BYH to the one saying that Democrats don't believe in America's borders. Where do they get this stuff? I've never heard...

Florence's floods and puppy love in Kinston


D.G. Martin


D.G. Martin

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Like all North Carolinians, I am worrying about the flooding causing heart-rending damage throughout our state following Hurricane Florence.

I have a special worry. It is about a puppy in Kinston.

Would the floods from Hurricane Florence put that puppy out of business in the same way that Hurricane Matthew did two years ago?

I fell in love with that puppy a few weeks ago.

I was on my way back from New Bern, where UNC-TV was recording a North Carolina Bookwatch interview with author Nicholas Sparks. In Kinston, I dropped by Kings, a barbecue restaurant that is one of those locally owned places that people across the state bring up when they talk about the favorite home-cooking places they visit while they are traveling. Lots of folks who travel to the beach on U.S. 70 told me they make Kings a regular stop. I wanted to include it in a group of iconic North Carolina eateries in a new book as a follow-up to “North Carolina Roadside Eateries,” which UNC Press published two years ago.

Long before Kinston’s public TV star Vivian Howard opened the now famous Chef & the Farmer, Kings had earned its special place. It began in 1936 when Frank King built a country store and small gas station in front of his farm. His son Wilbur took over the store in 1938 and passed it on to his son, Wilbur Jr. Tragically, Wilbur’s grandson, Wilbur III, died in an accident in 2003, and long-time employee Joe Hargitt became manager. Wilbur Jr. began transferring ownership to him.

That family tradition carries over to the employees. When I walked in to Kings unannounced, Justina Williams greeted me like a family member. “Come look at the buffet. It’s only $10.95, and you can get all you want and go back for more.”

When I said I wasn’t that hungry, she took me to the other end, sat me down at a table, gave me a menu, and introduced me to the manager, Barbara Gooding. “Mr. King hired me in 1987. Mr. Hargitt came on board about the same time and we worked together until he became the owner. Now he is my boss.”

But on the night I was there, Barbara was running the show and bragging to me about her daughters, both Eagles at North Carolina A&T.

Barbara suggested that I try Kings signature dish, the “Pig in a Puppy.” I did, and I loved that puppy from the first bite.

I am not by myself.

Saveur Magazine praised the puppy by describing it as “a quarter pound of hand-chopped whole hog laid under a mess of vinegary slaw, the pig … squished into a superabsorbent hoagie of a hush puppy — the sweet cornmeal fritter stretched out, pressed flat, and fried crisp to order.”

When I took a bite of the puppy and the barbecue, sweet slaw and crispy hush puppy, those tastes came to my mouth at the same time and blended into a wonderful treat. That is when I fell in love with the puppy, and its beautiful memory will bring me back to Kings whenever I am close by.

Two years ago the floods following Hurricane Matthew devastated Kings. But Hargitt and his crew had it up and running again in a couple of months. Hargitt held a grand reopening ceremony and announced a continuing two-for-one special on Tuesday nights: buy one dinner and get another free.

If Florence’s flood shuts down Kings again for a while, I will be waiting for the signal that it is open again and the puppy I love is ready for me to come visit again.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs at 11 a.m. Sundays and 5 p.m.Thursdays on UNC-TV. Today’s guest is Heather Bell Adams, author of “Maranatha Road.” Thursday’s guest is Philip Gerard, author of “Dark of the Island.” 


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


December 12, 2018

Q Is the push to take probiotics just another fad or is there a good reason to take them? AD, Winterville.

A You may have heard me suggest eating yogurt with active cultures if you are taking an antibiotic to help avoid diarrhea -- I’ve been saying that for years. But there is lots more…

Kolasa, Kathy

December 09, 2018

Texas Roadhouse located at 720 Greenville Boulevard next to Cracker Barrel in the Shoppes at Greenville Grande has Texas sized food and spirit. The restaurant is as big as Texas too with plenty of space with a down home country feel. Come in and be met with upbeat sounds of top country music and a…

Steak Display Case.jpg

December 09, 2018

A Stokes resident and retired public school teacher recently published a novel based on a larger-than-life friend engaged marijuana smuggling in the 1960’s abd 1970s.

Life and Times in the Sierra Madres: An American Smuggling Story is written by Michael Biondi. It was published in November…

Michael Biondi

December 09, 2018


In the Spring of 1986 I was invited by the deputy chief of staff for Vice President George H. W. Bush to a meeting with the vice president in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House. At the time, I was a young executive in the U.S. Department of Commerce working…

David Edgell

December 09, 2018

“There should be an historic plaque in Chapel Hill honoring George Bush.”

On the day after the former president’s death, Chapel Hill lawyer and chair of the town’s historic district commission, Bob Epting, was making opening remarks at a public seminar on preserving historic…


December 08, 2018

It’s an odd-ball sort of bush.

It’s a native species — nothing odd about that — and it was originally restricted entirely to the coast, from North Carolina all the way to Mississippi.

Now, though, it is common well inland within all of these states, and beyond, and appears…


December 07, 2018

In the annals of potentially disastrous spinoffs, "Creed" surely stands as an all-time champion. Directed with finesse and sensitivity by Ryan Coogler — who famously went on to make the blockbuster "Black Panther" — the 2015 drama had it all: a classically contoured boxing story, a…


December 07, 2018

Over nearly three decades of “The Nutcracker,” it is hard to imagine that anyone saw the Dance Arts Theatre production more than Jeane Welch.

She watched the first performance in 1985 when her daughter, Marty, was a dancer. She was in the audience when her granddaughter, Holton, twirled…


December 05, 2018

Members of the cast of Magnolia Arts Center's “Elf Jr.” are too young to remember when Will Ferrell starred as Buddy the Elf on the big screen. The beloved 2003 movie, which cost $33 million to make, grossed more than $220 million at the box office.

The musical version, which opens…

December 05, 2018

Wasabi 88 Asian Bistro Sushi & Bar located at 1605 E. Firetower Road in Greenville is the place to go when you’re seeking fresh and flavorful sushi and a multitude of Asian favorites. Front house manager Shawn Grazier invites customers to come and taste the sea at Wasabi 88. They offer…

Crab Wonton.jpg
191 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»