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WRAL’s Scott Mason releases Tar Heel Traveler Eats

 Tar Heel Traveler Eats

Food Journeys across North Carolina

WRAL's Scott Mason releases Tar Heel Traveler Eats

A curious foodie tour of the Tar Heel state, narrated by well-known television personality, Scott Mason (a.k.a., The Tar Heel Traveler).

Globe Pequot Press is proud to announce the November 2014 release of Tar Heel Traveler Eats: Food Journeys across North Carolina, by Scott Mason (978-1-4930-0638-0; $24.95, Hardcover).

Scott Mason photoScott Mason is the Tar Heel Traveler and he loves to eat hot dogs, cheeseburgers, barbecue, biscuits, and ice cream served in crumbling cinder-block buildings and ramshackle dives along the back roads of North Carolina. As a full-time feature reporter for WRAL-TV in Raleigh since 2007, Scott has discovered that North Carolina is filled with many amusing characters and out-of-the-way places, all of which are part of his Tar Heel Traveler television segment that airs Monday through Thursday on WRAL’s 5:30 pm newscast. The most popular stories are always about the hole-in-the-wall hot dog dives, cheeseburger joints, barbecue places, and ice cream parlors he has visited. He has featured dozens of such places on TV and now on paper he expands each story.

Each chapter of Tar Heel Traveler Eats focuses on a particular restaurant as seen through the eyes the reporter who stumbles upon these classic dives. He peppers each chapter with dialogue and descriptive detail that includes the often inspiring stories of how these places began. These stories are not only about the nothin’-fancy kind of places that are close to people’s hearts, but also about the culture, tradition, and heritage of North Carolina.

“CAT HEAD BISCUITS,” KEITH WHISPERED. . . . CAT HEAD BISCUITS? IS THAT WHAT HE SAID? I TURNED TO LOOK AT HIM, AND HE POPPED HIS HEAD UP AND GRINNED—LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT. “BIG AS A CAT’S HEAD,” HE SAID, AND HIS EYES GREW ABOUT AS BIG AS A CAT’S HEAD, TOO.”   “I finally placed my own order—a bacon, egg, and cheese cat head. “Here you go, hon,” the waitress said, and like Keith I used both hands to scoop it up. But as hungry as I was, I didn’t take a bite right away. Instead, I admired it a moment. The biscuit was as big as a fist but soft as a pillow. When I at last opened wide I noticed everybody watching me, the TV reporter trying his first Flo’s biscuit. The man who’d whooped and laughed earlier was now gripping the corner of the table and leaning on the edge of his chair. I shut my eyes and bit in. And what a biscuit it was—light, fluffy, warm, bacon, egg, and cheese. “Mmm, mmm,” I murmured, which was communication enough. The man slapped the table and laughed loud and hard. “Oh, yeah, yeah!” And me? I grinned like a Cheshire cat.”

“CAT HEAD BISCUITS,” KEITH WHISPERED. . . . CAT HEAD BISCUITS? IS THAT WHAT HE SAID? I TURNED TO LOOK AT HIM, AND HE POPPED HIS HEAD UP AND GRINNED—LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT. “BIG AS A CAT’S HEAD,” HE SAID, AND HIS EYES GREW ABOUT AS BIG AS A CAT’S HEAD, TOO.”
“I finally placed my own order—a bacon, egg, and cheese cat head. “Here you go, hon,” the waitress said, and like Keith I used both hands to scoop it up. But as hungry as I was, I didn’t take a bite right away. Instead, I admired it a moment. The biscuit was as big as a fist but soft as a pillow. When I at last opened wide I noticed everybody watching me, the TV reporter trying his first Flo’s biscuit. The man who’d whooped and laughed earlier was now gripping the corner of the table and leaning on the edge of his chair. I shut my eyes and bit in. And what a biscuit it was—light, fluffy, warm, bacon, egg, and cheese. “Mmm, mmm,” I murmured, which was communication enough. The man slapped the table and laughed loud and hard. “Oh, yeah, yeah!” And me? I grinned like a Cheshire cat.”

Scott Mason has been a television reporter for over twenty-five years and for WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler since 2007. His more than 100 journalism awards include fourteen regional Emmys and three National Edward R. Murrow awards. He has twice been named North Carolina Television Reporter of the Year, in 2004 and 2005. He is also the author of the book, Tar Heel Traveler.

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