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What food is Raleigh known for

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I am visiting Raleigh and would like to know what kind of food to look for. BBQ??? I don't know much about Raleigh and would like to hit Raleigh's best, even if it is a bit "touristy"

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  1. I have been in and out of Raleigh sinse the mid 60s..and I really dont think Raleigh is known for any specific type quisine...actually Raleigh is just starting to find itself food wise..its really only been in the past 5-10 years that Raleigh has attracted good restaurants and some noted chefs...the draw of the research triangle and influx of people has made it a better eating location than 20-30 years ago...anybody else want to comment.....

    1. Highbeams has the best wings I've ever eaten. Big fat drumettes and perfectly seasoned whether hot, medium or mild.

      1. Again, I would rec the State Farmers Market on Lake Wheeling Road just SW of downtown off I-40. They served mostly native foods with a selection of NC staples (BBQ pork sandwich, fried chicken, fried okra, butter beans, biscuits, cobblers, etc.). Exploring the market before and after is also fun.

        1. The Angus Barn for great steak. BBQ of course, but I have not found a great one yet. The Roast Grill for hotdogs, Google choppedonion.com for pictures. And the Char-Grill for milkshakes and burgers. All great places.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Choppedonion

            Can't share the love for Angus Barn and I cringe when out of towners are told to go there because it's a "Raleigh Institution".

            I've been here for about 4 years and haven't come across much that is uniquely Raleigh. The triangle area as a whole has a burgeoning food scene and there are some chefs who are commited to local products and bringing a southern sensiblity to it. However, the same could be said about other southern cities as well.

          2. The Angus Bar isn't good at all.

            I don't think this area is known for any one type of food. I think we are lucky that we have a lot of good places between Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill

            1. on Jul 03, 2006 chops replied

              There are really 2 parts of the Angus Barn. The everyday diners experience and the high end diners experience. On both fronts the Barn excels at service. People come back because the service is as good as you will ever see. Get a bad meal, receive a gift certificate in the mail........forget a drink, the next one is free. Due to the sheer volume you are going to get bad steaks once in a while, but they will make up for it. The atmosphere is a personal preference, but I love the wild turkey lounge and only eat in the lounge. The reason it is so well know nationally is how they cater to high end clients and their extensive award winning wine list. Anyone that has enjoyed a dinner in the wine cellar would agree that the Barn is an excellent restaurant, but unfortunately that does not always translate to the typical dining experience upstairs. I enjoy the Barn and there is no way that they are more expensive then any of the upscale chain steakhouses. When I feel like the slick big city feel, then I will go to one of those, but usually I prefer the down home character feel of the barn. To each his own.......

              1 Reply
              1. re: mclaugh

                I ate at the wine cellar with a large corporate group and I would say that the service was excellent. The wine pairings were delicious and overall the food was delicious. there were a few things that I didn't care for but most of that had to do with personal tastes. Overall it was a great experience.

              2. I have been to the wine cellar at AB a couple times and just don't share your opinion. I have found it okay, not stellar, considering what you are paying. I agree the Wild Turkey lounge is nice, but have never eaten up there.

                1. Lotta pork doled out over at the statehouse...

                  1. I would have to echo the recs for the Angus Barn, but don't waste your time in the dining room - eat in the Wild Turkey Lounge. Much more relaxed and casual atmosphere, friendly servers, and great people watching.

                    1. Detlefchef pretty much has it correct, except for one little thing.

                      Raleigh really isn't "known" for anything the way say maryland became known for crab cakes or boston for "baked beans" (Actually most baked beans in boston are terrible -- so much for popular theory) or New York City for Jewish Delis.

                      So yeah, there are some good places to eat around here, but they're Italian or Nouveau Cuisine or Chinese or . . well you get the picture. We've become a pretty urbanized country, and everyone has some of everything.

                      But the Angus Barn is in fact a Raleigh institution. Now I'm not claiming it is one of the "best" restaurants around. It is good, it is enjoyable, the service is typically great, it is expensive. And it's a big barn looking structure. And it has been there for Decades. Yeah decades. When was the last time you looked and saw a popular fancy trendy restaurant be there for Decades?

                      Of course I also think Antoines in New Orleans is worth visiting, I mean it's only been open for over 150 years.

                      The Angus Barn was one of the first two *good* steakhouses anywhere around here, back before the population was more than 80% people who had never lived in NC 30 years ago. Hartman's was the other one, though it is long gone...

                      Fearrington House Restaurant IS one of the best experiences you can get in the Triangle. It's just south of Chapel Hill in Chatham county, in an old southern farmhouse (fancied up) surrounded by cows. It is a very highly rated nationally known restaurant, but is not popular with a crowd of the "trendies" here. It has also been there a good while, and is worth it to visit for the experience, including the food.

                      You can easily search this board for all kinds of good "local" places. Give it a try. I also recommend that you try a blog called "varmintbites" for a couple of other good local recommendations.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: fussycouple

                        Kathi Purvis, food editor of the Charlotte Observer, wrote an article several years ago about the Raleigh food scene. I was quoted in that piece and stated something to the effect that Raleigh has fine food, but it doesn't have anything iconic or what would be considered "best in class." There's nothing in our capital city that screams out as a "must have." Yes, you can eat very well here, but I still can't claim we have any food for which we are known. I'm hopeful that The Pit's opening will make Raleigh a barbecue destination, albeit an expensive one.

                        1. re: fussycouple

                          I last ate in the Angus Barn in 1972. Pleasent, nice steak, not oustanding but good.
                          35 years ago. That's a long time. Not too many places still here after all those years. I wouldn't mind going back for a steak..

                          1. re: gashrink

                            While not known for any particular foods, there are a few institutions--Char Grill, the Roast Grill....