Johnson's in Siler City , and Wilson's in Cleveland
Worth the trip from Raleigh area for the burgers and fried chicken......?
I'm not familiar with a restaurant in Cleveland, NC called Wilson's. Wonder if this is instead meant to inquire about Keaton's Barbecue--the place famous for their bbq chicken? If so, Keaton's is located at 17365 Cool Springs Road in Cleveland, NC.
As to Johnson's, I am a big fan. I'm not sure I would necessarily drive from Raleigh just for that but I've driven from Chapel Hill to there just for lunch so maybe so. At any rate, I think it is definitely worth some extra time and planning to hit them for lunch if you are in the area. The beauty of the place, however, is more in the tradition and process than in the actual burger, I think. Although the ingredients are fine for what they serve (including the velveeta), this is not a gourmet burger that you would get at Porters or Raleigh Times, etc. with guac or blue cheese, etc. It is instead I think a first rate example of a good fresh diner / road food burger the way things used to be. Part of the experience is getting there and sitting at the counter if possible but really anywhere will do and watching the cooking process, etc. and seeing all the locals coming through (along with a fair number of other loyal transients) who have been coming there for years for their burger fix. It's also being disappointed in getting there after the early lunch rush and finding them closed because they have run out of meat--lore has it that the meat is ground fresh daily and the restaurant closes when he runs out.
Different animal really from the gourmet burgers but I love the experience from time to time as it always takes me back to summers spent on my grandmother's farm and her homemade burgers and the burgers and other food we used to get from the old snack bars around the countryside.
Raleigh Times Bar
14 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601