i'm interested in a little give-and-take on the westside scene. here are my faves:
sunny point (corner of state and haywood) - fantastic food at pretty fair prices (a few items can get a little pricey). open for breakfast & lunch, tuesday thru sunday (opens late sunday). order at counter & bus own table. primary focus on lunch/brunch, w/ some lunch type items thrown in. everything from basic eggs, house-made sausage, hash browns & wonderful "angel" biscuits to whatever the creative cooks can dream up (daily hash & pancake specials). staff remembers most of the locals, and welcomes all. can get a little crowded on weekends (especially during inclement weather when outdoor seating is unavailable), so avoid peak hours. parking can be a problem, so get some exercise and walk if you are able.
lucky otter (on haywood, between state & louisiana) - really good food, very reasonably priced. open 11:30a until 9 daily (stays open later on fri/sat). order at counter, most help out by bussing own table, but not required. build your own quesadillas, salads, varied menu of burritos/wraps, excellent daily specials (tried the fish tacos last saturday - YUM), pizzas (try the schwank). theme nights/days - thursdays are jamaican (w/ cheap red stripe), sundays feature heuvos rancheros burrito & bloody mary bar. beer is fairly priced (5 or 6 on tap, more in bottles) & margaritas are great & cheap ($3). excellent local hangout. only caveats are they don't offer much by way of dessert (grapevine says changes in the works on that front) & heat ratings on sauces/salsas are usually exaggerated by a notch or so. can get pretty busy 5-7pm most nights. oh yeah, also tends to be overly warm inside during summer months (they do have outdoor seating).
burgermeisters (in little strip of stores off haywood at virginia) - excellent, huge & varied burgers (other sandwiches, too), good fries (also sweet potato wedges and house-made chips), eclectic appetizer list, reasonably priced beer, full bar. this is really good stick-to-your-ribs stuff, if you're not hungry/eating light, don't bother (even the salad is filling it's so huge). not much on decor (except for the custom decorated, themed tables), but staff is friendly and efficient. i believe they're open for lunch, definitely for dinner monday-saturday, stays open pretty late, seating is usually not a problem. only caveat is they allow smoking after 9:00p, so if that bothers you, go early.
28806 deli & catering (off patton, by post office & burger king) - best sandwiches on west side (big & yummy) although just a little pricey, one of the best thin crust pizzas around (home-made sourdough crust - crisp & very flavorful). also offer daily deli specials for dine in/take out (haven't tried them yet, but they look and smell good). they serve a thick crust pizza, too, but i'm not wild on it (but then it's not really my preferred style). open for lunch & dinner (closes at 8:00pm), monday thru saturday. order at counter, bus own table.
recommended w/ reservation - west end bakery (at vermont and haywood) - pretty good bakery fare w/ strong focus on meatless stuff. really good cinnamon buns & bagels (although bagels are super expensive). breads are usually very good and reasonably priced. muffins sometimes suffer from dryness, but when good are quite tasty. daily coffee cake special is good, but they sometimes forget to put all ingredients on sign (prone to leaving out banana, for instance, which i absolutely abhor; applies to muffins, too). prices seem a little high for quantity. very dog friendly; they keep a water dish outside. suffers a little from pseudo-bohemian pretensions.
worth another shot - ideal market & deli (at corner of brevard and haywood) - this place has recently changed ownership/management. it used to be lackluster food at fairly high prices, but that seems to be changing. they are now open for breakfast, and i've been pleasantly surprised (the pancakes were quite good). it's not fancy, but it's good, basic fare at only slightly elevated prices. i've also eaten lunch there once since the new management. sandwich menu seems pretty much the same as before, but the quality of the sandwich i had was much improved (although it was still a little too expensive for it's size). beer & wine are reasonably priced by the glass, but go elsewhere if you're looking for carry home beverages. nice selection of not unreasonably priced sclafani products (looking forward to trying the unfiltered, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil). this place still needs some work, but stop in to support the new owners & hopefully they'll turn this place around since it does fill an otherwise empty niche in the haywood road corridor.
i need input on la empanade (at haywood & midred) as i haven't ventured there since benny sold his "dog house" to the current owner.
also would appreciate some input on westville pub (at vermont and haywood). i've been severely disappointed in the pub every time i've been there. it's a nice little listening room & hangout, but every time i've been the service has been atrocious (to the point that we've just walked out the past three times). i know the menu has changed somewhat, it seems to be a little more "pub fare" oriented now, but i've yet to get anyone to wait on me to find out if it's good. i've also been very disappointed in the daily specials (especially the wednesday all-you-can-eat lasagna) as they've run out by 6:00pm each time i've been. is the draught beer still overpriced & warm (yes, i know it's served "euro" style, but at least put it in a cold glass during the warmer months). i know this is a long list of gripes, but i really want this place to be good as it's the closest to my house and has so much potential. i've heard the waitstaff has changed, are they any more attentive now?