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Saigon Grill for dinner...well worth the wait.

I just had lunch there the other day, and am VERY glad I did.

I had the pho, and it was very good; I also had the pork and shrimp spring rolls, and they were even better. Both were very reasonably priced, and the large order of pho was huge.

I've had tastier Vietnamese food (my pho was a bit on the bland side), but not by much. I'd say SG's ingredients are some of the freshest I've ever eaten; very crisp/fresh veggies, very "fresh-tasting" meat (especially the seafood), and great service.

They seem to feel that their business is a bit "down" right now from what I gather, so I'd say get over there and get some great food if you haven't already.

I've always loved 9N9, but SG is much closer to me, so SG will definitely get my repeat business..

Jun 18, 2009
Rand in General South Archive

Truffle oil

Thanks, y'all; I figured either Southern Season (I almost keep typing in Southern States... which I'm pretty sure doesn't carry truffle oil!) or Whole Foods would carry it. Glad to hear HT's was at least usable, as I didn't think a "regular" grocery store would even carry it.

Thanks again!

Mar 06, 2009
Rand in General South Archive

Truffle oil

Anybody know a good brand of and a good place to get truffle oil from locally (i.e. the NC Triangle area, specifically, Chapel Hill/Durham if possible)?

How's A Southern Season's selection? Trader Joe's perhaps?

thanks!

Mar 04, 2009
Rand in General South Archive

looking for authentic Chinese restaurants in the Triangle are

Overall, my favorite is Hong Kong on Guess Road in Durham. They even have good Dim Sum!

Dec 27, 2008
Rand in Southeast

where can I buy good stone ground grits?

There are a few good brands out there, but hands-down, Anson Mills is the VERY best. I'm not sure where they're sold retail, though, as the mill hq doesn't. Sure, they are a bit pricey, but in my opinion very worth it, especially for special occasions.

Dec 27, 2008
Rand in Southeast
1

More about Mint in Chapel Hill

I ate dinner there last night; the food was really good to me, much better than most Indian restaurants I've eaten at (although I'm not an Indian food connoisseur unfortunately). They are a bit pricey, however, in my opinion. I had a vegetarian thali, and it was $17 (the meat thali was $19). The thali had a lot of food (I was stuffed!), plus it came with a small rice pudding. A sitar player was playing, and he was good, and set the mood. The interior of the restaurant is attractive, and the staff is good and properly attentive.

Nov 30, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Triangle: Need A Local Country Ham

I'd check with Eliza MacLean at Cane Creek Farm; I heard she's got someone working on curing some Ossabaw hams... but they won't be ready for quite awhile :(

BUT, she'll definitely know where to get a good one locally or semi-locally, fer sure

(and/or, ask Andrea at the Lantern in Chapel Hill)

Nov 18, 2008
Rand in Southeast

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

Personally, I like Bill's Hot Dogs in [Little] Washington, NC. I used to like the Carolina dog served at King's in Durham, NC, but alas they closed down awhile ago. The Riverside in Hillsborough, NC, utilizes the chili recipe for an old hot dog place that was in downtown Durham (Amos & Andy's), and Bob Garner (of bbq and NC foodie fame) gave their hot dog a good review awhile back.

Nov 18, 2008
Rand in Southeast

New board suggestion

I read the "About Suggestions for New Boards," so I understand that new boards won't be created for awhile, but would like to suggest a new board for whenever boards are added:

I'd like to see a "Carolinas" board within the South subsection...

Thanks!

Nov 18, 2008
Rand in Site Talk

Authentic Italian in the Triangle?

My favorite's La Russa in Meadowmont in Chapel Hill (near Brixx across from the Friday Center). It's inexpensive and has great pasta.

Nov 17, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Okay Le Creuset, Defend Yourself

LeC is amazing...but it is quite expensive. I recently looked around the Internet for reviews (like on Amazon) on the Lodge enamelled ware, and the upper-quality Lodge enamelled ware gets really good ratings. Places like Target and WalMart also sell the line, at about the same price that Amazon does. Target's cheap (non-Lodge) enamelled ware gets a general thumbs down, though.

Lodge has, unfortunately in my opinion, somewhat recently begun to have some of their ware made in China. They state that they maintain strict quality control, though.

I couldn't find any LeC for a price I could afford, so I went with the Lodge; but if you can EVER find LeC at a very inexpensive price, for the God of Cookware's sake BUY IT!!!

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Cookware

Drip or Percolator?

It's too bad you don't like French press... that and pour-over is the best way to brew coffee imho. I've also had good results with a friend's Braun "vacuum" cofee maker in the past.

The burr grinder I bought was under $50, and has worked great. It's a Cuisinart DBM-8. like it much better than all the burr grinders under $200 I've tried so far.

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Cookware

Non-stick frying pan suggestion?

Cook's Magazine had a review awhile back (within the last two years), you may want to check with them (they also have a website)

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Cookware

anything decent in Burlington NC?

Regarding bbq in the immediate area, A&M in nearby Mebane is very much still open, and their cue is pretty good (but used to be better). Hursey's is better imho, and it does appear as if it's cooked over wood, as there are non-decorative slabs of hickory outside and piles of wood ashes. they have two locations now, one on the south side of 85/40, and one on the north side (somewhat near downtown on Church). The one north of 85/40 is the older one.

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Recommendations for Chapel Hill

I've always considered 411 to be for "food rookies" (although their specials tend to be better than the rest of their seemingly 15+ year old menu), and mama Dip's is overrated; but many others' suggestions are spot on. Definitely for dessert go to Locopops, or, a bit further out of town (towards Hillsborough from Carrboro,on Dairyland Road), go to the "main" Maple View Farm ice cream store... the view is amazing. Kids love either place (but what kid doesn't love dessert?!).

A few other places I'd recommend is Neal's Deli in Carrboro, and La Russa in Meadowmont. La Russa has the best Italian food I've had in the South for the price. I believe they get their past from NYC.

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Must-Try Restaurants in Raleigh, NC

I'm not super-familiar with Raleigh's better restaurants, but two I like are:

Hard Times cafe on Greenwood Ave. (they have great chili dishes, imho)
and
Zely and Ritz (http://www.zelyandritz.com)

Aug 03, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Rock Hill, SC recommendations?

Went to Carlo's about a week ago (based on recommendations via a friend from this board), and had a very good experience. Had the [yes, typical] Cuban sandwich -- which is the best one I've ever had -- and the rice pudding for dessert. The people working there (including the owner) were all extremely nice and the service was good. The prices are very reasonable, too.

Jul 17, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Restaurants in New Bern, NC

BTW

don't eat at the restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel; you get horrible service paired with horrible food, and then for dessert they usually attempt to overcharge you (at least that's how it was one or two years ago when I last stayed there)

Jul 17, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Breakfast in Wilmington, NC

DEFINITELY Dixie Grill!

Jul 16, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Restaurants in New Bern, NC

A few suggestions are:

Baker's Square (downtown on Middle Street) and Pete & Nikki's Sandwich Shop (it may have a new name now) on Pollock Street are greatly liked by the locals I know.

Jul 16, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Need Reccos for downtown Columbia SC next weekend

Food related, but not a restaurant or eatery, is Anson Mills off Gervais Street; their products are so amazing I can hardly even type this post without drooling. I found their rice grits to be beyond exceptional. If you can buy any of their products while in Columbia, for Pete's sake do so (their mill location doesn't sell retail, however).

http://www.ansonmills.com

Jul 16, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Charleston SC: Okay, so where's the GOOD low country food?

Dunno if it's up and running again after their fire from years ago (I'm assuming it is), but Bowen Island Restaurant is just one of those "must go" places...

http://www.bowensislandrestaurant.com

Jul 16, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Sandwhich's future?

I hope it doesn't close... losing 3 Cups makes the Courtyard less appealing to visit as it is...

By the way, I heard a rumor that 3 Cups is moving to the shopping center where Charlie's used to be (around the corner from Whole Foods)

Jul 11, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Great Triangle Thai? Durham, NC

Thai Palace in Chapel Hill is pretty mediocre; I prefer Lime and Basil on Franklin Street.

Jul 11, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Bleak prospects : Good food in the mountains of NC?

My favorite place in [downtown] Asheville is Early Girl; it serves very well-made local fare. Downtown Asheville isn't very RV-friendly, though (somewhat narrow streets, parking issues), so if you don't have a smaller vehicle for cruising around, I'd watch the heart rate...

http://www.earlygirleatery.com

Jul 11, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

South Estes farmer's market, Chapel Hill

Well, the county didn't dink them around, the lady who runs the "Hillsborough Farmers' Market" dinked them (and everybody) around; she refused to resolve the problems between her and the [now-named] "Farmers of Orange" who operate at the Estes Farmers Market; the county paid $ to arbitrate between the two groups, but she wouldn't budge... so they just moved

So for awhile, Hillsborough pretty much had three farmers' markets!

I prefer the Orange County Farmers Market, by the way... it's run much better (although with tax payers' $).

Jul 01, 2008
Rand in Southeast

ISO Chef who's into Farmers Markets--in NC, SC, GA or AL

Andrea at Lantern in Chapel Hill: http://lanternrestaurant.com

The Barkers at Magnolia Grill in Durham: http://www.magnoliagrill.net

Bill Smith at Crook's in Chapel Hill: http://www.crookscorner.com

Panciutto's in Hillsborough

are DEFINITES

Jul 01, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

South Estes farmer's market, Chapel Hill

It was a break-off faction from the Hillsborough Farmers' Market...

Carrboro's market, while in my opinion the best in the area, has little to no parking; the U. Mall parking lot is huge (and free). The "rich folks" at Southern Season will probably be good customers, at least $-wise.

A Sunday market would be cool, but I guess the farmers gotta take at least one day [partially] off! Most if not all local markets are open Saturdays and Wednesdays, but the new Orange County Farmers Market (at the Public Market House in downtown Hillsborough) is open Tuesdays now.

links:
http://projects.newsobserver.com/taki...
http://orangencfarmersmarket.org/inde...

Jun 27, 2008
Rand in Southeast

Hilton Head, SC, area recommendations?

I haven't been there in a year or so myself, but a few cool places at the time to grab a drink are at the tiki bar at the Holiday Inn and the Big Bamboo Café down/up the road about 1/4-1/2 mile away.

Jun 25, 2008
Rand in General South Archive

Wilmington Suggestions

you just gotta go to Dixie Grill (on lower Market St., near Front St.) for breakfast!

Jun 25, 2008
Rand in General South Archive