January always seems to be a long month. We aren't complaining but the early sunsets and cold days seem to exaggerate the length of January. Also, if you live in the Raleigh area, you were lucky enough to enjoy two snow storms two weeks apart that seemed to slow time down even more! For those of us who have grown accustomed to living in Central North Carolina, we know how the cities tend to shut down with the slightest dusting of snow. Luckily, Heather and I were able to work from home one of the snow days; however, it didn’t take us long to catch a case of cabin fever. We decided to go for a walk and check out the local pizzeria close to our home that we have been meaning to try. Oakwood Pizza Box opened late 2017 and we had heard nothing but good things from our neighbors about it so we were excited to give it a try. When we walked in, everyone was extremely welcoming and because of the snow we did not have a wait to be seated. We were able to snag a booth and our waitress came right over with water which is always an appreciated welcoming. The menu is very simple. We ordered a half white pizza and half tomato sauce base pizza with sausage, mushrooms and green peppers. We got a large as we like to have leftover pizza (cold or hot ??). We didn't have to wait very long before our pizza was presented to us and it was heavenly. As you can see in the picture, they use homemade crust but Heather and I both felt the basil leaf topping on the pizza was a very nice touch that added to the flavors of the pizza. The prices were fair for what you received. This was our first visit to Oakwood Pizza Box but it will not be our last. Not to mention our leftovers were amazing!
Another restaurant that had been on our list to try was the Tropical Picken Chicken that is in the shopping center at the intersection of Six Forks Rd and Wake Forest Rd. A few years ago, Heather and I went to the International Food Festival (held annually in October) and we tried arepas for the first time. Let's just say it was love at first bite! At Tropical Picken Chicken, they have arepas advertised on their windows so we knew we were going to have to try this restaurant. While trying to decide what we wanted to eat on a Saturday evening, I suggested this "low-key" spot and Heather agreed it would be great to try. When we arrived, it was your typical restaurant where a hostess seats your party but one thing we quickly noticed was the amount of Spanish being spoken between the customers and staff in the restaurant. To our surprise, this is a Puerto Rican Restaurant and we felt like it was a great sign of the quality of authentic food we were about to partake in. As we looked over our menus, we decided to get a jerk chicken aprepa as an appetizer. The waiter did inform us that is would be quite a wait for our order so we should go ahead and order all of our food. Heather ordered the Empanada Platter with plantains, rice and beans, and I ordered the San Juan Platter which comes with pernil (pork), rice, beans, plantains, and avocado. We did have to wait about 25 minutes for our meal but let’s just say that to get more authentic Puerto Rican food you would have had to go to San Juan! We were very impressed! Everything was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. We felt that we had to wait so long for our food not only because of the crowd that was in the restaurant and the number of call-in orders they had, but also because this type of food seemed like one that you wouldn't want to rush. Take our word for it, go to Tropical Picken Chicken, wait and get an amazingly authentic Puerto Rican meal that will not disappoint!