Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >
Mar 22, 2008 06:25 AM

The Mecca (Raleigh, NC) - Don't Go!

I know it is an institution, but Do. Not. Go. To. The. Mecca.

Tea - we never got refills. Ever. Even when we flagged down the waitress to ask.

My friend and I went a couple of days. He got a BLT. Bread = soggy. Ingredients = skimpy and of questionable taste. (How you can mess up a BLT, I am not sure?). Potato chips came with his sandwich. They pretty much just poured out the bottom of the bag of chip crumbs. I am not sure if there were more than 3 whole chips. But if you want microscopic pieces, you would have been happy.

I ordered the "fishwich". It sounded intriguing. Just be glad I am not in the hospital. First bite OK. Second bite, so many one-to-two inch bones you can't imagine. It is a miracle I somehow escaped piercing my trachea. I took the fish off the bun and cut it open with my fork (which I had to request as there was no silverware) and lo and behold! about 10 zillion more bones. WWWHHHHHHOOOO serves a fish sandwich that had not been filleted? (and, at the very least, doesn't tell you that it hasn't been filleted).

And, on a final sad note. French fries came with mine. I use that term exceedingly loosely. Being generous, they may have been cooked 5 days ago and left in a vat of grease and then dumped on my plate.

I can not believe we paid for this sad, sad glop of "food"

On a happy note, I recently visited Vallarta on Capital Blvd (Raleigh) for lunch a few days ago. It was fantastic! I got the ceviche. INCREDIBLE!

Also, had lunch yesterday at Elmo's (Carrboro) for the first time since I graduated a decade ago. I had the grilled pastrami and my friend had the chili. Both were top-notch with excellent service.

Ick. I am still in pain over the waste of time and money and disgusting fare at the Mecca. ICK ICK ICK I can't even begin to remember the last time I was anywhere that was *that* bad.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I had a completely different experience last summer (though I suppose they may have declined since then). I had a pork chop, collard greens, and something delightful that was described as sweet potato pudding; I don't remember what my companion had. We were both exceedingly pleased with the food and the service. Not fancy, but delicious. I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad time there though :(.

    1. I was in Raleigh for work and saw the sign, I thought it would be Middle Eastern food. (Oops) I found it charming and the service was better then what the first poster experienced. I wouldn't frequent the place but I had horseradish devil eggs which were yummy and the ambiance was cool to experience once. Not where I'd do an anniversary dinner but was a unique, pleasant burger type place.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. In 2003, I was at the Mecca and it was a Mecca to us, we got stuck in quite a thunderstorm and needed shelter on the way to the Science Museum. We thought the food was wonderful. I guess things change.

          Not for the best, I guess. I had an Eggplant Plate and it came with mac n cheese and another side. I loved it. My husband had some kind of meat which he liked. My son ate their mac n cheese (so used to the blue box that nothing is the same) and he liked it.

          At the time, the service wasn't the best, I have to admit. We had silverware though and the food was very good.

          Too bad it has changed so. We loved it. Sorry to hear this. At least you know that the fish was fresh, not frozen, with all those bones!

          1. I know that Mecca is a landmark but, that said, I have to say that I have been disappointed the last few times I have been there. I took my 80-year-old father there for breakfast recently and I have to say that the service was rude and brusque and the food less-than-stellar.

            I felt like we were in a Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi - paying for rudeness. Actually, we would have preferred the Soup Nazi as at least he has passion - which I'll take any day over the lazy indifference Mecca is serving.

            My father ordered toast with his eggs. When breakfast was served, sans toast, he politely asked where the toast was. To which, the young waitress said nothing. When my father asked again, she gruffly said, "it's coming."

            Nice. Sorry to have bothered you there. How 'bout we don't bring our business back? Note to Mecca - The State Farmer's Market offers up a great breakfast - and friendly service. Dad and I will be going there next time.

            My father and I are New Yorkers, accustomed to all types of people, and not oversensitive about service. But, in this case, I have to say that I would rather not patronize a restaurant that seemed "put out" about having to serve customers. Next time, I will pass on Mecca.

            Mecca Restaurant
            13 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601

            1 Reply
            1. re: aldous

              I had never heard of it before yesterday, but it looked like such a neat place I went for breakfast this morning.

              My bacon, eggs, toast and grits were all perfect, and everyone I dealt with was really nice. Place has charm out the wazoo. Good coffee too. I would love to go back for lunch the next time I'm downtown.