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Nov 2, 2012 08:18 AM

Quick eats in New Bern

Looking for some help in this category. Most/all of the New Bern recs on here are for what sound like nicer places. I'm looking for some counter service type places, hole in the wall, etc. where I can get in and out in around a half hour. I went to Thai Thai yesterday; it was great but expensive if you buy the seafood specials, which I will forever be tempted to do if I go back there. I had a fried grouper filet on top of green curry seafood medley. Absolutely superb, even though I had to wolf it down a bit. The more quotidian stuff- pad see ew, penang/massaman/et al. curries are much lower priced, but the seafood dishes all looked so great they'd be hard to resist. Those are in the $25-30 range and I'd like to keep it under $20.

I came in on 55 and there used to be a bunch of taquerias and such on that stretch, but they appear to all be gone. One of them was right next to Thai Thai- El Celayense. It was closed/empty, as was the one that doubled as a Chinese restaurant. I didn't see El Taco Loco, which I remember eating at once, but Google seems to think that it has moved to MLK. Anyone know if that's current? I drove that stretch and didn't see it, but perhaps it's tucked into that big strip mall opposite Flounders and the Golden Corral.

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  1. Sting Ray's Cafe may fill the bill. Not counter service but really fresh & good. If you stressed your time frame and requested the bill when your order is served you could be close to a half hour.
    Parking is tight though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Yeah, I've been there, although not in a couple of years, but I knew parking would be an issue down there.

      1. re: Naco

        Wish I had more for you - I seldom get out that way.

        One of my pre-internet days techniques was to inquire at the local library. I received terrific suggestions from librarians over the years!

    2. What about Sting Ray Cafe next to Tryon Palace Seafood. I seem to remember our food came out of the kitchen pretty quickly. Also, noodling around on the internet I found this info--" where pre-ordered shrimp and oyster burgers, soft-crab or crab-cake sandwiches and fish and chips may be picked up with sides of fries, slaw and hushpuppies." Sounds like if you give them a call lunch will be ready when you arrive, and the food was very good. The Cow Cafe ( has a chili dog on their menu and homemade soup. I would imagine those would be a fast item to order. The prices are certainly reasonable on all their menu items. Moore's BBQ on Hwy 17 S is another possibility. How about Smithfield Chicken and BBQ. I know it is a chain but I do like their fried chicken and potato salad. The portions are huge and the service is great. How many fast-food places come around with tea refills. Another chain is Andy's Burger's. I don't usually do chain burgers but I have a friend who swears Andy's burgers are the best. Do be aware his taste in food isn't the most sophisticated. Let me know if you find a taco place. I do miss them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Panski

        Andy's is alright, but nothing special. We have tons of them in Greenville. Although they've never been my favorite because they do the shouting "WELCOME TO [RESTAURANT]!!!" thing which is supposed to ingratiate but just comes off like the Two Minutes of Hate from Orwell instead. I favor casual, low/no ambience places but I have never wished that a restaurant had more shouting.

        1. re: Naco

          So funny. I will remember the Two Minutes of Hate if I ever go to Moe's Southwest Grill again.

      2. I had a great meal at 247 Craven and was out within an hour. Moore's Barbecue for fried seafood and obviously BBQ. Pete and Nicky's is a good hole in the wall lunch spot.