Pinehurst and Southern Pines. Many of them have that "neighborhood pub" feel with friendliness and great service as their hallmarks. Don't get me wrong, each of them also serves great food! But, walking in as a stranger and quickly feeling part of the gang is the real attraction.
Two of our favorites in Pinehurst are The Darling House and Maxie's Grill and Tap Room. Both are about seven miles from Grande Pines.
The Darling House is centrally located in the village and has a distinct Scottish pub feel. The architect did a great job squeezing in comfortable tables and a good size bar counter into an area that doesn't seem to be large enough for the bar alone! This makes for an intimate and convivial atmosphere. The owners, Steve and Liz Pattison, have put thought into every detail so that others can join them in their appreciation for Scotland and Ireland.
My favorite at The Darling House? A Guinness and a Guinness! Yes, the traditional pint of Guinness and the Darling House Guinness beef stew. A perfectly pulled pint and a delicious stew, seasoned in a broth of Guinness and served in a warm toasted bread bouille. Adele's favorite is Scotch Eggs -- de-shelled hard-boiled eggs, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried and served with a white wine Dijon sauce. Never tasted this dish? If you have the opportunity, try it!
Maxie's, while a little off the beaten path, but still walking distance from the village, is a relatively new establishment that has quickly built up a faithful clientele. 12 high definition large screen TVs make this a real sports lover's pub. Owned and managed by Maxie Gleaton, Maxie's offers up great pub fare with specials every day. Check out the soup specials -- Guinness Beef and Mushroom, Italian Sausage and Peppers, Beef and Chorizo Taco soup -- to name a few. Great salads (try the Spinach, Mandarin Orange and Shrimp salad) and multiple sandwich specials each day, including choices such as Roast Pork with Cajun Mustard Sauce and the Salami and Provolone Hot Bar sandwich.
Other Pinehurst pubs include the Carolina Hotel Ryder Cup Lounge, Mr. B's Lounge at the Pinecrest Inn, Dugan's Pub, Holly Inn's Tavern and the pub at the Magnolia Inn. All worth a visit!