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Raleigh//Cary NC area near the NC Fair Grounds

My wife and I will be going there at the end of this month for 1 day/night. Any suggestions as to great eats. Im not really into chains but I would like some good home cooked meals

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  1. Not much at all in that area. There is Pam's Farmhouse on Western Blvd extension that is country/southern cooking. There is the new Backyard Bistro across from the NC State stadium complex. If you go farther down 54 in to Cary, there is a new place called Spirits Pub that is owned by a guy who owns other fantastic places in the area, so it should be very good. Going the other direction, you could go out Edwards Mill and go to Bella Monica which is very good for Italian. Really though, this area of Raleigh has been somewhat left behind by developers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DC Gal

      Taking 54 towards Cary also takes you to Super Wok, an authentic Sichuan Restaurant, make sure to ask for the traditional Chinese menu.

    2. It really depends what kind of food you're looking for. Can you be more specific? Bella Monica is very close to the fairgrounds and is good for Italian, but unless you have reservations you probably won't get in. Sushi Thai is good and is down Lake Boone, not far from the fairgrounds. I have not tried the new Backyard Bistro yet, nor Spirits, but they certainly sound good. You're also not that far from Crabtree Valley Mall, where you would find two great places for Happy Hour, should you be looking for eats during that time. Either McCormick & Schmicks or Brio's Tuscan Grille both are very good for Happy Hour. Not to mention for regular dining as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: raleighchow

        Do you happen to know what is on the menu for the Brio HH? Have been searching online with no luck at all. I didn't want to do a seperate post as some chowhounders feel that it being a chain, it is now good chow. TIA!

      2. If you have a car, don't feel confined to the fairgrounds area. I live just up the road and it's only about ten minutes into downtown Raleigh. By the time you zip over to SuperWok in Cary or Bella Monica just north of there, you can just as easily be downtown or many other places. It's also easy to hop on I-40, which can put you in Chapel Hill or Durham in 20 mins.

        Now, how would you define "home cooked?" Country cooking? Southern comfort food? BBQ? South Indian dosas?

        1 Reply
        1. re: dinersaurus

          I am basically looking for Country/Southern Cooking. Sounds like Pams Farmhouse may be the ticket but any other suggestions would give me choices

        2. There is an agriculture festival at the fair grounds the 29th-31st (if you are going to be there specifically for the festival, sorry for preaching to the choir). There should be plenty of food there, and not just fair-foods. The biggest food draw IMHO will be the BBQ contest on the 30th at lunch time.

          1. I like Pam's Farmhouse myself. Excellent country/Southern lunches, a lot of it made from scratch. The meatloaf on Wednesdays is excellent, as is the banana pudding on Thursdays and Fridays. The veggies are always standouts - I particularly like the collards, butter beans & corn, and field peas. Lunch with sweet tea will run you around $7-8.

            I actually drive all the way over from Durham sometimes just to get my country cookin' fix there.

            Pam's Farm House
            5111 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606

            3 Replies
            1. re: mikeh

              I LOVE Pam's. We go there at least 3 - 4 times a month, if not more. Great food and really reasonable prices.

              1. re: Suzy Q

                I have *got* to get to Pam's one of these days. I've no excuse not to (I mean - I do live in Raleigh, ITB) - and it sounds like my kind of food!

                For lunch during the week, what time is best? What about the weekend?

                1. re: cackalackie

                  They're only open for lunch on weekdays. Best time to get there is before 1 p.m. to make sure the "favorites" haven't run out (like meatloaf on Wednesdays or banana pudding on Thursday and Friday). For banana pudding, sometimes they run out shortly after 12:30, depending on the crowd.

            2. This is *not* Southern cooking, but it's really really good: Neomonde, on Beryl Road, is a short drive from the Fairgrounds; it's a very good bakery and cafe owned by a Lebanese family. (They also sell groceries and deli stuff there.)

              We live in Chapel Hill, but when we're visiting friends or family in Raleigh we will often drop by to stock up on pistachios and pita bread, and we've had many a good, inexpensive meal there. The lamb sandwiches and all of the cold salads are very good; as for dessert, the baklava and mamoul cookies are particularly good.

              Neomonde Mediterranean Deli
              3817 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607

              5 Replies
                1. re: Lewes17266

                  Neomonde is great, as is Baba Ghannouj for Med food. BG has multiple locations in the Triangle area.

                  1. re: enrevanche

                    I fourth Neomande. That was the first thing that came to mind!

                    1. re: Tehama

                      Not what you're looking for, but the best in that area is DEF Neomonde. Or keep heading east and go to their new upscale Lebanese restaraunt in DWNTWN Raleigh called Sitti. Haven't been yet, but rave reviews all around.

                  2. How about Big Ed's in downtown Raleigh for breakfast?

                    If you feel like a drive over to Chapel Hill, Crooks Corner does good things with Southern food. You might also like the Pit in Raleigh for lunch or dinner.

                    1. I always put a plug in for my very favorite Raleigh restaurant, Oakwood Cafe. It is not far from the Fairground (10 minutes drive)..... I cannot say enough good things about it. And there is NOTHING on the menu that will disappoint!

                      Oakwood Cafe

                      Rated 4.3 out of 5.0

                      34 reviews - Write a review
                      300 E Edenton St
                      Raleigh, NC 27601
                      +1 919-828-5994‎

                      1. I live near there, and we enjoy going to Old Time BBQ for either lunch or dinner. It's on a desolate stretch of Western Blvd as you're heading toward Cary from the Fairgrounds.

                        1. We went to the Backyard Bistro night before last and it was a definite miss.

                          The con's:
                          *the olive oil from the olive oil and vinegar set had all sorts of residue floating around in the olive oil. The waitresses failed to understand what the problem was

                          *the brisket had a super sweet sauce on it and lots of fat

                          *the tomato bisque was so salty I couldn't eat it

                          *the onion rings were nice and crispy on the top and soggy on the bottom

                          on the plus side - however confusingly - the Monday special was any vodka drink (of any type of vodka) was $5. However, when I said I wanted a vodka martini, that would be $7. I did not understand that. So I was like, just pour me some Kettle One over ice and add olives. That was $5.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Tehama

                            Agree, Backyard Bistro is right near my work and we NEVER go there. Horrible.