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chili367's Profile

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Rare Burgers in Durham?

it would be nice to compile a list of these places around the triangle. there are quite a few places you wouldn't expect who grind their own and can cook it as you wish.

Aug 31, 2009
chili367 in Southeast

Fine Dining WITHOUT the Southern Hospitality: Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina

1) with everyone moving into duke and unc this is not the best time to dine at most locations in chapel hill or durham. the barkers are also out of town in august most years -- not an excuse but "it is".
2) i've eaten at magnolia plenty of times and from the bar with a good view of the floor -- those seats will fill up and are booked, they are careful with their reservation planning. given how loud it can be there you should be thankful of that -- they could generate many more covers by cramping the reservations.
3) i'm surprised they didn't swap out the entree -- that was a poor decision by the floor management
4) they've been around for a couple of years -- i suspect the cleaning procedures have some thought behind them

i'm sorry you didn't do more research on magnolia grill. i see you are a somewhat prolific poster -- the pros and cons of magnolia (noisy and "trafficked" seating are the two main ones) have been well discussed here and other places. you could have requested quieter seating in the "back" dining area. your opening shot at "fine food in a nice atmosphere" i think shows the lack of research or executing upon whatever research was done.

i'm very sorry for the poor treatment your mother received. i think a phone call or letter to ben barker would be more appropriate than trashing a very good restaurant on an online message board, though. i think you have a legitimate complaint about that treatment, but the tone of the rest of your post and the conclusion are a bit over the top. you basically have a very legitimate beef with the floor manager -- but you don't mention once the rest of the dining experience.

i love magnolia and the food, but i've counseled more than one person/couple/group when choosing a special event restaurant in the area to strongly consider that the atmosphere is not "intimate" -- it is a bit loud and busy.

congratulations on graduating from the "right school", though.

Aug 31, 2009
chili367 in Southeast

Where to find good corned beef hash in Chapel Hill/Durham?

the best corned beef hash (and i, like you, enjoy a good, homemade product) is, when they have it, at the barbecue joint in chapel hill. i had a serving for lunch and ended up having a very light dinner -- just excellent and an ample portion.

it's been a while, but i believe that carolina coffee shop/501 diner (same owner, or was) do a good corned beef hash, too.

i'm sure there are other hidden jems on the westside -- though i can assure you that, at this time, you can skip hillsborough for that dish :)

Moore's BBQ, Kenly, NC

chuck, if you are looking for true Q places to be open on sundays in the south, you are going to be very, very disappointed in the long run.

What happened to Spice and Curry????

a good indian restaurant in chapel hill would do very well, i think. there does need to be an upgrade from the existing selections. darbar -- that was a while ago!

Durham Tailgate Food

if you're staying at the hilton then bullock's is really close and hog heaven isn't that far away. bullock's is teeming with duke fans, so you won't feel too out of place there :)

Anyone tried Rockwood Filling Station in Durham?

5.50 a pint for those kinds of beers, especially if they have to stock it in the smaller keg format, is about right. folks in hboro complain about those prices but i know that the folks selling 'em aren't making much if anything on those beers at that price ($5 to $5.50 a pint).

Authentic Italian in the Triangle?

i'm not sure that panzanella or pop's (which is very good) is exactly what they are looking for. it certainly wouldn't hurt to try them.

aurora would have been a good recommendation if they were still around.

Authentic Italian in the Triangle?

est, est, est in raleigh was good in it's time. those were the days before downtown was hopping after hours -- just a ghostly drive to try and park as close as you could :)

wasn't there a good place in sanford, run by a woman/family from italy? it's been years since i read about it in the independent.

Best BBQ in Charlotte? First time visit next week [moved from Mid-Atlantic board

drive to lexington and go to lex #1 no matter what else you do.

if that doesn't speed your relocation south i'm not sure what will :)

Panciuto Hillsborough

josephin, there is a bad rumor that i just closed down the WN this morning. i'm sure this isn't true.

but the fried squash, at this time of year, is a great gathering suggestion. i had an excellent BLT this evening -- as long as tomatoes are in season anything with a T is a good choice.

just let me know when the gathering is. there's a good chance i'll be around.

Panciuto Hillsborough

hillsborough wine tastings are, generally, every saturday from 1 to 5. same for their chapel hill branch. they used to have friday evening beer tastings, but those were discontinued a while ago. i do recommend stopping by on saturdays.

i will admit to not ordering off the bandidos or casa ibarra menu in spanish :)

Panciuto Hillsborough

i understand, mikeh. however, i can walk to riverside from where i work :)

i'm not sure the veggies are the standout at the VD, although i'm pretty sure the greens aren't from a can.

just seeing the stacks (literally) of fresh, local tomatoes in the wooden nickel is an awesome sight. not at all what you'd expect in a "bar".

Help - craving corn beef hash in Raleigh!!

i love elmo's but unless things have changed of late they ain't server great hash (canned).

great corned beef hash is very hard to find.

iirc, the owens' folks (501 diner, carolina coffee house) have some good hash. i about went into a food coma on saturday after ordering the hash at the barbecue joint (it's only on the menu rarely).

Panciuto Hillsborough

the service can vary a little at panciuto -- it's almost more a level of comfort for the servers i think as much as anything. the original crew they had was better and more experienced.

as far as the food goes, i've been there at least 5 times and it's been very, very good each time. maybe not every dish was a homerun, but usually 2 out of 3 and sometimes 3 out of 3. it's magnolia grill/nana's level IMHO.

casa ibarra. i'd heard the buzz and finally went a few weeks ago. i'd consider bandido's better, if not by much -- it's certainly not "all that". i wouldn't take out of town guests there.

tupelo's is good, but i fear is struggling with consistency of late.

the quick, if not complete current hboro run down (one man's opinion):

1. panciuto. it's not even close for anything else in the area.
2. gulf rim -- improving upon a solid base
3. wooden nickel -- it's bar food, but often very good bar food. fresh local produce this summer adds a nice touch
4. tupelos -- still good, but missing that extra touch of late
5. saratoga grill -- usually the seafood stands out here.
6. bandidos/casa ibarra -- mostly basic ameri-mex.

about the only others i'd note now are:

riverside -- small meat and three that is solid and hits the occassional exceptional note.
village diner -- it is what it is, but it's a good value and you will be surprised at times with what you find on the buffet
american hero -- greek deli that provides good food at a good price

special shout out for matthew's chocolates (open wed-sun). matthew's doing some very nice things at his small store.

Charlotte Dissed in Bon Appetit's Resto Issue

if i had to offer up one thing that has made chapel hill/durham the food center that it is (and believe me i've very thankful to be able to enjoy it) it would be bill neal. so much of what the area has become can be traced back to bill and moreton's early efforts, the energy they created, and the people it attracted to either move to the chapel hill/durham area or move back after seeing a bit of the world. clearly there has been a lot of effort by many others to continue to move things forward, but i think that was the genesis here.

fwiw, there is very good to great pastrami in chapel hill, just not a true deli. neal's deli and, when they have it, the barbecue joint do a fine pastrami. but yeah there's a need for a real deli at least at one point in the triangle.

Aug 04, 2008
chili367 in Food Media & News

Outer Banks WEdding - HELP!

a friend had a wedding down there last year catered by the duck deli that was very good. it really depends on what you are looking for.

Recommendations for Chapel Hill

i think you are more than a little too hard on franklin st. even top of the hill, which i am not a huge fan of, is really a solid place to eat.

i wasn't aware that breadman's had anything that was "great" :)

you have some excellent out of the way recommendations, but i can think of quite a few places on franklin st (beyond the lantern, which is excellent) i would recommend to anyone. foodies that live in or near chapel hill are very, very fortunate indeed.

Jul 28, 2008
chili367 in Southeast

Wilmington NC - Where do YOU dine?

elizabeth's for good, simple italian dishes. i really like the pizza there.

Looking for inexpensive seafood restaurant- Outer Banks, NC

not sure you're going to find this on the OB, nadine. you're best bet may be to do it yourself -- that's how we eat this style of food when we are on the outer banks.

NC Barbecue Road Trip - need advice

could be, rabbit. could be.

Jul 23, 2008
chili367 in Southeast

Skeeters in Wytheville, Va.

thanks. i'll keep that in mind on my next trip on that stretch of road. i'm always on the lookout for interesting stops on that route.

NC Barbecue Road Trip - need advice

or they were sold out.

Jul 23, 2008
chili367 in Southeast

Our recent trip to the Outer Banks

best bets (as of last season) are:

duck deli (solid Q and good to great sides)
high cotton bbq (good to very good Q and poor to average sides)

duck deli is in, er, duck (not a horrible drive really from KDH) and high cotton is in KH near southern shores.

Jul 21, 2008
chili367 in Southeast

NY Hound new to Raleigh - need recommendations

that post demonstrated a lot more class and tact than i was about ready to, dubedo. thank you.

Give the West Virginia Hot Dog its due

i'm so glad to read the civil discourse on this thread. cough.

hot dogs are big in WV. the love is often for the "red" or "pink" dog. the slaw is *generally* a slightly sweet, slightly mayo heavy, finely chopped version. the chili varies quite a bit, from what most consider a classic, finely ground slightly spicy version to a rather almost runny, gelatinous version. meat is quite optional in the chili. onions often aren't.

the funny thing is that at home i often enjoy ketchup (shaddup, it's not a sausage), mustard, or a combination. however, takeout or eat-in in WV i usually go with chili or chili/onion.

much like with bbq, it's better to enjoy the regional difference rather than argue about which one is "best".

now i'm going to have to get some the next time i'm home. i don't think i'm going to find them 6 for a dollar like i did when i was in high school :)

Jul 21, 2008
chili367 in Mid-Atlantic

Good Chow along I-77 (W. Va-Va)

well that is a tall order.

i am from parkersburg and went to school in marietta, ohio, which is just across the border up from WV. i went to grad school at unc so i have driven that road a lot. i've seen some suggestions for places down in virginia that others might be able to mention again.

in the area around parkersburg and marietta there isn't a whole lot to recommend that is near the interstate. if you want a slightly extended stop there are a few places in marietta that are a few minutes off of the interstate, about a 5-10 minute drive (traffic) off of I-77. the levee house can be nice (it's been a few years since i've been) for lunch. you get a really nice river view from there and the downtown is a lot nicer now than it was when i was in school.

after charleston you are on the turnpike and there is nothing except tamarack until you get to princeton. tamarack is a large, state-run building hosting arts and crafts and food. one restaurant there has been good in the past, alleged to be run by some offshoot of the greenbrier hotel -- my parents have eaten there in the past and been happy with it.

after that it's pretty sparse to wytheville where you'd take 81 to roanoke.

that's a long "no". there used to be several places in parkersburg and marietta i'd recommend but unfortunately they are gone (yielky's, brownie's bakery).

1 special dinner near Duck, NC (Outer Banks)

ocean boulevard
blue point

are generally what we stick to.

there's been a lot of new construction of late, i'm sure others will have suggestions.

Outer Banks, NC

thx for the seamark info!


from what i recall, the Q shack does good st. louis style.

the barbecue joint does good to great ribs. the style varies and they usually only have them on the weekend. varies between pork and beef.

the new shop will have ribs on the menu all of the time, so perhaps more people will get to try them and provide a more representative assessment.

there was a rib competition in durham (somewhere in the triangle) about a year ago. i don't recall the exact results but i think scott howell won with his own entry and the barbecue joint came in 2nd and 4th (or 3rd and 5th). i should try and dig that up.

basically, you can find good ribs in carolina, perhaps not the style you want all the time, and not as consistently as you'd like. at least for now.