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Darryl's question (Greensboro)

Hello all,

I am from southern Indiana, and my family used to eat at a Darryl's restaurant in Evansville like, once a week. It closed give or take 10 years ago, and the quality of the service and the food both had declined some time before that.

Nonetheless, I have very fond memories of the giant flat crackers that they served before the meal, and I always loved their barbecue sauce.

Thus, my questions, which I ask because it appears that the only existing Darryl's restaurant is located in Greensboro:

Is this Darryl's actually still open? And if so, is it as good as they used to be back in the day? I'd find an excuse to travel down that way if this one is as tasty as I recall the one in Evansville being. :D

Does anyone know how to make those crackers or something similar?

And does anyone know how to make their barbecue sauce, or something similar to it? I remember it being very thin and watery, and very vinegary. (This was the sauce that they served for dipping the chicken fingers in, anyway.)

I apologize if these questions more appropriately belong in the home cooking forum! And thanks. :D

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  1. Darryls is still open kind of. They are closed for a full renovation but should reopen later in 2010. As for the food it has been about 8 years since I have been to Darryls so I can;t help you much there

    1. Darryl's was a pizza restaurant on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC originally. The owner was so successful that he opened another one. Then another one.

      Literally the best pizza I ever had. Then it was franchised, then the owner sold out, and eventually Darryl's became an example of everything that can go wrong with a franchised operation. By the time they went OOB here, they barely served pizza anymore, specializing in a mediocre hodge-podge of American chrome and fern.

      By 1990 or so, the game was all over. My presumption is that the Darryl's in Greensboro could be literally anything by this point, but I'll never know because I couldn't bear to go to it.

      If you want superior large crackers, try Accidental Bakery, operating out of Hillsborough in Orange county: several different stores are carrying their products now, and the crackers are out of this world good.

      1. Umm....Darryl's. The first time I came to NC was around 1975. My brother-in-law took us from Winston-Salem to Greensboro to eat at Darryl's. It was a cold December night and we waited outside for over an hour. The menu highlight a that time was the giant beef ribs.

        About two years later I moved to Durham. The Durham Darryl's was on 15-501 between Durham and Chapel Hill. At that time the only traffic light on that stretch of 15-501 was at Garrett Road where Darryl's was located. (There are now more lights than I can count.) This location often had a long line outside too.

        The crackers were made from the pizza dough with some salt sprinkled on top.

        Eventually Darryl's went downhill and declined in popularity. As I recall the Hillsborough St. location in Raleigh had some sanitation problems. The 15-501 location closed and sat unused for several years. Eventually it was used by the Durham Fire Department for a training exercise. The building went down in intense flames on a cool Sunday morning.

        There was also a Darryl's in north Durham at North Duke Mall. The former Darryl's building has been host to a number of other restaurant's most notably Ole NC BBQ.

        2 Replies
        1. re: boaviagem

          I still give directions as" turn where the Darryl's used to be"- thats where we went before the prom- aahhww...

          1. re: boaviagem

            Aaaahhhhh - that Daryl's! Where I had my first (underage) beer. I'll be nostalgic because of that alone. I haven't had a Rolling Rock in ages, come to think of it. And the road-tracks that were on the burger buns!

          2. There was a Darryl's in Greenville, as well. Huge thing- two stories IIRC- but it was destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Naco

              I went to that Darryl's for my birthday dinner every year from age 9 to 14... We also used to stop by on the way to the grocery store each week and pick up a pound of crackers to go. I loved that place.

            2. Right my memory of Darryl's are from the ones in New Bern, Greenville and the one two RDU locations that I remember (Hillsborough St. and 15-501). I remember dark interior and salads. I remember lots of sandwich options (especially the French Dip as that was the first place I'd heard of such a thing). I was really young. I just remember it as that type of place like a precursor to Ruby Tuesdays but that is from a say 10-12 year olds perspective at that time... say mid to late 80s.

              1. In 1970's Thad Eure Jr & Darryl Davis founded Darryl's in Raleigh. There were 13 stores when the restaurants were sold to General Mills.GM over expanded to 35 stores, quality declined, and the chain bounced around to other corporate entities with little success. I have no knowledge of how the Greensboro store is structured or has maintained the name. I did eat there a couple of years ago and it was unremarkable.

                Mr Eure was a masterful restaurateur. Raleigh's, Angus Barn, Fat Daddy's and the 42nd Street Oyster Bar were founded by Eure and partners. He died in 1988 at age 56.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bluemold

                  They also had outstanding beef ribs, reportedly the same recipe as was used at the Angus Barn.

                  The Circus Room in the restaurant on Hillsborough St. was a neat place to be in when dining...

                  As was posted earlier, their pizza was some of the best in Raleigh during it's heyday, and their beer was so cold (pitchers and mugs) it rivaled that of Mitch's, just down the street.

                  1. re: goodeatsinadive

                    I forgot to mention it earlier but the Darryl's owners started out in the pizza business as owners of a few Pizza Inn's. Some Pizza Inn's in ENC still have the pizza crust crackers just like the ones Darryl's served.

                2. Nothing like what I remember. No crackers, and just your typical American chain restaurant.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: raleighboy

                    I worked as a manager for Darryl's from 1982-91.

                    Met my wife when we were both working at Darryl's 1781 in Greensboro. We were in town for the ACC Tournament a few weeks ago, and planned to stop by for a quick bloody mary, but sadly it was indeed "closed for renovations"....

                    I believe that the International Drive location in Orlando might still be open, as well.

                    Drank my first beer (in public, anyway) at Darryl's 1890 in Durham. Adam's and Eve's ribs, knockwurst and kraut, Prohibition Special, Mushroom Burger....450 seats jammed for 6 solid hours on Friday and Saturday nights.

                    The crackers were simply pizza dough rolled thin on a sheet pan...hit it with a pizza docker and a sprinkle of kosher salt.....we had to bake four or five 55-gal trashcans full to get ready for a busy night...

                    I wish I could remember the BBQ sauce recipe...it had about 15 ingredients. A lot of White House apple cider vinegar, for sure.

                    1. re: grubhub

                      Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely give the crackers a try, although my pizza dough skills are lacking in and of themselves. It'll be a good opportunity to practice. :D

                      1. re: nickblesch

                        I loved that Greensboro Darryl's too. I grew up in G'boro and have very fond memories of time spent there with my buddies

                        grubhub, let us know if you can remember that recipe!

                        1. re: Sue in Mt P

                          Was just surfing with fingers crossed "darryls bbq sauce". Spoiled I am. None compare! Adam & Eve! Charlotte had 2 locales. From 30 miles away but made the trip back in the 80's for the best ribs ever! They could have marketed the sauce and made more than the restuarants (and JohnBoy & Billy)! Never tasted the same. Not Sonny's, Bubba's, Carolina BBQ, Hillbilly's, NONE. If anyone knows PLEASE, Please reply!

                  2. Darryl's Bar and Restaurant has re-opened to the public. It is far from what Darryl Davis started back in 1971 but even himself enjoyed what the new ownership has done with the place when he came and dined with us last month. We brought back the original cracker recipe and have plenty of old favorites with a lot of new ones as well! You should definitely check out the new renovation! We are the last one in existence and do plan to re-expand.

                    1. I as a young boy in Pensacola, Fl would always order the Adams ribs. I would scarf those down like no one's business. The sauce is out of this world. They had an all you can eat beef rib Monday. A friend and I knocked down over 40 ribs between the two of us. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The service and quality went down hill quickly. They took the beef ribs off the menu at that location. The building sat empty for years. Not sure what is there now but there was an O'charleys or something like that and it is now a crematorium. I wish they would come back and locate downtown Pensacola, Fl. It they manage to do it right, they can compete with the existing restaurants. There is a lot of draw now for hockey, baseball, and many events at the Pensacola Bay Center. Their price level is very competitive with other restaurants if the quality is what it use to be.