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Sep 2, 2012 09:51 AM

Raleigh to Pinehurst / Southern Pines

I'll be flying in to Raleigh.Durham airport in a few weeks for a golf trip planned on September 20-23.. I will have a GPS device, but easy on/easy off highway access will be best, as transit time between the airport and resort will be tight between flight schedules and tee times.. Any advice and recommendations on the travel route, as well as in the Pinehurst or Southern Pines Resort area, would be greatly appreciated for the following:

Unique Local Restaurants for specialty fare

Thank you in advance....


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  1. You probably won't travel on I 540 south of I 40 or on 147, but those routes are now unmanned toll roads. Your GPS may not have the updated info yet.

    Most BBQ in NC is closed on Sundays, so aim for that first. Although Pik-n-Pig, at the airport in Carthage is open Sun. Not Eastern NC style, but I've heard good reports about them.

    Pittsboro is not that far from Sanford. Oakleaf is getting some good reviews

    If you are interested in food near RDU airport or don't mind traveling out of the way to the west then The Pig or Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill are good choices. Both are fairly quick to reach off of I 40.

    2 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Thanks for the heads up on the toll road's an interesting approach to collections. I looked at the link.....but do you have any idea how charges are made for out of state plates or rental cars? I did not see any information.

      I should probably note that my travel will be on Thursday morning, 9AM from the airport to the resort. My return from the resort to the airport will be after 1PM on Sunday, for a 4PM flight

      Many thanks for your suggestions and I will look into them further to see if we can fit them into our schedule.


      1. re: fourunder

        Yes, the toll situation is odd - I figured you would have a rental car so wanted to give you a heads up. Out of state tags would get sent a bill I assume. Rental cars, no idea. Probably the car rental charges you after the fact. Seems like a potential headache imo. I'm curious about it!

    2. Your arrival time would place you somewhat near Joyce & Family around 11 a.m. if you would like a nice variety of southern/soul cooking. Perhaps 10 - 15 min. east of hwy 1, south of Raleigh.

      Have fun! Hopefully the cooling trend will continue and you'll have pleasant weather.

      1. For a good- food route, skip 40 East to US1 and instead take 40 West from the airport to the Chapel Hill exit, 273, highway 54, and follow that to 15/501 just before you get to UNC. Loads of interesting places to eat on 54, and then along 15/501 through the countryside south of Chapel Hill. Interesting dining in Southern Village and Fearrington Village on your way to Pittsboro. In PIttsboro, at the rotary in this lovely old North Carolina town the general store cafe has been recently rescued and looks really spiffy, and they make their own potato chips! Continue on 15/501 to Sanford - no restaurants, BUT, don't miss Cole's Pottery, on the left just before you get to US 1. For less than the price of a single Titleist ball, beautiful pieces of pottery, hand made by a family as they have for the past 100 (?) Skip the NC barbecue. To my taste, it's no tastier than other relics.

        1. Unfortunately, due to some travel plan changes to our schedule, we we unable to take advantage of some of the recommendations made...which was disappointing, as I was looking forward to the local Southern charm and flavor of both Joy and Family and Oakleaf. I would also have liked to explore other place in the Chapel Hill, Pittsboro and Sanford areas as well....however, we able to make it to the following places:

          Mac's Breakfast Anytime......A very friendly place where the food was honest and inexpensive. The staff were all very nice and even offered to give us traveling drinks after our meal. Among the menu items we had were Waffles, Biscuits with Sausage Gravy, Smoked Sausage & Cheese Omelet and Country Fried Steak. All the eggs were cooked to perfection.

          The Sly Fox Gastropub.......a great spot for beer. The bartender was very generous with samples of the many draughts they had available. For Starters, we had a Salumi Platter and Scotch Eggs. Entrees included Shrimp and Grits and two Burgers...The Fox and The Welsh mad with a ground Rib Eye and Chuck blend.

          The Hickory Tavern......This was a late night spot in a very popular Sports Bar.....the drinks were good, but the food, not so much. It looked good coming out, but poorly executed. We would go back....but food would be an afterthought.

          Last on travel day back to the airport on Sunday, we went to the Pik-N-Pig.......and very happy we did. A very family friendly place with good Barbecue. The old planes and golf range kept all the kids happy. Among the items we had were the Fried Pickles, Spicy Wings, Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork and Smoked Pork Chop


          10 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            Glad pik-n-pig was a hit with the kids. Are the old planes on display? The idea of stopping at an airport on the way to an airport struck me funny!

            Is the breakfast place in Pinehurst/Southern Pines? Having your experiences in that area is helpful. The board gets occasional queries but seldom has many options to offer.

            1. re: meatn3

              I am willing to bet that Mac location is actually in Aberdeen. Closer to Southern Pines then Pinehurst.

              1. re: vttp926

                Sorry to say you would have lost that bet.......I was actually staying at The Talamore Resort in Southern Pines. In case anyone was interested, I played at Talamore, Mid-South, National and Longleaf. I tried to get on Dormie, but could not arrange a suitable time. I've stayed at Pinehurst Resort a few times before, but probably not in 8-10 years.

                : 0 )

                1. re: fourunder

                  That's ok, it would have been an easy bet. But from what everyone else tells me you should have tried Steak N Eggs. I have just started exploring Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen area. But still do know it well enough.

                  1. re: vttp926

                    But from what everyone else tells me you should have tried Steak N Eggs. ....

                    Now you tell me.....

                    : 0 )

                    But really, thanks for the info and I'll note it for the next rip to the area.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Hopefully I will be able to try it on Monday and report back myself. I have appointments that way on Monday.

                2. re: vttp926

                  Hey all! There are actually a few Mac's Breakfast Anytime around the Moore County area; I can think of about 3 locations that come to mind; not sure if there are more than that. Like the original poster said: honest, inexpensive food!

                3. re: meatn3

                  With regards to the old planes....if you look at the picture next to the fried pickles, you can enlarge it and see 3-4, in addition to the old Military plane that is fenced in. Many families had their kids perched on top of the wings taking pictures.

                  As for Mac's....I believe they have multiple locations.....and the one I went to was was in Southern Pines on Southeast Broad Street. Driving from the resort and through town, there looked like there were a couple of Mexican restaurants that looked worthy of a stop, but unfortunately I did not catch their names. On Southwest Broad Street there also was a bakery/cafe that look promising and the Southern Prime Steakhouse. I would probably stop at any or all of them on my next trip. Next to The Hickory Tavern was an Italian Restaurant....I believe it was named Fratelli's...but I know nothing about it. I generally would not think of going to an Italian restaurant in the South....since I live where there are some pretty goods available to me here in the North.....however, my son tells me the Mellow Mushroom is pretty good for pizza.


                  I had taken a few pictures of the items at mac's and at The Sly Fox with my telephone, but for some reason they will not upload on this site. I'll try another time to do so, but I don't feel confident I will be successful. The pictures from my camera loaded with no problems, unlike with my telephone.

                  As for recommendations.....I don't like to knock places, but in looking for a seafood place for Oysters, Russell's was mentioned. We did a drive by, and stopped in. I love to go to places that have been around for decades....unfortunately, this place should not be on anyone's list. The people inside were very nice.....but I'll leave it at that.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Mellow Mushroom is really good for pizza. I haven't been to the Southern Pines location but other locations before (Charlotte and Boone). But I have a friend that does all the cakes for their parties and she loves it there.

                4. re: fourunder

                  Mac's Breakfast Anytime

                  Basted Eggs, Grits and Chicken Fried Steak

                  Biscuits With Sausage Gravy

                  The Sly Fox

                  the fox (pictured)
                  ground steak, black pudding and stilton, caramelized onions, triple cooked fries

                  the welsh burger
                  ground steak, pancetta & welsh rarebit, triple cooked fries

                  shrimp and grits (pictured)
                  white truffle grits, leek cream

                5. Oh I wish I had seen this query before the poster had their trip! The most fabulous restaurants in Southern Pines are Chef Warren's and Ashten's.

                  And there is a wonderful spot where I had KILLER blood mary's and a mouthwatering ruben in Southern Pines named: The Bell Tree Tavern

                  140 East New Hampshire Avenue
                  Southern Pines
                  (910) 246-3510

                  215 Northeast Broad Street
                  Southern Pines
                  (910) 692-5240
                  Chef Warren's

                  The Bell Tree Tavern
                  155 Northeast Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28387
                  (910) 692-4766