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Lunch / Dinner in RTP

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I am headed down to triangle park area for work and staying right near the triangle park at the Marriott. I would love to get good recommendations for Lunch and dinner in the area. I will have a rental car for travel but would hope the travel is worth it. I have a budget of 50$ before tax and tip that I loose if I don't use for dinner. I have a separate lunch budget that isn't of any concern. Basically I would love any ideas and to note if they are best for lunch or dinner.

I saw Backyard BBQ Pit on MvF but heard many comments about how it has gone downhill if this is true I need a new hound worthy BBQ place.
Thanks in advance for your help

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  1. I don't eat that often in RTP, but I made a special trip to try Dim Sum House in M'ville on my way way to pick someone up from RDU, and was very impressed. Only problem is that dim sum for one is a bit limiting. Haven't ordered from their regular menu, so can't give guidance there.

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    Dim Sum House
    100 Jerusalem Dr, Morrisville, NC 27560

    1. Allen & Son's for BBQ. Not too far of a drive. For dinner, any of Durham's best: Vin Rouge, Rue Cler, Magnolia Grill, Revolution, Tonali, etc. I'm sure you can find the area's best with some quick searching on the boards.

      3 Replies
      1. re: brsmith2

        Thank you both for the help and I won't be traveling alone I have a co-worker joining me

        1. re: brsmith2

          I am going to be down there 4 nights so I can try most of those places is there a can't miss on that list?

          1. re: bubblesdlev

            Allen & Son's and Magnolia Grill would be the can't miss places of the ones I mentioned earlier. Poole's Diner in Raleigh (mentioned below) is also one of my favorites. I don't love the Angus Barn, but it's an institution here. Their steaks are quite pricey though. Crook's corner is another institution that I do recommend checking out. All the others mentioned by Guilty Gourmand below are good choices. Most of the places are sort of fine dining/upscale. For more casual eats, consider Neal's Deli in Carrboro, Taqueria La Vaquita in Durham, Toast in Durham, or Scratch Bakery in Durham. Or maybe Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham. For excellent pizza, you might try Bella Mia in Cary.

        2. From your location you can be just about anywhere in the triangle within 20 min. or so. With your $50 budget you should be able to dine very nicely at the vast majority of places without tapping your own wallet.

          There are so many good restaurants in the area - what do want to experience?

          4 Replies
          1. re: meatn3

            I second meatn3's thoughts. If you want top notch don't miss foodie experience, I'd recommend you check out some of the following which may take you a bit over budget but may be worth a couple of splurges:

            Raleigh: Poole's Diner, 18 Seaboard, Frazier's, J Betskis

            Durham: Magnolia Grill, Watts Grocery (Dinner) Revolution, Nana's

            Chapel Hill: Lantern, Elaine's on Franklin

            Some real local institutions that I like and think are worth checking out for specific things but don't necessarily get a lot of love here include: Angus Barn for old steakhouse in a barn located b/w Durham and Raleigh on Highway 70 but easily reached by 540 from your location; 42nd Street Oyster Bar in Raleigh if you want old Oyster Bar experience (I don't really care for their other seafood offerings); Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill for local casual old school hang out that just won Beard award for local institution or some such--best to go for casual specials without heightened expectations; hot dog or burrito at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park if they're in town and weather is good this time of year

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            Watts Grocery
            1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

            18 Seaboard
            18 Seaboard, Raleigh, NC 27604

            Angus Barn Restaurant
            9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

            J Betski's
            10 W Franklin St, Raleigh, NC 27604

            1. re: Guilty Gourmand

              this list is amazing and I will look into everyone of them in order to pick out the right one. The Angus Barn sounds interesting and could be a good place to eat if we work late since it is so close.

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              Angus Barn Restaurant
              9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

              1. re: bubblesdlev

                The Angus Barn is indeed interesting and a true classic. As I mentioned, lots of folks here don't really care for it and think it is over-hyped. Maybe so but I think it's worth experiencing at least once and I've never taken folks from out of town there that didn't enjoy it. I have some friends that come back and don't want to eat anywhere else; other friends that don't want to eat anywhere other than Magnolia Grill. I usually try and talk both groups into going to Poole's. I think they are all great in their own way.
                Not sure when you are coming but if in next few days be forewarned that there are college graduations. Probably not an issue dining during the week but may get very crowded later in the week or weekend if you are here

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                Angus Barn Restaurant
                9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

            2. re: meatn3

              Thanks to everyone for your assistance my co-worker and I are headed down on monday and are excited to work and eat at some of these places. I just found out however that he can't eat carbs and little to no sugars so it lowers what we can eat. But i have seen a few on that list where we can go.

              If you have any more sugestions now until monday please don't hesistate to sugest them I appreciate this all.