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Triangle: Good eats w/in 10-15 min. of NC State Fairgrounds?

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Over the next few months, I’ll be collaborating with an office located very near the NC State Fairgrounds. As I like to get out for lunch to break up the monotony, I’m wondering what you all recommend within a 10-15 min. drive from this location. I’m open to any type of cuisine. The only caveat is that I need to be able to drive there, eat, and drive back within an hour to hour-fifteen. So far, I’ve successfully done so about perfectly with the following:

La Shish (Cary) – 3.9 mi
K&S Cafeteria (Cary) – 3.7 mi
Thai Villa (Cary) – 3.7 mi
Neomonde (Raleigh) -0.9 mi
Waraji (Raleigh) - 4.8 mi

Anything else worthwhile around here?

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  1. Four Indian places at Hillsboro and Maynard 3.5 miles
    Cindy's house and the Food Factory on Chatham in downtown Cary 4.6 miles
    Roast Grill for hot dogs, on West between Hillsboro and Morgan 4.5 miles
    Pam's Farmhouse on Western, less than a mile
    The Capital Room, run by the people who used to run the Belks cafeteria, less than a mile.

    6 Replies
    1. re: blewgo

      I haven't been around these parts to know much about the Belks cafeteria.. Was/is it particularly good for that genre?

      1. re: mikeh

        It was very good for that type of food. The food tastes the same to me. You now order off a menu instead standing in line. It is in the Ramada Inn on Blue Ridge South of and just before the freeway.

        1. re: blewgo

          How does it compare in type and quality to Pam's Farmhouse for lunch (also have never been there)?

          1. re: mikeh

            Pam's is more southern country cooking. You might find things like fried balogna and pork tenderloin among the meat selections. The place in the Ramada is less country. If you didn't grow up in the south, you might like it better.

            1. re: blewgo

              You might be cutting it a bit close but time-wise but you could really hit a pretty wide range of spots from there. Down Hillsborough St. across from NC State there is Porters open for lunch. Also, you have whole Glenwood South area not much farther than that and could hit the Rockford, 518 West and others on the main strip. Cut across over to Blue Ridge Rd. by the Art Museum and you've got Bella Monica or Char Grill for a burger. Go a tad farther and you've got Salsa Fresh. In same area, you could also hit Second City or 19th Hole for more classic sandwich and burger shops. Get over toward the airport and hit Rubs BBQ in Morrisville.

              1. re: blewgo

                Stopped by Pam's at peak lunch hour today, and it was a madhouse. Will go back some other time at off-peak hours. The food on people's plates looked very enticing.

      2. Try the museum restaurant. No fee to look at the permanent collection while you're there.
        http://ncartmuseum.org/restaurant.shtml

        1. The Roast Grill simply has the best hot dogs locally.
          Cooper's Barbeque downtown is great if you like NC Eastern Barbeque
          Mecca downtown is yet a third old old lunch place, almost worth it just for the historical impact.
          Amedeo's is decent Italian and great pizza, on Western Blvd.
          If you must have a yankee hot dog, try Coney Island in Mission Valley off Western.
          The big restaurant out at the farmer's market is good country cooking.
          Kashin at Crossroads in Cary off 1/64 is good Japanese, I think they're closed on Tuesdays.