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Eating out with a baby-Triangle/Triad NC

Ha. I don't like my children to eat hot dogs, either. In fact, I almost never feed them off the children's menu. But I find the presence of a children's menu indicative that it is fine to bring children along with me. A children's menu also generally means they will have a highchair.

Sep 06, 2012
limona in Southeast

Eating out with a baby-Triangle/Triad NC

While left to my own devices I prefer establishments that are quiet where I can hold a nice conversation, I search for the opposite when dining with a baby. Anywhere with a constant din is easier to take a baby and/or small children. It doesn't have to be a chain. Plenty of trendy places are noisy. Failing a steady din, anywhere you can eat outdoors is usually a win.

I agree with everyone else. After you're done staying home (I think we stayed home three weeks), the early days are the easiest to go to restaurants. Then once you introduce Cheerios, those days aren't bad. A new eater will happy eat one Cheerio a minute for a whole meal.

After that, you need somewhere that is not only noisy, but relatively quick. I can't take my kids to any meal that is two hours, and we rarely make it long enough for dessert anywhere. If I have prepared well, and the meal is reasonably fast, we can have time for a main course with an appetizer and/or dessert. I don't ask for the check when I order, but I do ask for the check as soon as the main course is delivered. I also pay early, in case I suddenly want to leave quickly.

I disagree about indoctrinating and training children to eat out with you. While I am all for training children, my experience has been that they're all different. One of ours was trainable, one of ours IS NOT. Your success (or not) in going out to eat will largely depend on the baby.

We had friends whose baby slept every time they went out to eat. One of our babies cried every time we went out to eat. You'll figure it out! I would suggest restaurants, but I find that anywhere that has a children's menu is a fine place to bring children. Anywhere that doesn't have a children's menu is somewhere that other people patronize specifically to avoid children.

Sep 06, 2012
limona in Southeast

Raleigh, NC North Hills eats/special occasion

My husband and I are parents of young children. Our 10th anniversary is coming up. Against all odds, my parents have agreed to watch the children for a weekend and we're going to stay in a hotel by ourselves for two nights.

We live in Cary, so the Triangle isn't unfamiliar to us, but the hotel we have selected is the Renaissance North Hills. Our goal in selecting this hotel was to not have to drive anywhere for any reason (we normally drive a lot and just want a break-- both from the kids and driving!).

I thought that surely there were plenty of fine restaurants in North Hills, but they all have mixed reviews.

Thoughts on the North Hills dining scene? Where would you go?

Sep 06, 2012
limona in Southeast

Triangle Restaurant Week

I am withholding judgment until they post the menus offered. Right now all the links are broken, which I find disappointing given that the "event" is starting in eight days.

May 09, 2010
limona in Southeast

Grocery Store Fresh Turkeys in RDU

I ordered a fresh turkey from Lowe's Foods that is coming from Tanglewood Farms in Winston-Salem. I really wanted a local turkey. My first preference was Alison Farms, but they weren't offering that at Lowe's.

Hopefully the Tanglewood turkeys are good, but we'll see. I almost just picked up a fresh turkey from Harris Teeter, but decided to order to get the right size.

Nov 20, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Italian near Crabtree Mall, Raleigh

I think Tavola Rossa is probably closest (location-wise). http://www.tavolarossa.com/

And Vincent's is not that far either... The people are nice. The atmosphere is cozy. The food is on the cheap side. BUT every time I go there something goes wrong. Once my calzone came out very cold in the middle. One busy night the the kitchen forgot to put my order together, and my order consisted of already cooked food stored in the counter. And something happened another time, and after that I stopped going there.

Gianni and Gaitano's is open now at Creedmoor just south of Strickland. I would consider that a pretty safe bet, and a straight line drive from the mall.

Oct 16, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Cary, NC - Dinner - lighter fare?

I second Lotus Leaf -- inside seating is better, I think. They do take reservations.

Oct 10, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Tokyo House, Raleigh

Yes, this is Tokyo House in the Celebration shopping center.

Aug 30, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Tokyo House, Raleigh

I've seen several discussions on area sushi, but I haven't seen anyone mention Tokyo House. Has anyone else been?

Waraji is generally my sushi of choice, but Tokyo House is open on Sunday (a rarity in north Raleigh, it seems) and is nowhere near as packed/noisy as Waraji. This past Sunday we tried takeout sushi from Tokyo House. I was impressed. The tuna and salmon were both firm and delicious. The Rainbow roll didn't quite compare to Waraji's Spiral Ecstasy roll that we are so fond of, but it was a satisfactory substitute. I think what I enjoyed most is that the rolls seemed a touch smaller than Waraji's, so I was better able to fit them into my mouth and enjoy all the flavors at once. It's amazing what a difference that can make.

I had not patronized Tokyo House for a couple years, and it has definitely had some changes since then. While I awaited my take-out, I noticed the interior had been remodeled. The sushi bar is the centerpiece, there are booths along the walls, and there are two fairly private tatami rooms that need to be reserved at least one day in advance. The floor is carpeted, so it was not so clattery as some restaurants. The current menu has also been updated in the last couple of years... instead of just serving Japanese food, they are now an Asian Bistro that also serves Thai.

Personally, I am not usually keen on restaurants that do more than one cuisine-- I feel lucky if a restaurant can do one cuisine well. However, there is a disappointing lack of good Thai in my immediate area (I currently drive out to Capital for Sawasdee), so I am anxious to give Tokyo House's Thai dishes a fair shake. Has anyone tried their Thai offerings?

I definitely plan to go back. I'm not sure how kid friendly it is at dinner-- it seemed a little too peaceful for hubby and I to take the munchkin. Maybe the next time we get a sitter we can go check it out.

Aug 21, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Places I like around Raleigh

Dos Taquitos has gone downhill since I made that post. Since 2/05, they raised prices significantly (i.e. the steak fajitas I was fond of went up $4 in price one day). Further, whoever their manager is must be one stingiest people ever. I once was charged for cheese I did not request. When I asked to have it taken off the bill, the waitress acted like it was a huge deal and had to ask permission. She said the manager was really strict abut stuff like that.

Between that and the huge price hike, my enthusiasm fo Dos Taquitos has dwindled. I wish I would have updated my post!

Jun 29, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Triangle: Pam's Farmhouse (Raleigh) - not the revelation I had hoped for

I am particularly fond of the meatloaf. If the menu hasn't changed since my maternity leave started... meatloaf is on Wednesdays. Also, somehow their tomatoes always seem better than average.

I don't remember the mac&cheese as bad, just so-so.

I also like the deviled eggs, though they are on the sweet side for my Midwestern sensibilities.

Jun 01, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Morehead City/Beaufort NC

My husband's family has a condo in Atlantic beach, so we frequent the area during the summer as often as we can.

For quicker lunches, I liked the NY Deli and the Bountiful Bagel (in MHC, 4050 Arendell St).

For a leisurely lunch or Sunday brunch, I always enjoy The Spouter Inn (http://thespouterinn.com/). Spouter's has a very nice outdoor patio (honestly I go there for the patio as much as for the food; the food is good but I found the desserts to be just so-so), and of the 8 or so times we've been there we've seen dolphins out in the distance at least 3 times. I believe Stillwater is right next to Spouter's... Stillwater is also good.

For breakfast, I enjoyed the Cox Family restaurant (in MHC, it's on 70). It is homestyle cooking... not sure how vegetarian it is if you don't eat eggs.

For dinner, I have always enjoyed Amos Mosquito's in Atlantic Beach. It is popular, though (espcially with local families... I think because of the extremely nice people who run the place and the make-your-own-s'mores on the dessert menu). I have been there many times, and the one time my tuna was over-cooked, they replaced it immediately and comped us dessert for our trouble.

When I was in MHC for business for a few weeks, all the locals were talking about El's drive-in for shrimp burgers. I haven't been, but if you happen to drive by you might give it a try.

Have a wonderful time in MHC!

May 22, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Vegetarian-friendly with nice wine list in Durham, NC?

If you're willing to go to Cary once in a while for dinner, you might try the Lotus Leaf Cafe. They have a decent wine list by the glass, they are veg friendly, not too expensive, and I generally find the food well-prepared.

http://www.lotusleafcafe.com/

Apr 21, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Sunday Dinner in Raleigh?

Porter's Tavern is open on Sunday and is pretty good chow. You can certainly order a bottle of wine. I am especially a fan of the BBQ pulled pork tavern chips. If you will have a party of more than 4, I would go elsewhere, though, because they don't seat larger parties well in my experience.

www.porterstavern.com

Apr 21, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Business lunch in Raleigh

I have not been to South yet, so I can't comment to its appropriateness.

I am not sure what line of business you are in. I work for an accounting firm, and in your situation I would probably settle for the Chophouse for the sheer convenience of it. If you think they would enjoy Japanese you might consider Waraji. All the other places I can think of are in central Raleigh rather than north Raleigh.

Apr 21, 2007
limona in General South Archive

One Meal In Raleigh - Near Downtown

I would go to Porter's Tavern. It is not formal and it is tasty. It is across the street from the NC State campus. www.porterstavern.com

Oh, and I would skip Bogart's at all costs. I have been there multiple times and I am always disappointed.

Feb 10, 2007
limona in General South Archive

NEWCOMER - BIRTHDAY DINNER IN RALEIGH?

Second Empire's menu is posts a sample menu at their website (http://www.second-empire.com/secondem...).

I have eaten there once recently for business; it was a recruiting dinner. We ate in the tavern area because it is supposed to be more relaxed. The tavern area is not like any tavern I have ever seen. We were seated in the atrium part of the tavern, which had lots of windows looking out to Hillsborough street and white linen tablecloths. It was quite nice.

In the tavern portion, you are able to order off both the tavern menu and the upstairs menu. I believe my party mostly ordered from the tavern menu. We started with a hummus that was rich and creamy and so divine that we asked for more pita chips to go with it so we could finish it. After that, the meal got less memorable. The service was indifferent, and the waitress confused my filet with the filet of the person sitting across from me-- so my steak was overcooked. Dessert was incredibly rich. I had a chocolate souffle with creme angelaise that was melt-in-your-mouth divine for the first few bites but was so rich I couldn't finish it. Some members of my party ordered ice cream for dessert -- they had some unique ice cream flavors that you could mix and match and they went over well with the people we were recruiting.

I did not go upstairs, so I cannot speak to the upstairs atmosphere. It is kind of neat going to the restaurant, just because it is on Hillsborough in a big old house. I would hope the service is better upstairs than downstairs. It is quite a pricy place, though.

Jan 10, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Shepard's Point in Morehead City

I went a couple of times during jaunts out to Atlantic Beach. I remember the food positively and could never figure out why it didn't have more business. I remember the service as so-so; when we were there I think they were training a bunch of servers from Russia.

I think that is the place that had a flourless chocolate cake on the dessert menu that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Jan 04, 2007
limona in General South Archive

Tex-Mex in Raleigh area??

I don't believe we have any upscale Tex-Mex food in the area.

Jibarra is upscale, but it is not Tex-Mex. It is real Mexican food.

I have never been to Vallarta, so I can't comment on it. I would throw out Dos Taquitos on Creedmoor and Millbrook as a possibility, but not if there will be more than four of you -- they don't have any comfortable seating for groups bigger than four. Dos Taquitos is pretty Mexican, but they do have a Tex-Mex section on the menu. With the dark, eclectic atmosphere, it certainly is an experience to go there.

Nov 19, 2006
limona in General South Archive

Restaurants near RDU

You might consider the Capital City Chop House for the convenience factor -- it is right next to the airport and is pretty comfortable.

They have a website that is not very informative but does have contact info: http://chophousesofnc.com/capitalcity....

Aug 29, 2006
limona in General South Archive

Dinner in Raleigh w/ college kids and teens

I would try either 518 (Italian - http://www.518west.com/) or Hayes Barton Cafe and Dessertery (nicer American - 1940s style). I would describe both places as moderately priced with decent food. Hayes Barton is on the small side, so I would make reserverations-- but it does have the distinct advantage of having huge desserts in quite a variety to top off the meal.

Aug 18, 2006
limona in General South Archive

Raleigh: Date Spot for Next Week

I would think 518 West would be a pretty safe bet. Just have a parking plan.

http://www.518west.com/

Jul 28, 2006
limona in General South Archive