Guilty Gourmand's Profile

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Downtown Raleigh - Good Food and Basketball on TV?

As a downtown Raleigh worker, I've not found a place that provides what I consider an ideal combo of food and tv viewing within walking distance.

It's been awhile since I've been in but I don't recall Poole's even having a tv at the bar. I've not been to the Borough. Raleigh Times, Busy Bee and The Pit all have tvs but they are not huge and if you're going at night it could be tough to secure a spot where you can really watch. Same for Chucks--small tv and not easy to view from many seats. I don't think Beasleys or Joule have TVs. Sitti and Gravy each have a relatively small tv in the bar area which can be ok if you're there during an uncrowded time but wouldn't be my choice for watching a game at night. Tir Na Nog has pretty good viewing and I like their food ok if you're in the mood but it's nothing great in my opinion.

I really like Tobacco Road and that would be my choice of the places mentioned thus far but I wouldn't consider that within walking distance. Along those lines, you could also check out Village Draft House or OC Grill in Cameron Village area if you have to get into a car.

Been awhile since I've been to Woody's but that is a solid option. The couple of additional suggestions I'd add are The Oxford or Bolt on Fayetteville Street. They are a short walk and offer pretty good tv viewing in the bar. The food is passable.

Edit: 1 more option to add would be Brewmasters which gets my vote for best viewing and great draft beer selection. I have found their burgers and some other offerings to be just fine but others have disagreed with me on the food part.

Mar 17, 2014
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Pompieri Pizza, downtown Durham

Maybe the Pizza Palace which I think was originally located off of 9th Street in the building where Vin Rouge / Blu are located? I have friends that used to leave in Durham in the late 80s / early 90s that used to make special trips back just for the pizza there. Sadly, we never got to try it.

Feb 10, 2014
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Raleigh - best in downtown?

Afraid I cannot offer much on the Stanbury to Poole comparison as I have not made it yet but hear great things about it. Stanbury is not far from the hotels around Poole's (Marriott, Sheraton) but it would be a long walk. R line is doable as noted but that's not always the greatest.

If you're willing to take a cab from downtown though that does open up I think Mandolin or Bloomsbury Bistro. I really like Mandolin a lot although options can be a bit limited and Bloomsbury is very relaxing and can have some great food but know it doesn't get much love here.

Neither of these is in downtown Raleigh and would be more expensive but when my wife and I were doing same sort of thing a few years ago she said she would rather save up another month or so and go stay at the Umstead and eat at Herons or go to Fearrington than anything else.

Jan 27, 2014
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Mexican in downtown Raleigh

I've been fortunate to go to both within the last couple of weeks--first time at Jose and Sons. Both were very good but I think I personally enjoyed the food more at Centro than Jose; however, I think that could have been due solely to liking my selection more at Centro than Jose rather than the quality of the cooking, etc. I think they both typically do a fine job so my advice would be to look at both menus and choose which one has the dishes that appeal to you more. As noted below, Jose does offer the advantage of Videri next door.

Jan 17, 2014
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

It's definitely pricey!

I have since made it back for lunch and ordered the chicken sandwich with avocado and tomato from, I believe, the "all day menu." Seems like it was around $9 without a side of chips or whatever. The sandwich was really great and fairly good sized and I thought an appropriate thing for a bit of a splurge lunch. I know I can find a cheaper chicken sandwich around but not sure I can find one with as much flavor in the same price range. (By the way, I think they have this all day menu (and brunch, etc.) posted on the website now.)

On the other hand, I'm a fat southern boy that likes my bojangles (and biscuitville) and am happy to take the $9 or $10 savings on my gravy biscuit and grab an extra serving (or 3 or 4).

Jan 02, 2014
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

The Pit location in Durham is open

I've not been to the Durham location so cannot offer up any opinion on that or how it compares to the Raleigh location.

Having been to the Raleigh location several times both while Ed Mitchell was there and several times after, I can certainly attest to it having a unique bbq atmosphere and being rather expensive however I have also had bbq there that was as good as if not better than the typical Allen & Son & Wilber's offerings. I also had the best fried okra there that I've ever had in a restaurant and other very good sides. It's not always at that level but it's always been the best cue I can get within a fairly large radius of downtown Raleigh and I'd say a good bit better than average bbq. I've always felt I got a lot of food for the price. Granted, sometimes I would like to just get a bbq sandwich without sides, etc. for a lower cost but I don't necessarily blame the restaurant for the lack of that option and, given the business the Raleigh spot is doing, I doubt they have much motivation to change things up.

I believe Bob Garner is on the payroll of The Pit in some capacity or at least has some formal association with them these days as I've encountered him making the rounds welcoming people at the Raleigh location.

Dec 29, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Winston-Salem / Salem College Area--Nice but Not Stuffy for Semi-Formal

Thanks very much for all of these suggestions. I'm not from W-S and am well beyond college-age so was hard pressed to offer suggestions. Thanks again.

Nov 27, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Winston-Salem / Salem College Area--Nice but Not Stuffy for Semi-Formal

Where would folks recommend that a young couple dine before a semi-formal at Salem College. Looking for great food in a dressy but not stuffy environment relatively close to the college. Thanks.

Nov 26, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

I agree. I am one of the ones that love it--except for the price. Wish I could afford to eat there more often.

I have been back a couple of times for coffee when I have time to go and sit down and enjoy a pour over cup there. Always very good and very good service . . . but expensive. Last time I went, I had a pour over coffee and croissant and both were excellent but with tip it was around $10.

I understand they have revised the lunch / meal menu a bit and include some soups / salads / sandwiches, etc. now but I have not tried yet. I'm sure I will do so sometime and am sure they will be excellent . . . but expensive.

Nov 20, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Ken's in Goldsboro...a competitor to Wilbur's?

Like Carolinadawg, I've never had the BBQ at Ken's Grill. I recall having gotten a burger there many, many years ago but honestly don't recall much about it. I do know it has its fans in general and not just for BBQ. As noted, I've never heard anyone describe Wilber's as laughable and also never heard any of the harder core bbq experts around rank Ken's as even in the same league as Wilber's, much less better than Wilber's. Maybe Grady's but not Ken's . . . .

Oct 07, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Joule, in Raleigh

I've had the privilege of going to Joule several times for a variety of coffee and espresso drinks which were all excellent. Went for brunch Labor Day weekend but it was too crowded to get inside so haven't made it for brunch yet. Did make it for lunch today and had a great lunch as well. Here are my quick thoughts / impressions:

1. What I liked: Excellent coffee and drinks and very good food. I've tried the pour over coffee and the drip and tried several different beans and really enjoyed all of them. Haven't had french press yet but am sure it is great. The space inside is fun and hip and has a very nice open feel to it. Haven't been at night but am sure it's hipster heaven. The service has been very friendly and helpful and the place is well-staffed.

2. What I don't really like: The place is pricey. Given the quality, this may be appropriate and a good value but it is still pricey for my budget. A pour over cup of coffee to go is $4. It's a very nice cup of coffee and if I had a long time to hang out and enjoy a french press with a friend, etc. I could see paying $4 but I'm typically grabbing a cup of coffee to go or just wanting a quick cup in between meetings. The drip is less--$2.50 or so I think and not a bad deal I suppose but I've got to walk by a couple of very good and cheaper places where I can get more coffee for that price so it's a hard sale. I do not care for the "coffee restaurant" concept with wait service even if you're just getting a cup of coffee and a muffin, etc. Not sure how you could really split the space between regular food and coffee and not have wait service throughout but I have avoided going there when I knew I had a short amount of time and just didn't want to deal with that level of formality, etc. or the need to leave a "decent tip" when all I've gotten is a cup of coffee and a muffin. Speaking of wait service, while they have always been super friendly there, there is a lot of staff which is great but I for one could trade some of the level of attention, etc. for counter service with a less expensive cup of coffee. Also, I'm not crazy about the overall location there by the bus station walkway. I don't mean to sound snobbish but I think you would have to look really hard to find a greater contrast of people between those hanging outside during the day and those inside. I suspect many of the people outside may not have $7 to their names much less available for a smallish cup of coffee and muffin. Not much we can do about that or the location at this stage I suppose but I sometimes suffer guilt pangs passing through there and the Joule prices make those pangs even worse. I found the "glossary" on the menu a bit patronizing--suspect it can be very helpful but maybe better if it were just there and not labeled a glossary? On lunch (or I think it is really an all day menu), the food was great but it too was more than I typically want to spend for a lunch out with a co-worker or two. If we are going out to a business lunch, we're likely to pick a more formal / true restaurant place, etc. with broader offerings so I'm not sure exactly who the market is for this menu mid-day. I'm hardly ever going to want to grab some mussels for a Monday lunch outing so I'm hopeful they may add some soup or sandwiches, etc. of some sort.

Some will take this as a slam against AC, etc. which it absolutely is not meant to be. She has her image and idea of what she wants to open up / provide to the downtown market and more power to her. I am merely offering my impressions and the things that I personally like and don't like about the concept with a hope that others may chime in with their thoughts as well. In the end, I suspect AC will make some adjustments to perhaps broaden the menu or tweek the service concept but all that's her call and I say more power to her. I understand she was not out to simply kick the Wlimoore offerings up a notch and is going after a whole different thing but, that said, I really do miss the Wilmoore and its great coffee and casual, high quality sandwiches at a very good price.

Sep 16, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

One BBQ Stop?

If you could see my waistline you would not find this question / suggestion out of character but may I ask why limit yourself to just one stop if you are coming all the way from Ohio? If I were going down 40 by Allen & Son and by Conetoe too and didn't have to deviate from my route much (or even if I did) I would stop at both just to check things out. Allen & Son is not far off 40, it doesn't take long to get a sandwich to go, it doesn't cost a whole lot, they have pie, etc.

Jun 13, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Seafood Restaurant anywhere on the coast like Fins in Raleigh???

There may not be anything really like Fins, at least along the stretch you mention but what about Catch and its sister restaurant Phun Asian and Seafood Bar in Wilmington?

I also like Bistro by the Sea in Morehead City and Blue Moon Bistro in Beaufort for fresh local seafood in flavorful presentations.

Jun 01, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Old Town Steakhouse salad

I believe the Winston-Salem Journal may have published a recipe (or two) for the dressing. Not sure if it is the same as above and don't have a copy anymore but it perhaps it is online still. I never ate at the restaurant but I believe there used to be a version of this salad at the Carriage House restaurant as well that I had once but that doesn't appear to be on the menu there anymore.

Apr 27, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

(Raleigh) Just haven't seen these places mentioned: Taste, Abyssinia, Tasca Brava

Interesting. I've never eaten at Abyssinia. Have eaten at Ethiopian places in DC a long time ago and they were ok but not really my thing. To be honest, the smell coming from there has always been so strong in the parking lot when I'm at Cup of Joe there that I've been afraid to eat inside. Guess that pungent aroma may be a benefit if you like it but it is more than I can take.

On Tasca Brava, thanks for the report. I think maybe this should be its own thread. We ate there when they were in the previous location and I sort of enjoyed it but it did take forever with an unsolicited story or explanation about everything. The whole thing really turned my wife off and we never have been to the Glenwood South location. I recall seeing other reviews mentioning the same sort of issues before with the owner / manager and service, etc. but seems folks usu enjoyed the food.

Feb 25, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Wilmoore Cafe in Raleigh Sold to Ashley Christensen

Thanks for the update. Wow! That's a lot of irons in the fire.

I have had a tough time this week without being able to hit up the Wilmoore for their $5.95 daily lunch special.

I also say an interview / article in the latest issue of Garden & Gun featuring Ashley Chrstensen. I'm betting it was done before the Wilmoore deal came together because one of the things she wanted to do was have a coffee shop with really great sandwiches, etc. There was a related comment by her about Raleigh not currently having a place where you could go and get a really good $8 smoothie and she wondered why not. I read it a couple of times to see if she was joking but I don't think she was. Maybe I'm woefully out of touch but are there lots of places selling $8 smoothies and, even more frightening, people buying them?

Feb 01, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Wilmoore Cafe in Raleigh Sold to Ashley Christensen

N&O's Andrea Weigl mouthful blog reports that the Wilmoore Cafe has been sold to Chef Ashley Christensen. The shop will close down after next Friday and reopen in March as still a coffee shop but with expanded evening and weekend hours and expanded alcohol offerings. David Fowle, the current owner / originator of the Wilmoore plans to take some well-deserved time off but then get a job so sounds like he's moving out of the coffee business. I wish him well with whatever he pursues. While the coffee and sandwiches at Willmoore are very good and it was nice to have another independent alternative to Chef Ashley and to Empire Eats available, the real draw for me was being able to chat with Fowle.

Jan 08, 2013
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

By far the best bbq I've ever had was at Allen & Son (the good one). Unfortunately, I've been there several other times (wouldn't say I've been there a lot) and had bbq that is simply good / fine and nowhere near the sublime product I had on one of my visits. I don't think I've ever had inedible clumps from there but definitely times when it has been nothing special. The possibility of that perfect cue is enough to keep me going back when convenient and I do very much appreciate the tradition and hard work that goes into the cue but I think it's important to remember that there can be wide ranges in quality / consistency from visit to visit even in the best shops. Not sure if that is due to the pig or maybe some variations in the cooking technique, look of the draw as to the cue you're served, etc. but it does happen. I'd say the second best cue I've had was from Wilbers and I have had one sandwich from there on another visit that really was pretty much inedible.

Dec 04, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Please Explain Ashley Christensen to Me (Raleigh, NC)

Yep. Just opinions. Those and $11 will get you a quarter fried chicken and a side of mac-n-cheese at Beasley's.

Oct 25, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Please Explain Ashley Christensen to Me (Raleigh, NC)

I think those are tough questions and having previously raised some similar questions here before after Beasley's first opened let me try to come to Ashley's defense a bit here. As BF notes, clearly these are her restaurants and she is not trying to cater to everyone with these different venues. She's the chef, the owner, etc. and should be able to set up and run the kinds of restaurants she desires. If a sufficiently large segment of the public shows up and supports the restaurants then I think that is great even if a large segment does not. If there is not broad enough support for the concepts / restaurants to succeed, then she may have to reassess but I think she should have the opportunity to structure / operate those as she sees fit and run the risk of succeeding or failing just like any business owner. I don't think most of us wonder why Quentin Tarantino doesn't make feel good family movies--we just accept that he desires to do something different and we are free to partake or not depending on our personal preferences. Does a chef have to be different?

That said, I've eaten at all the restaurants and had good meals at all and great meals many times. If I were given the choice of having her food at Enoteca Vin or Poole's, I'd probably prefer to go to Enoteca more often but that may just be me. Poole's can be fun for folks of most ages I think on certain occasions and the food has always been great. It is not cheap to be sure and I'd personally prefer to have a paper copy of the menu rather than having to crane around to read and re-read off the board. I'd also like for some of the bar seats not to wobble as much, etc. etc. Nobody's forcing me to go there though and when I do go I generally know what to expect.

We tend to eat more at Chuck's than any of the others because of our demographics. It is expensive to be sure but I'm not sure it is so expensive to suggest its overly inflated, fraudulent or raise social engineering concerns. The regular half pound burgers are I think $9. I just looked at the burgers online at Chili's (just for a random comparison) and most of their big burgers with toppings appear to be around $8.69. I don't know much about Chili's burgers but I do know Chuck's taste better and I feel pretty certain that the meat is of higher quality and know for sure the other ingredients are unique enough and of high enough quality to warrant a bit more. A cheeseburger at Firebirds with cheese and LTO is $10. Now that includes fries but for the price I'd much rather split an order of Chuck's fries with the rest of the table (plenty) and I'm not sure you don't come out cheaper. Add to that the fact that Chuck's added the 5oz little Chuck option and I don't think the prices are all that bad. Sure there are times when what I want and are willing to pay for is more along the lines of a quick burger at 5 Guys but I really think that is in a different category. For that matter, there are many times when one could find most of the items on the Poole's menu (or some similar variation thereof) at the K&W. Not knocking the K but I think that's a different category with Poole's doing ingredients and execution on a different level.

I tend to like Beasley's the least of the restaurants and go there less often than the others. There are many reasons for that including largely the fact that I don't particularly like fried chicken. Because of that preference, I'm more likely to grab a chicken and biscuit at the Bo than spend the time and money to get one at Beasley's. The thing that really threw me the first time at Beasley's was the no free tea refill--I still have a hard time defending that and I think that may have changed since they first opened.

All of that is just my opinion but I wanted to offer it up as one who has sort of asked similar questions in the past and how my opinion has evolved somewhat as have the restaurants since they were first opened.

Oct 25, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

The Angus Barn - Raleigh, NC

I agree with Mike H. If I want a steakhouse experience, I'm more likely to want The Barn than Bin 54 but there is room and benefit to both of these. Perhaps it is over-hyped but it is a true institution and deservedly so I believe. It has been a special occasion place for my family from throughout the state for years. I have defended the Barn elsewhere so won't do that here but I agree it is something special.

As to the benefits of living in Durham, one of those to my mind is the fact that although the address is Raleigh the Barn is I'm pretty sure a bit closer to the downtown Durham courthouse than the downtown Raleigh courthouse.

Aug 23, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

What's Wrong with Raleigh? Why No Interesting Bakeries?

I would just edit TerrG's comment to say from "some locals." I don't disagree that there is a lot of room for improvement and I would really welcome a great bakery and a great diner / breakfast place here in Raleigh but on the whole I am also very thankful. Having worked in downtown Raleigh for 15 years, I'm very excited by the changes in the immediate vicinity and often think how lucky we are now. The difference between now and when I first started is really night and day--I used to eat at the Mecca, Cafee Luna, Berkley, Subway and Joe's Mom's on a regular basis and now hardly ever go to any of those places that are still here (I do go to BrewMasters in the old Joe's Mom's spot.) One other place that I do still go to, however, is the Square Rabbit which I'll just mention as a good source for cakes and cookies and the like as well as take out lunch. They don't do bread and I don't mean to suggest that they are necessarily in the same category as some of the other bakeries noted but cite them as downtown Raleigh support for good local mom and pop outfit.

We consider ourselves residents of the Triangle overall and make an effort to get out and about to different areas (not as much as we used to before kids and we tend to do it more during the summer when the students are gone) but it's still not too bad of a drive to Durham or Chapel Hill to explore new places or visit old favorites.

Aug 22, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Franks Pizza on New Bern Ave, Raleigh

As to the cheesesteak, there is a place in Cary (swift creek shopping center) off of Jones Franklin just down from crossroads shopping center called Anvil's Cheesesteaks that has pretty good ones and I know gets recommended as being one of the tops in the area. I've only been a couple of times and thought they were good but still left me looking for better ones.

This is not the traditional cheesesteak joint or really traditional cheesesteak I suppose but the best one I've had in the area was at Bu Ku--the sort of gourmet street food restaurant in downtown Raleigh. They are only available on the lunch menu I believe. The ones they had when the restaurant was first opened by William D'auvray were incredible. D'auvray has since moved on but the cheesesteaks are still very good. Not cheap but not as expensive as you might think based on the appearance and location.

Jun 29, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Pathetic Peach Cobbler at Allen & Son

I love Allen & Son, maybe not as much as some here but the bbq has always been very good and a few times it's been the best bbq I've ever had. I haven't been to as many bbq restaurants as others here have but enough to offer a reasoned opinion.

Everyone should be warned against the ribs, the fries and much of the desserts. I've never ordered the ribs (I'm from NC) and haven't ordered the fries since my first visit. Given the seemingly universal dislike of much of those items, I am kinda surprised they have not scaled them back or cut them from the menu altogether as they can detract from the bbq and other items. Seems like scaling back might eliminate a lot of work and negative comments for them and let them focus on the cue, etc. I don't know Keith Allen at all but have tremendous respect and gratitude for him and his wood burning brothers. Given that most wood burners willing to put in the time and sweat to deliver true cue these days generally march to their own drummer, I'm pretty sure he doesn't give a pig's tail what I think about his fries.

Jun 29, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Franks Pizza on New Bern Ave, Raleigh

I've only been to Frank's a couple of times and got basic cheese or pepperoni when I was there. I thought it was pretty good. I know others that swear by it and do put it at the top of the local list. Not sure I'd say it's the best in Raleigh but hard to really offer up one that is clearly better. I do wish the atmosphere / location was a bit better. Service at Frank's was fine and friendly and it was ok on the inside but it's in a rundown shopping center without much traffic, at least at dinner when I was there. Things may be busier at lunch. It's cool in that it's good and out of the way but it's not the cheeriest or liveliest of spots to say the least.

In any event, we tend to frequent Piccola Italia in Cameron Village. (At one time, I think there was a family connection between Piccola and Frank's--not sure if I have that correct or is still the case though.) I think their pies are very good. You won't think you're in NYC but we prefer those much more to Lilly's (bad crowded experience as well), Capital Creations, The Point (agree on the inconsistencies), etc. Others have recommended pies at Casa Carbone out on Glenwood past the mall in same shopping center as the Peddler but we haven't been there in awhile.

Jun 29, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Kids are Gone--How to Prioritize Triangle Eating Opportunities?

Thanks everyone for the thoughts so far. All super advice and just the sort of info we were looking for. Glad for any more thoughts and anything we may have left off the list. Thanks again.

Jun 11, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Kids are Gone--How to Prioritize Triangle Eating Opportunities?

Not sure exactly what I'm asking here or what advice I'm looking for but thought I'd throw this out for general thoughts or recommendations.

Our kids are away this week visiting grandparents which gives me and my husband a chance to try out some new fine dining establishments and/or revisit some old ones we haven't hit yet. We'll probably get to hit a couple of places this week and will have a similar opportunity again later in the summer. With the closing of MG, I'm reminded of the need to not take some of our local treasures for granted and to make an extra effort to try new places or revisit old ones rather than fall back on our usual haunts. We like all sorts of stuff and to some degree are a bit ambivalent in selecting among the possible options so would be particularly interested in thoughts on places that are particularly hot / on their game right now or otherwise should not be missed but may not get the most billing or recognition here or elsewhere.

To that end, I'm trying to decide what spots to hit first and/or whether it makes sense to revisit some old ones before trying all the new spots. We are in Raleigh so I am focusing mostly on Chapel Hill and Durham in order to take advantage of our extra time. Fearrington House we have done and will go back when we can spend the night. Poole's is our favorite in Raleigh and we will go again this week even though that will cut into our exploration elsewhere.

A few thoughts on what else is out there:

1. Heron's--only one of us has done actual restaurant; both have eaten at the bar; I know it's amazing but not sure we're really up for that this week, especially with so many others on the list (I'm also hopeful that I may get to hit this on someone else's dime at some point); should we just splurge and reserve some extra time and do this as our one event this week (besides Poole's) or better to hit some other spots?
2. Lantern--we've never been; seems this may should be our top priority; Asian is fine but not our favorite; given all the press though seems we should experience this.
3. Four Square--also never been and would really like to go; should we put ahead of Lantern?
4. Revolution--never been; not sure I'd really put it above the top 2 new places to visit based on what I've seen and heard but not really asked anybody to rank before; should we elevate it on our list;
5.What about Anile's Italian place in American Tobacco?; sounded really good and was getting some good buzz; based on menus, etc. I think I'd almost prefer trying that before Revolution personally--would that be a mistake from a general foodie perspective
6. Nana's--have been a few times but it's been several years; don't really hear much about it here; any reason to put this higher or lower on the list; should we go here before any of the new places?
7. Elaine's on Franklin--have been twice but was also several years ago; how are they doing? should we prioritize this over new and/or return to other favorites? should we put this over Nana's if we are revisiting?
8. Kitchen--have never been
9. Provence--is this still open?; we have never been but really wanted to go at one point; I just don't ever see much mention of it here or otherwise
10. Rue Cler--never been for dinner and has been awhile since we were there for lunch / brunch; same for Vin Rouge; if we were going to do one of these, is there a strong preference?
11. Piedmont--Haven't been since the change in ownership; would like to go back but seems we have more important work ahead of us?
12. Panciuto in Hillsborough--should we drive past some of the others above to get here
13. Bin 54--My husband really loves steak and wants to try; I don't eat red meat so I'm putting this further down; sounds like quality may have gone done some since it first opened; should I "sacrifice" for sake of my husband?;
14. On perhaps a bit of a different scale, we've also never been to Tonali, G2B, Geer Street Garden--if we were looking for a more casual or scaled down spot is one of these at the top of the list; are these fairly doable with young kids such that we should not waste our alone time on these?

Apologies for this being so long and rambling but welcome any general thoughts or advice. Thanks.

Jun 11, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

best oyster raw bar in charlotte?

Not sure if they are open yet or not but I'm encouraged by the concept and planning around Elizabeth Fish and Oyster being opened by the same folks who run Small's. I'm not a huge oyster fan but I'm really looking forward to their lightly dusted and fried NC shrimp. Would love to see them put those together in a great shrimp burger available at both E Fish & Oyster and Small's. I think a nice shrimp burger along the lines of the one at Raleigh Times Bar in Raleigh would do well in Charlotte.

Jun 03, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Shrimp Burger in Charlotte

Help. My mother is in the hospital in Charlotte and sick of hospital food, not eating well. Says the one thing she really wants is a shrimp burger like she gets at Big Oak or El"s in Atlantic Beach. Dr. said go for it--and if we find one around here like those to bring her one too. Am wondering what is the closest thing we might be able to find to that in Charlotte? If not a shrimp burger proper, is there a go-to place for a great shrimp po-boy, etc. Thanks.

May 25, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast

Atlantic beach for foodies


If so (and even if another) I'm afraid you will be hard-pressed to find a fromagerie or charcuterie there or most any place around these parts. Am afraid the closest you will come may be the boars head at the NY Deli on the Causeway which is one of my favorite places around there. You may be a bit early for local produce (and my recollection is there is not typically a lot of that right around AB or Morehead City proper even in season). Try some of the other local products though hitting many of the seafood markets. Restaurants that we always look forward to visiting (across a wide-range here) inlcude Blue Moon Bistro, Aqua, and Frontstreet Grill in Beaufort, Windansea, Bistro by the Sea and Mrs. Willis in Morehead City. There's also Island Grille in Atlantic Beach. Plus the all time classic--a shrimp burger from Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path or El's Drive-In in Morehead. Most of these places have a web presence so you can scout out a bit if you like

May 01, 2012
Guilty Gourmand in Southeast