HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >

Discussion

Help Requested For 'Best' Triangle Dining

  • 37
  • Share

We’ll be in the Triangle area for a couple of days later this month (midweek) and would like help finalizing our restaurant list.

As background, our motto is ‘Sleep Cheap, Dine Fine’ and afterwards we’ll be heading up to Town House in Chilhowie. So we’d like some excellent ‘lead-in’ places, with a strong desire to try stuff that we’re less likely to find elsewhere in USA.

I’ve searched this board, and have narrowed down to several places – would appreciate help in finalizing my choices (and a heads-up on anything I’ve missed).

ON PAPER I’m most interested in Fearrington House – but I’ve had mixed results at other Relais & Chateaux places – sometimes excellent, but sometimes pretentious with the menu exceeding the reach of some chefs. No recent reports on this Board – how is it?

STRONG second choices are Elaines and Magnolia Grill (although both seem up-and-down). Which of these (and why?) should I choose – or are both worthwhile and drop Fearrington (although maybe too similar to do both)?

Considered but currently only backups:

Lantern (dropped as Toronto – my base – is awash with Asian based restaurants, both authentic and fusion) – but give me a reason to reconsider!

Cypress On The Hill – seemed less ‘southern’ than Elaines and Magnolia Grill (I NOW KNOW THIS HAS CLOSED)

Nana’s - again, less ‘southern’ – but use of the word Kobe on their menu REALLY bugged me – if they don’t describe the beef accurately, can I rely on anything else they say?

The above is obviously for evening – lunch will be BBQ!

Currently favoring Allen & Son – but also considering stopping at Hursey (in Graham) on way out as I had a great breakfast there a few years back.

Anything I’ve missed (or should consider)?

Thanks in advance.

-----
Fearrington House Restaurant
2000 Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC 27312

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Toronto is a huge city and on top of that has a lot of ethnic communities so what is special for are things we have a hard time getting like authentic Chinese (see Gourmet Kingdom and SuperWok as Sichuan) or Northern Style Delis. Food trucks are a big thing, but I hate to say that BBQ may be the only thing that you couldn't find in Toronto that you can find here. I mean calabash style (see fried and piled high) seafood is another. We have fine dining establishments and I'd sooner go to An (pan asian but then again you turned down James Beard winning Lantern) or Herons (at the Umstead) if you don't want Fearrington. Cypress on the Hill is no more. Magnolia Grill and Watts and Vin Rouge are sturdy choices but I wouldn't call them unique. Watts is more a take on Southern flare to me than Magnolia and will Vin Rouge is French. If you want unique, but inexpensive, take a travel out to Saxapahaw and check out The General Store. If you can hit up the Durham Farmer's market on Saturday morning, grab some baked goods from Scratches stall. Also I'd recommend One in Chapel Hill. Revolution and well if you can't get authentic Latin American streetfood that far north think about cheap eats at places like La Vaquita and Los Comales. The chain Bojangles (chicken and biscuits and sweeter than sweet sweet tea) is a bit of an institution in NC and some people swear by it. I'm getting to a point of rambling. Maybe a better question to ask is what DON'T you have in Toronto or something you've heard about that we may have in NC?

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

    Vin Rouge
    737 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

    General Store Cafe
    39 West St, Pittsboro, NC 27312

    Gourmet Kingdom
    301 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

    7 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

      I had missed Herons – thanks. Checked the menu and it seems to have the ’standard items’ (although a few interesting accompaniments) – maybe a test to apply is

      ‘If dropped blindfold into a restaurant, would I be able to determine (roughly) WHERE in U.S. I am sitting?’. If there is a ‘North Carolina cuisine’, where can I find the best example(s)?

      I do like the look of Watts – am investigating further – anybody else been there?

      General Store Café – has some interesting items – unfortunately no grilled items at lunch, so I’ll miss it (this time).

      And Bojangles was completely unknown to me – we rarely get biscuits in the frozen North, so I’m tempted to check one out for breakfast (at least).

      Toronto does ethnic very well – but ‘fine dining’ is sparse. We miss BBQ (all styles) and Mexican (the latter isn’t a favourite cuisine of mine anyway, and not searching for any in N.C.) but are fairly well represented with most Asian origins (including SE Asian). Most of our seafood ISN’T local, but good transportation means (in theory) we can get anything that’s available in New York (say) – but the seafood tends to be more ‘International’ cuisine. Any local ‘treats’?

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

      1. re: estufarian

        I think you're getting some good recs on the fine dining so won't add more than to note you haven't included any Raleigh mentions. Not sure if you'll be in that area but I think Poole's is worth checking out if you are, especially this time of year given all the great produce and local ingredients available.. I would also add that my experience with Herons, Magnolia, Fearrington (in that order) have been great to good so even if not entirely local / southern-centric think they make a worthy fine dining choice for folks from anywhere in the world.

        As to bbq and other cheaper lunch items, I really like Allen & Son and would recommend them over Hursey's. On its best days the bbq at A&S is really sublime but everyone here has their own opinion on bbq. For other biscuit examples, you could also check out Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, Biscuitville or if you are really brave Time Out in Chapel Hill if a Bo is not nearby. We love biscuits around here and that's certainly a worthy local breakfast adventure if it appeals to you.

        Do they do BLTs in Toronto? Even if so bet you haven't had one like the kind you'll find at Merritt's Store in Chapel Hill if you are interested in pork of a different variety for lunch one day. Best enjoyed on the a bench or table outside the store in the humidity.

        My grandmother would tell you the best lunch (and best so maybe the best example of an old-time NC summertime lunch) this time of year would be to find a just picked tomato, a couple of slices of wonder bread and some Duke's mayo and have a tomato sandwich. May not really find that out anywhere though--everybody these days has to gussy it up with basil and mozz and fancy bread. If that doesn't fill you up, there's also pimento cheese. (Gee, I think it must be lunch time.)

        -----
        Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
        1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

        1. re: Guilty Gourmand

          no one gives a shoutout to neal's deli's biscuits? i prefer them (gasp!) over sunrise biscuit kitchen, particularly their pastrami, egg and swiss biscuit sandwich. i'm always looking for excuses to go there...

          1. re: cervisiam

            I like there biscuits too but I eat lunch there more often so it was not at the forefront of my mind.

            1. re: cervisiam

              Also added to my breakfast list. Any votes for Neal's Deli vs Sunrise vs Bojangles?

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

              1. re: estufarian

                Where are you staying? Neal's Deli and Sunrise both have great biscuits, but if you've never had a biscuit for breakfast, Bojangles or Biscuitville will do the trick. In general, if you see a sign in the morning that says "Hot Biscuits", especially at a gas station it's worth checking out.

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

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  Staying in Durham.

      2. Just to be clear, the General Store Cafe in Pittsboro (linked in the post) is different from the General Store Cafe in Saxapahaw. In Saxapahaw, they have hot lunch specials that aren't on the (woefully out of date) menu on the website.The best bet is checking their facebook page (menus about 50% of the time or calling to find out what is on for a particular day.

        I'd go to the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen for my "only in the South" biscuit fix, but I acknowledge that Bojangles works in a pinch.

        I'm not a huge fan of Hursey's for BBQ. Again, if I'm there and hungry sure, but I'm not going out of my way for it.

        I've always harbored the opinion that Elaine's is more southern than their polished menus and presentations let on. Particularly this time of year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brokegradstudent

          Thank you - indeed I had the wrong General Store. Now that I've found the right one this looks like a good candidate for the Saturday morning, as I'll be heading west to get to Chilhowie.

          And vote for Sunrise noted.

        2. I love that some have recommended Bojangle's as a fast food requirement. If it's convenient, it's a must. Not only for the biscuits - which are available all day long - but also for the cajun fried chicken. It's quite light and spicy - and not too greasy. I like the Supremes (which are the tenderloin pieces) and the Cajun Filet Biscuit or Sandwich.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cackalackie

            Even if it gets beaten out by Sunrise for breakfast - still on the list for lunch.

            1. re: cackalackie

              Biscuits are one of those things that oddly, the local/regional chains actually do quite well. Nothing wrong with a biscuit from Hardee's or Bojangles.

              1. re: cackalackie

                I finally have to voice my thought that Sunrise Biscuits are seriously not "all that." They used to be but, having given them many chances to prove otherwise, are resting on past laurels and not worth a line of cars on the street. The first sign was precooked, super thin bacon when they used to serve what seemed to be bacon and sausage from a farmer. I do appreciate the option of getting a drive through sprout sandwich for lunch. And, searching for a new source, Time Out biscuits are not great either, odd baking soda taste and bad texture. I will try neal's biscuits and revisit Bojangles after the accolades here.

                I'd vote for Fearrington...for the atmosphere as much as the food. It does seem like you're in someone's Southern home and, if it's not 100 degrees, enjoy a wine on the porch. I vote for pulled pork at Allen & Sons. And, if you don't go to Magnolia Grill to eat, maximize your experiences and at least try to go for dessert. I'd also second a farmer's market but you'll be here mid-week...so, if you can, buzz over on I-40 to the state farmer's market in south Raleigh which is open almost all the time. It's great for NC atmosphere and free tastes of sweet melon. (My mouth is watering...must...have...melon.) You could also get a fish/seafood lunch there.

                BTW Town House in Chilhowie was an absolute delight, enjoy!

                1. re: tryityoulllikeit

                  Not sure where I'll hit - any of Neal's Sunrise or even Bojangles - now have fixed hotel in Durham, so will depend where we tour (for sure will include Chapel Hill).

              2. Many of the top places have been hit above, but I would definitely second Watts Grocery, Magnolia Grill, Scratch Bakery, and Poole's Diner in Raleigh. Crook's Corner does good Southern food as well and is a Chapel Hill institution. I also think Allen & Son's is unsurpassed for bbq. Some of the Mexican food here is amazing too, but you said you weren't seeking that. The Saxapahaw General Store can be great too, and is an interesting side trip. Speaking of side trips, I've heard great things about The Chef & Farmer, but it's in Kinston (well east of Raleigh). Another place receiving good comments, and a lot more casual, is Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham. That's something you might not find in Toronto. Finally, one other place I would like to add is The Pig (in Chapel Hill). Their bbq is quite good but they also do a lot of other tasty things with pork. The pork belly sandwich is awesome, and their side dishes are very good.

                -----
                Watts Grocery
                1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

                Crook's Corner
                610 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

                3 Replies
                1. re: brsmith2

                  Still researching Watts – any dishes particularly recommended?
                  Doing more homework on Crook’s Corner (also looks good).
                  Saxapahaw general Store now on shortlist for Saturday morning.

                  Dames Chicken & Waffles – you’re right – not common in Toronto! Is this as ‘heavy’ as it sounds? If we do decide to try chicken & waffles this menu does look appetizing – followed by an afternoon nap, I speculate.

                  The pig also looks good – any second opinions on this from anyone?

                  And won’t make Kinston (on this trip).

                  1. re: estufarian

                    I think sometimes the straightforwardness of Watts might initially seem less interesting. The flavor and the ingredients are much, much more than the descriptions cover.

                    That is part of why I think Watts is a good choice. This straightforward, no putting on airs is part of the Southern tradition - you don't toot your own horn. Simple ingredients, handled with finesse to create dishes where the sum is greater than the parts. They do this really well. They cook from a Southern perspective on every level.

                    As far as dishes, I haven't been this season. I have had excellent pork dishes in the past. Their vegetables have always been sublime. I seldom have dessert, but I did have a bite of an amazing goat cheese cheese cake which was on the savory side. Immediately ordered two - one for there and one for home!

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Now confirmed - Watts on Friday.

                2. Doesn't Susur Lee have a Toronto spot? I didn't think about Raleigh maybe due to the mention of you heading west. There are some nice spots along the way in Greensboro too. Oh check out Panciuto in Hillsborough. I haven't been personally but it gets good reviews. Jujube in Chapel hill is also good but also pan Asian and more moderate than dressy fine dining.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    Susur Lee was one of the most amazing and creative chefs around. A true 'artist' - but never ran a REALLY successful restaurant - couldn't keep his staff happy, nor did he stay out of the management side.
                    20 years ago we would go EVERY month and always had the table closest to the half-open kitchen (view of the pass) and watched him in action - best food 'education' I ever had. Obsessive about quality and presentation (Example: Saw hime reject a soft-shell crab appetizer as the crab was too small (the smaller ones were only served as part of a tasting menu) and had the dishes for the entire 4 people re-prepared just because of this too small crab.
                    Some of the best dishes I've ever had came from that kitchen.

                    Sadly, although the food is still good (but not exceptional) he's 'seen the light' and is probably more profitable by seeking the younger hipper crowd. Service has really suffered and I 've only been once this year (disastrous service - even had to ask for a new server because of inattentiveness), after maybe 6 times last year.

                  2. Fearrington is good and the setting is charming - its located in an old farmhouse on nice plot of land surrounded by fields and gardens and wandering belted cows and goats. But, I don't think that it will give you a feel for this particular area, as it has a menu that could be found at many upscale restaurants, regardless of location. Instead, I would go with Magnolia Grill in Durham, which has more local flavor. I think Poole's is a good suggestion too as it offers southern comfort food with a gourmet twist in a laid back, hipsterish setting in an old diner.

                    I would skip Herons, not because it's bad at all, but again, it's the type of place and menu that can be found about anywhere in the country.

                    I enjoy Watts and it's a good spot for a solid meal with local ingredients, but if I were coming from Toronto, I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

                    To soak up some local culture, you must spend a little time in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. It's not a big town, but has some neat places that highlight one of the things I love about the area - the mix of Southern culture with progressive (if not hippy) funkiness. Neal's Deli is a good place for lunch (but is small, you might end up standing), but I love it. Crooks Corner might be getting a little long in the tooth, but - for me anyway - has a good Chapel Hill vibe. I would consider it for lunch or brunch.

                    I know Lantern may be similar to what you can find in Toronto, but it's still really good. It may be my favorite place in the area.

                    Do go to Allen & Sons. You can't visit the area without sampling some pulled pork BBQ. Just be sure to visit the one north of Chapel Hill, not the one in PIttsboro (same name, but different sides of the family and different experiences).

                    Hope you have a great trip. And, give us an update after your visit.

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dinersaurus

                      You reminded me that I am really seeking a sense of what NC is all about.
                      Hence my ultimate choices, tempered by a realization that with the Town House on Saturday, I need a contrast on the Friday.
                      Allen & Sons for sure.

                    2. What are the actual dates you will be here as there may be some food event that may be worth going to instead of a restaurant itself. Again Saturday presents a good time to go to a Farmer's market and sample some things and then hit Dame's for a mid day lunch.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        I'm a big fan of The Pig. Their food is tasty, inventive and sustainable, always a great combination in my mind.

                        Lantern has become my favorite restaurant in the area. I wouldn't call it Asian fusion, but I suppose it depends on your perspective. Also in Chapel Hill, Vimala's is worth a visit. Their take on Indian food is uniquely different from the other Indian restaurants I've tried.

                        There's also fun and food trucks near Fullsteam Brewery on Geer Street in Durham.

                      2. Due to a power outage I'm offline and am travelling without access (friend posting this), so can't respond until at least Sunday evening. But have booked Magnolia Grill for thur 11Aug and still 'pending' for Fri 12th. Still would welcome recommendation for Fri evening.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: estufarian

                          Consider St. Jacques. Excellent. We are booked there 8/13
                          http://www.saintjacquesfrenchcuisine....

                          1. re: megabytes

                            Just a little too 'French'. Decided to stick with more local 'recipes' - of course, some (many?) of the International style use local ingredients too. Maybe next time?

                        2. Magnolia - great choice. If I was visiting the area and had one place to eat, that would be it. I've been eating there since the year after they opened, in the late 80s. Time and again over the years we have had some wonderful meals there. Even though a lot of the menu these days is familiar, most times I go I end up wide-eyed at something truly fantastic and/or unexpected. They have a very special place in the Triangle's culinary history, and many if not most of the "best" places here have MG alums at the helm or working there :-).

                          That second choice for Friday is tough since there are a number of worthy places. I think I'd pick between Nana's and Fearrington, with cost as the determining factor. We'd do the drive to Fearrington more often if we could eat as well as we do at Nana's closer to $100 than to $200 for a couple.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: D R C

                            I dropped Fearrington - didn't seem to offer as much contrast falling between Magnolia Grill & Town House.
                            Nana's lost out (finally) to Watts - just a liitle more interesting menu for us - but it was essentially a coin-flip anyway!

                            1. re: estufarian

                              Skipping Fearrington is, to my mind, a very wise move. Lots of disagreement on this board about the place, but I thought it was mediocre at best.

                              Make sure to save room for dessert at Magnolia. That is where they really shine.

                          2. Friday evening is reserved at Watts.

                            Decided to go a little more 'comfort' food, between Magnolia Grill and Town House (Chilhowie).

                            Thanks everyone for help. Would have rsponded individually above - except a power failure fried my so-called UPS and caused multiple hardware and software issues that I'm still scrambling to recover from. I'll be more specific to individual responses as I have time.

                            Meanwhile one last request for the Sunday - separate thread!

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800568

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: estufarian

                              I would have also said Mami Noras for cheap good Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It is not fine dining though.

                              1. re: estufarian

                                Off topic, but they do a fantastic job with wine pairing at Town House. I wish they were a little closer to the triangle. I'd love to go at least once each season, but the distance makes that a challenge.

                              2. Thanks everyone for their suggestions. We reserved at Magnolia Grill, hence stayed in Durham, so selected Watts Grocery, as the other reservation, then slotted in others depending on when/where we happened to be. Only so many meals, so had to pass on some excellent suggestions.

                                #1 destination was Magnolia Grill. ‘You’ talked me out of Fearrington – and it was the right decision. This is a special place and I’d happily return. Creative Southern food in an upscale environment, although just short of ‘fine dining’.

                                We certainly experienced Southern Hospitality – neighboring tables on both sides were very friendly – I like to think we also showed our friendly side, but the tables here are very close together, so it’s impossible to ignore adjacent tables anyway. I guess it’s a business decision to put the tables so close – but we ‘reserved’ Canadians are more accustomed to an extra few inches of personal space.

                                Nevertheless, the food delivered right through. A strong local emphasis, with a steady hand on the stove. Exactly what we were seeking. If they’d offered a multiple course tasting menu, that would have been even better, as there were multiple dishes I’d have liked to try.

                                But, my stomach isn’t elastic so we emphasized the more local dishes. Appetizers were:

                                Twice-baked Grits Soufflé with ‘wild & exotic’ mushroom ragout, aged sherry-mushroom emulsion and shaved confit foie gras;

                                Shrimp & Corn ‘Chowder’ Hash with Fingerling Potatoes & Maple-Smoked Bacon, Local Farm Egg ‘Sunny side up’, Ravigote Aioli.

                                Both were fantastic – I’m guessing ‘Southern Cooking’ at its best. The mains didn’t quite reach the same starred level – although no complaints – just a little less ‘zing’.

                                Grilled Veal Hanger Steak in Madeira Jus with Marinated Baby Artichoke and Pickled Zucchini, Roasted Eggplant, Grilled Radicchio & Braised Roma Beans with Tamworth Pancetta (is that meatn5?);

                                Grilled Carolina Shrimp on Vidalia Onion & Baby Butterbean Risotto with Chorizo, Meyer Lemon-Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Romesco Sauce, Marcona Almonds.

                                Both very tasty and interesting although the flavors did start to meld into ‘one whole taste’ rather than retaining the complexity of individual components. I did like the textures as well.

                                Desserts were less exciting – although re-reading the menu I’m not sure why. Perhaps we were just full of southern hospitality by that point! We split a Brown Butter Pecan Torte with Poached Lyon Farms Peaches & Maple Bacon Ice Cream – but don’t recall it exciting. Maybe just too sweet for me.

                                But, all in all a very satisfying meal. I would DEFINITELY return here.

                                The meal at Watt’s the following night was also pretty good, albeit less pretentious. I think several things conspired against us that were coincidental rather than issues with the restaurant itself. The menu certainly emphasized ‘fresh’ which meant many dishes included tomatoes – except I have an aversion to these, so my menu choices were very limited. I particularly wanted more rustic this evening to have a contrast with the finer dining on the adjacent nights, so this was certainly a reasonable choice. But a series of ‘incidents’ conspired against us! First, we ordered a couple of glasses of different sparklers, plus our bottle of wine, at the same time as our orders were taken. So far excellent fast service. BUT BOTH the sparklers were flat – no sparkle at all, and were eventually replaced with sparkling versions of each – no problem, EXCEPT the meal order had been placed, so our appetizers arrived at the same time as the replacement sparklers. Not a huge issue, except it turned out the bottle ordered was in their ‘downstairs’ inventory, and had to be brought up. This eventually arrived some time after the mains – so we were left with a whole bottle to drink with only half of our main course. Consequently we felt very rushed – we actually left the restaurant (eventually) less than 75 minutes after we entered. No real complaints about the food (or the prices) – just not a truly memorable experience.

                                Pity- they seemed to have a good selection of Bourbons and we would probably have lingered over some of those if we had been given more time (even at the Bar). But ‘In and Out’ seemed to be the philosophy, so no encouragement to stay (or return for that matter). Incidentally EVERY other place we went was extremely welcoming so I assume this was an anomaly.

                                On to the biscuits! Being in Durham, many of the recommendations were in Chapel Hill area – and we have a 15-minute guideline for driving to/from meals. So Bojangles it was.

                                And it fills a niche. Better than most chains and clearly popular (never-ending drive-thru business) and a nice touch that they clear your tables for you. Biscuit was good, but not memorable.

                                But we had planned to drive through Chapel Hill on our way out, so had more choices. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen was drive-through ONLY – and I have a ‘thing’ about stale food smells in the car all day – so we continued. It was raining at Neal’s and nowhere to sit – so again just passed through. The next potential stop was General Store in Saxapahaw (although Garmin denied all knowledge of the area – subsequently found out that Garmin considers it in Graham). Gold dust! What an amazing place. OK, the food is a bit greasy but the heart is massive. Absolutely worth a detour. In theory has no reason to survive, given its location, but one of those quirky places that somehow seems to stock everything you need. I just had to order the Eggs Catalan – completely outside my specification of local cuisine, but something I’ve never seem elsewhere, including Catalunya! Would happily go back to try the Briskfast too (hold the tomato jus though).

                                That leaves the lunch options and BBQ. I’m aware of the great sensitivity (rivalry?) that exists in the Carolinas, so I’ll just report my impressions – not start a debate (optimistically).

                                First my preferences: VERY concerned about texture – I like some ‘bite’ to my meat rather than fall-off-the-bone, which means I disagree with many of my local Chowhounds. And I dislike anything close to what I’ve called ‘baby-food’ texture.

                                I prefer a medium-to-high smoke – subtlety is NOT an asset for me with BBQ. And I’ll judge the sauce separately – please put it on the side!

                                Having said that, Allen & Son was all over the place for me – both highs and lows. The ribs were excellent – my style exactly (but AmuseGirl prefers fall-off-the-bone, so was less enthusiastic). The chopped pork was inoffensive – hard to criticize, but not really a knock-out. The texture was OK, the flavour was OK, the sauce was a bit runny (tending to make the pork more mushy), the cole slaw was very finely chopped – flavour was good, but again I prefer a crispier texture. But the Hush Puppies were AWFUL. I struggled to finish even one. Amusegirl couldn’t even get that far, having to spit out (discreetly) the one bite that completely absorbed any/all saliva instantly. I would return for the ribs – maybe. But their no substitutions policy would probably override that, and I’d look elsewhere.

                                ASIDE: This was the ONLY BBQ place we checked out that didn't feature Cheerwine - is that also an east vs west issue?

                                NOTE: I had a separate request on BBQ, so I’ll post my comments on other BBQ places in that thread.

                                And my last comment is here to round out the dining (although strictly this is the wrong Board). As mentioned somewhere above, our ‘ultimate’ destination was the Town House in Chilhowie VA. I know some of you have made the pilgrimage, but be advised that this meal was in my top 3 meals in North America in the last 10 years. Not a bad course anywhere in the 10 course menu. Please consider going – or forever kick yourself for not taking advantage of the opportunity that you have.

                                -----
                                Watts Grocery
                                1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

                                Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
                                1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: estufarian

                                  I'm so sorry Watts was not a good fit. Frustrating when you are traveling and can't get a "re-do".

                                  I'm glad Town House was terrific! I have enjoyed each visit there. They delight on every imaginable level. OT, but I want to put it out there - I've dined solo here and it was an even better experience than being with a dining partner! So if you are in the area - GO!

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    I think Watts was 'just one of those things'. Food was pretty good - just all fell apart.
                                    Maybe a training issue!