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Apr 8, 2012 04:14 PM

One week near RDU - where to eat?

We are visiting the Raleigh area to finalize the upgrades to our home in the Brier Creek area. We will be staying in the Country Inn & Suites near RDU for a week.

We are interested in beginning to learn about our the restaurant scene in what will be our new home town.. We particularly enjoy ETHNIC foods (though DH is not fond of sushi). Most of the time, we don't care much about the atmosphere, but the availability of wine at a good price is a big incentive for our dining choices. And, of course, we like to find wallet-friendly places.

We also have a fridge and microwave at the hotel, so if take out is more suitable, we'll have a wine bottle opener in the room.

Coming from Phoenix, we get plenty of Mexican, but little good, fresh fish. So if we're going to splurge on a meal, I'd like to get some good seafood.

Suggestions, please?

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  1. Not much near the airport but there are a few Korean places near hwy 55/54 intersection that get a lot of love. A drive into Durham will give you some good options. While not seafood restaurants both Magnolia Grill and Nana's always have a couple seafood offerings on their menus. If you head into Chapel Hill I'd say go to Lantern or Elaine's. All fours menu's change somewhat regularly but they are all very good. Reservations might not be a bad idea.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LBD

      The Korean spots are pretty good, But as for the rest, they are excellent upscale places but not so easy on the wallet. Neomonde (middleastern) and Mawa's African in Morrisville (and a few other ethnic places in the same strip mall as Mawa's are more reasonable). Try the Indian places in Cary -- especially Udipi (vegetarian only). There's a Dim Sum spot near the airport and SuperWok (good szechuan) in Cary near the Indian restaurants. Also in Cary, try Turkish (Bosphurus) and Afghan (Unaabi). Not too sure about the wine situation though.

      Brier Creek itself is mostly chain food hell. There is a Kabob place in the Alexander Promenade area.

      In Durham really like the Havana Sandwich Shop, Rue Cler, Dame's Chicken and Waffles and Toast (mostly near the downtown area).

      1. re: TerryG

        Tower in Morrisville has classic South Indian vegetarian food; for seafood I can recommend Squid's in Chapel Hill. Gosh what's the name of that giant chinese supermarket/ food mall Jkgourmet would love that. also Vit Goal Tofu - a great korean restaurant. The food scene here is great,especially with the farmer's markets.

        1. re: TerryG

          I like TASU ( ) in Brier Creek. I strongly recommend the Green Curry. A lot of people seem to like the sushi there, but since I am not a sushi fan I can't comment.
          Some of the americanized chinese dishes are meh, the Tiger Cry steak is excellent. The Beef Pho is also really good. But I keep coming back for the Green Curry.

      2. Very close to the airport, you can try DimSum House, which serves excellent DimSum--even at night--order from the menu at night--the dimsum is freshly cooked and quite tasty and fresh. The tofu stuffed with shrimp with black bean sauce is addictive, and the chinese broccoli in oyster sauce is always perfectly cooked.
        At the 54/55 interchange, I like ThaiChina buffet. Don't be put off by the name. There's no buffet at night, but their Thai food is authentically spicy and really cheap and tasty. The green papaya salad is terrific, as are all their noodle dishes. Almost verything can be made vegetarian. This restaurant is BYO and is closed on Sunday. I also like Vit Goal tofu Korean restaurant at that interchange, but it's more pricy.
        If you go towards Raleigh, there's SuperWok in Cary, which has very authentic Szechuan food, inlcuding lots of really tasty fish dishes. The fish cooked like squirrel tail is tasty (had it last night). The boiled fish filets in Szechuan sauce is to die for. Try the pea shoots, if they have them.
        Saffron in Morrisville is terrific too, for excellent Indian food.

        All of these are more towards the "Asian food dive" rather than upscale with good wine.

        1. The Farmer's Market Seafood restaurant will give you an instant sampling of NC style seafood. I suggest the fried large shrimp and scollops.

          1. Also near the 55/54 interchange is Papa Mojo's Roadhouse. Cajun and creole dishes, lots of seafood, really good. Crawfish boils on Friday and Saturday nights.


            1 Reply
            1. re: romansperson

              Go to Lantern in Chapel Hill. They have a whole fried fish on the menu. It's an awesome dish.

              Also, there are a couple of community supported fishery programs where you can buy fish directly from NC fisherfolk.

            2. And don't forget 9N9 for quite good Vietnamese food off Alexander Drive and Miami Blvd in the airport-RTP area. Their website will give you good information.