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Looking for a couple of upscale, a couple of downscale or off-the-wall options in the Triangle

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Restaurants & Bars Southeast

Looking for a couple of upscale, a couple of downscale or off-the-wall options in the Triangle

Naco | | Jan 4, 2010 09:59 AM

My wife and I are planning to stay in the Triangle for a couple of days for our anniversary in a few weeks. I like barbecue, "ethnic" foods, generally places with a more hole in the wall/dive type atmosphere. My wife is more into steakhouses and Italian food(red sauce). We're both NC natives, so any Italian option would merely have to be serviceable by northeastern standards. The plan is to eat at a couple of places that strongly appeal to each person.

Magnolia Grill and Watts Grocery seem to get good marks and have similar concepts. Any preference between those? Oakwood Grill also seems interesting. Do they ever do a parrilada mixta, or is it just steaks/pasta?

On the holes-in-walls...

I'm almost definitely going to try Super Wok. Other than that, I was thinking...

1. Allen and Son. Much ballyhooed, and I love barbecue, but is it up to the level of the Skylight Inn, Wilber's, and Blackbeard's? Also, do you have to order outside brown to get that mixed in? This whole OSB thing is foreign to me as an ENC native, and I wasn't aware of it when I did my Lexingon tour years ago.

2. La Vaquita. Authentic Mexican is another hobby horse of mine. Any standout items? How do the tacos compare to Los Comales or El Mexicanito in Wilson? I really only want to do this if it's amazing. El Mexicanito is my ne plus ultra for tacos, I'd rank Los Comales a notch below them. There doesn't seem to be much Triangle taco/authentic Mex talk on the board recently. I used to like Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco but have subsequently found much better in eastern NC. What about El Paraíso in Durham? Is that still well thought of?

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