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Sunday Brunch in Raleigh/Chapel Hill?

fallingup Feb 21, 2009 02:56 PM

I'm looking to take someone to a nice Sunday brunch or lunch. I'd prefer a place that is close to North Raleigh OR close to Chapel Hill. Any ideas?

My favorite breakfast/brunch place is usually Finch's in Raleigh, but this time I'm looking for a place that's a little bit nicer. Budget is $50 for two.


  1. b
    burgeoningfoodie Dec 22, 2009 05:37 AM

    The last place I did brunch was NoFo at the Pig. It was crowded for it's tiny space, but for the life of me I couldn't tell what all the fuss was about. The benedicts I had were way too salty. I think the next place in line is Southern Rail but only because the person suggesting the place has a coupon for it. I've heard it has gone terribly downhill and fast.

    10 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie
      LulusMom Dec 22, 2009 08:58 AM

      Feeling very dumb here, but what is NoFo at the Pig?

      1. re: LulusMom
        dinersaurus Dec 22, 2009 12:21 PM

        It's a restaurant/shop at Five Points in between Lilly's Pizza and the Wachovia.
        See: http://www.nofo.com/

        1. re: dinersaurus
          LulusMom Dec 22, 2009 12:28 PM

          Thanks dinersaurus, I'd never heard of that one. I don't often make it into Raleigh.

        2. re: LulusMom
          meatn3 Dec 22, 2009 06:56 PM

          The Raleigh location used to be a very old, smaller Piggly Wiggly - hence "the pig". They have used the pig motif for the railing in the parking area.

          1. re: meatn3
            ToothTooth Jan 30, 2010 07:38 AM

            I saw an ad in the recent issue of Durham Skywriter that Palace International is now open on Sundays from 11am to 4pm for brunch. Seems that they have a buffet available for $8. Has anyone tried this yet? I'd love to know what its like.

            See page 19 of the Jan/Feb issue in the link below for the ad.


        3. re: burgeoningfoodie
          Pigloader Feb 4, 2010 03:22 AM

          i thought nofo was awful when we went. haven't done brunch in raleigh but i hear that raleigh times and poole's are where it's at.

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie
            panthur Mar 13, 2010 11:22 AM

            I have done Nofo and Zest and they were ok but am thinking of trying out Savoy. Have you been to Michael Deans for their brunch buffet or to Winston's?

            1. re: panthur
              meatn3 Mar 13, 2010 04:44 PM

              We tried Michael Deans for the first time last week. It was pretty good! Heavy on seafood (good for me) but if someone didn't like seafood there are still many options. Omelets, pancakes and waffles made to order with numerous add ons available. Buffet dishes were turned over fast and refilled quickly. The pancake was the weakest dish - not cooked through. I suspect the heat was not correct - the fellow was slammed with waffle requests and probably got very few orders for pancakes. Waffles had nice flavor, very light consistency. Lots of protein and carbs, lighter on fruits and veg.

              If you sign up for their e-mails they send a coupon ($10 off iirc).

              1. re: meatn3
                panthur Mar 13, 2010 06:17 PM

                Sweet, thanks for the heads up. I just got a free breakfast at Mimis for signing up to their newsletter as well. We may end up giving them another shot - they start serving at 10am plus list nutritionals on the website, which is a biggie for one of our guests.

                I've been to Michael Deans for their dinner a few times and really enjoyed it.

              2. re: panthur
                dinersaurus Mar 14, 2010 04:43 PM

                I recently hit Savoy for brunch and enjoyed it. They have a pretty standard brunch menu - eggs benedict, steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, etc. They also have a few lunch items mixed in with brunch including an outstanding burger. They have a small outdoor area that might be nice in the warmer weather. We plan to return.

            2. k
              klaatu47 Dec 21, 2009 06:51 PM

              If you are in North Raleigh, you should try Zest as they always have a nice brunch that's fairly reasonable.

              1. e
                ellaf Feb 27, 2009 06:33 PM

                I really like the brunch at Panzanella in Chapel Hill, and it would be under $50. Good eggs benedict.

                1. cheinonen Feb 27, 2009 04:39 AM

                  Our favorite places to eat brunch have been Acme (no issues with service for us), and Rue Cler in Durham. The Beignets and French Toast at Rue Cler are both fantastic, as is the Oeufs Rue Cler. Nothing we have had there hasn't been great, and it's usually not hard at all to get a table, and easily falls in the price range.

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cheinonen
                    LulusMom Feb 27, 2009 07:37 AM

                    LOVE brunch at Rue Cler.

                  2. e
                    emandm Feb 22, 2009 08:55 AM

                    The Sunday brunch at Acme in Carrboro is my favorite, hands down - whatever you order (I like the cheddar, tomato, bacon and wild mushroom omelet or the Carolina Eggs Benedict with fried green tomatoes) be sure to get a side of whatever the seasonal coffee cake is. Bistro vibe, moderate prices.

                    If you can make it to Watts Grocery in Durham, DO! The grits bowl with local sausage is amazing, and the churros (little cinnamon donut sticks) with hot chocolate dipping sauce are worth driving across the Triangle for.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: emandm
                      ksherk Feb 22, 2009 11:18 AM

                      I have heard that the brunch at ACME is terrific too -- even a friend who's a server there will go for brunch on her day off. But I wouldn't know personally because the person I'm mostly likely to have brunch with when she visits won't let us try it. She makes us go to Crook's Corner every time, which is just fine with me. I usually have the Eggs New Bern (like Benedict, but on a biscuit with tasso ham), but last weekend I tried the Cajun omelet (classic creole sauce, cheese and, of course, tasso ham), and it was terrific too. Also, we love their Bloody Mary's with pickled okra that they will bring you on the stroke of noon. I should also mention their iconic shrimp and grits, too...

                      1. re: ksherk
                        Pigloader Feb 24, 2009 04:13 AM

                        The brunch at ACME has been woefully inconsistent... always excellent bloody marys, but service ranges from pretty good, if hurried, to 'OMG my server has clearly been abducted' bad. Food this past Sunday came out cold, coffee was never refilled, despite asking a few times.
                        Watts, on the other hand, has been a rockin' experience. EXCELLENT food, super cheap ($6 for a huge grits bowl with all those toppings? yum!) the aforementioned churros, a killer catfish po-boy... the list goes on. We can bike to ACME from our house, but Watts has quickly supplanted it as our go-to Sunday brunch... but make a reservation. Line was at the door at the opening bell a couple of weeks ago.

                        1. re: Pigloader
                          wallacam Feb 25, 2009 11:12 AM

                          I would have to agree that the problem with brunch at Acme is that it's inconsistent. But still I would recommend it because when it's good, it's really banging.

                          1. re: Pigloader
                            LulusMom Feb 25, 2009 12:35 PM

                            Totally inconsistent. And they feel free to change what they offer from what it says on the menu. I've had good brunches there, and just horrendous ones. Not willing to chance it again.

                        2. re: emandm
                          fallingup Feb 23, 2009 04:42 AM

                          They have churros and chocolate at Watts? I'm so going! Thanks for the tip!

                        3. d
                          durhamois Feb 21, 2009 05:33 PM

                          In Chapel Hill, many people seem to like Carolina Crossroads at The Carolina Inn. I haven't yet gone myself, but two foodie friends of mine who are terrifically knowledgeable about food really like it. I'm taking my mom there for her birthday in a couple weeks, so I can let you know. I'm not sure on prices, but it is probably somewhere in that range.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: durhamois
                            Remsleep Feb 22, 2009 06:26 AM

                            I'd second that recommendation. Back when my parents could travel down here, we'd have brunch there, and it was always good. Also, I've been there for dinner several times and never had a bad meal. I think Carolina Crossroads is under-appreciated for what it offers. Maybe because it's in a hotel?

                          2. d
                            dinersaurus Feb 21, 2009 05:08 PM

                            I like Coquette in North Hills for brunch. The prices are very good for brunch and their quiche is one of the best I've ever had. You can easily have a meal for under $50 with a couple of drinks.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dinersaurus
                              meatn3 Dec 21, 2009 03:16 PM

                              I'm a big fan of Coquette and have been very pleased with lunch and dinner there. We tried their brunch recently and it was not the same caliber experience.

                              The food quality and preparation was good. No garnish, $4 side of potatoes was small for the price. An omelet came out with the other persons potatoes. Then a bread basket. Eventually the Benedict that went with the potatoes arrived. Coffee refill was never offered, had to ask. Service rather uninterested...

                              When an omelet was ordered the server asked if anything was desired with it. My SO replied "toast?". Well the toast came,basic white bread, two slices cut on the diagonal. And a $4 charge since it turns out they consider it a side. No butter, no jam....I have trouble feeling that two slices of rather basic toast warrants a $4 charge, especially since it wasn't clear that it was an "extra".

                              If this had been our first experience there it would have become our last. Since all prior meals have been great I suspect either we caught a very off service or maybe brunch just isn't their best option.

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