The Forum Shopping Center
1125 Military Cutoff Road
Wilmington, NC 28405
Café phone 910.256.5565
I'm not really sure why I haven't written about NoFo before. I've certainly eaten there plenty, so it's not exactly a new discovery. I think it's just been long enough that I'd forgotten that it's really a pretty good eatery. They have expanded into Raleigh and Charlotte now as well.
NoFo is one of those places that Southern Ladies like to eat. You know who I'm talking about. The ones that greet each other in squealy puppy voices? "Ohhhhhh, its sew good tew SEEEE yew!! How HAVE yew beeyun??" Yeah, those girls. It's OK. I can say that, because I'm born and bred here in the South, and these are my peeps. I'm not insulting them, it's just what you're going to hear when you go in there. (I asked my husband if I did that and he looked at me like I had leeches crawling out of my ears. Apparently not.)
There are plenty of men there too, though. After all, my husband was there with me. There's a shop next to it that sells soaps and cookbooks and cute stuff for kids (including those way cool old hokey joke toys like the gum package with the little thing that snaps your finger and a boutonniere that squirts you in the face), so if you have to wait for a table, there are things to look at.
But the food is what you want to hear about, of course. The menu is flush with a creative quiche of the day, soup, salads, and sandwiches, as well as homemade desserts that are showcased when you walk in the door. The turkey rueben is very good, as is their thai chicken wrap. The tomato basil soup is creamy and fresh tasting. And one of our favorite things is their salad bar. They make the salad for you, but you select what goes in it from the counter. A generous bowl is filled with whatever you like - crisp, fresh lettuce, roasted red peppers, crunchy hearts of palm, real minced bacon, several different cheeses, including a very good creamy goat cheese, shredded carrots, fresh cucumber - pretty much anything you might want on a salad. The nice thing about it is that all the components taste really fresh. Nothing tastes like it came out of an industrial-size can. The dressing selection is fine, and you can opt for a tasty piece of foccacia alongside.
It's a great lunch spot. The brunch menu looked good also, but we'll have to try that another time. Cocktails are also available, so you can enjoy a Bloody Mary or a nice glass of wine with your quiche, or a beer with your softshell crab BLT. It's a very family-friendly place, with plenty of things kids will eat too.