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Any Chow-worthy places within an hour of Bryson City?

I was based in Bryson City in July for a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. I was disappointed that there wasn't much in the way of decent places to eat in and close by Bryson City. If you like fast food or trypical American food (grilled chicken, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches) then you'd be OK. Even the NC barbecue was mediocre.

Dec 26, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Benetis Athena Greek Restaurant, Durham

I've only been there for breakfast in October this year. They serve American style breakfasts, similar to Brigg's in the Park in the same shopping center. I had Benetis's pancakes and they were delicious- light and fluffy. Of course, they were far too big for me and I ordered two.

I'm thinking the food must be somewhat good judging by how busy the place was. So many diners on a weekend day (can't remember if it was a Saturday or Sunday).

I like Brigg's very much too. Compared to IHOP and Waffle House, the breakfast food at Benetis is suprerior. Prices seem reasonable for the quantity and quality. Service is good too.

Benetis Restaurant
5410 Nc Highway 55 Ste Q, Durham, NC 27713

Dec 26, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Best Indian in the Triangle - Vimala's Curry Blossom Cafe

Has the original poster been to any of the following and if so, how does he/she rate Vimala's against these?

Udipi (in Cary), Tower (Morrisville), Spice and Curry (Durham).

I've not been to Vimala's but have heard positive things about the food.

Udipi Cafe
3300 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Ste J, Duluth, GA 30096

Dec 26, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Chinese Food and Christmas!

Officially Christian but definitely not a church goer, my spouse and I are going out for dim sum today. For a change, I'm not travelling for the Holidays, so it's just the two of us and I didn't want to cook a traditional Christmas dinner for two so that's why we're going out.

Dec 25, 2010
Chow Penguin in Not About Food

Triangle NC area Top 5

Please clarify. I assume you mean the burger is topped with goat cheese and not so named because the burger is made of goat meat.

Mar 18, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Best Special Occasion Restaurant with vegetarian? [Triangle/Raleigh, NC, area]

Yes, Tower is wonderful for vegetarian Indian food as is Udipi Cafe in Cary. However, I wouldn't consider either restaurant to be a "special occasion restaurant".

Mar 18, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Rockwood Filling Station closed

To be honest, I've not been impressed with the food nor the service at the Rockwood Filling Station. The only memorable aspect of the pizzas were the somewhat interesting toppings. I am keen to see how the new venture from Mr. Howell shapes up. If the place can provide fish sandwiches on par with Skippers in Apex, then he's got a definite customer.

Feb 28, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Piedmont, Durham

I dined at Piedmont on Sunday the 21st with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday. This was my third dining experience at the restaurant and I still believe the food to be outstanding. I enjoyed my entree the best. It was the "housemade italian sausage with broccoli raab, creamy polenta & tomato jus". The sausage was seasoned perfectly and was frankly enormous. The polenta was deliciously creamy but not overly so.

The only downside was the speed of service and the way the food was brought out to my party of ten diners. Most diners ordered charcuterie dishes to start off with, including me but they were brought out almost 30 minutes apart. My chicken liver mousse, a cold appetizer, was brought out at the same time as soups even though those who ordered country pate received their appetizers way before me.

The restaurant seemed quite busy for a Sunday night but I am puzzled why the appetizers or at least all cold appetizers couldn't have been brought out together.

My overall impression is that the restaurant isn't accustomed to handling large parties of diners, both in terms of service and seating (there aren't any tables on the ground floor that can accommodate more than four from what I saw that night).

Feb 28, 2010
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Alivia's in Durham: Never again

I only went to Alivia's for a drink one Friday night but I won't be returning. It was hardly busy (just me, my friend and one other person at the bar) and the barman ignored the two of us for the longest time before I had to ask to order my drink.

First impressions do count and I can't understand why the barman couldn't make a positive impression.

I had a draft beer and it wasn't that good either.

Anyone tried Rockwood Filling Station in Durham?

Me and three others dined at the Rockwood Filling Station at the end of January. I had heard and read good things about this locally owned pizzeria but frankly I was disappointed. The crust was good and thin but it was not crispy. In fact, it was kind of floppy from about 1.5" from the edge onwards.

I had the chicken liver pizza. I'm not familiar with the Southern way of preparing chicken livers and when the pizza was served, I thought there were fried oysters on my pizza. My neighbors explained that this was the way the livers are eaten in NC.

Another gripe about the dining experience was the server. She wasn't that attentive and her manner gave me the impression she didn't want to be working because she was somewhat abrupt with my party.

Overall, I was underwhelmed by the whole experience and both my spouse and I agree that I make better pizzas.

Madras Palace in Durham?

Do you mean the old Sitar India Palace (that was on Shannon Road)?

Durham, NC OnlyBurger Truck Rides Again

I got my second OnlyBurger fix last week when the truck was parked behind Wine Authorities. It seems that a fair percentage of Durham must have heard about the truck's location because the line snaking through WA was longer than when I took my place in the line.

It is a complete pain that the truck spends most of its time on the Duke campus. That severely limits the number of customers.

I also think the burger meat is fantastic and I have worked out the source.

Taste of India--Durham

It's on University Drive in Durham, in the same shopping center as a Food Lion and K-Mart. It's in the space where El Rodeo used to be, next door to Eastern Lights (a Chinese restaurant).

I've not been but I passed Taste of India a while back before it opened.

The "New" Taqueria Lopez, post-3/08, Durham, NC

I agree that Taqueria Lopez has gone downhill since the menu expanded and the condiments bar disappeared.

I only realized the condiments bar was no more when I was served chips and salsa at the table then I turned around (I was seated facing the front door) to see there were diners at tables where the condiment bar used to be located.

The food is mediocre although it is still predominantly patronized by Mexicans. Portions might be big but the quality and authenticity? has gone and I won't be returning until things change (for the better I hope).

Best Thai and Chinese in Durham?

For regular Chinese food, I like Eastern Lights on University Drive or China Palace (Chinese menu only) at the Garrett Road/Old Chapel Hill Road intersection. For dim sum, Hong Kong on Guess Road is the best I've tried.

For Thai, I like Twisted Noodles on University Drive (same strip mall as Saladelia) best even though the menu has changed. I dined at Thai Lanna at least three years ago but I wasn't that impressed and haven't returned.

PanaderĂ­a in Durham

La Superior at 2842 N Roxboro St has a panaderia and tortilleria as well as the grocery store and restaurant. I've not bought anything from the panaderia.

Triangle Restaurant Week, May 12-18

Hmmm. The majority of the participating restaurants are in Raleigh. Not very Triangle, is it? Then again, I do see a prominent advert for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor Bureau on the home page. Let's not beat around the bush here. It's really a Raleigh promotional event.

New Polish market in Durham?

Yes. I've been there twice now. It's on the northern side of South Alston Avenue at the intersection of that and Highway 54. You can see it from that junction.

I highly recommend the pierogis from Chicago. I think the brand name is Kasia's. They were excellent considering they are mass produced. Not only does Halgo sell Polish foods but they sell a wide selection of Eastern European foods and drinks. The Polish-American couple who run the place order stuff in at the customers request.

Rabbit in Durham, NC

I've bought the rabbit from Harris Teeter in the past but it's from China.

Pictures from my Tour of Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

I've finally got round to uploading the many photos taken during my Japan 2006 trip. Here's a public gallery of some of the pictures taken during my private tour of Tsukiji.

Mar 05, 2008
Chow Penguin in Japan

Any good indian/asian around Galaxy Theatre in Cary?

I had the exact same dilemma a few weekends ago. I was going to see an early evening screening (of Persepolis) and my first choice, Bosphorous, was too busy, so we drove to Udipi which is about 5 minutes drive from the Galaxy. Udipi has amongst the best vegetarian Indian food in the area. It's a little hard to find because it's not visible from the street.

If you take a left from SE Maynard on E. Chatham St. You pass Little India, the concentration of Indian/East Asian businesses, then very soon after you turn left into this anonymous, modern looking strip mall. Udipi is one of the businesses further down the strip mall on your right.

Indian ingredients in NC

You've landed in the right area if you like Indian food and like to cook Indian food. I don't live in Raleigh but the Triangle is bursting with many excellent Indian restaurants as well as numerous Indian grocery stores. If you search with "Indian" and "grocery" in your preferred search engine, you'll probably get hits for at least a couple Indian grocery stores.

Those same Indian grocery stores probably sell some Thai ingredients too. If you don't find them there, there's plenty of Asian grocery stores including two megastores. One is Grand Asia in South Hills mall and the other is called A & C and is south of downtown Raleigh.

Vit Goal Tofu Restaurant (Korean)- Durham

Did any of sophya and her group order the tofu soup bowls? That's really a set meal because it comes with a bowl of rice and a selection of Korean pickles/salads. As well as the tofu soup bowls, I've had the scallion pancake which is about 10" diameter and that's more than enough for two as an appetizer. So, I'm puzzled as to why she? thought the portions were "so small". Maybe sophya's group picked mostly appetizers.

Mar 05, 2008
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Couple Questions about Chapel Hill/Durham

I love Twisted Noodles and have been about five times since it opened, mostly for lunch. My last visit was a lunchtime in December and I noticed the menu had changed. Gone was the set lunches that were a good deal. Now, everything's a la carte. I've got a feeling there's a different cook there now too.

The food's still very good (better than Thai Cafe) and the service is OK, though it is slow.

Wine events in Durham/Chapel Hill or nearby?

Wine Authorities in Durham does weekly wine tastings and also offers wine education classes. I'm on the email list for WA and get weekly emails about the wine tastings that occur on Saturday afternoons.

I have bought plenty of wine from Seth and Craig and I'm confident they know their stuff.

Sips (Coffee Shop) Closing:-(

Where's Joe Van Gogh? That's not in the downtown/Broad St./Ninth St. area, is it?

scrapple in the triangle?

Funny that I found this thread. I was just looking at Neese's scrapple in my local Food Lion in Durham just yesterday.

Jan 04, 2008
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Anything new in Durham?

I've eaten at both Neomonde and Baba Ghannouj. I prefer Neomonde's food and the service at BG is very slow to boot.

Jan 04, 2008
Chow Penguin in Southeast

Sips (Coffee Shop) Closing:-(

For those who prefer independent coffee shops, I discovered yesterday that Sips, a coffee shop on University Drive in Durham (same strip mall as Wine Authorities) is closing on January 12th.

I go there pretty frequently and have been a customer since it opened. I'm disappointed that this incarnation of a coffee shop (I also used to go to the coffee shop before it became Sips) is closing.

I was told that there maybe another coffee shop or cafe in its place but discussions are in progress with the owner and possible interested parties.

In the meantime, I'm looking for another cafe/coffee shop in the immediate area where I can meet a friend. This would be in the early evening (between 5.30pm-7.30pm). I don't do Starbucks and I don't want to eat a meal.

Suggestions are welcomed.

Anyone have any info on the donut shop at Brier Creek (raleigh, nc)...its called something Fig.

Yes. As another member has said, it's called Fractured Prune. The name's really unattractive.

Anyway, about the doughnuts. A former coworker lives near there and bought a huge selection to work towards the end of last year. The doughnuts are smaller than Krispy Kreme but are in that style. i.e. very sweet IMHO. I guess that's partly because all the doughnuts in the box were covered in frostings and/or sprinkles.

A bit of a sugar overload for me but there's probably people who like that kind of thing. I can't comment on price because I didn't buy them.

I prefer filled doughnuts myself, especially custard filled (British style).

Jan 04, 2008
Chow Penguin in Southeast