins and the otters. I have always wanted to own a little penguin. I have to agree with Shawn that the Ocean Voyager was my favorite part. Sitting there looking at Voyager tank is like having a seat down on the bottom of the ocean looking out. Awesome view. Next time I wanna get in the tank! This place is definitely on my top 10 places. Can’t wait to go back. I give this place 10/10

We have more pictures on our Wanna See It All Facebook Page

Ria’s Bluebird, Done Right Their Way

Ria’s Bluebird, a breakfast institution in the heart of Atlanta known for world-famous pancakes. Only a few miles away from the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca Cola. We read in countless articles that many writers put Ria’s Bluebird on top ten list of best breakfast joints across the United States. It was our time to decide the validity of these claims.

We arrived on an early Monday morning in September, much to our delight the place was not hopping yet. We were able to walk in and stake our claim to some good day starters. Before we jump in about the food, I have to make note of some observations I made while waiting for breakfast. Ria’s Bluebird is kinda on the small size on the inside, a very limited amount of seats. I can easily see how a line of people outside the door waiting to hear “Next” on busier days of the week. In our readings of Ria’s Bluebird, we came across a comment that stated “Hipsters frequent this establishment often” . No bother to us, we did see one patron that fit the hipster bill. A very interesting gentleman with very short cut off blue jean shorts and classy handle bar mustache. He helped himself to some coffee with a cup he brought in himself, walked around for a few minutes talking with the locals, and constantly grooming his fine tuned mustache. This only added to the very interesting atmosphere of Ria’s Bluebird. Now lets get to the food.

Looking at half the seating available at Ria’s Bluebird. Get there early.

Shawn: I was originally going to order the famous pancakes with pecans/bananas but I saw an old friend on the menu that I had not seen in a while. Mr. French Toast, my favorite breakfast buddy, who I had not sat down with for some time. The plate was piping hot and loaded with maple syrup. They did not cheap on the syrup, it was actually overflowing the plate. The bananas and maple syrup was the best part of the dish. The best maple syrup I have ever had, granted that I never had maple syrup from local Vermont maple farm. The bananas melt in your mouth with goodness. All bananas should be served this way. I’m not a breakfast person in general, but this dish could make me do it on the daily. I’ll give this dish 9/10 losing a point for just average french toast slices.

French Toast ~ Myer rum dipped brioche with caramelized bananas

Nick: He had the special omelette of the day which was bacon cheddar with mandatory sides. Ria’s Bluebird has strict rules against substitution of sides. The Ria’s standard with special: 1 meat, 1 starch, and 1 bread. Nick’s standard with special: 2 starch and 1 bread. Denied because the chef feels the dish has been perfected the original way and should not be altered for integrity of guest experience. We always give respect and it prove to be a non issue.

Nick’s Feedback “As soon as the waitress told me the special was a bacon cheddar omelet I was sold. It was the best omelet I have ever had in my life. However, I am deducting two points from my rating because I was unable to substitute a side. I simply wanted extra potatoes instead of a meat. I don’t like sausage and there was already bacon in my omelet. My rating is 8/10. Amazing food and definitely a fan of everyone sleeved with tattoos!”

Special omelette of the day: Cheddar Bacon with skillet potatoes, bacon, & warm biscuit


A great experience with the added luck of being seated promptly. A lot of good menu items, some people could view the pricing on the high side. But I always felt, the price you pay always matches the quality when it comes to food. So for us the pricing is justified. It’s too early for us in our adventure to call this place “Top Ten” but it definitely left a long-lasting memory.

Check out our Wanna See It All Facebook Page

NASCAR Hall of Fame, Checker Flag or 5 Car Wreck

The NASCAR Hall of Fame was not on our original game plan when we visited Charlotte. Our goal was to tackle the Intimidator at Carowinds, but we were unaware that they would be closed during the weekdays in late August. So we quickly needed an alternative fun place to visit to make the 4 hour trip worthwhile. The NASCAR Hall of Fame caught our eye. Not because we are die-hard race fans (We are only average fans) but due to the “over 50” interactive stations at the Hall. So we decided to head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame . Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing boys!

The admission for the Hall was $19.95 which was a fair price for the two hours we were wondering around the place. They will give you a “Hard Card” at the admission counter which you take it to the first station to create a profile for the interactive experience throughout the Hall. Be mindful and pick a nickname that would be proper for the general public because it may show up on the big screen for all to see. Make use of the “Hard Card” throughout the Hall to get most out of the experience and you will receive a final score at the very end of the Hall. A very cool idea.

The very first area we discovered was the Great Hall with Sunoco Glory Road leading up to the third level. They have a number of historic cars on display in this area. They did an amazing job showcasing these cars and very creative way to get people to the upper level. Way better than an escalator or elevator.

One of the many historic cars located in the Great Hall

One of the cars on display on Sunoco Glory Road

The third level has the Hall of Honor. NASCAR did a terrific job honoring their legendary drivers. The lighting, displays and video screen around the upper dome, they all come together to set the appropriate mood. If you’re a die-hard racing fan this area is a “Must” visit.

Hall of Honor

The rest of the third and fourth levels hold the majority of the interactive stations of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. They help people get a better understanding what happens on “Race Day” and the progression of racing through the years. The two stations that were the most fun were the Kobalt Pit Challenge and iRacing Simulator. The Kobalt Pit Challenge allows two people to simulate a timed pit stop in NASCAR. None of us wanted to show our pitiful attempt at changing a tire, but we did capture two guys that put on a clinic on how it should be done. (Video Clip) The iRacing Simulator was an extra 5 dollars, but it was worth every penny. Jerry and Shawn both jumped in a car to race on the Bristol Track against other visitors which consisted of 2 pace laps and about 12 laps of racing. Jerry did very well, but Shawn managed to get the 3rd fastest lap time overall for the day and still only finished 7 of 8. The controls take some practice so make sure to visit the practice area first.

iRacing Simulator: Each car holds two racers. The race is broadcast on the big screen along with the fastest times of the day.

Josh: What I liked about the Hall of Fame?
The history behind NASCAR, the memorabilia in the glass cases, the interaction activities.
It was an all around good time.

Jerry: What I enjoyed the most from my visit at the Hall was how it brought you every aspect of NASCAR and how it all started from the moonshiners to the 1st race at Daytona Beach to the Super Speedways of Talladega! Its great how the Hall allows you to test your skills with the simulator and pit crew tests. I would recommend a visit to anyone who loves NASCAR like me!

Shawn: During iRacing, I was going with Ricky Bobby ideology of racing “Only one speed ~ Fast” which in return I shared some rubbing time with the wall.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame was a surprise hit for us. We do not think you have to be a NASCAR fan to appreciate this place. They did a terrific job creating an environment that appeals to a broader crowd thus potentially gaining new fans. Well played NASCAR Hall, you received the checker flag from the Wanna See It All Guys.

Link to Video on Youtube

We have many more great photos posted in our Facebook Album worthy of a check out.

SweetFrog, Get in My Tummy

SweetFrog is a chain of premium frozen yogurt shops found across the United States. They are a type of yogurt shop where you grab your own cup, flavor, and toppings. The weight comes into the factor of the cost of the goodness. I only became aware of this place couple weeks ago while reading a post on Facebook. Someone mentioned how they had a craving for some SweetFrog that needed fixed ASAP. After 36 “Likes” and positive comments I knew we had to check this place out.

Josh’s Choice: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Milk Yogurt with chocolate chips chopped up snickers, caramel syrup and hot fudge with whip cream.

The closest one for us was only 4 miles away. When we walked into SweetFrog, we were greeted right away. The employee had so much joy and enthusiasm that it actually carried over to us. I was so pumped up to pull the yogurt machine handle and win my prize. They have over 50 flavors but the location we were visiting only had ten flavors available. Before going to SweetFrogs, I checked the flavor options online ~ I was gunning for Jolly Rancher Fruit Punch. It would bring back memories as a kid walking home from school and stopping at small newspaper/candy shop to buy some 10 cent jolly ranchers. I was a little disappointed that my memory was not available and I had to go with a back up plan. I decided to get all Top Chef “Just Dessert” creativeness with the red velvet yogurt with white cake pieces and white chocolate chips. It was amazing and only $5 out-of-pocket (pretty good value) It actually tasted like red velvet cake.

I told Nick ahead of time to get crazy with his selection and be somewhat adventurous. Prior blog entries ie Wilber’s Barbecue might give you a clue how far out of the box Nick goes. He went with Cookies & Cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. His selection reminded him when he was little, his mom would take him to dairy queen almost every day after school to pick up some cookies and cream blizzards or sometimes stop by the gas station and pick up some Reece cups / slurpie combo. Overall he agreed with me that SweetFrog has some good yogurt.

Shawn’s Choice: Red Velvet with white cake & white chocolate chips

Nick’s Choice: Cookies & Cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

We will definitely be repeat customer at SweetFrog. So many interesting flavors to try. As we try them we will update this post.

Our Flavor Hit List: Apple Pie, Maple Bacon Donut, New York Cheesecake, Root Beer Float and Thin Mint Cookie

Side Note: Josh went a couple of days later after us.

Patriots Point, We Salute You

Patriot Point is probable the best naval museum in the United States. Patriot Point is located just north of Charleston, SC. It took us about a 2 hour drive from Myrtle Beach to get there. The cost of parking was $5 for the day. Side Note: Ever notice when you drive up to one of these parking booths that your passengers are always looking out the opposite side window. The cost of admission for an adult was $18 which we feel is a pretty good deal for the amount of time you will spend there. You can explore the USS Clagmore (submarine), USS Laffey, USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier) and Vietnam Naval Support Base. Doing all of these would take up a good portion of the day. We will break down each section of Patriots Point.

USS Clagmore

Currently the USS Clagmore is having maintenance work done so we were unable to explore this time around. They posted that the repairs would be done in Mid-July.  But during a prior visit we had the opportunity to check out the inside of the Clagmore. I could only imagine my 6’1″ frame would be a hinder if I was a sailor back in the sub’s active day. The corridors were very tight and cramp. If you have a phobia of tight places this would not be on your high level of fun.

USS Laffey

The USS Laffey was nicknamed “The Ship That Would Not Die” because the ship held off so many kamikaze attacks. The USS Laffey took about 30 minutes to walk through the entire ship. The highlight for us was the ability to check out the area where the crew worked the cannons. Manning the cannons had to be the worse job on the ship, to sit basically in a hot box for hours with no air circulation.

USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown is the best part of the Patriot Point experience. The ship is broken down into 6 different tours with each taking about 30 to 45 minutes to walk through. We had a lucky opportunity stand in on a tour given by one of the volunteers. Most of the volunteers were in the Navy during World War 2 so the stories they have to share carry that much more weight and interest. If you have the chance to follow a guide around the ship do so, it takes the experience to a much higher level.

When taking these 6 tours, you will be going up and down stairs at a constant rate. You will get enough exercise and no need to hit the gym later. This place is a perfect father/son outing, guarantee no boy would  turn down this adventure. Our favorite spots (kinda obvious) flight deck, hangar bay and torpedo workshop. The added aircraft (over 20) on the deck and hangar was a very nice collection.  Please make sure to check out the Medal of Honor Museum near the entrance of the USS Yorktown. It was done very well and the tunnel caught me off guard in a good way. Some added photos below with 2 videos.

Photo from the flight deck of Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge leading into Charleston

Torpedo workshop aboard the USS Yorktown

Where pilots go over flight missions

The HD Video

The SD Video (different from HD)