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Krispy Kreme coming to Chapel Hill

Given how progressive the UNC campus area is, I'm a little surprised that they'll be trucking in par-baked doughnuts a few times a day from Raleigh, as that seems to be a bit wasteful, and environmentally unfriendly. I imagine that's the only way they can get what they want and be on Franklin Street, but perhaps they should have picked a different location then.

Jun 21, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

Bull City Food Vendor Roundup

Being in the shade will be a very welcome change as well, given the weather so far this year. I'm still saddened by the lack of a regular taco truck, but I'm still going to show up for sure.

Jun 21, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

50 things to eat in NC

As someone who lived their entire life on the west coast until moving to NC four years ago, here's dishes that I've found here that I didn't see back West, so might be something to start from:

Pulled Pork
Shrimp and Grits
Cheese Straws
Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Fried Green Tomatoes
Hoppin John
Banana Pudding (far more common here)
Fried Chicken (again, far more common)
Pork Belly

I'm sure there are far more, but those are off the top of my head. They aren't all North Carolina specialties, just things that I've found to be move common here (or only here, since I'd never heard of Hoppin John before) than other places.

Fried Green Tomatoes
212 Keyser St, Aberdeen, NC 28315

Jun 08, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

"Bull City Street Vendor Rodeo" in Durham Sunday June 6

I had a beef taco and it was pretty good. A little on the small side, but good.

Jun 07, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

"Bull City Street Vendor Rodeo" in Durham Sunday June 6

The N&O must have had it wrong, since even NC Bulkogi's own Twitter feed listed it as 11-3 but wasn't there by 11, much less setup.

I just want to be clear that I plan to go back to the next one of these as I imagine they will iron out the issues, and the food I had was good, but if they have the same issues again, I'm not going to come back, and I imagine most people feel the same way. I'm sure yesterday was more popular than they expected, so hopefully next time they'll have adjusted.

Jun 07, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

"Bull City Street Vendor Rodeo" in Durham Sunday June 6

Per the Herald Sun article, and the Only Burger Twitter feed, the hours for the event were 11 AM until 3 PM. Given how busy it was yesterday I think they handled it well, I just think they need to plan a little differently and make some adjustments next time, otherwise instead of people coming and enjoying the experience, they risk too many people leaving frustrated and hungry.

Jun 07, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

"Bull City Street Vendor Rodeo" in Durham Sunday June 6

I think that they need to make a few changes for the next event:

- All the trucks need to be ready to go when it's supposed to start. We arrived at 11:10 to find only Mom's was open, and the Korean BBQ truck wasn't even parked yet, much less cooking. That led to lines before they were even open.
- They need to have smaller menus. The Indian truck only had 1 person working the window, but since they had a smaller menu, it was faster to prepare and order. The crepe truck had 8-9 items, the Korean BBQ truck had the full menu. Perhaps they should have only done tacos, so it was easier to prepare and serve. If you like what you get, then go back to the truck at a normal time for the full menu.
- They need more trucks. Perhaps one of the regular taco trucks, or even two of them. Sam's might not be able to handle more, but the crowd was already getting to be too much for that location yesterday.

I think the gathering is a good idea, and I got to try three new trucks (Korean BBQ, Indian, Mom's) without driving all over, and it works well for us having a small child compared to a restaurant, but they do need to make some changes for next time given the lines that were there.

Jun 07, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

"Bull City Street Vendor Rodeo" in Durham Sunday June 6

We arrived just after 11 and most of the trucks weren't open quite yet (except for Mom's). My wife and I waited in separate lines and managed to get Mom's, the Korean BBQ, and Indian food by 1 PM, though it was absolutely crazy. Hopefully they will do it again soon with more trucks, and possibly some different ones. I know the Crepe truck is a little slow at it's normal location, even with only 2-3 people in front of you, much less 30.

Jun 07, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

Barbecue Joint (Chapel Hill, NC) closed?

I went to drop by today to get some lunch, and they had a sign on the door from the sheriff indicating that it was padlocked and entering the building would be trespassing. Does anyone know anything more? It was so convenient to my house, and so good (with non-BBQ options for my wife) that I'll be disappointed if it's gone for good.

The Barbecue Joint
630 Weaver Dairy Rd Ste 101, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Apr 06, 2010
cheinonen in Southeast

Looking for decent Bahn Mi in Raleigh, Durham, NC area.

If you want to go a little further out to Chapel Hill, Sandwhich does a Bahn Mi that's pretty good. A little more jalapeno than I prefer, but that's easy to remove.

431 W Franklin St # 16, Chapel Hill, NC

Sep 23, 2009
cheinonen in Southeast

Rare Burgers in Durham?

Bin 54 in Chapel Hill grinds their own beef, and makes a very nice burger that I like to order at the bar. Acme in Carrboro has also cooked my burger to order for me in the past.

Sep 02, 2009
cheinonen in Southeast

Atlanta trip - Craft vs. H&Fitch

My last trip to Atlanta in February I went to Craft and H&F as my two restaurants, and when I go back there in September, H&F is going to be the one that I try to get back to. The food was more creative, the prices more reasonable, and I just found it to be a more memorable meal. Craft was much easier to sit down in, and hear yourself talk in, and the food was excellent, but H&F is what I would go back to if I was in town again.

Twisted Noodle opening in Chapel Hill?

Just because it's Asian food doesn't mean that it's Thai food, even if every restaurant in NC seems to believe so. Coming from somewhere where all the Asian cuisines have their own restaurants and menus instead of a generic "Asian" restaurant like Penang, the restaurant you mentioned is Chinese and Vietnamese influenced, but not Thai influenced. Instead of saying that it's "Thai-similar", say that it's Asian, or even better, Chinese-Vietnamese, so people will know what to expect, as Asian can include Indian as well. I wish restaurants in this area would do the same so I could stop going to a Sushi restaurant that also serves Thai and Chinese food, instead of just Sushi and Japanese food.

Jul 14, 2009
cheinonen in Southeast

Best burger in or around chapel hill?

Thursday-Saturday, the burger at Sandwhich is great. Bin 54 grinds their own beef, and so they'll serve you a fantastic burger, cooked how you want, at their bar and it's my favorite overall, though also more expensive. For the rest of the time, Buns is pretty good overall, and easy to get to go.

Coca-Cola "Hecho en Mexico" in Charlotte or Durham?

The Costco in Durham doesn't carry it (I looked again this past weekend), but if the one in Raleigh does, I'll have to make a trip there next time.

Best place to try for the FIRST time a pimento burger

Though it won't help this author, it might help someone else to know that at ACME in Carrboro, NC you can get a 10 oz Kobe burger (cooked how you like) with pimento cheese on it (as well as bacon) that's just fantastic. It's the only one I've had, but it's one of the Top 2 burgers I've had in NC.

Acme Food & Beverage Co
110 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

Mar 08, 2009
cheinonen in Southeast

Q Shack coming to Carrboro

For good brisket in the area, I go to The BBQ Joint on Weaver Dairy and hope it's on special there, since they don't always have it. The brisket at Q Shack isn't that good IMO, so I tend to stick to pulled pork when I go there.

The Barbecue Joint
630 Weaver Dairy Rd Ste 101, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Trendy and Foodie in Atlanta

My Dad, brother and I went to Atlanta for the weekend for the same type of thing and ate two really good meals out:

- Craft was very good, very upscale, nicely done. We had appetizers, sides, and split the massive 34 oz steak, which was cooked perfectly.
- Holman and Finch. We went here the day after Craft, and it was just fantastic. A pretty short wait for a weekend, considering how small the restaurant is, but the food was amazing, the the total meal was cheaper than just the steak at Craft. I'd rather go here 2-3 times to eat through the whole menu (best items: pork belly, mussels, scallops, hanger steak, brussel sprouts).

So, Craft was good, but it's expensive, and Holman and Finch was fantastic, much more alive, and had just wonderful, very trendy food. The attached link for The Mansion on Peachtree has Craft and Craftbar attached to the hotel.

Holman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Hotel & Residence
3376 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30326

Sunday Brunch in Raleigh/Chapel Hill?

Our favorite places to eat brunch have been Acme (no issues with service for us), and Rue Cler in Durham. The Beignets and French Toast at Rue Cler are both fantastic, as is the Oeufs Rue Cler. Nothing we have had there hasn't been great, and it's usually not hard at all to get a table, and easily falls in the price range.

Rue Cler Restaurant
401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

Feb 27, 2009
cheinonen in Southeast

Valentine's Day - Chapel Hill/Durham

I'm wondering if people know some restaurants in Chapel Hill or Durham (and the surrounding area) that have special Valentine's Day menus. Price matters a little, so Fearrington House would be a little too expensive. Thanks.

OnlyBurger in Durham-- anybody tried it yet?

My wife and I went last weekend when they were in front of the Dollar General store. She really enjoyed her burger, and I thought mine was pretty good (we both got singles with cheese), and the fries were very good we both thought (lots of pepper, very tasty). Of course, the burger was well done since it's in NC (I prefer medium-rare or rare), but it was a tasty burger. The main issue was that it took much longer to get the food than I would have expected, but they are just getting started.

What happened to Spice and Curry????

I've only had the dinner at Saffron once a few months ago (which was fantastic), but had the lunch buffet in the past month and it was still quite good. We had a dinner at Udupi last week that was just fantastic, but Saffron is a much closer drive for us and is a nice meal after a run or bike ride on a weekend morning.

Anyone tried Rockwood Filling Station in Durham?

My wife and I went a couple of weeks ago (7/26) with some high hopes for good pizza, but we left disappointed for a variety of reasons.

First when we arrived, the hostess was too busy chatting with someone she knew there to help people that were coming inside to get a table. After around 5 minutes, she helped the four of us that had been waiting for her just to take our names down. We were told 10-15 minutes since there were just two of us so we went outside and sat on the stairs to wait.

Quite a while later, after seeing other groups that came well after us get seated, the hostess finally comes out to us and says that she hadn't seen us, even though we hadn't moved from where we were sitting, and she had never called out my name if she didn't see me. So it took around 30 minutes to get seated, which was a little slow compared to what we were told.

Once we sat down (it was a bit hard to get to our seats, they need a better traffic pattern in there), we ordered the meatballs and then one pizza each (the eggplant for her, and the ham and egg for me). The meatballs came fairly quickly and were tasty, but there was a lot of extra sauce there and no bread or other starch to soak it up with. Adding that would make that appetizer, or just the wait overall, much better.

Once our pizzas arrived, they looked good but once we inspected them closer, there were some issues. Both were charred on one side, but barely even browned on the other side. The level of char was pretty good, but the other side wasn't cooked nearly enough. Maybe they are still tweaking the oven, but they need to be cooked more evenly all around. Her eggplant was also far too soggy, and my ham and egg had too much ham (I know most people would want as much meat as you can get, but it just overpowered everything else), but the cheese was fantastic. Having to cut it with a knife and fork was a pain as well and I would have them cut it in the future.

For dessert we went with the Bailey's Coffee Crunch ice cream, which had looked great from the minute we got the menu. There's no way to describe the ice cream other than a total disaster. Icy, not creamy, with very little flavor, blueberries that added nothing to enhance the flavor (blueberries + coffee/baileys?), and it made me long for the Haggen Dasz that we had at home in the freezer. Even the small cookie that came with the ice cream (which our waitress insisted was fantastic and freshly made when we ordered) was neither freshly made nor amazing.

The meal went downhill from the appetizer, and I can't see myself going back. No alcohol and a bill past $40 isn't a good value to me at all, and the food wasn't close to the level of the price. They have a lot of things they can work out and things will improve, but it would take a lot of good reviews before I would return.

ISO: Dal Bukhara (Black lentils slowly cooked overnight)

We just had the same dish today at their lunch buffet and it was fantastic. My wife described the flavor and texture as almost being like queso with lentils mixed in. I'll have to try the linked recipe as well.

Aug 02, 2008
cheinonen in Home Cooking

Recommendations for Chapel Hill

Sandwhich is my favorite place for lunch, but the bill can add up pretty quick for a sandwich and chips. I also liked Neal's Deli over in Carrboro when I went for lunch a couple of weeks ago.

Aug 01, 2008
cheinonen in Southeast

Toast Paninoteca (Durham)

So if someone wants to open a similar style restaurant, what should they do then? They're hundreds of miles away from the other restaurants, their menus contain the same types of items (crostini, panini, bruschetta), but the items themselves have differences. Are these other two restaurants the only ones allowed to serve this food in the US? I'm not sure I understand the complaints that if a new style restaurant opens somewhere in the US that it can't open anywhere else? They aren't opening right next door to the other restaurants or anything, and I really enjoyed Toast on the trip I went there, since it's the only place like it in the area, and I'm not about to make a trip up to NYC to eat something similar.

Recommendations for Chapel Hill

I'd have to agree with this assessment of dining on Franklin Street, and most of Chapel Hill. If I want to eat really cheap, I can go get some very good BBQ, or a burrito, and enjoy both the food and what I've paid for it. While we had a bad experience at Lantern (which seems to be very out of the ordinary), we've enjoyed 411 and other, more expensive, restaurants as well. The problem is we can't find those middle places that have good value for a regular meal. Milltown can be good, but what you get for the money isn't amazing (except the steak frites, which is a very nice meal IMO). We used to like just getting a burger and a grilled cheese at Southern Rail, but then they started always burning the grilled cheese before just taking it off the menu entirely. The most consistant, great mid-priced food is probably at Sandwhich, but they aren't open at night, and it's expensive for a sandwich as well.

Other places we've lived have had great, mid-range pasta places, Thai and other Asian restaurants, even nice regional food, but my largest complaint about the food choices in Chapel Hill are that I rarely feel like I'm getting a good value for my money, and I'd rather eat out cheaper more often, or cook at home more and then eat out rarely, but at a great place.

Jul 29, 2008
cheinonen in Southeast

Need Chapel Hill, NC restaurant recommendations

I would have to agree with this, Penang isn't on the same level as the other restaurants that have been mentioned. It also suffers from the same problem that other Asian restaurants seem to have in the South (compared to the Northwest or Northeast), that they try to include all Asian cuisines (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc...) and not specialize in one, so they are all sub-par it seems.

3 Cups - Chapel Hill, NC

While I liked the nice atmosphere of 3Cups, I will wind up going to the new location a lot more since it's closer to my house, though if they were open on Sunday's I would go even more. I've stopped going to Sandwhich nearly as much since I can't park there easily for lunch so hopefully they will move somewhere else as well.

Best Burgers in the Triangle?

The best burger I've had in the Triangle so far is at Bin 54. As they grind their own meat, I can get a great medium-rare burger, and it has great fries to go with it as well. The only downside is the cost at $14 or so, but you can get it at the bar and have a nice meal. For a cheaper burger, I had a very good one at Southern Rail the other weekend that I'd like to go back and try again, and it was only around $7 or so.

I'm always somewhat happy when work sends me on the road to a state that allows medium-rare burgers, however, as there's no food I like more.