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Place with good/great food open mid-afternoons? Preferably Chapel Hill/Carrboro

My mind is drawing a blank on this one. Lulu has a school assembly each month, and usually afterwards we'd head for an early dinner to the 501 Diner. But, much to our dismay, they have closed. We're not fans of Elmos. I'm trying to think of someplace to take her this Friday after assembly - we're talking about 3:30 in the afternoon and I can't think of many places that will be open. I am guessing that NanaTacos is one option. We did Pizza Toro and that was a big hit but I'd really rather be closer to home (Chapel Hill) if possible. Not really in love with Carolina Brewery. Price isn't an issue, quality of food and being open at around that time are. Anyone having any brilliant ideas? They'd be much appreciated.

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  1. I should mention that her school is in Durham, so if you have an absolutely brilliant idea in Durham, please go ahead and throw it at me just in case. And again, thanks so much.

    19 Replies
      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Thanks for the idea. Their website isn't showing (at least in any obvious place - one of my pet peeves) their hours so I'm guessing you know that they're open mid-afternoon? I've never had chicken and waffles and am a little nervous about it - not a waffle fan - but think I should definitely try it sometime.

        Got myself excited about the Kipos idea and then looked at the menu. I'm guessing that they only have the lunch menu at 3:30 and I'd rather my first time there be when I have more choice (which the dinner menu has).

        Right now it is down to Sandwhich or Venable. Both seem like they would be comfortable and good.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Sandwich can be slow and loud but not bad on food.. the worst part about SandwHich is the lack of parking. What are Sage's hours? Lucha Tigre?

          How about Sake Bomb in Durham? G2B may still be open during that time (not sure). You are not required to get a waffle if you just want the chicken. How about a bocadillo at Mateo's? I don't know places that do extended lunch hours. How about some poutine at Milltown? Ummm what about the fish shack that the guy who use to run GlassHalfFull now runs in Durham? Drawing a blank on name... Does Watts do lunch past that time? Problem is that lunches usually end at 2 so that crew can get ready for 5/5:30 shift. Parker and Otis?

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            Not worried about parking mid-afternoon in CH; plenty of pay spots if needed. It does look as if Lucha Tigre is open. Haven't tried it yet and this may be a good opportunity.

            Lulu is *very* particular about her sushi. No rolls, etc. etc. I looked at Kurama but they don't seem to be open at that time. G2B closed between lunch and dinner as is Mateos (which was my first choice). Not a fan of Watts. Am definitely excited by P&O's menu. Problem with fish shack type place is that I really want waiter service, and is there indoor seating? Speaking of which, is there waiter service and P&O? Oh gosh no on the poutine! Even though she's half Canadian, poutine is bad enough without making it with Milltown's fries. (sorry, but ...)

            I really do wish Mateos was open ... The main problem with this is the timing.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Aargh. Lucha Tigre doesn't seem to have a website, only a facebook page. So I can't look at the menu and decide. I will have to be pulled kicking and screaming in to the 21st century.

              1. re: LulusMom

                I'll get that for you.. On Parker and Otis. You order at the register and they bring it to you.. if I remember correctly.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Thank you! And hmmm on the P&O system. I do love Toast and they do it that way. But it is just more fun to have wait staff (I'm a former waitress) for me.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Yeah but P&O has knick Knacks and wine to peruse and more space to sit. What you don't do this time.. you do the next right?

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Excellent point! There should be at least 2 more assemblies, let alone play dates with her Durham friends. Maybe I could take one of her friends to P&O for those "being good" treats that bbqme suggested.

                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    Thank you so much. That could definitely work.

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Ate at Kitchen tonight and stopped to look in the window of Lucha Tigre and asked the bartender at K about it. He said it seemed like a good choice for a kid mid-afternoon. Leaning toward that now, although slightly nervous since reviews have been mixed. What the heck if it is horrible we can always go someplace fancy for dessert, right?

                2. re: LulusMom

                  Did Kipos for lunch. Had the Octopus Salad and Pastitsio. Both were really good and the atmosphere is pleasant and Giorgio was serving some things. He would get a kick out of Lulu if you decide to do a lunch there tomorrow. Today was their first full lunch run. Pastitsio is huge *but that is normally the case*

                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    I love octopus salad, and Lulu loves olives and feta. But I really do want my first shot at it to be at dinner. Hmmm. So much to think about - probably won't sleep well mulling over the choices. But that is actually a good thing and I really do appreciate everyone's help. We're lucky to have such a friendly bunch on the SE board.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Well my friend I agreed the space was lovely. I had never been in that building and he hadn't been since it was Pyewacket and couldn't recall what it was like back then. They also have a bakery and small bar. The octopus salad is a charred leg on top of mixed greens and capers and potatoes (I think they were) with a quartered hard cooked (someone taught me it is never hard boiled) egg.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    I was quite pleasantly surprised by Venable. I wasn't expecting much and loved the place! Sandwhich is a solid choice as well.
                    The new Carrboro pizza place next to Elmo's is good. Finally, there's always The Pig. They had a Vietnamese pork cheek sandwich that was wonderful on the Specials board recently.

                    Sorry, I don't know if Dane's is open early afternoon...

                    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                      It's Dame's, short for Damien, the owner.

                      1. re: bbqme

                        Of course it is. Thanks for the correction.

                3. re: LulusMom

                  Have you been to Mad Hatters in Durham? I used to love the place when I was at Duke. Their lunch/dinner menu is served from 11am-9pm.

                  madhatterbakeshop.com/menu/dinner/

                4. I have a bad habit of skipping lunch, so this window (2:30-5:30) is a pretty frequent concern.

                  NanaTaco was my first thought before I noticed the geography (we seem to only eat there at 3pm). Others in order of occurrence: Sandwhich, Neal's Deli, Carrburritos, IP3...

                  So mostly sandwiches, apparently.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: brokegradstudent

                    Cholanad is open and they serve their dinner menu for lunch. You can get wine;-)

                    1. re: Rory

                      Another great idea, although we are headed there next week so might be over-saturating Lulu's Indian market.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        Gourmet Kingdom, Korchipi Korean pizza, Kipos (?)

                        1. re: Rory

                          GK is a great idea, but we were just there on Tuesday. Trying to save my first time at Kipos for the husband although ... she loves Greek food too. Hmmm. To save or not to save, that is the question.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I *think* GK closes between lunch and dinner. Could be wrong.

                            1. re: brokegradstudent

                              The one thing I know is that they are closed for lunch on Tuesdays.

                    2. re: brokegradstudent

                      I usually skip lunch too, but more because if I have it I tend to fall asleep, and we eat dinner pretty early given Lulu's bedtime. I hadn't thought of Carrburirtos at all, and had no idea that Sandwhich was open all afternoon. Those are good ideas and much appreciated. Occurred to me that possibly Venable is open all afternoon - going to check on that too, but otherwise will go with one of your ideas. Table service is a big plus, which I guess puts Carrburritos at the bottom of the list. Thank you so much.

                    3. I know The Pig is open then. In Durham, Parker & Otis is open and they have an interesting candy section, including a lot of nostalgia candy, so you can let her pick a treat for being a good girl.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bbqme

                        She got 2 books yesterday for being a good girl. She was so excited that it wasn't just one.

                        I've always wanted to go to Parker and Otis. Going to check the menu. Since I'm not a pork eater, the Pig isn't really top of my list. We tried it once and I think that was probably enough.

                        And thanks everyone! I really appreciate the suggestions.

                      2. For Durham Guglhupf serves lunch until 4:30. They do have table service and a bar!

                        http://guglhupf.com/cafe/reservations/

                        I've only had coffee and pastries but the food looked quite good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: meatn3

                          Good rec, the food is equally good.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            +2 for Guglhupf - the food is very good and the wine and beer list very interesting.

                          2. L'uva Enoteca is one of our favorite places. I believe they're open all day until they close in the evening. If you're there when they offer dinner menu, and I don't know when that starts, they have half orders of pasta that might be just the right size for Lulu. I am also a pushover for any of the fish dishes there.