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Jul 9, 2009 06:44 AM

Alivia's in Durham: Never again

My husband surprised me with a dinner at Alivia's, as he'd been given a gift certificate to it and we had a sudden child-free evening. Grim. Menu was depressing, table was sticky, waitress was barely competent, and food was sad (I never did figure out what those strings of vegetable-like matter were in the tomato soup). We saw wine bottles, so asked for a wine list. Well, the waitress said, they had no list, but well, they had a house chardonnay, and some riesling, but they change a lot, so it wasn't worth memorizing what the name was...

I ordered a sangria without carefully reading the ingredients; I think it was the first sangria I ever refused to drink -- cough-syrup-flavored Kool-Aid was my best guess. Thank heavens we didn't spend our own money there!

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  1. I've never been to Alivia's but I just had a look at the menu. I stopped reading after being hit with the following:

    Poursin cheese
    Plumb sauce
    Garlic Mash Potato.

    All their spellings, not mine. I'm sure there were more, I just couldn't bear to read anymore. If they care so little about how they present their menu to the public, how much can they care about how they present their food?

    1. we had the same experience a few months ago. I couldn't get over the sticky tables, and our food (and the dirty silverware) was really sad also.

      1. That's so funny. I was there last week just for an after work drink, and was so delighted to find that they carried Gruner Vertliner that I decided to have a glass. Boy was that a mistake! Cat's piss, is the phrase that comes to mind.

        1. I keep thinking I should give it a try but it sounds like I shouldn't. My wife and I tried to go there on a Friday night a few weeks back and stood there for 10-15min. without a single employee acknowledging our presence. We went down the block to Federal and had a great (as always) meal there. Thanks for the report.

          1. Such a great location and nice patio and such a sad, sad restaurant. How they're still open is a mystery to me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: suse

              I only went to Alivia's for a drink one Friday night but I won't be returning. It was hardly busy (just me, my friend and one other person at the bar) and the barman ignored the two of us for the longest time before I had to ask to order my drink.

              First impressions do count and I can't understand why the barman couldn't make a positive impression.

              I had a draft beer and it wasn't that good either.