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Oct 3, 2011 04:12 PM

My Trip to Fayetteville, NC

I just came back from Fayetteville where I was visiting my son who is in the Army. I had done some food research and was not really expecting much, but I did find a couple of non-chain restaurants, thankfully.There are multiple locations of every chain restaurant ever imagined - I am so not used to that.

First, as many of you probably know, it's not a town where you can do much walking around. I could see restaurants from my hotel, but crossing those streets is next to impossible unless you are in a car - and even then I have never seen so much red light-running anywhere in my life.

I had a nice lunch on my own in historic downtown Fayetteville after parking and walking up and down a few tree-lined blocks of that part of town. It was really lovely. I ate at Circa 1800 at a sidewalk table. It was a warm day, but the shade was really nice. I enjoyed a seared tuna salad and a glass of wine. My salad was large, the tuna done perfectly, and the bill was less than $20. The place was doing a steady business.

That night, we ate at a sushi place called Sakura which is in a little strip mall off Cliffdale. It was recomended to me by a friend who lived there a few years ago while her husband was in the Army. The food was great, although I can't call myself a sushi expert. The wine came in those little bottles like you get on airplanes, which was disappointing. I would go back, but my son tells me there are alot of really good little ethnic places like that all over town in little strip malls. It would be fun to try some more.

We had dinner another night at Pierro's, an Italian place in the historic section again. It was a really good alternative to a chain restaurant. The place was packed with alot of families, some older couples, some first date couples - a nice mix of folks. The food was pretty standard Italian fare. I had pasta primavera, and my son had some huge pork chop concoction. It wasn't earth-shattering, but it was decent Italian fare, and a really nice alternative to a chain restaurant, which by now you may have figured are not my thing. It had a full bar, and I could see people eating at tables there, which was open to the dining room.

I had to defer to my son on a couple of meal choices. He wanted to go to Smithfields which is a fast food-type joint (apparently a chain) that serves a bunch of fried items and pork barbeque. We both had a shrimp and pork combo plate which we both had with fries and coleslaw. For a fast food place, the service was great. They kept coming by to refill drinks, check on us, etc. The shrimp were those little shrimp, which don't really excite me - they are pretty tasteless. Hushpuppies were OK. Coleslaw was good. I didn't like the barbeque - the pork was very tender, but I am not a fan of that vinegar sauce. Personal preference only.

My last morning consisted of a breakfast at Waffle House! I am not breakfast person, but I have to say my fried eggs, grits, bacon, toast, and coffee was pretty tasty. There is an abundance of WHs in this town. In fact, there were two located at the same intersection. Who knew? Being from California, my kids had not had the WH experience until I took my youngest to Columbus, GA to #2 son's graduation from basic training. He loved it so much that he did a Google search on WH locations, cross referenced that with colleges on his list to apply to, and is now a happy sophmore at LSU. Thank you, Waffle House.

That's that for my Fayettville experience, Army museums notwithstanding. I hope it is helpful.

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

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  1. Thanks for the report. We just moved to Fayetteville from Seattle, and were at a loss for nonchain places to eat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: natalie.warner

      You poor thing. I worked at Ft Bragg for 6 months (BTW, born and bred in North Carolina and had never spent time there) and I stayed in Spring Lake. There is an excellent Thai place there: Thai-Esan

      I got to know the family. They were so nice and the food is wonderful. I think it's your only hope!

    2. You did well. We have friends in Fayetteville and they bemoan the poor dining scene.

      BTW, for those who do like Eastern NC barbecue, for a chain Smithfield's is surprisingly good.

      1. Luigi's $$, The Barn, & Pierro's were my favorite restaurants in Fayetteville when I lived in Southern Pines. John's BBQ & Seafood in Aberdeen (Rt 15 near Wal-Mart & a Honda dealership) should be on your son's must list. Also on the must list for breakfast should be Steak & Eggs Rt1 on Southern Pines-Aberdeen border that has the best breakfasts I've had since moving to the South ~10 years ago from NY/NJ IMO as good as NJ diners...WH simply compete IMO & the atmosphere in S&E though I agree that WH is an experience not to miss. S&E consumers represent all manner of age groups, socio-economic levels, etc. There are, also, a couple of good Thai restaurants in that area. I hope that you return to F'ville to eat @ some of these venues.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cbjones1943

          John's BBQ is no longer there. I believe it has been closed for at least a year now. It has been demolished and there is now a Cracker Barrel on that site.

          1. re: cbjones1943

            The actual name of the breakfast place is Sizzlin Steak or Eggs, and in case anyone in Fayetteville is thinking of going there, it's about a one hour drive. Pretty long haul for breakfast.

            Sizzlin Steak or Eggs
            US Highway 1 N, Aberdeen, NC 28315

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