Restaurants & Bars


Chapel Hill: Hunan, Europa, Charlie's, Saigon


Restaurants & Bars

Chapel Hill: Hunan, Europa, Charlie's, Saigon

David A. | Jul 15, 2003 10:56 AM

My Chapel Hill correspondents may remember that I gave a qualified thumbs-up to Hunan on Airport Road not more than a two or three weeks ago. I returned this Sunday morning for dim sum and can only say: Beware! This was the worst I've ever had -- in every way screwed up (greasy, soggy, tasteless, salty, etc.) except for the not-close-to-saving-grace that it was properly warm. I can't imagine the excuse for such lame food.

Following Chowhound advice, the wife and I stopped in at Europa Turka for dinner. The food was fine, but scanty and awfully expensive. A couple of tablespoons of baba ghanouj, two fried zuchini fritters, and a couple of ounces of bbq lamb on rice cost us $45. On a dollar/oz. basis -- or alternately on a house mark-up basis -- this has to be one of the more expensive restaurants in town. If prices were slashed 30% or 40% I would be glad to return, but as it is, Europa is going to have to do without my patronage. At this price I'd much rather eat at Thai Palace or even spend a couple of extra dollars to eat at The Grille at Glenn-Lennox.

To avoid being completely negative let me say something good about Charlie's Trailer Park, the new family eatery in Cole Plaza off 15-501. The house specialty cheesecake is mediocre, but overall the joint is cheap and unpretentious, a good option when Elmo's feels either a little far or is likely to be a little crowded.

In out-of-town news, I stopped in at the vaunted Saigon in Greensboro on my way back from a furniture shopping expedition in High Point. It's not quite as fabulous as I had hoped (it was featured in Saveur's 100 favorite things issue), but it's pretty damn good, the Vietnamese equivalent of our own Thai Palace, and certainly worth a stop if one feels a bit peckish anywhere near the High Point Road exit of I-40.

David A.

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