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Authentic szechwan option in Durham

Second the motion on the dumplings in red chili oil. I almost DID eat the entire serving of sauteed green beans. Amazing dish. I had the fish fillet with peppers -- ate all the green ones, only could manage two of the red ones! Wife had the crispy duck. This was a whole half a duck, enough left over to combine with some pho broth for dinner the next night. So much more to try. The Asian students with Duke sweatshirts and tees at adjacent tables were having large bowls of goodies.

On the small plates: it appears that the norm for those around us was that one should move a bit of stuff from the serving plate/bowl to one's rice bowl, and go from there. We asked for plates, and got two small plates delivered. I don't know why we bothered.

It was all good. Will return with a group. So much to try, so much to learn.

Feb 16, 2012
igopogo in Southeast

Eastern NC cheese biscuits

For the past several months I've been buying NC cheese biscuits, with the sharp hoop type cheese baked into the biscuit dough, in Chapel Hill! The Meat Market sells them in packages of a dozen small ones ready to reheat. They are produced by Lit'l Taste of Heaven in Monroe NC. See litltasteofheaven.com

Feb 10, 2012
igopogo in Southeast

Favorite soup in Durham or Chapel Hill, NC?

The lentil soup at Mediterra Grill in Durham is as close to this glorious soup as I remember it from Turkey, quite unlike other lentil soups around here (except that Tallulah's comes close). The clam chowder at Nantucket Grill is one of my standbys as is the Kim Chee soup at Chosun OK. Of course Min Ga's soups are all quite wonderful. The Caldo de Mares at Fiesta Grill is really special. 9N9's Pho Tai is a destination comfort soup. I'm still looking looking for Thai soups better than my current favorite, the Beef Noodle soup at Bangkok 54. (Falconbridge).

Jan 06, 2012
igopogo in Southeast

ISO Toulouse sausage in the Triangle

I've bought these at Southern Season in the past. BUT, since the ownership change, some of the inventory items have disappeared. They have a smaller variety, though it is still large. I'd call them to see if they are in stock -- they have appeared sometimes in the display cases with the pate, and sometimes in the refrigerator section with the dry sausage. The Fresh Market in Chapel Hill carries very little along these lines.

Jan 02, 2012
igopogo in Southeast

Farm fresh eggs in Durham

Next door to the Country Store on Farrington Road (near Creekside Elementary School) in Durham you'll see a driveway with a sign for Farm Fresh Brown Eggs. The farm is up that driveway.

Aug 09, 2011
igopogo in Southeast

Dining near South Point or between there and Chapel Hill?

Lunch today at MinGa, the Korean/Japanese place that replaced Sushiyoshi (?) at 116 Old Durham Road, Chapel Hill behind the Blue Cross building. Spectacular food, nice people, around 16 folks there for lunch today when I was there. The Kimchi Jige, my go to calibration for new Korean places, was impeccable. Broth fiery, kim chi nicely prepared, wonderful silky tofu, and a collection of condiments quite unlike Chosun-Ok. Service a bit slow for me, as I arrived after a large group, but the chef came out to talk with that table's Korean hosts, and they were praising her to the skies. I watched the dishes they were having as they arrived, and the presentation was so nice I'm coming back with more friends so we can share!
P.S. They're on Facebook, and they have free WiFi.

Aug 04, 2011
igopogo in Southeast

Cypress on the Hill closes (Chapel Hill)

Continuing, FYI. Today's Chapel Hill News has as their lead article a story on tow trucks in CH, and the mess that towing+parking unavailability is producing for businesses like restaurants (e.g. Lime and Basil). The letters page is also full of letters on this, including one from someone who was towed while dining at Cypress, saying that CH is too difficult to visit for such celebratory dining.

Jul 31, 2011
igopogo in Southeast

Cypress on the Hill closes (Chapel Hill)

That's not been my experience. Twice in the past six months the valet parking near The Lantern has turned me away with "We're full'. There was no parking on the street anywhere near there. Once I let my passengers out and walked eight blocks against doctor's orders. The other time we just went home and cooked. I was ticketed in a lot for being five minutes overtime going to Lime and Basil. Going to The Mint requires a lot of quarters, and at 15 minutes per quarter, one has to judge ones meal pace well. The zoo that is parking behind Vimalya's means that take out dining needs parking fees. Though I'm pleased to hear that others have little trouble with Chapel Hill on-street or valet parking for dinner (really, on Saturday evening?) near the Lantern, Elaine's, Tallulah's, and the Mint, my experience has been very different.

Jul 27, 2011
igopogo in Southeast

Cypress on the Hill closes (Chapel Hill)

Thanks, Chapel Hill Town Council. Look at all the nice cars, BMWs, Porsches, Benzs, Lexuses parked near Magnolia Grill, Nana's, Four Square and so on in Durham. How many parking meters in Chapel Hill? Let me count them -- oh, as many as there are stars in the heavens. Look at all those meter maids and tow trucks and angry parking lot owners of vacant parking lots. Let's ask how being bicycle friendly and oh-so-green and begger-friendly translates into selling high-end restaurant meals. Then let's make reservations at a nice place in Durham. These days, even the Durham Farmer's Market is better than Carrboro's, and you can park your car too! As an AARP person, why would I ever take myself to downtown Chapel Hill for shopping, and I live in Chapel Hill and have since the1960s.

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Four Square Restaurant
2701 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham, NC 27707

Farmer's Market Cafe
63 Chattahoochee St, Helen, GA 30545

Jul 26, 2011
igopogo in Southeast