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Jun 17, 2010 12:29 PM

Challenge: Moving to Mount Olive, NC - where do we eat?!?!

We would love to find some nice restaurants without traveling to Wilmington or Raleigh.

We are willing to try almost anything - as long as the food is good. We lean toward ethnic food - German, Polish, Italian, Vietnamese, etc.

Any suggestions? (We have discovered Mother Earth Brewery in Kinston but alas, no food there!)

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  1. Farmer and the Chef in Kinston if you are looking for nice dinner.

    1. Good luck. I grew up in that area and there is little availble other than chain restaurants. Goldsboro has a couple local places but choices are very limited there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Avidius5

        Don't know how nice this is, but you should get to know and love eastern NC barbeque! Here's a link to the trail. Not fancy but fun to try and compare.

      2. At least you'll have a nice source for pickles.

        1. You are going to have to dine in Goldsboro most of the time but Southern Exposure in Faison should make you happy for a while. It's not ethnic but good seafood/steaks/sandwiches/salads.

          Southern Exposure @ 202 West Main St., Faison, NC 910 - 267 - 0496.


          Southern Exposure
          202 W Main St, Faison, NC 28341

          1. There are lots and lots of taquerias and authentic Mexican food in that area. One of the absolute best in the state is La Cuata, which is up 117Alt a few miles in Dudley. Absolutely incredible soups, stews, birria, and homemade mole. I drive an hour to eat there every few months.



            David Cecelski's NCFood blog is a good source for interesting places to eat in the rural, eastern parts of the state. Check out some of the other links.

            I know of three Mexican/Latin American places in Mount Olive itself- La Morenita, Sabor Mexicano, and El Sol(the sign indicates that this is a Salvadoran restaurant). Of those, I've only had the chance to try La Morenita- we had a few tacos, and they were good. Slightly above average, IIRC. They have lots of other stuff besides tacos, too. I believe they even had atole on their breakfast menu, which is not something I've seen a lot in the area.

            Really, if you look around a bit in any town or in rural areas in this neighborhood, you'll find taquerias galore. There are several in Faison, for example. The best tacos I've found so far in NC have been at El Mexicanito in Wilson- probably 30-45 minutes from Mount Olive. Here's an omnibus thread that I've used to record my impressions of various taquerias in eastern NC:


            Other stuff...previous posters are spot on in recommending Chef and the Farmer for an upscale dinner. Very good.

            Grady's BBQ in Dudley and Wilber's in Goldsboro cook eastern NC barbecue the traditional way, over wood. Both are fantastic, although I prefer Grady's.

            Good luck, and I'd appreciate any feedback you have to give on these recommendations or any finds you might make. This board skews heavily towards the Triangle; eastern NC could use a few more voices on here.

            El Mexicanito
            925 1-B Ward Blvd., Wilson, NC

            15 Replies
            1. re: Naco

              Thanks for the suggestions - we'll def try them out and report back!

              1. re: Naco

                Wilber's in Goldsboro is trash, drive to Wilson and eat at Parkers on HWY 301, the best

                1. re: Raymondsims

                  Ah yes, Parker's. Where you can really taste the grease and the fossil fuels. Mmmm.

                  As far as Mazatlan goes, this sounds like it's part of the Mazatlan chain that's all over eastern NC, specializing in acceptable to subpar Tex-Mex. There are tons and tons and tons of better Mexican options in Wayne/Lenoir/Duplin counties.

                  1. re: Raymondsims

                    I beg to differ on Wilber's being trash. They still cook their barbecue with wood, and they make the best barbecue gravy ever. I always fill up on the barbecue gravy and hushpuppies.
                    Adam's Roadside has good barbecue, chicken, and ribs. I think they are a little too high and stingy with the cornbread. They also employ unsupervised teens that could care less. I went to the pickup window at Pinewood and the guy made my plate and let it stand there.
                    He then put cornsticks in to cook, which should have been done first thing.

                    1. re: foolmeonce

                      I saw a billboard for Adam's Roadside when I was in Goldsboro recently; what style is it? It seemed to be a KC type place designed to appeal to out of state types.

                      1. re: Naco

                        The Adams at Pinewood is a sitdown restaurant. The cue is eastern NC and very good. The Adam's on highway 70 is take out or sitdown outside. They do have a few tables. The food is typical wood fire grilled... barbecue, chicken, beef and pork ribs, several sides to choose from. Love it.

                  2. re: Naco

                    I agree. Grady's is preferable.

                    In Mt Olive proper the best ethnic food is Mexican. I have tried several and prefer La Morenita. I recently tried 7 Hermanos (behind McDonalds), and it is good with some unusual dishes and a salsa bar. I need more time to evaluate. The best Mexican food around is El Sol in Faison, but it has a limited menu. Their torta de asada is to die for. Also there is a new Haitian/Caribbean restaurant in town, but I have not tried it.

                    In Goldsboro, you have to try Los Fogones. It's Peruvian, and although I have had better Peruvian, this place is very good and a good bargain. I don't think you'll get better ethnic food in Wayne County. There is a Jamacian place inside a convenience store on Royal Avenue which is pretty good too. Their schedule and menu are inconsistent but definitely worth the stop. The best Asian is Koi which is pan-Asian and more Americanized but still decent. Think PF Changs but step down a couple of notches. Two Thai places in Goldsboro - I prefer the one downtown, but it's not stellar.

                    Farmer and the Chef is good, but honestly dish for dish I don't think it's better than Southern Exposure in Faison. It does have better service, ambience, and wine selection. There is supposedly a West Indian place in Kinston, but I haven't found it (although I have talked to the proprietor on the phone). There's a decent Greek place in Kinston as well, on Vernon Avenue.

                    Other than that you'll have to venture out to Raleigh, Wilmington, or even Greenville (pleasantly suprised here). There is one place that intrigues me in Tarboro but I have not yet tried - On The Square. Has anyone been here?

                    PF Changs
                    Asheville, NC, Asheville, NC

                    West Indian Cafe
                    400 S Queen St, Kinston, NC 28501

                    Southern Exposure
                    202 W Main St, Faison, NC 28341

                    1. re: sam1004

                      Great post. Thanks so much. One question- the Haitian place is in Faison? What's it called? Also, what do you usually get at La Morenita? I've only been once so I went with a standard set of tacos, but they had a lot of interesting sounding platillos, and I think they had atole and champurrado, too.

                      Someone else mentioned Los Fogones on here a while back. I really need to try this, as I'm starved for non-Mexican Latin options.

                      I haven't been to On the Square yet myself, but I know people who go regularly, and it gets rave reviews from everyone.

                      1. re: Naco

                        The Haitian place is in Mt Olive (downtown across from Southern Bank on the side street). It just opened up. I plan to go soon. At La Morenita I normally get tostados, tortas, or burritos. I've had the flautas and several of the platillos. All pretty good. They put beans in their tortas so I am not a fan of that. One dish I have not seen elsewhere is the taco de papa. Sounds so simple but is quite tasty once you get it fresh from the deep fryer. Go to 7 Hermanos. I had the nopales tacos and she let me sample the adobado. The one place I used to like was a Sinaloan place, but it closed. I do need to get back to El Sol in Mt Olive to try their stews and Salvadoran food.

                        If you haven't been to Los Fogones you need to go. Get a sampler plate. They can fill several people. Last time they charged me for sauce so be prepared. (They had not done this before last time.)

                        Going to La Cuata today based on your recommendation.

                        1. re: sam1004

                          Do let me know how the Haitian place is. Are they employing Haitians at the plants down there now?

                          Also interested to hear your take on La Cuata.

                          1. re: Naco

                            Went in to get menu but did not eat at the Haitian restaurant. The environment and menu were not inviting, but I will eat there at some point. It is my understanding that Haitians are being employed locally, and I have seen some about in the town.

                            La Cuata was very good, no specials when I went. Had the caldo de res; wife had La Cuata special which was unique and tasty. I need to go back when they have the mole.

                            1. re: sam1004

                              Glad to her you liked La Cuata. What day did you go? There was no specials board on the wall at all when I went recently, although it was on a Monday. IIRC the first time I went was not a weekend day, and they had loads of specials. Although on my recent Monday visit, I asked the waitress about specials and was able to get an off menu chicken soup.

                              What do you mean about the menu at the Haitian place not being inviting? Is it in Creole? French is similar enough to Spanish that I can make a pretty fair effort at it, but on the couple of occasions that I've seen Creole in written form, the orthography was so different that I had a hard time making sense of it.

                              Also, do you know the name of the Haitian place?

                    2. re: Naco

                      My children always eat at Nino's (Italian) in Mount Olive, when they want fine dining there. In Goldsboro, we like LaPaz on Spence Avenue. Great authentic mexican food, great prices, and great service. LaPaz is in a strip mall (Cobblestone?).

                      1. re: foolmeonce

                        What do you like at La Paz?

                        The authentic Mexican scene in Wayne county is an embarassment of riches. Admittedly, I have lost the will to try new places since I found La Cuata. If I am in Wayne county, I make a trip there.

                        La Paz
                        335 N Spence Ave, Goldsboro, NC 27534

                        1. re: Naco

                          I have never been to La Cuata but I must check it out if its as great as these customers.