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Mattie B's Opens in Hope Valley Commons in Durham

b
burgeoningfoodie Aug 30, 2013 07:24 AM

From the creator of Six Plates in Durham.. bar and small plates (I think). In the old Alfredo's spot in Southpoint area.

http://mattiebs.com/

  1. t
    thessalian Sep 4, 2013 01:31 PM

    Had lunch yesterday. Prices are a bit whack. Had a greens salad (basically a side salad) and an order of sweet potato fries and ended up paying $16. The sweet potato fries were ok, but less good than the ones you get up the street at Williams's (with butter and cinnamon on the side) for half the price. I'm going to give them another shot since neither of those items are their specialties, but given that I will be paying in excess of G2B prices for a burger and fries, the burger had dang well better exceed G2B's, which I consider to be the best around here. I was really psyched when I learned about this place, but I'm not sure the prices are supportable. They certainly won't compete with the office lunch crowd here with William's and Meridian Cafe relatively close.

    7 Replies
    1. re: thessalian
      t
      thessalian Sep 5, 2013 05:57 AM

      Follow up: tried again for dinner last night. I really want to be excited about this place, but it's not working out so far. My companion was fine with his pizza, although it looked about the same as the pizza when the place was Alfredo's.

      I got a burger and a small order of chips, and that's where we lose the plot. I think by 'homemade chips' I was expecting to receive freshly-cooked, warm, intact potato chips, like they used to serve at Sunset Grille. However, it looks like they pre-cook the chips and then store them in big buckets (you can see them on the counter behind the cash register), so what you really get is a couple of handfuls of cold, slightly greasy potato chip fragments with more cold (in my case--the Durham one) toppings on top. I saw this described in a Yelp review but figured that person had just been unlucky--no, it seems to be the norm. The burger ($9 with no sides) was completely meh, unlike the one you can get down the street at William's for $5. (Or Only Burger, or G2B, or whatever, depending on how close you want to get to/exceed a ten-dollar burger). (I should mention that I am a meat eater and a burger purist--I think the burger and bun should be delicious WITHOUT piling on a bunch of random toppings. William's and G2B manage that just fine.)

      As mentioned elsewhere, they are using lemon-flavored iced tea from mix, not brewed, which is a very weird choice in this town. With tip I paid $18 for a small, chewy/overcooked burger, half an order of cold potato chip shards, and a diet pepsi.

      The worst part is that this place is making me use my favorite secret, William's, as a point of comparison. :)

      I'm not going to write this up on any actual review sites, because I really do want to support local restaurants, but they have to either step up the food or lower the prices.

      1. re: thessalian
        LulusMom Sep 5, 2013 06:09 AM

        Well written review - you've made it clear what was wrong at the place. Those potato chips sound worse than worthless. What a shame. Hope they pick it up a notch.

        1. re: thessalian
          b
          Bearnaised Dec 4, 2013 01:07 PM

          completely agree, overpriced, the light from kitchen is way too bright, get a divider or some tinted windows.
          It wants to be street with its graffiti and fare but the prices are srsly gouging and rude. $24+tip for a single burger and 1 beer? what?!

          sad because I love 6plates, Hopefully Mattie will shift directions with this pub

        2. re: thessalian
          b
          burgeoningfoodie Sep 9, 2013 07:18 AM

          Okay. Good to know. I see Williams everytime I go to the library but don't know if it is worth it and what for. I also know about Meridian but haven't been though I'm not usually around during the weekday for lunch and can't recall, as I'm writing this, if they have weekend hours.

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie
            t
            thessalian Sep 9, 2013 08:22 AM

            William's is a good inexpensive/"local" joint with some surprisingly creative specials. They're closed Sundays. Meridian is strictly M-F lunch, RTP business crowd, cafeteria style, also good specials. I just think between the two, Matties is unlikely to siphon off much of the local lunch crowd that doesn't want to do chain options.

          2. re: thessalian
            k
            ksbee Sep 11, 2013 08:22 AM

            I was (and still am) excited about this place opening, as I live the area. Even though as stated in the previous posts, it's "another upscale hamburger joint," I keep looking for one that will cheerfully cook my burger medium rare. I got take-out last night, and the counter person didn't flinch when I asked for medium rare. My experience had some ups and downs, but was overall positive. One of my minor complaints is as thessalian stated above, the prices are kind of all over the place. Two of us ordered a Caesar salad to split (the dressing is phenomenal, but the parmesan cheese was left off), a Mattie Melt (very good) and a Smokey Pig. I asked to add carmelized onions to the Smokey Pig - I got a regular burger with carmelized onions, sans the smoked goat cheese and bacon that is billed to come on the Smokey Pig. Both burgers were cooked perfectly, and were very good, I think better than City Beverage's. We also got an order of fries and onion rings. we could have certainly split the fries or the onion rings, as both orders were very large, but our bill came to $42.00! I knew it would be high, but it did kind of take me by surprise, and especially as I didn't get the right toppings on the Smokey Pig. Also, both burgers did come with a handful of the chips - I don't know if that was a mis-que from the kitchen, or normal, as I thought they were all alacarte, and I concur with many of the other posters that the chips are very underwhelming-cold and greasy, and looked like they were cooked in weeks old oil. Overall, I hope they iron the wrinkles out, as I will certainly give them another chance as the burgers were so good.

            1. re: ksbee
              t
              ToothTooth Dec 4, 2013 08:23 AM

              Unbelievably, yet another damned burger place is opening in Durham. The Herald Sun says something called "Smashburger" is coming to Pavilion East on Erwin Road near Duke Hospital.

              http://www.heraldsun.com/business/the...

          3. a
            anne7134 Sep 4, 2013 05:45 AM

            We ate there last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. We are very happy to have this option in SW Durham. We had the salt and vinegar potato chips, hot wings and salads.

            The chips were delicious - light, not greasy, great vinegar flavor, huge salt crystals. We had it with the guava cayenne sauce which was slightly spicy and nicely sweet. The wings were plump and juicy and peppery, but I wish there had been more wing sauce on them. The ones at the bottom of the bowl were better than the ones on the top because of the sauce that those got to soak in. I had a mixed greens salad, which was nothing particularly special, but was appropriately dressed (without too much dressing) and had good lettuce and apples. My husband had a cheese laden caesar salad that was delicious primarily due to the pickled shallots.

            They had a great beer selection and very conscientious staff. We look forward to going back, particularly as they refine their food presentation.

            My only major quibble is with the TVs in the restaurant. I really don't like TVs where I eat, but they were appropriate for the style/decor. This is just my personal preference.

            17 Replies
            1. re: anne7134
              t
              ToothTooth Sep 4, 2013 07:28 AM

              I suppose I'm glad to have this non-chain option in the area, but I really hope that we don't see any more "fancy" burger/pizza joints open around here. Lately, it seems like you can't throw a rock in any direction without hitting one of them. When it comes right down to it, I consider those "gastro-burger" and "elite-pizza" types of restaurants pretty boring because I can make a really bad ass pizza or burger at home. Because of that fact, I never really consider these types of restaurants when I'm trying to decide where to have lunch or dinner.

              Best of luck to them, but I'll likely go to Six Plates many more times before I ever consider going to Mattie's.

              1. re: ToothTooth
                b
                burgeoningfoodie Sep 4, 2013 08:55 AM

                I understand that. Especially with 2 more Super Burger places coming. I think some restaurants are forgetting the KISS rule. It is one of the reasons why I enjoyed Mojo's in raleigh the first time I went.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                  LulusMom Sep 4, 2013 10:15 AM

                  I'll bite: what is the KISS rule?

                  1. re: LulusMom
                    t
                    ToothTooth Sep 4, 2013 10:43 AM

                    Keep It Simple, Stupid.

                    Though, I'd argue that it doesn't get much simpler than burgers and pizza and the KISS concept is being overdone in that regard. Still, I'd love to see a simple and focused Vietnamese restaurant somewhere in the Triangle.

                    1. re: ToothTooth
                      LulusMom Sep 4, 2013 11:04 AM

                      Oh me too. Lime and Basil really doesn't hit the spot for me, sorry to say.
                      And thanks for the KISS explanation. Should have figured that one out on my own.

                      1. re: ToothTooth
                        b
                        burgeoningfoodie Sep 4, 2013 11:28 AM

                        Right and some burgers are able to pull of the toppings galore but most just lose the flavor of the burger in the "Look what I can put on it" category.

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                          c
                          chazzer Sep 9, 2013 07:19 AM

                          It is just not the "Loot what I can put on it" issue I have with many of the places, it is that the burgers themselves are under seasoned, tasteless and of poor quality. But everyone is happy that there is a lot of stuff on a bad burger.

                        2. re: ToothTooth
                          d
                          D R C Sep 5, 2013 04:22 AM

                          Simple focused Vietnamese - nice description. The one time we ate there a few weeks ago, Taste Vietnamese Cuisine in Morrisville pretty much fit the bill, although I didn't think it was any better than Lime and Basil, which we've also enjoyed. I've heard they sometimes get slammed at lunch by the RTP crowd so would recommend dinner there the first time you go. Limited menu with good execution, and a couple of things like nice Vietnamese desserts you don't see everywhere.

                          By the way here is a Chowhound challenge - can anyone name a location in the triangle with a better and more diverse selection of good ethnic places than Morrisville Square where this is? In addition to Taste Vietnamese, there is C&T Wok (traditional Chinese / Taiwanese), Tower Indian (southern Indian vegetarian), and Sol Azteca Mexican.

                          1. re: D R C
                            b
                            burgeoningfoodie Sep 9, 2013 07:16 AM

                            The South Square area comes pretty close.

                            1. re: D R C
                              t
                              ToothTooth Sep 9, 2013 07:31 AM

                              I've eaten at Taste a few times and I always find it to be lacking compared to Lime and Basil. In fact, Lime and Basil has the best bahn mi the Durham/Chapel Hill area and their vermicelli dishes are much better than at Taste. Saigon Grill in Durham gets my vote for best vermicelli dishes in the Triangle.

                              To answer your earlier question, Chatham Square in Cary has the most diverse selection of ethnic food choices in the Triangle.

                        3. re: burgeoningfoodie
                          d
                          durhamois Sep 10, 2013 08:55 AM

                          Seriously, more burger places? What are they, and where? I think I saw that one was opening at Southpoint. Where is the other?

                          1. re: durhamois
                            k
                            ksbee Sep 10, 2013 09:58 AM

                            The one in Southpoint will be Zinburger, and Towne Hall Burger and Beer is going in behind Bonefish Grill on 751. That is if they ever get open - seems like they have been underconstruction for ever.

                            1. re: ksbee
                              t
                              ToothTooth Sep 12, 2013 06:55 AM

                              Let's not forget about the new Elevation Burger restaurant that just recently opened in Brier Creek. In case you don't know where it is located, its not far from the friggin' Red Robin hamburger joint in Brier Creek. HAW HAW HAW!

                              1. re: ToothTooth
                                r
                                rockycat Sep 12, 2013 07:05 AM

                                Note to the lemming restauranteurs of the Triangle: The overpriced, overglammed burger trend is yesterday's news, as is the not-really-Irish-but-we'll-call-it-that-anyway Irish pubs that have opened on every corner.

                                Time to move on to the next fad which will have all of you opening scads of the same themed restos in batches.

                                Cynical much? Yeah.

                                1. re: rockycat
                                  b
                                  boaviagem Sep 12, 2013 11:38 AM

                                  Is there a restaurant in the Triangle that serves lemming? I've heard it is delicious and low in cholesterol.

                                  If it catches on soon we will be able to get lemming cue (cooked slow and low over a wood fire), lemming parmesean, corned lemming and cabbage, General Tso's lemming, lemming (sushi) roll, lemming tacos and burritos, lemon lemmingschnitzel, and lemming on a stick. Maybe even some organic free-range lemming.

                            2. re: durhamois
                              b
                              burgeoningfoodie Sep 10, 2013 01:12 PM

                              Yeah its getting to be like the dearth of supermarket options.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                LulusMom Sep 10, 2013 01:59 PM

                                I'm pretty much fed up with Harris Teeter at this point. In the past 3 weeks I've gotten two pre-cut fruit containers, and both were well ahead of their sell-by date and yet were completely "off" by the next morning. I complained about it this week and the guy just kind of shrugged and told me that they don't cut the fruit there. Then I talked to the (very honest and helpful) guy at the bread section. I'd gotten some burger buns and they were fine when I bought them. 3 days later they were hard as rocks. He says sitting under the lights is really bad for the bread and to look for ones that aren't on top - he also said they won't allow him to throw away stuff he can tell is turning.

                      2. l
                        LBD Sep 2, 2013 09:00 AM

                        I stopped by Saturday night to grab a slice of pizza, really really good. Thin, the bottom was crispy and the sauce was more savory than sweet which I like.

                        Went back last night with the family to further sample the menu. The burgers were also really good. we ordered a small pizza as well. It was good but the crust while still nice and crispy on the bottom was thicker and doughier than their by the slice offering that I had the night before. It also could have stood to stay in the oven about five more minutes. If you like your cheese browned and bubbly I'd ask for well done.

                        I'm not a beer guy but they seem to have a huge selection.

                        The only criticism I would offer is to get rid of the instant Brisk iced tea for fresh brewed.

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