Raleigh, NC suggestions for a Garden Group
I am a Phila CH (in exile from NY) seeking advice from other CHs.
My wife is running a garden trip for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Hardy Plant Society. She and a friend are going later this week to scout out gardens (and restaurants). The actual trip is next year, in the summer sometime.
They are planning on staying at the Sheraton (S. Salisbury St.) both times. They like to have a choice of restaurants for the ladies of the HPS (and the odd tagalong male) where people can walk if they want. Taxi ride for a special place is also within scope.
The restaurants don't need to be hip. The group has an average age between 60 and 70. They want to eat well and comfortably, but not necessarily very much. A variety of price ranges would be much appreciated.
We would welcome any suggestions any of you have, so they can walk by, read the menus, stick their heads inside, and probably try two or three of them this week. Thanks in advance.
Your post has me thinking about plants, so I'll comment with that in mind.
If they tour the NC Arboretum there is a very nice middle eastern deli near by, Neomondes.
It would probably be a longer walk than they would like, but it is a few minutes drive from the Arboretum. Casual, order at the counter, food delivered to your table. Nice variety and you can order the amount you like of the prepared deli items. Shawarmas, etc. prepared to order.
Logan's Trading Company is a nursery is just on the outskirts of downtown at Seaboard Station and may be of interest. The nursery has a restaurant , Seaboard Cafe, on the premises which serves lunch. I have not been, but hear it is good. Nice atmosphere, nice garden shop. In the same area is J. Betski's which is just across the parking lot from Logan's. Excellent Polish and German food, very nice lunch specials, house made charcuterie. I highly recommend it! It's not heavy beer hall food - updated and delicious. Close by, on the other side of Peace College is a wonderful chocolate shop, Escazu. All house-made, wonderfully innovative flavors that taste fantastic!
Unfortunately the most interesting nursery/garden in the area, Plants Delight, does not have a restaurant. It is open to the public only on certain dates - I always bring a picnic when I go to their open houses!
I'll let others address downtown, I don't get down there with enough frequency to be the best voice on that area.
They should try a day trip to Durham and Duke Gardens. There would be several options close by. Would also recommend Hillsborough for Ayre Mont, Chatwood and Montrose. If they want to see some gardens they are going to have to get out of the downtown Raleigh area. Hillsborough also has a couple of good eating choices including one of my very favorite, Panciuto.
110 S Churton St, Hillsborough, NC 27278
I took a look at the location of the hotel. There is an option a few blocks away they might enjoy. Buku focuses on international street foods. Everything I've had there has been quite good and there are many small plate options. The decor is lovely, service has been good. It does get noisy and hopping later in the evening, but should maintain an ambiance which allows for dining conversation during normal dinner hours.
Within walking distance of the Sheraton, I think your best options are Caffe Luna (Italian), Sitti (Eastern Mediterranian), Buku (mentioned above), Gravy (red-sauce Italian), and maybe Mo's Diner. Note that the other places above would be a taxi ride away (except for Durham/Duke, which would be a pricey taxi ride away).
Bloomsbury Bistro (also in Raleigh) might be worth a taxi as well.
For lunch, you might consider Spize (Thai and Vietnamese style options, including great sandwiches that are sort of like banh mi) and Beasley's Chicken and Honey. Also within walking distance is Coopers BBQ if you would like a taste of Eastern NC que. It's a bit of a dive, but it's dirt cheap and within a couple blocks of the Sheraton.
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Raleigh, NC, Raleigh, NC
306 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
509 W Whitaker Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608
121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Thanks to all for your feedback. The primary purpose of the trip is to visit gardens, a mix of private gardens and public ones (I am not sure which ones, they are on their way now to look at them, select them, and work out logistics).
For dinners, most like to walk from the hotel and back, but a few of the more adventurous members will take a taxi, especially for a restaurant with a great reputation.
I e-mailed all your suggestions to my wife. Thanks again.