Hurricane Florence hit coastal North Carolina hard with damage and flooding after making landfall September 14. The storm led to the evacuation of more than 1 million people — and a flurry of kitchen activity in Wilmington. Here’s a nod to at least four Wilmington restaurants that served up delicious acts of charity in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Serving up BBQ
Mac’s Speed Shop in Wilmington whipped up barbecue plates for first responders and linemen at 4126 Oleander Dr. this week. “They’re actually serving anybody who is lending a helping hand to their fellow man,” said Alex Riley, on the scene in a video for StarNews.
North-Carolina-based BBQ joint Mac’s is known for its biker-bar vibe, hickory-smoked pulled-pork BBQ, and slow-smoked Carolina beef brisket (to get the menu started), and comfort-food sides like mac ‘n cheese and cheddar grits.
Free food for all
On September 17, Wilmington restaurant Savorez at 402 Chestnut St. started dishing out free food to the community. Even without power, staff cooked the remaining items that weathered the storm, paired with corn beef, sausage, and chicken from Cast Iron Kitchen. Passersby were offered the dishes for no charge. “The restaurants have a lot of product in here that we’re just sitting on,” said Savorez owner Sam Cahoon to WECT. “A lot of it did make it through the storm, thankfully. But there’s a lot of people without power, there’s a lot of people without food and we just want to do what we can to give back.”
Savorez features a Latin-American-inspired menu, with a variety of dinner items like tres cochinitos (grilled pork loin served atop black-bean-bacon-puree, along with pork belly and bean salad, arugula and pickled root vegetables) and vegeta comida (coconut rice with black beans, maduros, salsa fresca, citrus cabbage slaw, avocado and corn tortillas).
Free smoothies (and charitable smoothies)
Clean Juice at 917 Innovation Dr. in Wilmington put out a Facebook call on September 20 for information about where linemen and first responders are aiding relief efforts in the area. The point: Clean Juice is delivering free smoothies to the people behind the efforts. Through September 24, the North-Carolina-based chain is also taking in $1 donations from customers at participating locations, with a plan to match the donations up to $10,000 for Convoys of Hope. The humanitarian organization was on the ground in Wilmington during the storm, according to a press release.
Clean Juice carries organic acai bowls, cold-pressed juices (including Black, with activated charcoal, filtered water, lemon and maple syrup), cold-pressed shots, smoothies (like The Slushie One, with coconut water, honey, orange and strawberries), and more.
Free Mediterranean meals
Fast-casual, North-Carolina-based franchise Peño Mediterranean Grill opened its doors at 351-29 S. College Road with a limited menu on September 18. Founder Jamal Haddad posted on Facebook that free meals would be offered “in appreciation for our police, fire and first responders personnel for the great job they have done.”
Peño features gyro sandwiches, gyro bowls (such as the veggie falafel bowl with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, turnips and tahini sauce), kabobs and sides (like pita bread and stuffed grape leaves).