State of the Triangle chow report?
I'd like to compile a categorical chow report for the area that DOES NOT BASH THE TRIANGLE FOR NOT BEING NY/SF/BOSTON/CHICAGO. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. categories will include (and i'm happy to take suggestions on more)
sandwich (not burger)
<$10 meal of any type
>$50 meal of any type
chili (this is one i have been searching for high and low, to no avail)
best new restaurant (less than 1 year)
this is in raleigh, durham, chapel hill, and reasonably located outliers.
burger: gotta go with porter's... just had my first the other day. that was righteous. close second is town hall grill.
taco truck/taqueria: super taqueria
sandwich (not burger): BLT at Merritt's, followed by hot dog at roast grill
<$10 meal/pp of any type: above notwithstanding, banh mi and pho dac biet at 9n9 for 8.50 total
>$50 meal/pp of any type: gotta go with mag grill. time after time, the guy impresses me with the food. service is consistently very good, room needs help, but the food is as good as i've had almost anywhere.
chili (this is one i have been searching for high and low, to no avail): help! i haven't found one that is really good... had some decent lamb chili at james joyce, but not what i'm craving (which is why i usually just make it at home)
indian: saffron. what a great addition to the area
thai: thailanna, NC 55
pho/vietnamese: 9n9, followed by lotus leaf cafe
breakfast: guglhupf. hands down.
best new restaurant: jibarra, north raleigh. gotta get back there. some of the best cocktails i've had. times bar is a close second.
Hmmm, I'll respond to only a couple of your categories.
Burger: I agree that Porters knocks it out of the park. Raleigh Times Bar also is quite good.
Hot Dog: Roast Grill is classic and timeless. Order it very dark. Cloo's is also good, but again, you need to tell them to cook it a bit longer.
Sandwich: Once again, I'm in agreement with Merritt's. I drive from Raleigh to Chapel Hill just for this sandwich. I really can't explain why it's so good. The homemade pastrami at the Raleigh Time Bar is excellent.
Expensive Meal: Magnolia Grill continues to put out the most creative food in the Triangle. I may be disappointed occasionally, but I think it's because Ben takes a chance that others won't. It's by no means the 11th best restaurant in the country, but it's damn good.
Sushi: Waraji -- no question
Breakfast: My house. Oh, after that, I like Elmo's solely because they actually serve shrimp and grits for breakfast -- when it's supposed to be served!
New Restaurant: I'll go with the Times Bar, solely because it brought top notch bar food to Raleigh. But I won't argue with your Jibarra nod, as it's a type of food that can't be found anywhere else in the Triangle.
I'm glad you threw this question out there. I've been missing Triangle posts here of late and actually wanted to put the breakfast question out there after having had an amazing breakfast in a hole-in-the-wall diner in Maryland this weekend. We passed diner after diner after diner and I was bemoaning the fact that I didn't know of many around here. Don't get me wrong - I think we have a lot of great stuff here, but the breakfast offerings are somewhat meagre. I'm also realizing I may not be as much of a chowhound as some of the more hardcore posters here. While I love fabulous food, I can't weigh in on half of your categories, and I generally don't even go to Raleigh unless there's a political protest of some sort, but here are my few meagre comments:
burger: Where is Porter's??
taco truck/taqueria: super taqueria
sandwich (not burger): beet/goat cheese sandwiche at Guglhupf
$10 meal of any type: 9N9/Crab cakes at City Beverage
$50 meal of any type: I'm in the Nana's camp, but haven't been to Magnolia Grill in forever.
indian - in Durham: Sitar
breakfast: Nowhere I'd rush to, but Elmo's is fine.(haven't had Guglhupf's breakfast for some reason, although I've been going there for years, but I'm German and make an excellent grilled nutella sandwich myself. Make it on brioche bread and you'll die, it's so good.
Porters is on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, across from the NC State campus. It's two doors down from Frazier's.
One other sandwich nomination, and this is for the 2AM crowd: the chicken and cheese biscuit at Time Out. Yes, it's gross, but there's nothing better after a beer or nine.