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Dec 12, 2012 11:56 AM

Charlotte's Cowfish coming to Raleigh

They specialize in burgers and sushi, thus the name. I ate there once and it was pretty good. It will fit right in at North Hills.

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  1. Has anyone been? Just noticed the sign the other day.

    16 Replies
    1. re: Westy

      They've been open for quite a while. The family opinion is split on the place. I absolutely HATE it and will not go back, even with somebody else picking up the tab. Seriously, I got a few gift cards and gave them away. The mostly likely reason that I hate it is that I am neither a tween nor a twenty-something hipster wannabe.

      You don't go for the food, you go for the atmosphere or the experience, if that's your thing. The burgers are obscenely huge and have so much stuff piled on them, they could be feeding you anything and you'd never know it. I'm not a big fan of sushi in general, but I can appreciate the difference between traditional sushi and not so much. What they serve is "sushi," not sushi. What I'm saying is don't go there expecting traditional sushi. It's what I call gringo sushi or sushi for people who want to say they eat sushi but don't really want to eat sushi. If you like that type of thing, then they do a pretty decent job of it.

      The room is dark and very loud. To someone my age, it's major sensory overload. For a bunch of twenty-somethings it's probably perfect.

      So that's my curmudgeonly opinion. My tween offspring loves the Cowfish as much as I hate it. I believe it's the fun factor that appeals to her. The Spouse is somewhere in-between. It's far from his first choice but he'll go if other people want to go.

      1. re: rockycat

        Thanks. That was very...vivid :)

        1. re: rockycat

          That is what I had read and heard in The Independent from a reliable source.

          1. re: rockycat

            I haven't been to the Raleigh location but I do go to the one in Charlotte from time to time and I think you're being a tad harsh, but we're all entitled to our opinions.

            Yes, it's a lively place and can be a little loud and flashy. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to someone wanting serious sushi. All the rolls I have had there I have enjoyed and the burgers are good as well. It's one of those places that we go to when we have a mixed crowd - young and older, sushi and burger likers and also when we want an upbeat atmosphere. They don't intend to be take seriously as evidenced by the name, the fun cartoon prints thoughout the place and the wacky sound bites chiming through the speakers in the restroom (ok, they are weird, but kinda funny). The burgushi is gimmicky but some of the rolls are actually tasty.

            They have a pretty decent wine list, some interesting cocktails and you can often see Ric Flair at the one in Charlotte. That's pure entertainment, IMHO. ;)

            1. re: lynnlato

              I've got to say, seeing Ric Flair in a restaurant is definitely not guaranteed to enhance my dining experience. :-)

              1. re: rockycat

                Ha! Oooh, but he's always a site. You never know what you're going to get. ;-)

                1. re: rockycat

                  The last time we were there, he was "lurking". It was still kind of early so he didn't come in. Just kept walking by looking to see who was at the bar.

                  It's certainly not for serious sushi but it has its place. I've never had a bad dish, service is great and there's something for everyone.

                2. re: lynnlato

                  In her defense she did say she was curmudgeonly. ;)

                  1. re: bbqme

                    Oh I know, its all in good fun. :)

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      I've been to Cowfish (Charlotte) a couple of times and its sister restaurant up north, eeZ, many times. The service is always fantastic, there are great drink specials, and I've never had anything bad. It is lively but it's just that kind of place. eeZ doesn't have the burger concept but it does have many of the same sushi items and it has a stir fry bar where you can choose what you want - meat, sauce, veggies, etc. For about $12, I always have at least one (and sometimes two) lunches leftover.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        Had lunch there yesterday. The fish tank is a cool centerpiece and the rest of the room is well done. I can see it getting loud when packed, but that doesn't bother me. The menu is massive, which does bother me. So many choices. Portions were equally huge on everything we ordered. I'd have to go back ten times to make it through the menu. The build your own burger and sushi roll options involve way too much thinking for me and clutter up an already cluttered menu.

                        As far as the food goes, I agree with a previous post. Nothing memorable, nothing bad. We had tuna nachos (pretty presentation, mild flavors), firecracker roll (too big to eat in one bite, but tasted good. Rice is underseasoned). For mains, we tried two burgushi items. One was a bacon cheeseburger turned into a roll (reminded me of Korean sushi a bit, ok at best), the other was a rice bread sandwich (pastrami, beef tenderloin, cheese, fries. Mess to eat, but pretty good). Honestly, the best thing we ate was the spicy cucumber salad that accompanied the sandwich. Both burgushi items suffered from a lot of bland rice. We saw a couple good looking salads go by, and the bento box is a good deal at $12.

                        Service, on the other hand, was excellent. They had lots of staff running around and a decent crowd for a Monday. At lunch, this is a very kid-friendly restaurant. We will definitely make another daytime visit with kids, as ours would love it. Outside of that, I have very little urge to return. I suppose if I lived nearby, it would be a fun place to get a drink and a snack.

                        1. re: veganhater

                          Yep, you summed up the Cowfish experience pretty well. At least it matches with what we have here in Charlotte. It's a kid-friendly place, good for large groups and a younger crowd not wanting serious food.

                          Y'all in Raleigh don't have the added bonus of The Ric Flair Experience though. ;)

                          1. re: lynnlato

                            LynnLato - hysterical! I'm not in Charlotte as much as I used to be, but I've always appreciated your tips and advice so much!

                            1. re: Tehama

                              Thanks Tehama! It's always a pleasure "chatting" with you on CH.

                              I will be sure and hit you up the next time I head to the Raleigh area. I don't get out that way very often, but it's good to know I have CHers there to steer me to good chow. ;)

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                Absolutely! We don't have chowhound dinners very often, but I'm going to make sure you know about the next one we plan in case you're in the Triangle. If you like, email me/us at and I'll add you to the Triangle email list. :-)

              2. We went a few months ago when it first opened. I don't remember much about it except the super awesome cool aquarium and then overpriced menu items. I can't remember a damn thing about the food itself, so… I'm guessing it was neither particularly good or particularly bad.