Unexpectedly tucked away in a corner of eastern NC is the Boiler Room, a hip oyster and burger bar. It’s a 4 hour drive from home for us, but whenever we are east of Raleigh, we have to make a detour to Kinston (which is coincidentally the home of Brandon Ingram and Jerry Stachouse, among a few other NBAers). So on our way home from a weekend in the Outer Banks we stopped by. This is my favorite burger spot in NC and the Kinston BLT Burger has got it all. Everything about this burger is prepared thoughtfully. The meat to toppings to bun ratio is perfect. You can eat it with your hands without making too much of a mess. Every aspect of the burger fits together like a beautiful puzzle - a perfect mix of ground beef, crisp lettuce, an elevated pimento cheese, thick cut bacon, and my favorite topping, a slice of pickled green tomato. This adds the perfect tanginess and acidity without being overwhelming like normal pickles can sometimes be.
Along with great burgers, Boiler Room is a destination that is stacked with interesting dishes, including blueberry BBQ wings, a unique version of oysters Rockefeller, a rotating cast of awesome ice creams and desserts, and what I think is the GOAT veggie burger made with butter beans. When my wife and I visit we order a few entrees and are more than happy to take leftovers home (if there are any).
Also, across the street from the pretty casual Boiler Room is its upscale sister restaurant, Chef and the Farmer, which has won tons of awards, has a TV show based on its chef (A Chef’s Life, highly recommend) and is my favorite restaurant in the Southeast. If you ever find yourself in the eastern part of state, a trip to Kinston for Boiler Room and/or Chef and the Farmer is definitely worth your time.