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road trip from Raleigh to Ashville(lunch and dinner spots)

Yankee just moved to Raleigh. Traveling to ashville, nc. any must east places for business man on budget . would say lunch at twenty dollars person and dinner at thirty person. looking for something different tired of eating at typical; resturants

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  1. I make that drive frequently.

    I try to always stop for lunch in Greensboro and pick up Banh Mi's at Pakse Cafe on Florida. It is literally 5 min. off I-40.

    Location is rundown, ambiance is lacking, but the sandwiches are the best I've found in NC!

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/pakse-cafe-gr...

    11 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Exactly the recommendation I was seeking.... Thank you meatn3!! We are road-tripping from Toronto to OBX NC this July and I've strong-armed family into making the journey to Asheville. My Laotian-born hubbie will be thrilled to hear that Pakse Cafe is now on the itinerary!! We honeymooned in Laos, pre-kids, so this will be a little education for them on how Daddy speaks Lao! Can't wait. Chowhound is awesome!

      And since we're on the subject, can anyone recommend best options for traditional southern (Meat & 3, or meetn3, haha) along this route or in Asheville as well?

      1. re: dameems

        Delancy's in Burlington is an excellent meat and 3 type place.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Carolinadawg, have checked menus and added to my map! Thanks... sounds so yummy I'm drooling already. We're up here in Toronto and have no idea what to order on this super southern menu, especially the sides. Will likely just order one of everything we can't get up here!

          1. re: carolinadawg

            F/up: we did stop at Cafe Pakse. V easy to find off highway using GPS. Worthwhile stop for Bahn Mi fans. Was as good as anything we get in Toronto (asian mecca) and definitely hit the spot. Nice Lao family, very basic spot with very basic menu. They do one or 2 things and do them really well (esp the Papaya salad... AUTHENTIC taste!).

            Note: the area is not hustle bustle and the neighborhood is pretty sad. As we were leaving from our yummy lunch, the kids said "hey why is that guy smacking that other guy, Mommy?" So we got to witness our 1st smack out whack down as a family. The aggressor drove away and got stuck at the traffic light and the victim on the ground scraped himself up off the pavement and limped home. The end.

            1. re: dameems

              I guess we should drop the ambiance rating and raise the adrenalin factor?
              There is often (7 times out of ten) a couple of police cars parked at the upper end of the shopping center. Pakse is usually quiet enough that I can park directly in front. That said it pays to keep your eyes open...

              Glad you enjoyed the food!

              1. re: meatn3

                meatn3, violence was not random (looked like somebody had a score to settle) and no adrenalin on my part, thankfully!

                I do think it's wise that Pakse Cafe close at 5pm. And that there are patrols for that plaza. That said I'd go there again just to eat that papaya salad, if in the area. Have been in much dodgier spots in different parts of the world, and as you said, you can easily park at the door. Definitely no need to be nervous, esp in broad daylight.

                Funny, we got to chatting with Pakse's boss lady, asking if she was from the Laotian town of Pakse, like some of my husband's family (she's not but her husband is). She asked how I'd found her restaurant, I my husband explained in Lao that people were writing about her food on the internet, and she was completely baffled. Kind of refreshing to eat at a place where it really just is all about the food, and not the marketing angles!! Thanks so much for the super reco!

                1. re: dameems

                  So glad it was within your comfort zone. When you mentioned the kids I was worried, but it seems we have a similar perspective!

                  I'll pass on your thanks and add mine to the now forgotten poster who mentioned the place on these boards a number of years ago. These are the sorts of little gems that make me love CH!

                  1. re: meatn3

                    Chowhound rocks, meatn3, eat on!!

                  2. re: dameems

                    Next time try Saigon Banh Mi Bakery in Gboro. I like their banh mi's better that Pakse Cafe's, mainly because they bake their own bread which are simply amazing. I highly recommend the #4 grilled beef. The lady is so nice. See if they will make you an avocado bubble tea (not on the menu). And it's a step or two better area-- not as likely to see beatdowns. I've also seen more Vietnamese people eating here than I have at Pakse

                    1. re: bbqme

                      The bread is terrific at Saigon Banh Mi Bakery. They also have a number of interesting other items and the folks there are super nice. That said, Pakse's Banh Mi has better flavor to my way of tasting! If they are closed I am happy to swing by Saigon instead.

          2. re: meatn3

            I endorse Pakse Cafe 100% and I do the same thing as meatn3. When I'm in the Greensboro area, I always try to stop by Paske and pick up about 6 or 8 sandwiches so I can enjoy those tasty sammiches for several days.

            By the way, I've been to that shopping center many, many times and I've never once witnessed any dodgy activity or otherwise felt uncomfortable. Granted, the shopping center is a bit run down but the food is so good and the owners at Pakse are so nice that my wife and I never worry about it whatsoever.

          3. Get off I 40 at Exit 64 at Black Mountain, NC and go S .4 mile on Highway 9 to Cheshire Drive. Take a left and go to Morning Glory Cafe for outstanding comfort food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go to Black Bird Restaurant for outstanding comfort food for lunch or dinner. If you want outstanding BBQ go S on Highway 9 to Phil's BBQ Pit. Black Mountain is a nice town to visit and shop. If you plan to spend the night in the area get off I 40 at Exit 66 and go to the right on Dunsmore Avenue. Go to Yates Avenue and take a left. Go .8 mile to Kitazuma Road. Take a right and go to The Madison Restaurant and B & B on your left for a great night and fine dinner.
            Morning Glory Cafe @ 6 E Market Street # A, Black Mountain, NC 828 - 669 - 6212.
            http://www.themorningglorycafe.com/
            The Black Bird Restaurant @ 10 E Market Street., Black Mountain, NC 828 - 669 - 5556.
            http://www.theblackbirdrestaurant.com/
            Phil's BBQ Pit @ 701 NC Highway 9, Black Mountain, NC 828 - 669 - 3606.
            The Madison Restaurant and B&B @ 15 Dixon Drive, Black Mountain, NC 828 - 669 - 4785.
            http://www.madisoninn-nc.com/
            Get off I 40 at Exit 86 at Marion, NC and go N on Highway 226. Go right on Rutherford Road to Countryside BBQ for outstanding BBQ for lunch or dinner. They also serve breakfast on Saturday. Get off I 40 at Exit 103 at Morganton, NC and go S on Burkemont Avenue to Butch's BBQ for a good breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you want good comfort food for breakfast, lunch or dinner go N or Burkemont Avenue to Allison's Family Restaurant. Get off I 40 at Exit 125 at Hickory, NC and go N on Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard to Tripp's Restaurant for good comfort food for lund or dinner. Get off I 40 at Exit 135 in Claremont, NC and go S on N Oxford Street to Boxcar Grille for fine ribs, fajita's and steaks for lunch or dinner. Get off I 40 at Exit 150 in Statesville, NC and go S on N Center Street to Black Angus Grille for outstanding comfort food for lunch or dinner. Get off I 40 at Exit 162 at Cleveland, NC and go 2 miles S on Highway 64 to Woodleaf Road. Take a left and go 2.2 miles to Keaton's for oustanding BBQ. Get off I 40 at Exit 162 at Mocksville, NC and go N on Highway 64 to Diane's Diner for outstanding southern comfort food. If you want good BBQ get off I 40 at Exit 168 at Mocksville, NC and go 3.3 miles S on Highway 64 to Gaither Street. Take a left and then take your first left on Clement and go to Deano's BBQ. Get off I 40 at Exit 184 at Clemmons, NC and go S on Lewisville Clemmons Road to Stadium Drive. Take a right and go to Little Richard's for good BBQ also. Get off I 40 at Exit 189 at Winston Salem, NC and go S on S Stratford Road to Hanes Mall Boulevard. Take a left and go to Village Tavern on your right for good road food for lunch or dinner. Get off I 40 at Exit 189 and go S on Stratford Road to Hanes Mall Boulevard. Take a right and go 1.7 miles to Billy Bob's Diner for outstanding southern comfort food and BBQ for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are numerous nice hotels at Exit 189 as well as Hanes Mall Shopping Center in case you want stop to do some shopping and spend the night.
            Countryside BBQ @ 2070 Rutherford Road, Marion, NC. 828 - 652 - 4885.
            http://countrysidebbq.net/
            Butch's BBQ & Restaurant @ 1234 Burkemont Avenue, Morganton, NC 828 - 432 - 5040.
            Allison's Family Restaurant @ 1010 Burkemont Avenue, Morganton, NC 828 - 438 - 3662.
            Tripps Restaurant @ 1187 Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard. SE, Hickory, NC 828 - 324 - 4400.
            Boxcar Grille @ 3140 North Oxford Street, Claremont, NC 828 - 459 - 9287.
            Black Angus Grille @ 125 North Center Sreet, Statesville, NC 704 - 872 - 4200.
            Keaton's BBQ @ 17365 Cool Springs Road, Cleveland, NC. 704 - 278 - 1619.
            http://www.keatonsoriginalbbq.com/
            Diane's Diner @ 4395 US Highway 64 W, Mocksville, NC 336 - 492 - 5710.
            Deano's Barbecue @ 140 N. Clement Street, Mocksville, NC. 336 - 751 - 5820.
            http://www.deanosbarbecue.com/
            Little Richard's BBQ @ 6470 Stadium Drive, Clemmons, NC 336 - 766 - 0401.
            http://www.littlerichardsbarbeque.com/
            Village Tavern @ 2000 Griffith Road., Winston Salem, NC 336 - 760 - 8686.
            http://www.villagetavern.com/
            Billy Bob's Silver Diner @ 1650 Hanes Mall Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 336 - 768 - 0654.
            http://www.billybobssilverdiner.com/
            Get off I 40 at Exit 203 at Kernersville, NC and go N on Highway 66 to Clark's BBQ for good road food. Get off I 40 at Exit 214A at Greensboro, NC and go N on Wendover Avenue to Country BBQ for good road food. If you want good steaks or BBQ for lunch or dinner get off I 40 at Exit 217 at Greensboro, NC and go S on High Point Road to Darryl's Wood Fired Grill. Dine outdoors on their large patio. If you want outstanding comfort food for breakfast, lunch or dinner get off I 40 at Exit 221 at Greensboro, NC and go S on S Elm Eugene Street to Seneca Road. Take a left and go to Carolina Country Kitchen at The Days Inn on your right. For good country BBQ get off I 40 at Exit 143 at Burlington, NC and go N on Alamance Road to Church Street. Hursey's BBQ will be on your left.
            Clark's BBQ @ 1331 NC Highway 66 S, Kernersville, NC 336 - 996 - 8644.
            Country BBQ @ 4012 Wendover Avenue W., Greensboro, NC 336 - 292 - 3557.
            Darryl's Wood Fired Grill @ 3300 High Point Road, Greensboro, NC 336 - 294 - 1781.
            http://www.darrylswoodfiredgrill.com/
            Carolina Country Kitchen @ 110 Seneca Road, Greensboro, NC 336 - 333 - 9876.
            Hursey's BBQ @ 1834 S Church St., Burlington, NC. 336 - 226 - 1694.
            If you want some of the best BBQ in NC get off I 40 at Exit 266 in Chapel Hill, NC and go N on Highway 86. Go 2 miles to Millhouse Road. Allen and Son's will be on your left. If you want a great steak cooked in a classic southern tradition and served in a scenic place go to Farm House Restaurant just down Millhouse. If you want classic southern comfort food and all day breakfast get off I 40 at Exit 270 in Chapel Hill,NC and go E on Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard to Bob Evans'. Get off I 40 at Exit 278 and go S on Highway 55 to Backyard BBQ for good road food. Get off I 40 at Exit 287 at Cary, NC and go S on N Harrison Avenue to Weston Parkway. Take a right and go to Cafe Carolina for good comfort food for breakfast or lunch.
            Allen and Son BBQ @ 6203 Millhouse Rd., Chapel Hill, NC. 919 - 942 - 7576.
            Farm House Restaurant @ 6004 Millhouse Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 919 - 929 - 5727.
            http://www.farmhousesteakhouse.com/
            Bob Evans' Restaurant @ 5419 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 919 - 403 - 6766.
            Backyard BBQ Pit @ 5122 NC Hwy. 55, Durham, NC. 919 - 544 - 9911.
            http://www.sweetribs.com/
            Cafe Carolina and Bakery @ 137 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 919 - 678 - 8855.
            http://www.cafecarolina.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Littleman

              Depends where you are the Banh Mi's at Pakse Cafe on Florida are very good, also Keatons in Cleveland, NC. http://www.keatonsoriginalbbq.com/ is unique, The chicken is fried then dipped in BBQ sauce, definitely worth a stop if the timing works out.

              As always Littleman just lists all the places between the two locations including Bob Evans

            2. I'm a "Yankee", also (NNJ-NY) "Time is $$." Since you are new to the area, why not sample a few Waffle House restaurants in order to get the true "Bible Belt" experience--open 24 h, of course. WH is everywhere.

              I don't go to WH any longer...each town has its own home-grown and authentic, and often eccentric, places to eat that you'll eventually find and pick among.

              Should you ever be in the Southern Pines-Aberdeen area, Steak & Eggs, Rt. 1 N has exceptional southern homemade food and an unmatchable ambience and clientele. Breakfast-time is best, especially on weekends.

              OAM, the North Carolina Museum near you in Raleigh is not bad (relatively speaking).

              2 Replies
              1. re: cbjones1943

                p.s. I cannot urge you strongly enough to spend some time @DeSoto Lounge (Bar) 504 Haywood, West Asheville. You are certain to identify with the young (male) owners, scores of boutique beers etc. are available, VERY acceptable bar food, one of the owners' wives makes Ethiopian after 5 on Tu, and the atmosphere is true W A'vl...very different than Asheville proper.

                Probably, the most lauded restaurant in A'vl is in W A'vl, The Admiral, near DeSoto on Haywood. The climate of this place is true W A'vl, the energy is high & loud. Most everyone raves about the food so I won't bias you except to say that I consider it wildly overpriced...dinner begins @5; you'll need a reservation unless you get there by 5 or don't mind eating @the bar.

                1. re: cbjones1943

                  I ate at The Admiral a couple weeks ago while visiting, fantastic.

              2. I'm a little confused about what it is that you're looking for. Raleigh to Asheville is only 4 hours, so it's not really a 2 meal trip (or even a one meal trip depending on departure time). Are you looking for places along the way, or in Asheville itself? Is this a one time jaunt, or a regular trip you'll be making several times? Can you be more specific about what type of food or restaurant you're interested in...I'm not sure what you mean by a "typical restaurant"?