I always hate it when someone throws out a wide range question like mine so I will say first off that i did search threads but got a little overwhelmed and thought i would just ask you fine folks for suggestions.
Coming to the R-D-CH area for a few days on the way to the beach. Know it's a big area but we will make plans based on our stomachs. We are staying near Brier Creek which is pretty close to most things I think. Have been a few times before but it's been awhile.
Looking for one nice birthday meal (interesting food, full bar a plus, regional NC or southern also good) and some other can't miss more casual places for lunch and dinner. We are coming from Seattle so don't necessarily need alot of food we can get here (which is mainly Asian fusion) - that said Lucha Tigre in CH sounds pretty awesome so I wouldn't totally count it out. We also love food trucks, farmer's markets etc.
Places that i can remember we've visited and liked: Gugglehuphs, Loco Pops, Elaines, Allen and Sons, the big market at the fair grounds (go every trip), some great Indian place (white table cloths but in a strip mall?), and some great Greek place (also in a strip mall - real specific huh?).
We will definately be going to the Natural History museum one day so lunch or big breakfast near there? Also any places that have live music that are kid friendly? Or good outdoor events June 20-23rd??
A few names that seemed bandied around the lists were Mandolin, Hayes Barton Cafe, Dames, Scratch and Loaf, Merrits Grill, Lantern and Choland.
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