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

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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.

Video:
Link to Video on Youtube

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

Halloween Edition: Candy Corn at this House, Next!!!

Narrator: Shawn

One of our favorite months of the year for us is October for so many different reasons. Football season, great fall weather, and slower pace after a heavy tourist season some of the main reasons for the October Love. But no reason is bigger than the month-long celebration of Halloween. Classic Halloween movies being played all month-long like Poltergeist, The Frighteners , A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Cujo being some of our favorites. (A great list of the top 100 Horror Movies) Certain items that only make an appearance during Halloween time like Berry Boo Cereal. Who doesn’t want some of that blueberry flavored milk that comes after you finished the cereal which is better than the CoCoa Pebbles milk. Our workplace host probable one of the biggest costume parties in South Carolina located at Broadway at the Beach, so seeing all the creative costumes and the great outfits the ladies choose to showcase are always an extra treat during a crazy night of work. All the haunted houses and scary forest that pop up overnight to make a solid attempt to make yourself scream. We even created a map of the best haunted location across the United States on our Wanna See It All website. So many good reason why October is the best month.

We would like to share our childhood memories of Halloween and some our pictures of us in costume.

Shawn:

I was the kid on the left in the Fred Flintstone Costume

My parents were great when it came to the job of taking my brother and myself trick or treating. I think they got some enjoyment out of it also. My parents would have a solid game plan to maximize our chances for some great candy by taking us to the neighborhood that either had the nicest houses or houses that were rock out with decorations. Kinda knew those people were not handing out popcorn balls or candy corn to the kids. But that kind of planning came with a cost, a finder’s fee was applied at the end of the night. My parents would take a couple of pieces of candy for themselves. That was alright as long as I got the good stuff.

Later when I was allowed to go trick or treating by myself, I had a crafty plan that worked for a couple of years. I would have a back up mask in my candy bag. If I came to a house that was giving away full size candy bars (back in the day it really happened), I would come back with the other mask on so I could reap the double dose of candy awesomeness.

Nick:

I have several great Halloween moments. Walking down the street with my dad going door to door gathering as much candy as we could, helping my mom pass out candy to other trick or treaters, and going to see my papa and walk around his neighborhood. This picture that I am choosing to use is special to me because it has my grandpa and my mom in it and the costume I am wearing was hand-made by my grandmother. I remember all year-long I would think of what superhero I wanted to be that year. I miss those days, fun times and more candy than I could eat.

Jerry:

Jerry as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

The best place my parents would always bring my two sisters and I Trick or Treating was over my grandparent’s neighborhood. You know the neighborhood with tons of decorations and lights, where everyone went all out on Halloween. It was always cold around this time of year in New England, so my parents would drop us off at the houses that gave out CANDY BARS! My sisters and I would always know what houses gave out candy bars from the year before. My parents kept the heat blasted in the car when we would get back. There was always that haunted house on the block that would go all out and have people scare you as you walked up to their door. We were always looking over our shoulders. Then back to Grams house to see how much candy we all had. Of course we would have to grab a handful of Grams candy, lol. You sometimes miss those bitter cold walks up to doors to see the people’s faces! And see who could get the most candy.
Josh:

Josh as a clown

One of my best memories is decorations of my family’s house. Giant pumpkins and spiders full of leaves, the dummy hanging from a noose beside our house hanging over the street. My step-dad would dress up as a dummy and scare people when they walked up trick or treating. Tombstones all over the yard. We were like the Griswolds of Halloween.
Our advice: Make the most out of the last weekend of October and enjoy all the Halloween greatness.

Side Note: Special thanks to our mothers for digging up the costume picts.

Fort Macon, A Whole Lot of Fort Still Left Over

We planned a trip up the coastline of North Carolina to visit Fort Macon State Park and the Aquarium near Atlantic Beach. We couldn’t forget Wilbur’s BBQ too. Fort Macon is located on the Eastern End of Bogue Banks. We made it to the Fort around 11a.m.just as the sun started to heat up. So I knew it was going to be a great day for us to visit Fort Macon State Park. It was a bright and sunny day when we arrived at Fort Macon. There was no fee to get in. We just parked our car and next to the parking lot there were nice walkways and clean restrooms. The fort had a bold look to it with a pentagon shaped structure. The park had a lot to offer. Swimming, fishing and nature trails were spread out over the 398 acres. We were mostly interested in the Fort, due to our time schedule.

Jerry standing in front of the entrance to Fort Macon

Fort Macon had beautiful walkways and great audio-visual displays within the Fort Structure. The displays consisted of showing how the Confederate troops lived and operated there. It made it easy for us to envision the Civil War and what the men encountered during that time. There are several cannons around the perimeter of the fort to take a few snapshots of. The Fort looked in good structural condition and well maintained throughout the years. It’s almost like you could envision the battle of 1862 against the Union Artillery. The most impressive part of our trip to Fort Macon was the informational displays of how the men made there goods instead of importing them. It also showed how the officers lived compared to the enlisted men, and ways family would send letters to them. It really gave you a sense of the time period! I have to say, everything was within short walking distance of each other. Nick got sidetracked and got a little wet when he explored the tunnels beneath the fort. I‘m pretty sure that wasn‘t part of the tour. The majority of the trip it was just Shawn and I checking out different displays within the rooms of the fort. It’s a go at your own pace, kind of place! Shawn and I discovered a great view from on top of the Forts walls. It gives you a peripheral view of Fort Macon and the Atlantic Ocean that borders it. It’s a Must Visit!

Jerry standing beside one of the Cannons on the wall facing the Atlantic Ocean

We all seemed to enjoy our time at Fort Macon. Fort Macon is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You will need to charge your camera battery before you go considering all the photo opportunities!

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Firefly Distillery , Our Perfect Combination of Tea and Grapes

Firefly Distillery

If you are ever in the Charleston area, The Firefly Distillery (must be 21 to enter their website) is a unique place to visit. It is only 30 miles south of Charleston. It was a beautiful day to visit the Firefly Distillery, we had the windows down and, as always, we were enjoying our music. We all have different tastes in music so we are never listening to the same genre twice. It was nice to see all the beautiful Live Oaks as we got close to the entrance of Firefly Distillery. It was a bit hard to spot the entrance, so when using a GPS you will have to pay close attention. As you enter the Firefly Distillery, there are 11 acres of grapes along a winding dirt road. There was plenty of parking as we arrived. There were plenty of picture opportunities. One being the old Fashioned Out House. We stuck Josh in there to snap a hilarious photo.

Josh Checking Out the Old School Outhouse

The Firefly Vodka tasting was the most fun part of the day. We were welcomed in by the bartender. She made us feel right at home. Firefly was opened right from the families’ backyard and is the only Distillery in South Carolina. My favorite flavor during the tasting was the Lemonade Vodka. I think it was Shawn and Nick’s favorite also because they ended up buying a bottle each. I ended up saving my money for the wine tasting next door. That way I could bring back a bottle of wine for my girlfriend. It’s one of the very few dual Winery and Distilleries. We ended up doing two tastings which made us feel quite tipsy(no driving involved)!

Tasting at Firefly Distillery

It’s a unique and exciting place to visit if you’re planning a trip to Charleston, SC. Just don’t try to visit in January. They are closed the entire month. All and all, it was a well spent afternoon with my close buddies! I can’t wait for our next Tasting! Thank You Firefly Distillery!