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Sep 4, 2007 05:00 PM

Anything new in Durham?

Any place worth discovering that's new to Durham, NC? Thanks!

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  1. What are your parameters for new? How long have you been here? What have you tried? What sort of food/dining do you like?

    6 Replies
    1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

      I like food that has flavor- no need to be fancy- just vibrant. Been here about 2 years and feel like I've tried everything suggested. Wonder if a fellow chowhound might have some hidden gems? thanks!

      1. re: anythingbutlimabeans

        Still a bit vague, I'm afraid. So you've tried all the taquerias? Have you had the N2 (noodles) on the menu at Eastern Lights? Vit Goal Tofu Restaurant? Crab cakes at City Beverage? Smoked salmon and brown bread with some beers on the porch at the James Joyce?

        1. re: suse

          Fried chicken at Hog Heaven (don't bother with the pork . . .)? Burger all-the-way at Wimpy's? Carnitas at Federal? Wednesday vegetarian special at Banh's?

          Have you eaten at Blu Seafood yet? Done the high-end-dining survey (Nana's, Four Square, Magnolia Grill)? Revisited old friends like Pop's? Eaten the fresh bread hot-out-of-the-oven at Rue Cler at 2:00 p.m. weekdays?

          Pastrami sandwich (or pork belly!) at Piedmont? Tried every flavor of Locopop? Does the American Hero on Roxboro still have good falafel? (I never tried it, but that's what I heard once . . .)

          Have you experienced that crucial bit of Central-NC (it's a chain, but it was founded & based in Graham, NC) culture, Biscuitville? Stood at the take-out window at Bullock's and watched the guy run the hush-puppy machine?

          Mussels at the bar at Rue Cler? Beer flights at Tyler's? Pho at 9N9?

          Sometimes I feel like I've tried all the suggestions, too (though I actually haven't been to Blu yet), and then I think "man, they were all *good*, too" and I go back and start over at the top of the list.

          Piedmont Restaurant
          401 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

          Rue Cler Restaurant
          401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

          The Federal
          914 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

          Wimpy's Grill
          617 Hicks St, Durham, NC 27705

          City Beverage
          4810 Hope Valley Rd Ste 105, Durham, NC 27707

          Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom
          324 Blackwell St Ste 400, Durham, NC 27701

          Blu Seafood
          2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

          Banh's Cuisine
          750 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

          Vit Goal
          2107 Allendown Dr Ste 101, Durham, NC 27713

          810 W Peabody St, Durham, NC 27701

          Taqueria Lopez
          3438 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705

          Eastern Lights Hot Pot & Grill
          4215 University Dr, Durham, NC 27707

          James Joyce Irish Pub
          912 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

          Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q
          2419 Guess Rd, Durham, NC 27705

          Nana's Restaurant
          2514 University Dr, Durham, NC 27707

          Four Square Restaurant
          2701 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham, NC 27707

          Magnolia Grill
          1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

          Locopops Gourmet Pops
          2600 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705

          American Hero Restaurant
          2011 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

          3201 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705

          Bullock's Bar B Cue
          3330 Quebec Dr, Durham, NC 27705

          Pho 9N9 Vietnamese House
          2945 S Miami Blvd, Durham, NC 27703

          Super Taqueria
          2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

          Taqueria La Vaquita
          2700 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707

          Los Comales
          2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

          1. re: rossgrady

            Oooooooooooooo "beer flights at Tyler's"!!! That's one I'm happy to know about! Thanks, Ross.

            1. re: rossgrady

              Hey Ross-- where's that tasty-looking bowl of soup in your avatar from?

              1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

                That's the Jan Pong at China Express on highway 54 in RTP . . . homemade noodles! (which is also the primary reason to eat at Eastern Lights . . . I can't vouch for anything at either place other than the big handmade noodle bowls.)

      2. What Ross and suse said. Would also suggest a cheesesteak special at IP3 in Chapel Hill, to expand a bit... 9n9 also does really great banh mi in addition to its kickass pho. Other than that, I think that these guys hit the nails on the proverbial heads. In addition to Taqueria Lopez would add Taqueria Mirandas, El Superior, and Los Comales on the taco front. Is Eastern Lights really good? I've never been there, mostly because I'm not a huge fan of the other offerings in that shopping center.

        Super Taqueria
        2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

        4 Replies
        1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

          Yeah, the shopping center is not a great draw. It doesn't really contribute to the ambiance of the place, but you really should try the noodles. You have to get the right stuff at Eastern Lights. Tell them you like authentic Chinese - if you, in fact, do. I lived in China for a few years and speak a bit of Chinese. The people who own it are Chinese who came via Korea (I think that's right), so there are some fusiony dishes. My only problem with the place is that sometimes it can be a bit dead (like the shopping center). However, we went there last Friday night and it was busting at the seams with Asian customers. I think the Duke Asian students assoc. was meeting there or something. Thankfully, we got our order in before they did. Here's what we had:
          pot stickers: definitely better than most run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurants around here (thinner wrappers)
          The noodles: N2 (I think they say homemade, but they're just fresh rather than dried. I'm not so sure they're actually "homemade", but they are yummy) We got them with pork because our son isn't that into seafood and my husband is allergic to shrimp. And you can get them "not spicy" if you want.
          stir-fried pork with green peppers: I think they actually use poblano - not sure, but very yummy.
          Stir-fried kong xin cai (Ask what stir-fried greens they have) - I'm not even sure if it's on the menu. Kong xin cai is translated as "empty heart vegetable" - it's a green that has a hollow stem. Last time we went they had "you cai" (oil vegetable) which is broccoli rabe. They stir-fry their greens with garlic and a bit of shitake mushroom - no goopy sauce.
          Give them a try.

          1. re: suse

            that sounds great... i do love authentic chinese food, but i speak absolutely no chinese. hopefully they'll still take me seriously despite the language barrier. so cai is vegetable, huh? hey, i've gotta start somewhere! *grin* thanks for the heads up on the rec. will report back! also looking forward to ross' rec on the noodle soup.

            1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

              No Chinese needed. Repeat after me: N...2. That should work. But yes, "cai" (tsai - rhymes with buy) means leafy vegetable.
              bai cai=chinese cabbage
              bo cai=spinach
              you (pron. "yo" as in "not yo mama's vegetables) cai=broccoli rabe
              "cai" can also mean dish, as in a tasty dish
              chao=stir-fried (remember: chow mein)
              So: chao you cai=stir-fried broccoli rabe
              And here's one more:
              hao chi (how chr)=good eats, i.e. delicious
              Can you tell I'm a language teacher? (not Chinese, though!)
              Let me know how you like the place.

              1. re: suse

                that was excellent. learning while laughing out loud on chowhound--what a novel concept! and yes... if only because i was once a language student. i'm excited to try-- i think my wife and i are going to go this weekend.

        2. whoops, hadn't noticed that you guys had already linked those taquerias.

          Super Taqueria
          2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

          7 Replies
          1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

            Hey Chowhound tech people! When do we get a link to a Google Map with *all* of the linked restaurants shown on it, making a beautiful constellation of tasty Durham dining? ;-)

              1. re: rossgrady

                Three other can't miss tastes of Durham:

                Bull City Wings
                Fresh tortillas from Miss Tortilla
                The baby goat soup at Chosun OK (with a name like baby goat soup, it has to be good!). My wife swears by the power of this dish to cure the common cold.

                You can use Google Maps to do this already, though I bet there's some lag until the Google 'bots crawl this thread.

                Here are the details. Check this out:


                Miss Tortilla
                Holloway St, Durham, NC 27703

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  This is a great post... I don't really have anything to add though brunch at Piedmont on Sunday has been a new favorite of mine. I am crazy about the french toast. I can't wait to try some of the places mentioned! Thanks for all the good links.

                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                    I haven't missed with anything at Chosun OK yet. For variety of selection, reliability, and value, it is fast becoming my favorite restaurant in the Triangle. Of course, it helps that I moved from Flushing NY (ground zero for Korean food) to here in 1999 and spent quite a few years jonesing for authentic Korean.

                    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                      Thanks Tom, I hadn't heard of Miss Tortilla. Just corn tortillas, or flour too? The Texan in me loves just loves a nice fresh flour tortilla.

                      1. re: durhamois

                        Flour tortillas? You must mean TexMex kind where you pronounced the the Ls as it Tore-TILLA. Just kidding! I don't hable espanol, so I don't know if they offer the other kind. I just point, gesture and mumble my bad Spanish. Sometimes I point at body parts to get the point across. Yes I want cabeza!

                2. Excellent list going but is incomplete without mentioning the lunches at Rick's Diner. I challenge anyone to find a better lunch and value than their fried flounder, broccoli/rice cassarole, carrot suffle, and cornbread.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bbqme

                    Updating the list:

                    Chosun OK Korean BBQ
                    2105 E NC Highway 54, Durham, NC 27713

                    Rick's Diner & Catering
                    4015 University Dr Ste A2, Durham, NC 27707

                  2. Thanks for the list. We moved here from Brooklyn last year and are still discovering new places ( just when we thought we've found them all). I don't think anyone has mentioned Baba Ghannouj on W. Main Street. Our favorite in NYC was Mamoun's, but we think Baba Ghannouj's falafel is better. Also, try the Gellab, it's a date and rosewater drink they make, topped with pine nuts and almonds, surprisingly refreshing and not too sweet.

                    Baba Ghannouhj 2200 W. Main Street, just west of Ninth Street in Erwin Plaza (?); same building as Parizade and Verde. Tel: 919 286 6699
                    ps: we love the Dosa Hut in Queens, now we go to Tower Vegetarian in Morrisville, great Indian Vegetarian and dosas.

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: yvette

                      Anyone know if this Baba Ghannouj is related to the place opening up where Sandwhich/Locopops are in Chapel Hill? I'd love to find a great falafel in the area.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I like the falafel at Neomonde on Hwy 54 in Morrisville. I think it has the edge over the falafel at Baba Ghannouj.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          From their website it looks like a local franchise, like Cinelli's.

                          1. re: bbqme

                            Cinelli's is local if by local you mean Franklin Square NY.

                            1. re: boaviagem

                              Maybe they were from there but they don't claim any affiliation now.


                        2. re: yvette

                          I think the food is much better at the Baba Ghannouhj location on Hwy 54..

                          1. re: tsands

                            I've eaten at both Neomonde and Baba Ghannouj. I prefer Neomonde's food and the service at BG is very slow to boot.

                            1. re: Chow Penguin

                              is is wrong that i'd still rather sit in International delights to eat my falafel and hummus?

                              mmmmm...chick pea heaven

                              1. re: TSQ75

                                Where is internationa delights? ...must have falafel..must have falafel. Is it nice and green inside when you take a bite. I hope the place in Chapel Hill is good.

                                1. re: Rory

                                  9th street in Durham-- family owned hole in the wall...they've got tratitional stuff, as well as subs...and hookahs

                                  DONT ask for ketchup!!! but DO ask for the hot pepper relish...mmm

                                  1. re: TSQ75

                                    I'm pretty sure the owners changed a year or two back at ID.

                                    1. re: BryanZ

                                      Yeah, I noticed that toward the beginning of 2007 all the "no ketchup" stuff sort of disappeared. So did the imposing guy in the Yankees baseball cap (the owner) whom I came to nickname the "Ketchup Nazi." I once saw him throw out some customers for putting the ketchup meant exclusively for their french fries on their sub.

                                      Anyway, as far as the Philly Cheesesteaks go, they are as good as they used to be. That's all I ever get there.

                                      1. re: mikeh

                                        Aw no ketchup nazi;-) drat!..thanks for the info. I'm definitely going. Is the hot pepper relish, Southern or ethnic? now I'm hungry...

                                        1. re: Rory

                                          i have no idea how authentic it is, but it durn good...and hot.

                                          having a plate with their relish and amazing tahini dressing on the sides? heaven!

                                          and their hummus so soooo....mmm

                                          my fave comfort food there is their Emjaddarah (cant ever get the spelling right...lentils and rice topped with fried onions, shredded letuce, cucumber tomato, and tahini dressing....mmmm great on a late saturday morning after certain previous nights'

                                          nice turkish/lebanese coffee too...good and thick

                                          1. re: TSQ75

                                            New and noteworthy in Durham:

                                            Taste of India (University Drive near Super Target)
                                            Noodles & Company (Erwin Road, Pavillion at Lakeview)
                                            Vita (Erwin Square)

                                            1. re: ToothTooth

                                              Rockwood Filling Station opened on 7/16/08! Its between the Q Shack and Nana's in Durham.


                                              1. re: ToothTooth

                                                Has anyone been to Eden lately? Curious how this place is doing.


                                                  1. re: ToothTooth

                                                    Went to Eden a few weeks ago. Space is nice, entrance faces the wrong way for it to get noticed but people already know that. The food was good but nothing special.