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5 Places

5 Suggestions

Guilty Gourmand | Sep 9, 202002:57 PM     26

The Southeast board has been pretty dead which I've chalked up to our collective inability to dine, explore, or try new things but maybe also partially out of fear (or respect) for publicly commenting on restaurants and what they are doing right (or not so right) in this difficult time. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting about some recent experiences but I'm frankly bored out of my mind and also wanted to pass along my thanks and recommendations for some folks that seem to be doing things right.

First, a shout-out to the (relatively) new Prime BBQ in Knightdale. I forget exactly when they finally opened up (late Spring?) but this much anticipated restaurant a few years in the making has not disappointed on several trips. Originally opened with an online and curbside pick up protocol, they have now opened their doors, including a beautiful large dining room and huge outdoor patio area that has great space. I've still only gotten food to go and haven't eaten inside a restaurant since early March but I've gotten items here a couple of times and they do a great job with COVID precautions and plenty of space to get in and out. An eastern NC native, I'm always partial to the chopped pork but they do brisket, turkey, sausage, and great ribs as well. Most folks seem to rave most about the brisket which is indeed great if you like that sort of thing . . . . Great sides too like mac-n-cheese baked beans, bbq rice, etc. Definitely worth a ride out to Knightdale even if on the other side of the Triangle.

Second, a huge shout out to Sitti, Gravy, Raleigh Times, The Pit, etc. (Greg Hattem's Empire Eats group). I work in downtown Raleigh and Sitti, Gravy, and Raleigh Times have been real stalwarts through this mess. They seem to have rolled up their sleeves and transitioned very quickly to an online / to-go format with a seemingly mostly full regular menu selection that really displayed a can-do attitude with friendly staff taking safety precautions seriously and very appreciative for the business. I know not all restaurants have the ability (perhaps health wise) or resources to transition over as quickly or comprehensively and continue to pray for their recovery but really wanted to point up the great work by the Empire Eats team. I'm also very sympathetic to the challenges of bars and alcohol curfews and concerns raised by various restaurant owners but really appreciated Hatem's recent comments on the extension of the alcohol curfew--e.g., a we're making the best of it, staff appreciates not being out so late, more and later drinking can sometimes lead to less safe behavior and we're just trying to stay focused on the long-term and coming out the other side safely, etc.

Finally, also downtown, really appreciate Capital Club 16's safe, friendly, and very tasty to go options and all they've done to pivot over during this. Very well done.

Prime Barbecue
Sitti
Gravy
The Raleigh Times
The Pit Authentic Barbecue
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