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Dinner Recs Needed in RTP (2011)

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I'm here in the RTP area for work, and are with some picky colleagues. I've found a bunch of good places for dinner after work in the area, but 20mins is too far away for them to want to go have dinner. Therefore, I need some recommendations within 10 minutes of 900 Davis Drive in Durham.

I've been to Mez, and find it non-authentic and pretentious, and hate the waiting for a table when we typically arrive around 6:30pm-7pm. Are there more authentic ones nearby? The ones folks have mentioned on this board closer to downtown Durham are too far for them :(

Furthermore, one of the colleagues doesn't eat Indian food (1 bad experience was enough for him to never try it again. These are the colleagues I'm stuck having dinner with every night).

If it were up to them we'd go to chain restaurants like Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's every night. They will drive as far as Brier Creek and South Point Mall, but not to say, a place like Peak City Grille, or La Shish, which were my 2 choices for dinner tonight.

So I am asking the foodies here to help me out. We've been to Papa Mojo's and the Thai place near that (Thai Lanna), but the Thai place got shot down because there aren't enough cars parked outside, a sure sign to another colleague that the place must be "bad."

Furthermore, Korean and Vietnamese are OUT, as that is 'too ethnic' and 'weird.'

Please help a fellow foodie out! I'm stuck in companion-dining hell.
Thanks in advance.

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PF Changs
Asheville, NC, Asheville, NC

Mez
5410 Page Road, Durham, NC 27703

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  1. According to google, Neo Monde Deli in Morrisville is a 10min drive. Good Mediterranean food, great hummus.

    I've never been to these, but have heard good things, and they're all nearby:
    C&T Wok for Szechuan Chinese
    Dim Sum House
    Smokey's BBQ
    Backyard Pit BBQ
    Cilantro Mediterranean Grill

    I'll try to think of some more. Hope this helps!

    1. In Morrisville, Carmen's for Cuban, Tandoor for Indian (or Tower if it is still called that for Southern Indian). I'd have suggested Pho 9n9 but you said no Vietnamese and it isn't that weird. La Farm Bakery/Cafe for a good lunch or breakfast but that is in Cary and still shouldn't be twenty minutes away. YumYum Thai off of Harrison Rd. Bella Mia for Wood fired pizzas. NeoMonde is a good solid choice for people that like falafel, shawarma and hummus. Brier Creek has a couple of good choices of which I can't remember the names one is a shish kabob place. For more expensive dining, AN and Herons are in the same area as Bella Mia.

      If all else fails, drug them and take them to a place you know is good and treat them like children and say if you don't like it.. you don't have to eat it but give it a try.. I mean if they go to 9n9 and order Pho it is soup.. can't be that weird.

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      Bella Mia
      2025 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513

      1. I liked City Beverage a lot. Good pub grub, and a nice list of beers on tap. The seared (rare) tuna tacos were especially memorable. It isn't far from Southpoint Mall. http://www.citybeverage-durham.com/

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        City Beverage
        4810 Hope Valley Rd Ste 105, Durham, NC 27707

        1. Thanks everyone for the recommendations!

          We will have to try some of the ones listed above that I haven't been to yet, namely Neomonde, Cilantro, Carmen's, Bella Mia, City Beverage, etc.

          To clarify some of the restrictions I listed, it's not always logical what the 'Nay-sayers' have come up with for a vote of "No" on a location. One day it's fine to go as far as Squid's for dinner, and the next, places like La Shish and Peak City grille gets shot down because "20 minutes is too far."
          .
          But, oh, Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill is apparently fine. I think basically people are just coming up with whatever reason to say "No" to a lot of my choices.

          The anti-Korean and Vietnamese food mentality is a bit prejudiced. I'm not going to go into details as it just 'grinds my gears.'

          Unfortunately because we car-pool and I'm not the driver, I can't 'kidnap' anyone to go and try places I know is yummy and better than the usual chain restaurants.

          I do appreciate the advice and time from you guys ^_^

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          City Beverage
          4810 Hope Valley Rd Ste 105, Durham, NC 27707

          Bella Mia
          2025 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513

          1 Reply
          1. re: peiyikim

            We will look forward to seeing what you try. As far as Mez.. I dont' think I've been impressed with any of the restaurants that group as put forth.

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            Mez
            5410 Page Road, Durham, NC 27703

          2. +1 Thai Lanna. In my experience, it has always been very good and is owned by some very sweet people. Definitely one of the more under-appreciated restaurants in the area.

            +1 Backyard BBQ Pit. But your persnickety colleagues might not appreciate the cafeteria/"bbq joint" ambiance. Same for Smokey's BBQ.

            +1 Dim Sum House. Hopefully dim sum isn't too "weird", but there are simple Thai and Chinese noodle dishes on the menu for those who aren't adventurous.

            +1 Neomonde Cafe and City Beverage.

            +1 Carmen's Cuban Cafe. Might not be a lot of cars out front for dinner but, honestly, that's no way to judge a place.

            I'll also add:

            Serena (RTP). http://www.serena-rtp.com/

            Thai Noodles (Morrisville). This place recently underwent renovation and expansion making it a really nice dinner setting. http://www.thaisnoodles.com/

            Vino (Morrisville). This place is fairly new and I haven't been there yet, so I can't personally vouch for it, but it seems worth a shot. http://vinonc.com/

            Tribecca Tavern (Cary). American grill with emphasis on gourmet burgers using high quality locally grown beef. http://www.tribecatavernnc.com

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            City Beverage
            4810 Hope Valley Rd Ste 105, Durham, NC 27707

            Thai Lanna
            335 W Plaza Dr Ste N, Mooresville, NC 28117

            Dim Sum House
            100 Jerusalem Dr, Morrisville, NC 27560