A food-filled Fourth of July

Ready for the Fourth? Besides stocking up on pretty exploding things, you’ll need something to throw on the grill, maybe some side dishes to boot. This week’s Xpress offers some outdoor cooking tips from some local masters — but where to get the grill fodder in the first place? And what if you don’t have time to cook at all? Plenty of local food businesses are here to help.

Did you know that George Washington was an enthusiastic cattle farmer? It’s appropriate, then, that in celebration of the founding fathers, Earth Fare is throwing a whole bunch of beef on the grill at their community cookout. Even better? Burgers are only a buck. The Saturday, July 2, celebration runs from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. and includes live music, prizes and plenty of food. Sure, it’s a little before the Fourth. If you’re a history dork, though, you may know that’s the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for American independence, anyway. So eat up!

Looking to throw your own private celebration of the founding fathers (or shoot off some firecrackers and light some sparklers — whatever moves you)? Luella’s Bar-B-Que offers a number of value meals. For monster appetites (or a big crowd), check out the aptly named “Old Glory.” The package includes two pounds of pulled pork, two pounds of pulled free-range chicken, two large sides, one pint of sauce, 10 buns and two gallons of sweet tea for $64. Order ahead for more banana pudding than you can shake a Roman candle at — up to 40 servings. Luella’s will be open from 12 until 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, and from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, July 4. Call 505-7427 to order. Visit the website for the full menu and for more information.

And speaking of dessert, The Hop Ice Cream Café has tubs of red-white-and-blue frozen goodness, made with raspberry and blueberry sorbets (made with all local berries) and vanilla ice cream.

What’s better than a big, juicy, fresh-grilled burger? One made from the locally raised, free-range and humanely treated beef from Hickory Nut Gap farm. The Farm is running a great Fourth of July special (that actually lasts through July) — 10 pounds of ground beef costs $50, $90 for 20. Hot dogs are $8 a pack, keilbasa only $6. Call 628-1027 to order.

If you’d prefer bison over beef, Carolina Bison may be your spot, with plenty of summer deals. Visit their website for more information: www.carolinabison.com

Completely eschew meat for the pescetarian approach? Greenlife Grocery is running their own bundle deal. From July1 through 4, get a family-size mixed green salad, a pound of wild-caught sockeye salmon, a 6-inch apple pie and a 32-ounce bottle of Santa Cruz lemonade — all for $20.

And speaking of fish, Blue Water Seafood has some good deals, too. Starting today (Thursday, June 30) the fishmonger will carry head-on shrimp for $8 a pound, yellowfin tuna for $11 a pound and sockeye salmon for $14 a pound.

Anything else going on out there food-wise for the Fourth? Use the comment field below to let us know.

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