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hello all. SF transplant. here for gradschool at UNC. need help.

s
spork Jul 5, 2010 03:38 PM

Hi,

As the title says, I'm from SF, and am now here.

There's a few things I'll miss, that I hope you guys can help me with.

1. Noodle soup. Ramen, Taiwan Beef Noodle, Pho, hand pulled chinese etc. anything like that around. I'll take any and all types. Heading out to gourmet kingdom in carrbarro for dinner tonight. read good things from you guys already.

2. mexican. tacos. burritos. something please. (went to chubby tacos the other day... UGH)

3. Mediterranean.

4. and anything else i should try while i'm here. i'm here for the next couple years (maybe more) and would love to get off on a good start with the food.

please remember i'm on a zero income budget, so nicer places are welcome recommendations, but that will be eaten few and far between. i'm willing to drive somewhat, and if its extra special, maybe on the weekend i'll take that 40 minute trek for THE spot.

Thanks!!

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  1. Scirocco RE: spork Jul 5, 2010 04:01 PM

    um, you're going to have to tell us WHICH UNC. :)

    1. l
      Littleman RE: spork Jul 5, 2010 05:13 PM

      Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Asheville, Wilmington or where. There are 16 locations I think. You probably mean Chapel Hill but we don't know.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Littleman
        s
        spork RE: Littleman Jul 5, 2010 06:43 PM

        chapel hill.

        thank you. let the recommendations flow :)

      2. j
        jsb23nc RE: spork Jul 5, 2010 05:48 PM

        Obviously, he is going to Carolina in Chapel Hill. Seriously, THAT is "UNC" whereas all the others are known as UNC plus their town's name. Y'all must be wuffies or dookies that are complaining.

        Now, as to your questions.

        1. Not really an expert on that.
        2. Carrburritos. You will love it.
        3. Mediterranean Deli on West Franklin St.
        4. La Fiesta Grill in White Cross, IP3 (Italian Pizzeria III), Maple View Farms for ice cream, Sandwich (though more expensive sandwiches), Merritt's Store for a BLT

        I'll refrain from suggesting more expensive, upscale restaurants given your budget.

        -----
        Carrburritos
        711 Rosemary St, Carrboro, NC

        Mediterranean Deli
        410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

        La Fiesta Grill
        30553 Highway 441 S, Commerce, GA 30529

        1. b
          bbqme RE: spork Jul 5, 2010 06:13 PM

          1. You will have to really lower your expectations here. I'd say Gourmet Kingdom for the Chinese versions of these dishes and Saigon Grill in Durham for Vietnamese versions. There is Lime & Basil in Chapel Hill near UNC campus but I have not tried it. My friends who have gave it a lukewarm recommendation.

          2. Need to head to Roxboro Rd. in Durham. Seek out Los Comales , Mami Nora's, and Super Taqueria.

          3. I second Med Deli.

          4. Allen & Son barbeque, Neal's Deli, The Federal, and the area Farmers Markets are a good start.

          -----
          Super Taqueria
          2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

          Los Comales
          2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

          Lime & Basil
          200 W Franklin St Ste 130, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

          Gourmet Kingdom
          301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

          Neal's Deli
          100 E Main St Ste C, Carrboro, NC 27510

          Saigon Grill
          2929 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

          1. b
            brokegradstudent RE: spork Jul 5, 2010 06:52 PM

            Is spork for the restaurant in the mission district?

            1. You'll be pretty out of luck in CH. Lime and Basil is ok but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Gourmet Kingdom is very good.

            2. Fiesta Grill (mentioned above), La Vaquita in Durham, spend a Saturday afternoon on Roxboro Rd. in Durham and you'll probably find something you like.

            3. Mediterranean Deli is decent and can be done for cheap. You'll see their food all over campus but it's terrible. Go to the store on W. Franklin.

            4. Get off of Franklin St., esp the part near campus. If you go through grad school never eating between Kenan and Henderson Streets you'll do better than I have. 3 Cups, Open Eye, and Driade fight for the best coffee in the area. For my money, 3 Cups wins. NC style barbeque can make for a cheap, great meal with lots of leftovers. Embrace the farmer's markets and cook yourself. 5-star meals at a fraction of the cost (and you should have plenty of leisure time, as a grad student).

            Welcome to the fold.

            -----
            Mediterranean Deli
            410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

            Gourmet Kingdom
            301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

            Open Eye Cafe
            101 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

            3 Replies
            1. re: brokegradstudent
              t
              Tom from Raleigh RE: brokegradstudent Jul 5, 2010 07:30 PM

              The Triangle will be a good spot for you to decompress. It's better than a lot of metropolitan areas, but not as good as SF, NYC, Chicago, Portland, etc. If food is important to you, the next few years will be the time to decide where to live next. Are you willing to take that job in Omaha or will you take a less interesting job back to the Bay Area and subsist on less money but be happy? I'm writing this overlooking many food carts in downtown Portland wishing I could move here, knowing I need to stay in the Triangle because it's best for my family.

              What we do well around here, we do quite well. Barbeque in NC means pork, either whole hog or shoulder, made into small piece through chopping or pulling and then sauced one of two ways. If you look, there are some good meat and threes around where you can get a glimpse into Southern cooking.

              I love the Mexican/Latin American food in this area, especially from taco trucks. While many decry the presence of people from south of the border, I believe they enrich our society in many ways through their food, their work ethic, and their presence.

              Overall, I'd advise you that now's is a great time to cook. There's a lot of excellent, local,produce to be had at either the Carrboro or Durham Farmer's Markets. Make the most of it. Learn to make your own ramen (from frozen noodles). Learn to bake bread. Make your own dumplings. Learn to make beer or wine.

              There's good food to be had in the Triangle, but it's not where you from.

              1. re: Tom from Raleigh
                m
                mikeh RE: Tom from Raleigh Jul 7, 2010 08:49 PM

                I disagree with the main thesis of this statement that the food and variety in the Triangle does not live up to Bay Area muster. I lived in the Bay Area previous to my time in the Triangle, and live in the Bay Area now. and honestly, I'm going through foodie withdrawal being back in the SF area. For any given genre of food, the Triangle might not have the sheer volume of selection, but the offerings represent what in the Bay Area would be in the top 5% of each genre. Plus, you get representations of food that the Bay Area just doesn't have, like flavorful farm-to-table food (through the indulgent Southern lens) and BBQ. Everything you can find in the Bay Area, you can find in the Triangle, but the Triangle has a lot that the Bay Area doesn't. And it's 1/3 the price. I break it down blow-by-blow below.

              2. re: brokegradstudent
                r
                Rory RE: brokegradstudent Jul 5, 2010 07:33 PM

                Run to Grand Asia Market, http://www.grandasiamarket.com/ I know it's not nearby but you can eat there & shop really cheaply.
                Twisted Noodle in Eastgate is homey Thai with noodles, big soups. It's nearby I love it and it is in your price range. Red Lotus; expensive but if you get the Shanghai menu & order the big bowl of soup with etc..then it's a very good deal; maybe $11.00 ? can't remember but check it out. [avoid the american menu at all cost
                ] Mediterranean Deli has some good things; their weekend lamb shank is great and so are their desserts, also their grilled meats. Sitting there on Franklin St is fun people watching too.
                I love Gourmet Kingdom too. Lime and Basil is bad; make your own soup, you can buy all the fixings here.
                I also think Weaver St. Market has cheaper coffee, it's good and their hot and cold bar used to be good value. But the food isn't what it was. Cold bar is still good; hummus, salad etc..
                Taco trucks in Carborro good value and you can eat outdoors.I love Carburritos
                really fresh and good and cheap. My tip is to order everything as sides, not everything rolled into a burrito.
                I'd second cooking. The produce here is so fresh. With this heat you can also grow a bunch of plants: herbs, chilis that you can take indoors in winter.

                -----
                Grand Asia Market
                1253 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

                Twisted Noodles
                4201 University Dr Ste 112, Durham, NC 27707

                Mediterranean Deli
                410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                Gourmet Kingdom
                301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

              3. b
                BullCityChow RE: spork Jul 6, 2010 05:06 AM

                1 - Try China Express near the intersection of 54 and 55 in the park. Most of their menu is typical strip mall Chinese food, but their noodles are GOOD. Cheap and tasty.

                2 - Agreed re: coming to Durham. Lots of good choices. The red taco bus on Hillsborogh Rd. at night is one of my favorites.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BullCityChow
                  c
                  chazzer RE: BullCityChow Jul 6, 2010 06:10 AM

                  The only fresh noodles, that I know about, will be the Cafeteria at Grand Asia, they are machine made that day and not hand pulled (I have only seen hand pulled in some basement food court in Flushing Queens)

                  Also try Super Wok in Cary, they have a spicy beef noodle soup that is very good along with the rest of the traditional Chinese menu.

                  I am sorry to say that the area is not big on noodles that are not lo-main, and am not finding a good place for Pho.

                  1. re: chazzer
                    b
                    BullCityChow RE: chazzer Jul 6, 2010 06:21 AM

                    I'm almost positive that the China Express noodles are machine made in house. The extra spicy Jan Pong is fabulous...

                2. d
                  dinersaurus RE: spork Jul 6, 2010 06:38 AM

                  For ramen, try Kashin in the Cary Crossroads Shopping Center. It's a small strip mall place. I think they have really good ramen. They also have some interesting country-Japanese options that I've not seen at other Japanese places. A lot of the SF Chowhounds have sung the praises of Santouka in the Mitsuwa Marketplace in San Jose. I think Kashin's holds up pretty well against it as a benchmark.

                  My favorite pho spot at the moment is Pho Far East on Capital in Raleigh. Closer to UNC, 9N9 (NorthEast of Ch Hill) is all right and works in a pinch, but I haven't been blown away by it. Pho Far East insists on putting meatballs in a lot of the pho's, but they have tons of noodle soup varieties on their menu.

                  A promising spot to keep an eye on is David's Dumpling and Noodle, which will be opening soon on Hillsborough St in Raleigh across from NC State. (Wish I had more recs closer to UNC, but I live in Raleigh - these might be worth checking out next time you're in these parts).

                  -----
                  Pho Far East
                  4011 Capital Blvd Ste 133, Raleigh, NC 27604

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dinersaurus
                    d
                    dinersaurus RE: dinersaurus Jul 6, 2010 06:47 AM

                    Just remembered, the pho on the lunch menu at An in Cary is really good. Granted, this is an upscale pho with an upscale price ($13). Instead of tendon, you get strips of filet. But, it is tasty.

                    It's been a while since I've been there, but I remember Penang in Chapel Hill having some interesting noodle dishes.

                    Please let us know if you find good ramen, noodles, or pho that isn't listed here - especially in the Chapel Hill/Durham areas.

                    1. re: dinersaurus
                      c
                      chazzer RE: dinersaurus Jul 7, 2010 09:01 AM

                      Thanks, I tried Pho Far East yesterday and enjoyed it. Will continue going there when I want Pho.

                      -----
                      Pho Far East
                      4011 Capital Blvd Ste 133, Raleigh, NC 27604

                    2. b
                      burgeoningfoodie RE: spork Jul 6, 2010 07:00 AM

                      I'll say this about your number 4... Try everything that is recommended and anything you are curious about and just can't seem to find any information on. There is plenty of decent Indian and loads of Taco trucks and Salvadorian places between Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham. You may find it hard to find good Tri-tip in the area (unless you go to Cliffs) and you may find it hard to find a good fish taco. Bread is all around, but nothing like San Fran Sourdough that I've heard about. Explore the area and use the recommendations you find on here as a starting point.

                      People here love Chubby's but I've never been. Los Comales, Orellana, La Vaquita and even El Cuscatleco tend to be favorites from what I understand.

                      The Mediterranean that you'll find generally is the same in any of the restaurants with some doing the tried and true dishes better than others. Locally Med Deli I think gives you the most bang for your buck and is probably one of the only places I eat at on Franklin St. with any regularity. SandwHich, though pricey for what it offers, is touted often. There will be a Krispy Kreme donut place coming to the scene soon which is a NC staple, but if you are a fan of Dunkin's cake donuts KK may turn you off (though that is hard to imagine). You may miss the foods you can get in SF, but you also may find new foods that you love here and will fill the void.

                      -----
                      Los Comales
                      2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                      El Cuscatleco
                      5110 Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27701

                      Krispy Kreme
                      2706 Watson Blvd Ste A, Warner Robins, GA 31093

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                        r
                        Rory RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 6, 2010 03:01 PM

                        Weaver St has great bread and Carburrito's has good fish tacos and both are in Carrboro

                        . I agree, the point about being here is to enjoy the local foods and the teriffic fresh produce. It's amazing. Don't mourn what SF has; enjoy what the Triangle has to offer. And it's a lot.

                      2. n
                        nanaslug RE: spork Jul 6, 2010 07:04 PM

                        Hey, fellow Californian! We're UCSC alums so we feel your pain on missing those reliable taquerias on every corner. We moved here in '05 from out west and spent the better part of four years looking for decent Mexican food. If you want authentic, you have to try La Vaquita in Durham. It's a little yellow shack with a cow on the roof and trust me, it's the closest you will get to west coast style Mexican food. Whatever you do, stay very, very far away from Bandidos. We also tried out Carrburritos and Cosmic Cantina near UNC and, meh.... not authentic, but decent for a desperate burrito fix.

                        Medi Deli is awesome for cheap, quick eats. Elmo's in Carrboro is consistently good, cheap diner food. Squid's in Chapel Hill is a really delicious seafood restaurant. Every time my parents come to visit, they want to go there. We're still looking for BBQ that makes us write home to mama, but there are a million and one places to try. Good luck!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nanaslug
                          b
                          burgeoningfoodie RE: nanaslug Jul 7, 2010 05:55 AM

                          For straight up NC Que I'd go to Allen and Sons first.. for ribs.. the Pit in Raleigh has great fall off the bone ribs.

                        2. jbyoga RE: spork Jul 7, 2010 07:43 PM

                          Waffle House - Seriously. It is a Southern Institution and all kidding aside you need to have a pecan waffle (ask for it crisp) and some hash browns scattered,smothered,covered..etc...at least once. If you get lucky the waitresses will call you honey and everyone will say hi. I'm from Monterey CA originally and if WH ever expanded to CA they'd be HUGE!

                          -----
                          Waffle House Restaurant
                          120 S Goose Creek Blvd, Goose Creek, SC 29445

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jbyoga
                            r
                            raleighboy RE: jbyoga Jul 8, 2010 12:24 PM

                            Waffle House just isn't same without a thick cloud of smoke at all times.

                            -----
                            Waffle House Restaurant
                            1415 N Main St, Summerville, SC 29483

                          2. m
                            mikeh RE: spork Jul 7, 2010 09:12 PM

                            1. You ask about noodle soup, pho, etc. Lime & Basil in Chapel Hill makes their pho using slow-cooked made-from-scratch broth (much in the style of Pot de Pho in SF). For standard everyday pho, but still using higher-quality meats that you'd normally find at your corner SF pho place, go to 9N9 in RTP.
                            http://pho9n9.com/en/

                            Twisted Noodle has better Thai food than you'd find at most Thai places in the Bay Area, with the potential exception of Lers Ros and Thai House Express in the Tenderloin.

                            http://www.twistednoodles.com/

                            2. mexican. tacos. burritos. something please.
                            Durham has some of the best taquerias on the East Coast (and there's a Gourmet Magazine article to prove this). What I'd give to have something like Los Comales in Durham in the Bay Area. Incredible quality of meats, incredible selection at their condiment bar, and great platillos and tortas as well. People also like Super Taqueria and Taqueria la Vaquita, also in Durham.
                            The only taqueria-type item that I couldn't find in the Triangle as good in the Bay Area were burritos. Taqueria la Bamba in Mountain View, CA is still tops in that regard.

                            3. Mediterranean - La Shish in Cary has wonderful shawarma, falafels, hummus, etc. Also go to Neomonde (both in Morrisville and Raleigh) for cold items like baba ghannouj, tabouli, hummus, grape leaves, and hot items like stewed okra and meats. The key with both places is that they are casual, inexpensive yet everything is homemade. I've had trouble replicating this niche in the Bay Area, where offerings are either downmarket both in price and quality, or exceptional but pricey (Evvia in Palo Alto, Kokkari in SF). You won't find an Evvia-type quality place in the Triangle, except maybe Sitti (Lebanese) in downtown Raleigh.
                            http://www.lashish.net/
                            http://www.neomonde.com/home/
                            http://www.sitti-raleigh.com/

                            4. What else should you try? Farm-to-table stuff. Californi thinks they somehow have the market cornered on "Californian" cuisine, but actually the Triangle's slow food movement has taken this concept and made it tremendously better. Instead of being spare in taste/flavor, doing it through a Southern lens adds flavor and unctuousness to the concept. Go to Watts Grocery in Durham for everyday "modern Southern" all sourced from local farms. Go to Magnolia Grill for creations using 50 different ingredients and somehow making them all work together - I guarantee you you'll never want to eat at Chez Panisse again, because for such a similar concept they do it so much better. and oh yeah, for being one of the most expensive restaurants in the Triangle, entrees are still only $25.
                            http://www.wattsgrocery.com/
                            http://www.magnoliagrill.net/

                            Go to Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill - it has such a classy, old-world formal atmosphere (while still being jewel box comfortable). It's like you've been invited into a formal country home in France. The owners are so warm and passionate about food and wine, yet the quietude and distinguished atmosphere is something that no Bay Area restaurant replicates, not even the likes of the Dining Room at Ritz Carlton, Gary Danko, Cyrus, Manresa, French Laundry - they're just not the same. Silken smooth service without being stiff or arrogant. Go for the experience. oh, and it'll cost $100 for a dinner for two, getting every course. I blow that much going to Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay. Oh, to be somewhere where one can eat upper echelon food and get away with it vis the bank account.

                            4. and anything else i should try while i'm here.

                            Allen&Son for BBQ - simply put, best BBQ I've had in the country. Drive 90 miles to Lexington, NC sometime to Lexington #1, also the best BBQ I've had in the country. It's worth flying across the country from CA to NC just to eat at these two places. BTW, if you think you've had bbq in the Bay Area, you haven't. The best BBQ I've had in the Bay Area is worse than the BBQ I had just two weeks ago in the Charlotte airport. AIRPORT BBQ!

                            You'll also need to get in a country buffet. I recommend The Old Place south of Siler City, NC (about a 35-min drive from Chapel Hill). Everything is made from scratch, it's in the middle of a cow pasture, it's owned by the Moore family, and everything within a 5-mile radius is named Moore. Best fried chicken I've ever had, wonderful cracklin' cornbread, and all your typical southern vittles (chicken & dumplings, veggies, apple crisp, etc.). Nowhere in the Bay Area comes close to giving you this type of food. Anyone willing to open up a place like that out here would make a killing.

                            http://www.old-place.com/

                            Joyce&Family in Fuquay-Varina - go here for the southern veggies, all made from scratch. Collards, mac&cheese, mashed potatoes, limas, black-eyed peas, cabbage, yams, green beans. Again, if you think you've had this stuff before in the Bay Area, you really haven't. This type of food is my absolute favorite genre of food, but I haven't touched it in the past eight months because every Bay Area place offering it does such a disservice to it (normally it's from cans or seasoned poorly).

                            -----
                            Super Taqueria
                            2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

                            Los Comales
                            2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                            Watts Grocery
                            1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

                            Twisted Noodles
                            4201 University Dr Ste 112, Durham, NC 27707

                            Old Place Restaurant
                            289 Elmer Moore Rd, Bear Creek, NC 27207

                            Sitti
                            Raleigh, NC, Raleigh, NC

                            Lime & Basil
                            200 W Franklin St Ste 130, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                            Bonne Soiree Restaurant
                            431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                            Thai House
                            5592 Whitesville Rd Ste I, Columbus, GA 31904

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: mikeh
                              Naco RE: mikeh Jul 8, 2010 03:18 AM

                              With regard to burritos: burritos are basically Americanized Mexican food, and you will rarely find them in taquerias in North Carolina, which mostly cater to migrant workers, recent immigrants, etc. I once had a Oaxacan business owner rail against burritos without any kind of prompting. He seemed to feel that having them on the menu was some kind of a moral failing that would dilute the authenticity of the rest of the menu.

                              1. re: Naco
                                r
                                rockycat RE: Naco Jul 8, 2010 07:14 AM

                                "Authentic" or not, the burrito verde at Fonda in Raleigh is amazing. Yes, it is more Americanized than most of their menu and it will feed at least two comfortably, but the salsa verde that it's swimming in is marvelous. It makes the whole dish. A guilty pleasure yes, but a pleasure nonetheless.

                                Oh, and as an afterthought - I really did not like 9N9 at all. I haven't had pho outside of NC so I can't compare it to other places but I really thought the food (pho, bun, and com) at 9N9 was some of the weakest Vietnamese food I've ever had. And they don't even have che ba mau.

                                1. re: rockycat
                                  Naco RE: rockycat Jul 8, 2010 07:28 AM

                                  I'm not knocking the burrito, just explaining why they tend to be thin on the ground. Plus, I always get a chuckle out of recalling that guy's Comandante-esque rant against them. Nice guy, unless you're a burrito.

                                  I've never been disappointed at FyB Jalisco.

                                  1. re: rockycat
                                    LulusMom RE: rockycat Jul 8, 2010 08:58 AM

                                    I think Lime and Basil is pretty lame Vietnamese food too, myself. It'll do, if you're feeling like you really need a fix, but I've heard there is someplace fantastic in north Durham (sorry, don't remember the name). Never been to 9N9.

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      ToothTooth RE: LulusMom Jul 8, 2010 09:15 AM

                                      I believe that Saigon Grill is the place you're thinking of in N. Durham. Its on N. Roxboro Rd, just north of the excellent Los Comales and right across the street from the delicious Super Taqueria.

                                      -----
                                      Super Taqueria
                                      2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

                                      Los Comales
                                      2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                                      Saigon Grill
                                      2929 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                                      1. re: ToothTooth
                                        LulusMom RE: ToothTooth Jul 8, 2010 09:51 AM

                                        Thanks TT, I think you're right. Reports have been very positive.

                                        1. re: ToothTooth
                                          m
                                          mikeh RE: ToothTooth Jul 8, 2010 01:21 PM

                                          I'll definitely defer to the consensus here on Vietnamese cuisine. It's just not something I tend to seek out or find overly remarkable no matter how well it's done.

                                          But Saigon Grill in Durham is supposedly head and shoulders above the other Triangle offerings. It had just escaped my memory.

                                          -----
                                          Saigon Grill
                                          2929 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                                  2. re: mikeh
                                    b
                                    bbqme RE: mikeh Jul 8, 2010 12:03 PM

                                    Way to represent, MIke! I hope you can make it back here soon so you can try Saxapahaw General Store-- how did I forget to mention them in my first post?! They are the paragon of farm-to-table at a reasonable price.

                                    -----
                                    General Store Cafe
                                    39 West St, Pittsboro, NC 27312

                                    1. re: bbqme
                                      m
                                      mikeh RE: bbqme Jul 8, 2010 01:19 PM

                                      Thanks. It's #1 on my to-do list of places I wasn't able to hit up before leaving. Another such place is Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, NC.

                                      http://www.chefandthefarmer.com

                                      And of course, how could I forget Yancey House Restaurant in Yanceyville, NC (up hwy 86 towards Danville, VA. Beautiful historic house, "farm to table" because it makes sense, not because it's the latest fad or concept. And since the owners are from Louisiana/Texas, some of the best seafood I had in NC, coastside or otherwise.

                                      http://www.yanceyvillage.com/yanceyho...

                                      -----
                                      Yancey House Restaurant
                                      699 US Highway 158 W, Yanceyville, NC 27379

                                      1. re: mikeh
                                        Naco RE: mikeh Jul 8, 2010 01:23 PM

                                        If you're ever back down this way, I'd be interested to hear your take on Mrs. Culpepper's Crab Cafe in Morehead. They do fresh, local fried seafood and Thai. This may be relevant to your interests. The owners are a fisherman who's originally from the area(strong hoi toider accent) and his Thai wife.

                                        I've been once and enjoyed both the seafood and the Thai, even though I got the buffet. I've been itching to get back and try some stuff a la carte.

                                  3. s
                                    spork RE: spork Jul 8, 2010 01:24 PM

                                    Wow... thanks to everyone here. Seriously.

                                    I neglected my own post for a couple days due to school, but now that the weekend is coming up and I have a bit of free time, its time to go and try some of these spots.

                                    28 Replies
                                    1. re: spork
                                      RonboNC RE: spork Jul 19, 2010 06:18 AM

                                      Hey Spork, I came out to UNC Chapel Hill in 2005 after living in Pac Heights for 5 years so I feel your pain. Long story short, the food in the Triangle doesn't compare to the Bay area period! Anyone who thinks so is being a bit naive, especially when it comes to ethnic food.

                                      My recommendation is to pick and choose your spots VERY carefully. In the area of American/Southern farm to table, there are some decent spots. If you want really good Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Peruvian, etc. You're sort of screwed. Chapel Hill in particular is limited due to size and the college population. My experience is food tends to be plentiful and cheap in college areas, end of story.

                                      In CH definitely hit Allen & Sons, Fiesta Grill, Acme and... Haha, I've run out of ideas for CH! Durham has some decent spots: Toast, Rue Cler, Watts, Blu Seafood and it's only 20 minutes away. Further out in Cary/Raleigh is where I think you can really expand your choices...

                                      In the end, I'm personally committed to the Triangle for my career but the food here is probably two levels down from SF in terms of quality. But that's all good when there's no traffic, easy parking and nice people!

                                      -----
                                      Rue Cler Restaurant
                                      401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                                      Fiesta Grill
                                      3307 Nc Highway 54 W, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                      Blu Seafood and Bar
                                      2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

                                      1. re: RonboNC
                                        c
                                        cervisiam RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 07:37 AM

                                        "Further out in Cary/Raleigh is where I think you can really expand your choices... "

                                        i am a bit dubious. raleigh, perhaps. but cary???

                                        i also think 'really expand' is generous, to say the least. that is implying that those two areas offer significant opportunities compared to their western neighbors, which i completely disagree on.

                                        1. re: cervisiam
                                          b
                                          burgeoningfoodie RE: cervisiam Jul 19, 2010 08:09 AM

                                          I do think that Cary/Morrisville have the best/most options for eating Indian Food, but I wouldn't say that the city is more diverse as far as places to eat than any other area in the Triangle.

                                          Unlike SanFran where you have a whole China Town or some other enclave of immigrant life, here everything is spread out amongst the region with pockets (like the Indian mentioned above or the Latino community in Durham). But you have good bread anywhere in the area.. is it SF Sourdough well no because the yeast here isn't the same. I would say the prices here for the same thing you'd get in SF are definitely better though if not on par.

                                          1. re: cervisiam
                                            RonboNC RE: cervisiam Jul 19, 2010 08:12 AM

                                            Fair enough to be dubious, Cervisiam but understand that Raleigh is bigger than Durham population-wise and Cary is bigger than Chapel Hill/CH so... It's ok to disagree but having lived in Carrboro/CH and visited Durham plenty of times, I think the Raleigh/Cary scene is easily the equal and will more than likely surpass y'all out there.

                                            In Cary you've got La Farm Bakery and Grand Asia Market, great examples of bread, baked goods, Asian foodstuffs and Chinatown type food. You've got An, Lucky 32 for VN and Southern. You've got Fugheddaboudit, Dominic's Pizza, NY Pizza and Bella Mia for NY thin-slice pizza. You've got Unaabi (Afghani), Tom Yum Thai, Thai Villa, Yum Yum Thai. You've got little India on Chatham Street, Neo-Asia for now only OK dim-sum. Yes, Cary has a lot of chain restaurants but if you look, plenty of indy restaurants. With all the Yankee transplants out there, they've brought their food and of course, their aggressive driving (spoken as a Yankee).

                                            I don't even know Cary that well because I typically stay in Raleigh but trust me, y'all think that Durham's it for food are missing out! There's stuff/restaurants opening up out in Raleigh regularly and while it's still no SF, the future is bright. I've got over 500 reviews between Citysearch and Yelp so I like to think I've got some idea about food...

                                            -----
                                            Grand Asia Market
                                            1253 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

                                            Thai Villa
                                            1319 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

                                            Lucky 32
                                            7307 Tryon Rd, Cary, NC 27518

                                            Yum Yum
                                            9872 Nc Highway 105 S, Banner Elk, NC 28604

                                            1. re: RonboNC
                                              c
                                              chazzer RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 11:06 AM

                                              Don't forget Super Wok in Cary one of the best Chinese Restaurants in the area.

                                              -----
                                              Super Wok
                                              7550 Dorchester Rd Unit F, North Charleston, SC 29418

                                              1. re: chazzer
                                                RonboNC RE: chazzer Jul 19, 2010 03:30 PM

                                                Yep, heard about Super Work and the 35 Restaurant in Cary also has great Szechuan chinese food... Good call, Chazzer!

                                                1. re: RonboNC
                                                  c
                                                  cervisiam RE: RonboNC Jul 20, 2010 05:45 AM

                                                  gourmet kingdom is also great for sichuan - the other chowhound threads mention that the chef came from 35 in cary.

                                                  does 35 use sichuan peppercorns? because super wok does not.

                                                  1. re: cervisiam
                                                    b
                                                    burgeoningfoodie RE: cervisiam Jul 20, 2010 05:53 AM

                                                    From what I understand the chef is not from 35 though it was a common misconception. Of course, I could be wrong too.

                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                      c
                                                      cervisiam RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 20, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6648...

                                                      i remember talking to the waiter earlier this year, and he said they had come from 35.

                                                    2. re: cervisiam
                                                      c
                                                      chazzer RE: cervisiam Jul 20, 2010 07:26 AM

                                                      I think that super wok does use them but it depends on the dish and not in great amounts. When we were at gourmet kingdom this weekend I did not notice any sichuan peppercorns in anything that we ordered, but then again it might have to do with what we ordered.

                                                      Based on out visit to GK I prefer SW. Liked the food better and it is a lot closer, don't get me worng if I lived close to GK, I would be a regular.

                                            2. re: RonboNC
                                              LulusMom RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 10:20 AM

                                              I have to agree with this: the food in the Triangle doesn't compare to the Bay area period! Anyone who thinks so is being a bit naive, especially when it comes to ethnic food.

                                              Still and all, there is some good food here. And as much as I think Acme has improved, the fact that you'd chose Acme over Elaines or the Lantern in the CH/Carrboro area seems sort of surprising, unusual. And have you tried Kitchen yet? My one trip there was really good. I can't wait to go back. How about Merlion? Lacking big time on atmo, but the food is, I think, really pretty darned good. Panzanella? Very good wood fired pizza. And their calamari is especially good. Glasshaful has it's ups and downs, but it is a great place to stop for a glass of wine and a small bite.

                                              -----
                                              Panzanella
                                              101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                              Merlion
                                              410 Market St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                b
                                                burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Jul 19, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                I'd go to Bonn Soiree before I'd go to either Acme or Elaines... but thats beside the point of this thread. Lamenting about the Bay is like pining over a girlfriend and then wondering why you're still single. Enjoy what IS here without comparing or you may not enjoy it at all.

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                  LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 19, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                  Yeah, I hear you. Coming from DC I had to make some adjustments to what I expected from the local dining scene. And I'm very happy with it, and with living in CH. but are there things I miss, and that the OP will miss? Yes.

                                                  I'm not the fan of Bonne Soiree that everyone else is. I find it stuffy, and I think the food, while good, doesn't make up for an atmosphere I find stifling. Rather eat at Vin Rouge any day, even if the food usually isn't as good (although last night I had an amazing meal there - all specials, so not repeatable, unfortunately).

                                                  -----
                                                  Vin Rouge
                                                  2010 Hillsborough Rd., Durham, NC 27705

                                                  Bonne Soiree Restaurant
                                                  431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                    b
                                                    burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Jul 19, 2010 12:47 PM

                                                    Oh well I like Vin Rouge too I just happen to live closer to Bonn ;-) As far as I know there is not a place here that does the works (amuse, courses, tastes, desserts and finishes with migdarnises). Then again I don't feel like a place such as that would garner much patronage.

                                                    -----
                                                    Vin Rouge
                                                    2010 Hillsborough Rd., Durham, NC 27705

                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                      LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 19, 2010 01:33 PM

                                                      Yeah, me too - I live walking distance to Bonne!

                                                      You know, I've done that whole 3 star experience a number of times now, and for me, it just doesn't make for as fun and comfortable a meal as a place that has very good to great food but a more relaxed atmo. YMMV, of course.

                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                        m
                                                        mpjmph RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 20, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                        St. Jacques in North Raleigh does the works, at least for weekend dinners.

                                                    2. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                      RonboNC RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 19, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                      Burgenoningfoodie, part of my transition strategy to staying in NC was no different that handling other issues. Recognize there's a problem and accept it! So it's not that I'm lamenting the Bay area, but I need to accept that there are certain foods/tastes that I'm not going to get out here. No Moroccan food, no Spanish tapas, no great Vietnamese food. But yes, I recognize everything positive I do get here in the Triangle and I hope Spork does too.

                                                      But given the poster's interest in Taiwanese beef noodle soup I'm guessing Spork has pretty esoteric tastes. I don't think that pretending that the Triangle is the equivalent or dare I say better is the solution either! Reality eventually sets in so... There are some very good restaurants out here but you have to search for them as I've mentioned before.

                                                      And I personally hope that by writing reviews and having higher expectations, the food scene will continue to evolve and improve here. It's not just about having great restaurants with great food opening up here. It's also about having customers and the public appreciate and patronize these same restaurants. And the only way we can raise the bar for food in the Triangle is to understand what we have and don't have. We should always celebrate great meals wherever we are but there's definitely room for improvement...

                                                      1. re: RonboNC
                                                        Naco RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                        Greensboro is supposed to have very good Vietnamese according to posts on here. There are certainly a number of places and a large Vietnamese/Montagnard community there. There's a Chinese bbq too, IIRC.

                                                        1. re: RonboNC
                                                          b
                                                          burgeoningfoodie RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                          Yeah I want the food scene to change a bit too. We have restaurants that classify themselves as tapas.. but having been to Jaleo in DC (that was my first tapas experience not saying its the best).. what we have here is a very poor representation. Tasca Brava use to have a much more extensive menu before they moved and now here everything is small plates. I'm not quite sure I fully understand what the difference between those and tapas are. A noodle place would be great on Franklin street. Especially if you could walk by and see the guy pounding and twisting the dough into noodles. Unfortunately all that ever opens on Franklin anymore is pizza and burrito places. You can't tell me that a quality ramen shop wouldn't fit the bill of cheap, filling and good. What we need is someone who has the capital and the know how to start one off. Being that it is north carolina I'm surprised there isn't a Bojangles on Franklin but that really isn't their type of space.I'm surprised the bubble tea place has lasted that long. What we have are plenty of people who long to see even more diversity fit into smaller areas but we are the consumer and not the producer (in most cases).

                                                          I think in certain areas we do Mexican street food very well, Indian alright and some basic Mediterranean though anyone thats been to Israel or the Middle East would never agree ;-)

                                                          -----
                                                          Tasca Brava
                                                          607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                            LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 19, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                            BTW, yet another pizza place is going in somewhere in the little mall (or whatever you want to call it) where Bonne Soiree and Penang are.

                                                            -----
                                                            Bonne Soiree Restaurant
                                                            431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                            1. re: LulusMom
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                                                              burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Jul 20, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                              Courtyard and yes they were giving out samples at Vimala's Grand Opening. It was good pizza but not anything special.

                                                            2. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                              RonboNC RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 20, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                              My experience out here is when restaurants say tapas, it's pretty ambiguous and often means small plates. Glasshalfull, Humble Pie, maybe Zely & Ritz fall into that category. Red Room tries to do tapas and they're, ok but nothing great and I don't think that authentic. I've only been to Tasca Brava once but I'm pretty sure the owner/chef is from Central or S. America and not Spanish so I'm guessing that's why he doesn't call out his dishes as tapas.

                                                              And yes, Franklin could use better food but given a student's limited budget and time, sometimes Bojangles isn't a bad deal! Agreed on the Mexican, Indian and Med food, it's fine out here...

                                                              -----
                                                              Glasshalfull
                                                              106 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                              Red Room
                                                              510 Glenwood Ave, Ste 101, Raleigh, NC 27603

                                                              Zely & Ritz
                                                              301 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603

                                                              Tasca Brava
                                                              607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

                                                              1. re: RonboNC
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                                                                burgeoningfoodie RE: RonboNC Jul 21, 2010 09:34 AM

                                                                A friend of mine has a brother in town from India and he says the only really good place he's been for Indian is Tower. The others are too Americanized says he. He hadn't been to Saffron or some of the places in Cary at that time though. Yea I like the typical Med food offerings. I'm sure there could be some inspired creations to make the consistency a little less humdrum. Oh I'm not saying Bojangles wouldn't do well, but the spaces on Franklin St. aren't conducive to them (I don't think). I was hoping the Wings place where Rosemary and Franklin meet (former KFC) would become something hip like a small yakitori bar.

                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                  RonboNC RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 22, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                  Hey Burgeoningfoodie! Been to Tower once and it was good but I think S. Indian/vegetarian. I've also done Saffron/Azitra and both are good but geared towards a more American palate, Azitra is VERY expensive for Indian. From what I remember $14 to $18 for entrees which for me is unheard of.

                                                                  In Durham you've got Spice & Curry, Kebab & Curry... In Cary you've got Suchi and Udupi Cafe (vegetarian). I usually end up hitting Royal India, Kadhai Indian Wok or Taj Mahal all in N. Raleigh. All pretty good and decently priced. Just did a posting on Indian food on my blog, please check it out if interested!

                                                                  Glad you're getting out there and trying new things out...

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Azitra Restaurant
                                                                  8411 Brier Creek Pkwy Ste 101, Raleigh, NC 27617

                                                                  Spice & Curry
                                                                  2105 E Nc Highway 54 Ste A, Durham, NC 27713

                                                                  Taj Mahal
                                                                  4520 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604

                                                                  1. re: RonboNC
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                                                                    burgeoningfoodie RE: RonboNC Jul 22, 2010 08:38 AM

                                                                    Yeah I have YET to get to Udupi as I'm not usually in that area. I did hit Mithai for dessert before seeing Girl with Dragon Tattoo at Galaxy. You also have Cool Breeze. I've not been to Spice and Curry either. Isn't there a place that does pizza with Indian food? I don't claim to know what is good Indian or not as I tell people.. I didn't grow up with that food and so saying this is how it should taste is not my place. I've eaten at Saffron (in Morrisville), Tower, Azitra, Mint, Tandoor and Sitar. If I had to rank them it would be as follows from bad to good

                                                                    Tandoor (the buffet was poorly kept) I have eaten from the menu once, but it was a long time ago
                                                                    Azitra - not bad tasting but somewhat like the Olive Garden of Indian restaurants here. First place I had this type of cuisine and had it without heat (wasn't sure I'd enjoy it if it was spicy)
                                                                    The others I'd group together though I didn't realize that Tower was southern and I didn't realize that it was going to be pretty spicy for a buffet (this was lunch time). I'm not sayin git is bad but having a lack of knowledge about the difference in cuisines from the various regions probably would have helped.
                                                                    Also, I only eat Indian food probably once a month so comparing is kinda hard when that taste isn't right there.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Cool Breeze
                                                                    740 E Chatham St Ste E, Cary, NC 27511

                                                                    Azitra Restaurant
                                                                    8411 Brier Creek Pkwy Ste 101, Raleigh, NC 27617

                                                        2. re: LulusMom
                                                          RonboNC RE: LulusMom Jul 19, 2010 03:19 PM

                                                          Hey LulusMom! Uhm, when I was in Chapel Hill my budget was a bit limited so Elaines was sort of off-limits. Even at Acme I've done only brunch. Been to Lantern once and found it decent but pricey (lots of Asian fusion food back in the place I can no longer mention :-). Merlion was quite good but a bit greasy, I'm cool with that. Panzanella I kept on hearing was over-priced and inconsistent. Although I used to do yoga right above the place and the smells would drive me crazy! Nothing like a gurgling stomach to ruin your Zen-like peacefulness. Been to Glasshalfull once and agreed, inconsistent and pricey...

                                                          -----
                                                          Panzanella
                                                          101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                          Glasshalfull
                                                          106 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                          Merlion
                                                          410 Market St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                          1. re: RonboNC
                                                            LulusMom RE: RonboNC Jul 19, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                            Funny, I find that Merlion is nice because it *isn't* greasy. But ... I will admit that the laksa is just blah. And yes - greasy. The rest of the food I've had very good luck with. Panzanella overpriced? Sometimes I think maybe I have a really skewed view of prices, based on what others say. I have to say, for me, a $10 pizza for one is not pricey (and I am not at all promising that is the price, I just feel like it is in that price range). I know that I go there fairly regularly and eat and drink like Nero himself, and don't think I've ever paid over $90 (with tip) for two. And when I say drink, I'm not kidding. BTW, we're now allowed to mention Jujube, but I can tell you from a trip I took there about a week or so ago with Lulu that it was a huge disappointment. We got 4 things. We liked 1. Not a great batting average. I used to really like the place. You're right about Elaine's - def. probably too pricey for the OP. Lantern I like, but gosh, I do wish they'd change the menu. I've been here 5 years and there has been barely a change on it since - certainly not in the fish part of the menu. And I certainly shouldn't have forgotten to mention Gourmet Kingdom.

                                                            -----
                                                            Panzanella
                                                            101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                            Merlion
                                                            410 Market St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                            Gourmet Kingdom
                                                            301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                              RonboNC RE: LulusMom Jul 20, 2010 07:18 AM

                                                              Well with Merlion I'm fine with the grease because sometimes you just need that in Asian food! The roti/curry and the char kway teow are delicious but I know I'm not eating healthy.

                                                              Panzanella I never ate at because of really inconsistent reviews, but it looked like a nice spot! As a student I got used to 20 oz blue cups of cheap beer so any drinking was done on the cheap. And disappointed to hear the Jujube is not what it used to be. Was one of my favorite bang for the buck type places, a Lantern-lite. Their sister restaurant, Dos Perros, is also just ok...

                                                              And yes, heard about Gourmet Kingdom in Carrboro! I think one of the chefs from Super Wok or 35 Restaurant left and opened up that resto, according to rumor...

                                                              -----
                                                              Panzanella
                                                              101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                              Merlion
                                                              410 Market St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                              Super Wok
                                                              7550 Dorchester Rd Unit F, North Charleston, SC 29418

                                                              Gourmet Kingdom
                                                              301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                              Dos Perros
                                                              200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                                                    3. b
                                                      bbqme RE: spork Jul 19, 2010 10:35 PM

                                                      Spork, the good news is, in the Triangle even after paying for rent you'll actually have money left over to go out to eat. Try saying that as a grad student in SF.

                                                      One way Chapel Hill/Durham blows away Raleigh/Cary are the music venues and clubs scene. Check out great alternative bands when they roll through Cat's Cradle, Local 506, or The Pinhook, just to name a few. Unless John Mayer or Counting Crows is more to your taste. Then Raleigh/Cary is the place for you. ;-)

                                                      1. y
                                                        yahooer RE: spork Jul 20, 2010 03:49 AM

                                                        I know what you're going through, Spork. We've been here since 88, which is probably close to your birth, and we still miss much of what we could get in California, mostly dumplings and aromatic shrimp from our neighborhood Chinese place. We are not struggling grad students but we find $100 (not including tip) for a meal at Bon Soirre to be absurd. Lantern always seemed overpriced and not as good as they think it is. Our current favorite restaurant, which just happens to be reasonably priced, is Bella Mia in Cary. Wonderful coal fired pizza and meat balls baked in the same oven are both thrilling and get us out of there for a little over $20, although we've been known to give in to their wonderful bella nutella with pizza dough and powdered sugar and/or a salad or two. Definitely worth the trip from Chapel Hill.

                                                        1. s
                                                          spork RE: spork Jul 20, 2010 01:34 PM

                                                          Update

                                                          Gourmet kingdom is average. i'm sorry to say. if this restaurant was in SF i'd wouldn't go back. there's better options at cheaper prices. a bit of a disappointment for me. i ordered the twice cooked pork. not nearly spicy enough or flavorful enough.

                                                          also went to Penang? sorry. not good either. ordered a laksa, my friends had some other stuff.... "too salty" and some other discouraging remarks. not to mention my laksa wasn't really a laksa at all....

                                                          going to check out the pho place in durham this weekend i think, along with some other suggestions. walked by the Med Deli and that looked really good.

                                                          Also, can anybody tell me where to get produce/meats?? the harris teeter by my place doesn't have a proper butcher i think (only a seafood counter), i went to the fresh market and teh whole foods and the TJ... but i can't really afford to buy from fresh market and whole foods all the time....

                                                          TJ is great for pantry items though.

                                                          any place i'm missing? food lion looks terrible btw. although i could be mistaken.

                                                          the carbarro famers market looked pretty good. i got there late so i need to see what its about earlier in the day before some of the stalls are sold out of peaches and things.

                                                          thanks for all of you're suggestions again! and if you think of more keep them coming.

                                                          16 Replies
                                                          1. re: spork
                                                            Naco RE: spork Jul 20, 2010 02:58 PM

                                                            Consider both Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly to be ethnic markets for native Southerners. I go there for collards, large cuts of pork, Dale's steak marinade, Scott's barbecue sauce, etc. Sometimes they have a good selection of Mexican items due to the fact that they cater to people with low incomes. Herdez salsa at Food Lion costs about half what it does at Harris Teeter, to take one example.

                                                            1. re: Naco
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                                                              Bricoleur RE: Naco Jul 20, 2010 09:06 PM

                                                              I shop at both Harris Teeter and Food Lion depending on what I'm cooking and I'm frequently fascinated by the weird casual classism/racism I hear from people who'd die from embarrassment if I pointed it out. Teeter is great for general shopping, but if I'm looking for anything beyond the most generic cuts of meat, I usually head over to FL because they cater to a population that knows what to do with the offcuts. Their produce isn't generally as pretty as Teeter but it's frequently significantly cheaper and they stock a good supply of dried peppers, beans, and other Mexican staples. Best of all, they don't pretend to be a gourmet market, so you don't run into things like the $5.99 bag of barley Teeter tried to sell me when I needed some for a stew. Barley is $5.99 a silo; Food Lion doesn't pretend it's anything else.

                                                              -----
                                                              Harris Teeter
                                                              , New Bern, NC 28560

                                                              1. re: Bricoleur
                                                                Naco RE: Bricoleur Jul 21, 2010 03:15 AM

                                                                "I shop at both Harris Teeter and Food Lion depending on what I'm cooking and I'm frequently fascinated by the weird casual classism/racism I hear from people who'd die from embarrassment if I pointed it out"

                                                                I agree completely. I don't find FL's produce to be generally poorer, though- just different. Mexican grocery stores are also a good choice if you want to save money(especially on certain produce) and support local business.

                                                              2. re: Naco
                                                                m
                                                                mpjmph RE: Naco Jul 21, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                Your description of FL is perfect.

                                                                For spork - The FL on Jones Ferry Rd. in Carrboro is smaller than the others in the area, and on first glance it looks pretty seedy, but it has a fantastic Mexican selection. The FLs at Carrboro Plaza and Ramsgate (in Chapel Hill) are actually pretty nice. There are vendors selling meat at the farmer's market, but if Fresh Market is out of your budget, the farmer's market probably is as well. Most Harris Teeters have a combined butcher/seafood counter, but in general you won't find many full service butcher counters in the area. There is a butcher in Carrboro on Main St - Cliff's Meat Market, though I can't give much feedback as I've only been once.

                                                                1. re: mpjmph
                                                                  romansperson RE: mpjmph Jul 21, 2010 12:02 PM

                                                                  The Food Lion off Mt. Carmel Church Rd. by the Governor's Club is (not surprisingly) pretty nice too - they have things there (like a more upscale selection of beer) that most of the other Food Lions in the area don't have.

                                                                  1. re: romansperson
                                                                    c
                                                                    cervisiam RE: romansperson Jul 21, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                    that food lion IS really nice!

                                                              3. re: spork
                                                                LulusMom RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 02:43 AM

                                                                The Penang here is just awful, isn't it? I'd give GK another chance, and order something you've never heard of before. I think they do better with things they don't consider americanized.

                                                                Cliff's in Carrboro is a real butcher shop. The only thing I've gotten there is duck legs, but he was a nice guy, and seemed very helpful. And you def. have to get to the Carrboro market early if you want good choice. First time I went I was also sort of "eh" about it, but I kept hearing such good things that I went back one early morning and was impressed.

                                                                I think it is a sin what they do to produce at my local HT- constantly watering it, and so it starts to rot a bit. I have a hard time finding a non-soft cucumber, or fresh seeming cilantro. I've emailed them about it twice, never heard back. And they'll straight out tell you that their seafood will only last 24 hours (WFs promises 3 days with theirs). Not sure if it has reopened (I think it has) but a little shack called Tom Robinson's sells very fresh seafood Thurs-Sat (I think - the rest of the days the late TR was out fishing for what he was going to sell). This place is in Carrboro kind of behind Armadillo Grill on Main St.

                                                                1. re: spork
                                                                  RonboNC RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                                  Jumping in on many conversations here but if GK wasn't you thang, definitely check out Super Wok and 35 Restaurant out here. Can't vouch for SW but 35 Restaurant seemed pretty damn authentic on my one visit! It is hard to find Szechuan in general so I was shocked to see two resto's like that in Cary.

                                                                  Some other options for Malaysian would include Fortune Palace out here in Raleigh. While the menu is mostly Chinese, I did a fantastic off-menu dinner there. GREAT roti, beef rendang, shrimp crackers, nasi goreng... Oh my, I'm getting hungry again!

                                                                  For meats, I had that discussion recently with a friend. I'd definitely check out Grand Asia which I think is overlooked for its seafood and meats. You should find the odd cuts there at a good price. On the high end, there's a new butcher shop called the Meat House in Cary. Have heard very good things about it but more of a traditional American aged steaks type place. And there has got to be some decent carniceria's out here with the Mexican population locally, just don't know where.

                                                                  And as for Food Lion and HT, as a single guy you can not beat HT in Cameron Village. I'm more than happy to pay the 5% mark-up for the scenery there... :-)

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Super Wok
                                                                  7550 Dorchester Rd Unit F, North Charleston, SC 29418

                                                                  1. re: RonboNC
                                                                    s
                                                                    spork RE: RonboNC Jul 21, 2010 02:27 PM

                                                                    thanks for the heads up on cameron village, but if i'm driving out THAT far to get produce/groceries, i'd as soon go to grand asia and come back.

                                                                    the heat out here isn't even remotely entertaining for my groceries.

                                                                  2. re: spork
                                                                    romansperson RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                    Also check out the Estes Farmer's Market in front of Southern Season at University Mall. It's smaller than the Carrboro market, but I like their balance of fruits, veg, and meat, plus there's a seafood vendor there sometimes. It's also a lot easier to park and get in and out than in Carrboro. I get almost all my summer produce from the farmer's markets - it's better than any regular grocery store. I also get some meats - Fickle Creek Farm makes some really good pork bratwurst.

                                                                    Also take a look at Weaver St. Market. It's not cheap either but they've got some good produce, a small but nice cheese selection and some good bakery items.

                                                                    1. re: spork
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                                                                      burgeoningfoodie RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                      Someone had mentioned a halal/kosher butcher out on Hwy 54, but if you aren't wanting to travel much and are in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, I would say take a look at Cliff's. I had to recommend that to a Cali friend when he was looking for a place that knew what Tri-tip was. I got to Teeter for some things because they are all over the damn place, but if price is a concern, I'll go to FL in a heartbeat. Produce I'll go to either FL or HT, but tend to avoid Target or TJs because the former's produce (at least what I buy) doesn't look great and the latter tends to go bad pretty soon also you usually have to buy 3-4 of an item you may only need one of. The only thing I've got against the Carrboro Food Lions is that they are slower than molasses.

                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
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                                                                        rockycat RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 21, 2010 10:52 AM

                                                                        There are no kosher butchers in the Triangle. The closest one is in Charlotte.

                                                                        Kosher and halal are not the same thing. A person who needs halal meat will, in a pinch, accept kosher meat if there is no other choice. A person who needs kosher meat will not consider halal acceptable.

                                                                        1. re: rockycat
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                                                                          burgeoningfoodie RE: rockycat Jul 21, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                          Never said they were the same thing and there is one of some kind off Hwy 70 heading towards Kinston.

                                                                        2. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                          LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Jul 21, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                                          Oh, oh, just remembered - I used to go to Lowes (the one down 15/501 toward Pittsboro) when I first moved here because their produce was eons better than anything else I found in regular grocery stores in the area. I HOPE this is still the case; wish it wasn't such a drive (I'm a driving wimp - it takes maybe 15 minutes max to get there). Anyway, worth checking out, especially if you live down that way.

                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                            k
                                                                            kizil RE: LulusMom Jul 21, 2010 01:54 PM

                                                                            I love my Lowes at Cole Park -- Lowes has local produce in the summers, from a tri-state area, I believe. I will not jump ship for the new HT down the road.

                                                                            For fresh seafood, Tom Robinson's in Carrboro.

                                                                            1. re: kizil
                                                                              LulusMom RE: kizil Jul 21, 2010 04:38 PM

                                                                              Oh man, is it still great for produce? I may need to bite the bullet and go there again.

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        spork RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                        yeah, i've noticed a weird thing with my produce, like it goes wilt-y very quickly. i used to be able to leave things in the fridge for a week with no problems.

                                                                        hearty things like leeks and stuff... but here? its all terrible and sad in like a couple days... what gives??

                                                                        i will check out the food lion for other cuts of meat!! i went there once in the evening to check it out and wasn't impressed. i live where the 54 meets the 40.

                                                                        really i just want something i can grab on short notice for that evening.

                                                                        oh, allen and sons... ALLEN AND SONS.

                                                                        damn....

                                                                        got the large plate of whatever and finished it all off. and i don't even like eating a half pound of pulled pork like that. i mean, i should, but its a lot of meat. but i killed it. will go back.

                                                                        thanks to you all again.

                                                                        btw. i'm heading out to a durham bulls game with classmates on saturday. got any quick recommendations for the area? (please remember we're on a BUDGET. haha. thanks)

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: spork
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                                                                          mpjmph RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                          Beer at Bulls games is amazingly inexpensive for a ballpark as long as you get draft from the concession stands. I think it was $4 for a 20oz cup, options were Yuengling and Miller Light(?). There are other stand-alone beer vendors, but they don't offer much else in terms of quality, and I can't speak to how much they charge.

                                                                          1. re: mpjmph
                                                                            romansperson RE: mpjmph Jul 22, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                            You can also get Carolina Brewery, Red Hook and Foothills Brewery beers at the ballpark now.

                                                                          2. re: spork
                                                                            RonboNC RE: spork Jul 21, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                            FYI but Thursday is family night at the DBAP! $1 hot dogs, fries and popcorn, I might be swinging by tomorrow...

                                                                            Outside of the ballpark, would definitely consider Mellow Mushroom or my fave, Toast! At Toast you can spend $10 - $15 for a panini, side of soup and a beer/wine. All fresh local ingredients and the couple that runs the place are wonderful...

                                                                            1. re: RonboNC
                                                                              ToothTooth RE: RonboNC Jul 22, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                                              Panino (singular). Panini (plural).

                                                                              1. re: ToothTooth
                                                                                RonboNC RE: ToothTooth Jul 22, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                                                Aha, panino, crostini (plural)...

                                                                                Grazie, ToothTooth

                                                                            2. re: spork
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                                                                              burgeoningfoodie RE: spork Jul 22, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                              I'm just listing what is within a 10 minute walk of the ball park area.

                                                                              Mellow Mushroom (pizza)
                                                                              Tylers
                                                                              Cuban Revolution
                                                                              Toast
                                                                              Beyu Cafe

                                                                              I guess you could walk to Dos Perros and Rue Cler, but that is 2 or 3 extra blocks. Mind you the American Tobacco Campus (where the first 3 tenants) are gets pretty full though it may be alright on a Saturday. You could also see if Scratch Bake is open and hit that up or grab something at Foster's on the way in (off 15-501) and eat it before you go in.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Rue Cler Restaurant
                                                                              401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

                                                                              Dos Perros
                                                                              200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                                                                              1. re: spork
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                                                                                burgeoningfoodie RE: spork Jul 22, 2010 05:35 AM

                                                                                Glad you liked their Q... good barbecue is hard to stop eating.. heck for me mediocre bbq is hard to stop eating.

                                                                                1. re: spork
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                                                                                  Tom from Raleigh RE: spork Jul 22, 2010 11:32 AM

                                                                                  spork,

                                                                                  Just a theory: perhaps the reason why your supermarket produce has a shorter shelf life here than in NorCal is because much of the produce grown in the US is grown in California and has to travel to markets elsewhere, like here.

                                                                                  In Durham, there was a market called Red & White that had a butcher counter, not sure if they're still around or not. If you need anything meaty and special, Cliff's in Carrboro can help. He got me a suckling pig last year. They're a local business and Cliff and his folks are great to deal with. They also have some produce.

                                                                                  True butcher counters/butcher shops are rare these days, Most meat is processed in processing plants and not butchered in the store. Used to be that butchers would get large primal cuts and break them down into chops, steaks, etc. Now they get the cuts by the box for the most part. Meat is cheaper this way, but not any better I think.

                                                                                  Tyler's has pretty good food and a wide beer selection just moments from DBAP. A bit further away from the park, but still close by is Dos Perros. The owner moved to the Triangle from the Bay Area 8-10 years ago.

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Dos Perros
                                                                                  200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                                                                                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh
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                                                                                    steveindurham3 RE: Tom from Raleigh Aug 2, 2010 12:44 PM

                                                                                    There is a King's Red & White at the corner of Club Blvd and Roxboro Road. They have great cuts of meat and local vegetables.

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  spork RE: spork Aug 2, 2010 08:02 PM

                                                                                  Med Deli.

                                                                                  That place is goodness. very high quality food at a very reasonable price. 7.50 for a 3 sample platter with generous portions.

                                                                                  very good call. i can see myself going back there. a lot.

                                                                                  ok. so which food lion around chapel hill has a inhouse butchers?

                                                                                  i went to the place out in carborro (cliff's) for meat but they're not open on sunday? another time then.

                                                                                  also went to saigon grill. sorry. that is not cutting it at all. and they gave us attitude for being a party of 6 AND they charged us 18% gratuity. com'on. its PHO. really? they gave us a bowl of pho and never came back to service our table (which i'm fine with and totally used to in the bay area) but to charge 18% on top?

                                                                                  my friends who've been said lime/basil is better.

                                                                                  keep you all posted. and if you have any more suggestions please throw them out.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: spork
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                                                                                    Rory RE: spork Aug 2, 2010 09:08 PM

                                                                                    Try the Food Lion at Carrboro Plaza; there is also an asian food market there. Sorry I can't be more helpful but I'm a veg. Also they sell meat at the Carrboro Farmer's Market.

                                                                                    Lime & Basil, have never been. You're far better off going to the excellent Korean Vit-Goal Tofu Restaurant; they have barbeque, big bowls of soupy, noodly dishes. Also Thai Twisted Noodle in Eastgate Mall where Trader Joe's is has very good priced food and big bowls of noodles, soup, meat/chicken/tofu.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Twisted Noodles
                                                                                    4201 University Dr Ste 112, Durham, NC 27707

                                                                                    Lime & Basil
                                                                                    200 W Franklin St Ste 130, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                                                                                    Farmer's Market Cafe
                                                                                    63 Chattahoochee St, Helen, GA 30545

                                                                                    1. re: spork
                                                                                      LulusMom RE: spork Aug 3, 2010 04:01 AM

                                                                                      Yikes, it speaks badly of Saigon Grill if Lime and Basil is better.

                                                                                      Lots of places are closed around here on Sundays. It takes some getting used to.

                                                                                      1. re: spork
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                                                                                        mpjmph RE: spork Aug 3, 2010 05:10 AM

                                                                                        Foodlion has a wider range of meat, a lot of cuts that are hard to find at "nicer" stores, but Foodlion generally does not offer a full butcher counter. Harris Teeter usually has a butcher counter adjacent to the seafood counter, and they will cut/repackage things from the open cases. The grocery stores with full service butcher that I'm aware of around here are Fresh Market and While Foods.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Fresh Market
                                                                                        4223 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC

                                                                                        Harris Teeter
                                                                                        , New Bern, NC 28560

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                                                                                        foodsearcher RE: spork Aug 3, 2010 06:15 AM

                                                                                        Spork, sounds like you have hit some good places already. I will try to fill in from your originial post and what you have done.

                                                                                        Shopping for provisionis - Cliff's meats is solid but Whole Foods has a decent meat department as well. The best though is through local farmers ( ) or the Carrboro farmers market. The produce is fantastic as well. The asian or indian markets in Cary are solid and Silver Wok on 15/501 has Chinese provisions, some vegetables in back and duck from NYC on Saturday. 3Cups, yes a little more, but the coffee is fantastic and check out the Friday small plate menus while in season.

                                                                                        Mami Nora's in Durham satisfied a Peruvian friend who drove over from Winston. I've always enjoyed and being anglo was the minority.

                                                                                        Taqueria La Vaquita is solid mexican food perhaps not burritos but the mole is nicely rich and the torta cubano is a monster.

                                                                                        Saw you didn't like Gourmet Kingdom, did you get the Chinese menu? They have two menus and one is not very good. The other kept my asian wife happy with pigs ears and lotus root with red chiles. Perhaps not as good as the best in SF or Vancouver but solid for NC. (caveat: living in Chicago, SF, NYC, Vancouver or other places with high asian populations can skew expectations, but I've found each of these more than passable)

                                                                                        Yamazushi is one of our favorite asian places. Again, the Japanese menu is solid for home cooking - chawan mushi, maguro yamakaki, etc. Also, tea and sake list are good.

                                                                                        Vit Goal Tofu is a definite spot for solid Korean food.

                                                                                        Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant in durham has solid dim sum, good soy milk and their congee is as good as most I have had. I get it regularly.

                                                                                        Queen of Sheba in CHill for Ethiopian is a treat before heading to a movie at the Chelsea.

                                                                                        Med Deli is solid but we really like Sandwhich as well. If you consider much of their produce is local and everything, including fries and chips, are handmade then I don't think the price/quality ratio is out of line.

                                                                                        Taco trucks of all stripes are solid, more so in Durham though. But, like the pupusas from the one near the Carboro Farmers market. see carpedurham.com for recs

                                                                                        Also, weekends, their is a crepe truck down the road from the Carrboro market we like on a saturday morning.

                                                                                        Neal's deli is great for homemade pastrami or a morning biscuit. excellent.

                                                                                        Will also go out and say that Bonne Soirree is our celebratioin restaurant, especially if you like wine. Tina's wine pairings are fantastic and Chip's cooking kept French friends happy. It is formal, but celebrations are often a good time to spruce up a bit.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Vit Goal
                                                                                        2107 Allendown Dr Ste 101, Durham, NC 27713

                                                                                        Taqueria La Vaquita
                                                                                        2700 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707

                                                                                        Queen of Sheba's
                                                                                        1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

                                                                                        Gourmet Kingdom
                                                                                        301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: foodsearcher
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                                                                                          brokegradstudent RE: foodsearcher Aug 3, 2010 06:50 AM

                                                                                          A nice surprise for me last week was 3Cups selling Neal's pastrami biscuits in the morning. I'm not sure how regular this is but it made my day. That with a press pot of microlot Counter Culture coffee made me embarrassingly happy.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Counter Culture
                                                                                          4911 S Alston Ave, Durham, NC 27713

                                                                                          1. re: foodsearcher
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                                                                                            dinersaurus RE: foodsearcher Aug 5, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                                            On your recommendation, I tried Yamazushi and was very happy with our meal. Everything we had was great - ramen, sashimi, the Japanese pancake (awesome), and gyoza. The hosts, a cute older Japanese couple, were very friendly and helpful.

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                                                                                            suse RE: spork Aug 3, 2010 07:34 AM

                                                                                            So here's the thing - I see that you love Asian food. I've never been to San Francisco, but I know the Asian population there is huge (for obvious reasons) and consequently you have all kinds of Asian food options. You're on the East Coast now and not in New York, so go with what we do well. I've read over and over how there's no good authentic Italian here, no good pizza, no good Asian.... I would disagree, but at the same time, this is a smaller place with a different kind of population. I lived in China for a few years and crave authentic Chinese food. The closest around here is Gourmet Kingdom (which, compared to other authentic places, is fine, but not out of this world). The thing is - you have to really be authentic about it and go with a group so you can order an array of dishes. I wouldn't be satisfied with a plate of double-cooked pork alone either. They do a nice kung pao lotus root, for example, but I don't want a whole plateful. Grand Asia in Cary is worth the trip, I think. They have a very reasonable cafeteria. On the weekends they make dou hua (fresh tofu soup) - the spicy version is great, but it all depends on if you like that kind of stuff. In any case, they have a Chinese bakery, a fishmonger and a wide variety of meats. If it's a reasonable butcher you're after, perhaps try the Mexican grocery store just past Saigon Grill on the left. (Can't remember the name off the top of my head.) I'll also second Vit Goal Tofu restaurant, though I think it's gotten a bit pricier lately. Lunch is less, even though you get the exact same thing. Papa Mojo's Roadhouse farther down 55 on the right is worth checking out. Authentic cajun (but not New Orleans style).
                                                                                            If you'd like to try a German pastry or bread, check out Guglhupf on 5-501 in Durham. The Brezel knots are the real deal. It's almost right next to Biscuitville. Now THAT's what you need to check out in the South. The taquerias don't have California-style fare, but it's authentic Mexican. Good, just different, I'm guessing. So good luck. Hope you don't starve.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Vit Goal
                                                                                            2107 Allendown Dr Ste 101, Durham, NC 27713

                                                                                            Gourmet Kingdom
                                                                                            301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                                                                            Papa Mojo's Roadhouse
                                                                                            5410 Nc Highway 55, Durham, NC 27713

                                                                                            Saigon Grill
                                                                                            2929 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: suse
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                                                                                              burgeoningfoodie RE: suse Aug 5, 2010 08:14 AM

                                                                                              To echo your point Suse, the following was published in yesterdays N&O. This is the problem with relationships and a lot of things (not seeing what IS around) though I think the OP was just trying to make himself a little more comfortable with the transition and wanting a semblance of home.

                                                                                              http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/08/0...

                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie
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                                                                                                Rory RE: burgeoningfoodie Aug 5, 2010 11:49 AM

                                                                                                great article! Eat local and expect to find food from local immigrant groups. North Carolina had Scottish and Moravian immigrants, later South Asians. I adore it. I'm Ashkenazi and assume the historic Jewish cuisine would be Sephardic, in fact I'll look for a special dish for Yom Kipper.

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