Restaurants & Bars


An Outsider Review of eating in RTP


Restaurants & Bars Southeast

An Outsider Review of eating in RTP

bubblesdlev | | May 24, 2011 01:33 PM

So I was down in the Triangle for business for a week and for those of you that are coming on this board to look for the best place to eat here is an outsider opinion that has lived and eaten some of the best places in the world.

Our first real meal came Monday night at The Pit in Raleigh while traveling there we thought we were in the wrong area until suddenly your at a quite nice restaurant. They take opentable reservations and I would severely recommend doing so. If you’re waiting in line already still check open table from your phone. 5 minutes out we made an open table reservation and when we got there they had a 30+ minute wait (if the waiting people only knew); however we were sat right away at a great seat in the nicer area. My Co-worker and I were slightly disappointed that the pulled pork was sold out but that’s what happens when it takes so long to make. We had an appetizer of Chicken wings that had a salty smoked taste to them and absolutely no heat. It was actually quite good and would have them a second time. For dinner I had the brisket and turkey while my Co-worker had brisket and meatloaf. We both found the brisket to be on par with other Bar-B-Que places we have been to in the past nothing outstanding. And our second meats of turkey and meatloaf fell flat.

Tuesday night my Co-Worker and I went to a CH recommendation of Watts Grocery in Durham. Once again we were surprised by the surroundings and in this case the building itself. It didn't look fine dining to me but I would put this up there with some of the fine dining in New York and Chicago (of around the same price point). For appetizer my co-worker had rabbit liver pate with strawberry and arugula salad and home made mustard. Which he felt was amazing, while I had the strawberry arugala and home made ricotta salad w/ peppered graham crackers and balsamic dressing. I felt the only thing wrong with my appetizer was that it needed a touch more of the sweet elements but that could be because they graham crackers were great. For entre I saw the words duck fat hollandaise and knew what I was having my co-worker had the seared tuna on a beet salad which he liked. Mine to be more specific was a perfectly grilled ribeye with grilled asparagus home made tater tots and a duck fat hollandaise. My meal was absolutely perfect and usually I can find a fault in almost everything I eat but this had everything I needed but never knew I wanted. I did have dessert here and it was a very good strawberry rhubarb tart with vanilla ice cream and chili caramel. As my company will be sending me to RTP hopefully often this is a must return every time I come back thanks to all that mentioned this.

Wednesday night we wanted to complete the Triangle and we were going to go to Elaine's on Franklin but we decided on going for home brewed Carolina beers at the Carolina Brewery down the street from Elaine's. The beer sampler was served in 4 oz. glasses and was the highlight of my culinary experience that night. It was what tasted like microwaved buffalo wings and a one temp (mid well to well done) burger. If your at Elaine's for dinner and want to go for a beer afterwards 5.75 gets you 7 4 oz glasses of 7 different home brewed beers and some are really good.

I stop the night dinning train for a second to mention our lunch. Up until now we had little time for lunch and we were going to Jimmy Johns or subway and what not. But for lunch on Thursday we went to a great little place in Durham called the Backyard BBQ Pit on 55. For practically nothing they serve up some of the most delectable brisket with gravy, baked beans, and greens. It was so good we made it a point to eat there for lunch on Friday. This place serves you fast, has homemade fresh squeezed Lemonade, and is a must hit lunch spot if you are in the area.

Thursday night we went over to the Angus Barn and were delighted with the atmosphere (I got my wife's present from the awesome gift shop). It was a great experience but the food did not match. Given the mixed reviews I was not going in expecting much and to that point the Angus Barn didn't disappoint but in the same vane it didn't wow me. Nothing sticks out from my meal (Prime Rib, Caesar salad, and baked potato) as great but nothing sticks out as awful either. It was a great ambiance but I feel like there has to be a better steak place than this in the triangle (Rib eye at Watts was way better). I know that right up the street is a Sullivan’s and if it is anything like the one in Chicago it has got to be good.

We left on Friday so no dinners to report. So without further adieu here is my List:

Must Returns places
Watt's Grocery
Backyard BBQ Pit (lunch)

Might Return to...
Angus Barn (wasn't awful I may give second chance)
The Pit (it was good and eventually I will return but not an every time stop)

Won't Return to
Carolina Brewery (unless it’s for a beer)

Thanks once again to all of you for your suggestions I was not disappointed with either of your selections that we chose.

Watts Grocery
1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

Angus Barn Restaurant
9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

Watt's Grocery
1116 Broad St Ste 100, Durham, NC 27705

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