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Chapel Hill Recs?

  • j

Charlotte hound looking for recommendation for 2 adults and one well behaved 4 year old on Sunday evening. Ethnic is great but not necessary if there is something else we should not miss. We all like anything. We would like to keep entree price under $20.


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  1. How about Acme? They're open on Sundays:

    1. Gosh, even in "heathen" Chapel Hill a lot of good places are closed Sundays. A few of my favorites that aren't:

      Crook's Corner - a longtime standby for funky, upscale Southern. Famous for their shrimp and grits. Kid friendly burgers and such too.

      Talullah's is Turkish meze (like tapas) with exotic carpets-and-colored-lanterns decor.

      Akai Hana, in Carrboro, has good sushi and a really nice, child-friendly staff.

      Also in Carrboro, Southern Rail serves upmarket diner food in a refurbished train car. Food's decent, but setting is definitely the draw.

      1 Reply
      1. re: emandm

        Acme and Crooks are pushing pretty hard against the $20/entree limit

        I hated Southern Rail (and have said so enough times to not bother again here) and used to like Tallullah's but had a few bad meals after they changed owners and staff and never went back.

        This is the emptiest price zone for good food in CH. I'm coming around to Panzanella, love the BBQ Joint (very well thought out food in a place you'd never expect it), and can sometimes abide Mill Town or the Carolina Brewery. Fiesta Grill fits (ethnic, very good, right price range) but is a bit of a drive and their new table limit w/ a 4 yearold might not fly.

      2. Panzanella and Merlion are both good. Panzanella has a nicer atmosphere, serves Italian food with local ingredients. Merlion is Malaysian food. I believe the BBQ Joint isn't open on Sunday nights.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LulusMom

          Contrary to national press reports, the eating in Chapel Hill proper is somewhat bleak (I am a lone Lantern detractor). Given your stipulations, I recommend either Panzanella or Mint (the latter a new Indian restaurant on Franklin Street). I would definitely steer clear of Southern Rail. People will probably tell you that you have to visit Mama Dips -- well, you don't, though it's not a bad place to bring a little kid.

        2. Squids is open for Sunday Dinner. It has plenty of room, a large fish tank for entertainment for a 4-year old, the seafood is fresh and good. It has a website, so you can look it up and call them even, if you have questions. It is my go to place locally for decent seafood, and it's reasonably priced. They're great with kids, my son has been attending there since he was 2, and it's one of his favorite places at 16.

          Southern Rail is atrocious, Mama Dips last served a good meal over a decade ago, Tallulah's has gone waaaay downhill, ACME does not suit your price range and has variable quality.

          Sinophile and LulusMom have decent suggestions as well.

          1. How about Queen of Sheba for great Ethiopian. Kids love the eat with your hands part.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lucydevil

              Pretty sure it's closed on Suday. I second Sinophile's recs.

              1. re: bbqme

                Great ideas! We all love Cuisine Malaya here in Charlotte, so trying another Malaysian restaurant definitely has appeal. IMO, the Ethiopian options in Charlotte have slipped so that would be treat too. We will be in town lunch Sunday and Monday too, so we will probably both of these.
                The BBq Joint, Mint, Squid and Tallulahs will be back ups. We have been to Crooks Corner and would like something different. Though when I prepare shrimp and grits at home, it is their recipe I use.

                Any word on Cafe Parvaneh?

                1. re: jlwnc

                  Cafe Parvaneh isn't open on Sundays. Their olivieh is really good. It's a small place in a strip mall next to a hair salon.

            2. There some fine restaurants in Chapel Hill, but I would not expect too much because their consistency is low, and nearly all of them can disappoint often enough to make me pause before returning. Panzanella is among the more reliable places. I think they have a child' menu, or you can order pizza there. They have a selection, and they're pretty good. Crooks Corner is also pretty reliable. We've eaten in Mint, the new upscale Indian restaurant for lunch buffet and liked it -- creative and clearly a notch above your "typical" Indian restaurant, but I do not know what their dinner menu is like.

              If, for some reason, you're tempted to go to Whole Foods on Elliott, don't. What passes for "gourmet" there is food so highly laced with herbs that you don't know what you're eating because all you taste is the herbs. I tasted a sample of their "Italian meatloaf" there the other day -- just one small fork full was so full of herbs that it left a bad aftertaste for over an hour.

              1 Reply
              1. re: eldergourmet

                I'll recommend 411 West on Franklin. Good food, interesting specials especially seafood, , meatballs and spaghetti or pizza for the youngster. Comfortable room. Website is 411west.com. Take a look.