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Jul 7, 2007 06:45 PM

Raleigh, NC first two weeks report

I have been using this site as a sort of bible for my new life in Raleigh, so I've tried out some things and figured I'd report on the success of my foodie mission.

Went to Guglhupf specifically to try the special: a grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut & dijon on brezel sub roll. They were out of it, and I wasn't too hungry so I asked for a nutella sandwich. Since it was on the kid's menu they refused to serve it to me. That made me angry, so I resisted purchasing a tempting piece of the fruit tart. Hubby ordered westphalian ham on rye with a cup of soup. It was tasty ham but $7 is a bit much for 1/4 cup of soup and a sandwich with only one piece of bread. Perhaps the pastries are what makes this place famous, not the lunch or the attitude. I do admit the atmosphere was lovely with fountains and the cafe was in a nice, open, 2 story building.

Mama Dip's: I brought some Brits here who were in town for the week and they loved the experience. I got to try some fried green tomatoes, which I loved, and they got to learn about hush puppies, cornbread, and biscuits. I had the chicken fried steak. It was pretty good but I expected a sausage gravy on it and it came with a brown gravy. The sides were ok but nothing to get excited about. All of the desserts were wonderful. I got happy nods from the guests about their rib and chicken dinners.

I tried Courtney's because it was in the top ten breakfast restaurants on aol or citylink and I found it to be between IHOP and Denny's in quality (not recommended).

We tried the NC State Farmer's Market for breakfast and found it lacking. I got country ham with home fries and didn't like either but the biscuits were light and fluffy. Hubby got corned beef hash and grits, and he didn't like either. The atmosphere was nice, and I like how the servers wore overalls. We had better luck buying some peaches from one of the stalls in the market. Perhaps the seafood restaurant is better.

Tried Snoopy's and thought it was ok for a basic dog but I'd love to try a place that grills them.

Returned for a second visit to Michael Dean's, which we enjoyed. I had shrimp and grits, which I hadn't had before ever so I can't comment on the quality but I enjoyed it. The last time I came there I had pork medallions on top of grits that were amazing, they grits here are super creamy and flavorful. And I'm not a grits person.

Tried Seaboard Cafe, which seats you in the midst of a pretty garden (attached to a nursery). It would be a good place for a quick lunch. I tried the crab cake sandwich which was the special, and it came with a heavy on the old bay shrimp macaroni salad on the side. The crab cake was deep fried and had a sort of breaded coating, with small shreds of crab. Hubby had a burger that was excellent with a lovely charred flavor, very moist. In general we enjoyed it.

Coffee shop report:

Driade coffee shop in Durham: Awesome tip about Driade! It has a really neat woodsy location, and I enjoyed the most amazing milkshake/espresso/mocha creation ever! I highly recommend the Driade shake. My hubby had a cappuccino and loved that also. This place has live music at times, and also serves beer and wine.

Cup a Joe: Burnt, overroasted coffee. Cool atmosphere but that's about it.

Global Village: Had some lovely pastries and cappuccinos at Global Village, which serves organic coffee. No annoying funky cup sizing naming scheme gives them extra points from me.

Hereghty Patisserie: Good cappuccinos, pastries I felt were overpriced for the quality. Neither my husband nor I particularly enjoyed our $4.50 pastries. I didn't finish my chocolate caramel tart, it was too rich. I normally am a glutton for any kind of dessert.

Caffe Driade
1215 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Hereghty Heavenly Delicious
2603 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27608

Cup a Joe
3100 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Global Village Organic Coffee
2428 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Snoopy's Hot Dogs
600 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Seaboard Cafe
707 Semart Dr, Raleigh, NC 27604

Courtney's Restaurant
407 E Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609

State Farmers Market Restaurant
1240 Farmers Market Dr, Raleigh, NC 27603

Mama Dip's Kitchen
408 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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  1. First, welcome to the area!!! A couple of quibbles-- Driade is in Chapel Hill, not Durham. This will become more apparent during basketball season (not sure your point of origin, so to speak). CH and Durham don't much like being confused, or at least their denizens don't. For grilled hot dogs, there isn't much of an option, but Roast Grill on West and Morgan does 'em on a rotisserie, with homemade chili and no f'in ketchup allowed. one of the best deals on lunch in the triangle. Sad about your experience at Guglhupf... they are not super high on the service bracket, so to speak. Food's pretty good-- give them another try for lunch, esp. while the students are gone. Also, instead of going to 18 Seaboard, which I presume is what you're talking about, belly up to the bar at J. Betski's in the same shopping center. Totally killer. Lastly, thanks for the report. Refreshing to hear a totally outside perspective. Cuidate--HSH

    1. Let me add a few more basic recommendations:

      Udupi in Cary for Indian.
      Bosphorus in Cary for Turkish.
      Waraji in Raleigh (?) for Japanese.
      Taqueria Superior in Durham for...well you know.
      Maple View Farm in Chapel Hill for Ice Cream.
      Red Palace in Raleigh for Szichuan Chinese.
      Elmo's in Chapel Hill...for cobbler only...

      1. I used to frequent Driade a lot in Chapel Hill, I really liked the vibe and the outdoor tables. They also had an affiliate called Open-Eye in carrborro that had good coffee although the place itself wasn't as nice. I definately recommend Waraji for Japanese (excellent sashimi) and I found a brunch to be very good at a mexican restaurant called jibarra (pastry buffet and awesome bloody mary's).