Restaurants & Bars

Triangle: Glories of Chatham Square

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Triangle: Glories of Chatham Square

David A. | Jan 17, 2004 08:24 AM

It's sad but true: Chatham Square in Cary -- a mere strip mall -- has more culinary interest than all of Chapel Hill taken together. To the detriment of my odometer, it's now the case that nearly all of my favorite Triangle restaurants are in Cary and Raleigh: Korean Garden, Waraji (the best), etc. Thai Palace is the only Chapel Hill restaurant that continues to hold any real interest whatsover. Too bad it's so pricey.

Last night we tried Chatham Square's Taqueria Chicho, a small storefront place that was, at least on this evening, catering exclusively to Mexicans and in large numbers to boot. These were easily the best tacos and sopes we've had in North Carolina for the simple reason that the place makes its own tortillas (you can see a giant stack of Maseca brand masa in the corner of the dining room). For quite a while I've been longing for such fragrant toothsome tortillas in contrast to the tasteless, odorless, mass-produced tortillas one gets in every other Mexican joint I've tried around here, including the otherwise decent Taqueria Superior (see below). The various meats were also excellently flavored; we avoided the beef but the pastor and chorizo were top notch. My wife and I ran up a total bill of $15 and walked away stuffed: who can beat this?

We then adjourned to Cool Breeze for mango lassi. A superb evening of eating, all for less than $20.

I should note a new addition to Chatham Square: a grocery exclusively peddling eastern European and German groceries. We picked up the makings of nice German picnic.

Lately also we've dined three or four times at Fiesta Grill on 54 past Carrboro Plaza as an alternative to Elmos on those nights where there's nothing in the fridge. The food is inconsistent, but the service is extremely friendly and the chile rellenos are surprisingly excellent -- much better than anything else on the menu, as far as we've been able to ascertain.

Best,
David A.

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