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Moving to Greenville NC - need good food

jessiepants Aug 1, 2008 03:41 PM

I'm moving to Greenville NC and was wondering if anyone knew of any good local food joints. (Chain restaurants need not apply). Any good sushi as well?

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  1. Naco RE: jessiepants Aug 1, 2008 05:02 PM


    B's is the best in town, although they cook with charcoal and not wood. Very popular, limited parking, kind of a pain in general. For my money, the barbecue chicken is better than the BBQ.

    The Skylight Inn(aka Pete Jones) is about ten miles outside of town in Ayden and is very good. Depending on where you'll be living, Pete Jones may be closer than B's.

    I avoid Parker's, especially the one on Greenville Boulevard.


    Several Tex-Mex places that are serviceable and have good drinks. Mazatlan and Los Charros are the best of these- I'm not a Chico's fan.

    For authentic Mexican, El Picante Mexican Grill on Firetower and Supermercado El Rancho on Charles Blvd. are the two best picks. El Rancho has a larger menu, but the presentation on some items can be sloppy at times. El Picante has a smaller menu but excellent presentation and is really friendly to English speakers. Six of one, half dozen of another for me- where I go depends on my mood.

    Dale's Indian Cuisine on Evans St. is the only choice in town for Indian, but is thankfully pretty good. They're buffet only at lunch, though.

    There are several Thai restaurants, the best of which is Saeng Thai House on Memorial, near the DMV.

    A Tavola! on Red Banks is a good lunch place- they have a varied, modern menu and excellent soups and sandwiches. My favorites are the Cuban panini and the seafood bisque.

    Finelli's Cafe on Red Banks is the only worthwhile Italian option. Their old location on 5th street is reopening as a simple, homey Italian restaurant, but I haven't tried it yet.

    As far as sushi goes, you'll be limited to hibachi places. The best of these is Sappari on Red Banks Rd. I like the sushi there just fine, but I am not very knowledgeable about sushi and can't compare it to sushi in larger cities or different parts of the country.

    Also, Wilson has a ton of interesting mom and pop places, so you might want to go there sometime. The Beefmastor Inn has the best steaks I've ever had, and Flo's Kitchen(a drive-in) has excellent country cooking/soul food. I know some people who swear by Whole Truth Lunchroom for soul food.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Naco
      jessiepants RE: Naco Aug 3, 2008 09:02 AM

      Thanks so much! I'm officially moved in now, but it'll be days before I get my kitchen organized... your info will come in very handy :-)

      1. re: jessiepants
        goodeatsinadive RE: jessiepants Aug 3, 2008 07:53 PM

        One of our sons just took a job in Greenville a few weeks ago. We've been with him to B's BBQ several times since... having been born & raised in eastern NC, this is truly some of the best, traditional bbq one will ever eat.

        I will ask him about other "local" places, as he's like us and would rather frequent the locals establishments than chains when possible.

        Good luck in Greenville...

      2. re: Naco
        rq1 RE: Naco Aug 3, 2008 12:06 PM

        Naco hit all of the good and bad. I'm a big fan of sushi and unfortunately I haven't found any great sushi in Greenville or any nearby towns. Thankfully since the completed road construction getting to Raleigh is much faster!

        1. re: Naco
          veganhater RE: Naco Sep 22, 2008 02:45 PM

          I'd like to add a couple options to a pretty good list of restaurants in a very tough town for interesting restaurants.

          Sushi - So far Tokyo has consistently been decent and remains the best option for a fix, just have realistic expectations.

          Authentic Mexican - El Azador by the airport is excellent. Friday is the best day to stop by for killer pollo asada and tamales.

          American/Regional - Starlight can be good if you order simple dishes, like steak frites. Can be bad if you get too experimental. On a side note, the actual plates they used are awful and the wine list is very weak, but there cocktails are great.

          Wine Bar - Fourth Street Wine has a neat selection of wine both retail and by the glass/bottle to go along with artisinal cheese and antipasti. They also do a good lunch (try the Italian Sandwich).

          Barbecue - Petes in Ayden and B's are both awesome and some of my favorite barbecue joints on earth. Petes has a slight advantage for my taste simply because it's smokier and they add crunchy pieces of skin back into the mix. B's is a cleaner style (no skin) and has more to offer, including great chicken if you order dark meat.

          If you stumble on anything else not mentioned above, please let me know.

          1. re: veganhater
            Naco RE: veganhater Sep 24, 2008 07:55 AM

            Thanks a lot for the notes on El Azador. I had some good tacos there a few years ago, but it's on the other side of town and I just can't seem to make it over there, especially when El Picante and El Rancho are just down the street. Tamales would do it, though.

            Do they have any other daily specials, like birria or pozole on the weekends?

            1. re: Naco
              veganhater RE: Naco Sep 24, 2008 01:59 PM

              They make menudo and a mixed seafood soup on the weekend, but I still am hooked on the tamales, sopes and the pollo asada with tortillas, beans, rice and sauces.

          2. re: Naco
            countgrog RE: Naco Dec 5, 2011 06:28 AM

            I ate at Beefmasters a few weks ago and it was great, not a fancy place but excellent steaks, had to wait 90 mins in the parking lot tailgating like it was a football game but thats part of the atmosphere. Salad bar is no frills and on a lazy susan on a card table and many things in paper bowls but the quality was there.

          3. a
            andy0820 RE: jessiepants Aug 3, 2008 09:57 AM

            I would have to add Starlight Cafe to this list. It is by far the best restaurant in town. I have yet to find a better shrimp and grits anywhere, including Charleston. I would have to agree on the recs. of B's, A Tavola, Finelli's.

            I do like Chico's for tex-mex though. Maybe I am partial to it since I grew up on it. It is definitely a good price and you get a lot of food.

            1. chicaraleigh RE: jessiepants Aug 4, 2008 09:11 AM

              CPW's - had dinner there about 6 months ago from their rotating monthly specialties - everything was great. It's near the hospital

              1. Naco RE: jessiepants Aug 6, 2008 06:59 AM

                I don't think that Chico's is *bad* by any stretch of the imagination, I've just always felt that Mazatlan edged it out on quality and price. However, the Winterville Chico's is next to a panaderia, so there's that!

                Speaking of the Mazatlan, the one near 10th St.(on Eastbrook Dr., I think) has excellent salsa if you crave really spicy salsa. They will sell you a pretty large to go container for a couple of bucks. Ask for "la picosa" and be prepared to insist a bit. The standard table salsa they normally serve is totally forgettable, but this is the real deal.

                1. c
                  csx30 RE: jessiepants Sep 10, 2008 03:25 PM

                  There are actually a couple of good sushi places in Greenville other than the hibachi restaurants:
                  Tokyo Japan on 3525 S Memorial Dr is great, that's where I usually go for sushi.
                  I've also heard good things about Wasabi 88 over on Arlington Dr.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: csx30
                    Naco RE: csx30 Sep 12, 2008 06:15 AM

                    I've only been to Tokyo once due to the location being so inconvenient to me. What do you like there?

                    I was unimpressed with Wasabi 88. The sushi was good, but not really better than at Sappari, and our entrees were awful. I'd give it a second try if I just wanted sushi sometime.

                  2. c
                    countgrog RE: jessiepants Sep 11, 2008 10:39 AM

                    In Wilson I like Bill Ellis BBQ

                    1. c
                      cltsavvy RE: jessiepants Sep 12, 2008 07:50 AM

                      Does anyone know if Vinters Grill (sp?) is still open? Maybe I have the name wrong but it was a killer meat & 3 dive when I went to ECU in 80's.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: cltsavvy
                        Jeanne RE: cltsavvy Sep 12, 2008 12:11 PM

                        I heard that it is closed - was flooded with the hurricane (Floyd?) and never re-opened.

                        1. re: Jeanne
                          Naco RE: Jeanne Sep 16, 2008 08:44 AM

                          Venters is still listed on Google, at least. I called and got a fax machine. I'll see if I can ride by there sometime soon and see.

                          I don't know a standout soul food/country cooking place in Greenville itself. There is an absolutely killer place called Carol's on Alt US 64 in Robersonville, though. I eat lunch there fairly regularly and everything I've had has been really good, especially the fried chicken and the barbecue. Their sides are really amazing- try the yams and the potato salad.

                          It's only about twenty minutes out of Greenville and well worth the drive. They're open Wed-Sun. Sunday is buffet style, and they do chitlins on Thursday and Saturday if you're into that(or not!).

                          1. re: Naco
                            Jeanne RE: Naco Sep 16, 2008 11:27 AM

                            Naco - if you find out Venters is open please post here. I'm no longer living in Greenville - but when I was I loved that place. I'd like to know how they are doing if they're still open.

                            1. re: Jeanne
                              Naco RE: Jeanne Sep 27, 2008 11:19 AM

                              I couldn't stop, but I did a drive-by the other day and they are still open.

                              1. re: Naco
                                vjgower RE: Naco Jul 24, 2011 03:30 PM

                                The building that was Venter's most recently is for lease at this time.

                                1. re: vjgower
                                  Naco RE: vjgower Jul 25, 2011 06:33 AM

                                  Yeah, I noticed that a while back and thought I mentioned it on here. Must have been on a different thread.

                      2. chowchomper RE: jessiepants Sep 27, 2008 06:27 PM

                        That's the place: go to Logan's and Parker's.

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                          ecgirl RE: jessiepants Jul 13, 2011 05:19 PM

                          Cafe Duo behind the Pitt Community College is the best restaurant in Greenville.
                          CPWs is my second favorite.
                          If you are looking for a good NY style pizza, Marabellas Pizza is just wonderful.
                          Plaza Azteca has the best Guacamole I have ever had and they make it right in front of you.
                          If you are looking for a truly gourmet food, go to Chef and the Farmer in Kinston.
                          Tokyo is the best sushi place in Greenville.

                          1. c
                            countgrog RE: jessiepants Jul 14, 2011 10:46 AM

                            go to Washington and get a hotdog at Bill's hotdogs
                            good cheese biscuit at the Slate Stone Grocery

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