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Oct 29, 2007 04:35 AM

"Unsung" restaurants in Durham, NC

Or, should I say, very good restaurants that I hope won't go out of business for lack of traffic!

I've visited Tonali twice in the last ten days -- once for dinner on a Thursday (6:30 -- had to get to a Duke concert at 8 pm) and for dinner this past Saturday night (7:45) -- both times, the food was excellent. Both times, not too many people in the dining room. I'll admit, it had been several months since I'd been to the restaurant prior to this October run....

The food: Had the poblano stuffed with organic mashed potatoes and queso blanco on a bed of tomato confit on Thursday (hearty portion, ate about half); on Saturday, had the fish tacos ("tempura"-like grouper) -- very good. Other diners had Prince Edward Mussel stew (deemed very good by the PEI mussel expert) and another round of fish tacos.

Anyway, here's the question -- what other restaurants do others love but fear will tank due to lack of patrons?

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  1. I was also at Tonali last Thursday - I had the pumpkin soup and the Veracruz Red Snapper: (Huachinango a la Veracruzana). The pumpkin soup was excellent - very subtle flavors, creamy and delicious. The red snapper was also excellent - slightly different from what I've had before but also excellent.

    1. I "third" the notion with Tonali. It's probably my favorite restaurant in the entire country that I fear doesn't have enough business.

      Lower down on the scale, but still there, is Blu Seafood and Bar. I've never been there for dinner, but at least the lunch crowd is way too sparse for my comfort. Where else can you find a large, generous filet of lightly-battered perfectly juicy fresh fried fish with homemade potato chips and great cole slaw for $8.75?

      1 Reply
      1. re: mikeh

        I ate at Tonali today based on this (old) post. They have THE BEST Chile Relleno in the Triangle. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

      2. Xiloa on 9th in durham...great, satisfying home-cooked style, "peasant food." amazing juices, its a labor of love for her and it shows...

        but unbearably slow...and apparent tension among the ranks between management and staff...i fear for its future...but i'll take it while i can get it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TSQ75

          "but unbearably slow...and apparent tension among the ranks between management and staff..."

          Yup, it's why I stopped going, and I was all about the place for a while there. No more for me.