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New Chef at The Federal

A friend told me that she ate at the Fed recently and that things just weren't as good as usual. She asked the waiter if something was up and he told her there is a new chef. Anyone been lately? Was the food as good as usual or was this just an anomaly? I love that place and would hate to see the quality go down. Maybe the chef is just getting his/her sea legs?

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  1. Dropped in there last weekend to watch a little World Cup while drinking some beer. The aroma of those garlic fries got me so I got an order. It came out in a massive clump, stuck together so that some were overcooked while others where flaccid from being undercooked. Not a good sign.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bbqme

      I've got a sad, sinking feeling ...

      1. re: LulusMom

        I'd recommend we Give the place and chef a bit of time to get his or her feet wet before writing it off. The Fed has been a Durham fixture for years.

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

          Agreed. Just wondered if others had had the same experience as my friend. I will probably hold off going there for a while, and would love to hear what people think of visits there in the next month or so. She was pretty adamant that things she's used to getting (she took her family and had raved about certain items) were very disappointing.

    2. I've been once before this new chef and wasn't impressed. It just looks like a sad college hang out that missed getting a spot on Franklin or 9th st. The food was... crap I don't even remember what I had.

      3 Replies
      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

        You missed out then. I can't imagine what you ordered, but I think pretty much everything I've ever had at The Fed has been way beyond the usual pub grub.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Agreed. And they've always been especially child-friendly.

        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

          I've been eating at The Fed for years and my food experiences from the specials menu have ranged from phenomenal to average. Never anything bad. The standard food menu is always just that. Standard. Good, pub food and very reliable.

        3. How recent are we talking about? I last ate there about two months ago, and the food was still as good as ever. I had a fried chicken special.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PGDinDurham

            I don't have the exact date, but I think it was in the past 2-3 weeks. I believe I ate there within the past 2 months too, and it was as good as ever then.

          2. I stopped by Federal today for lunch and things seem to be just fine. It does appear that the kitchen crew is new, but I had the veggie sliders and they were as good as always. More importantly the fries were still the best in town. Please go and support it. Durham and the triangle in general lack bars/restaurants that last long enough to be considered institutions. Here's hoping in 20 years The Fed will still be around.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chops

              Great to hear. While I disagree on the fries (I'm more a Vin Rouge fan myself) I do think the Fed has some of the best bar/pub food I've had. I loved the previous veggie sliders - the lentil with gruyere and avocado.