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Triangle Restaurant Ratings: 2004 Edition

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Triangle Restaurant Ratings: 2004 Edition

David A. | Dec 28, 2004 09:12 AM

I kept up my restaurant rankings during 2004, and I post the latest edition for anyone who may be interested. I've made a couple of additions and juggled some ratings; most dramatically, I've demoted Magnolia Grill after the shockingly mediocre meal I had there about a month ago. I'm still bitter about it.

Best Finds of 2004: Udupi, The Tower, Blue Mist Barbecue, Grand Asia Market Cafe. Restaurants I hope to visit in 2005: Four Square, Angus Barn, Bella Napoli (in Cary), Chamas Churrascaria, Four Brothers Burgers.

Happy New Year,
David A.

Restaurants with a 6 or higher rating are worth revisiting; with a 5 rating are debatably worth revisiting; with a sub-5 rating certainly not worth revisiting. This takes into account food quality (first and foremost), price, service, and ambience (elegance and grunge both having their appeal). A rating of “10” would indicate a truly world-class restaurant.

Udupi Café (Cary, South Indian) – 8
Waraji – 7 (Raleigh, Sushi)
Gugelhopf (Durham, German bakery and cafe) – 7
The Tower (Morrisville, South Indian) – 7
Maple View Farms (Carrboro, ice cream) – 6
Thai Palace (Highway 54, Chapel Hill, good but
expensive) – 6
Taqueria Chicho (Chatham Square, Cary) – 6
Allen and Sons BBQ (Airport Road location only) – 6
Il Palio (Chapel Hill, Siena Hotel) – 6
La Farm Bakery (Cary) – 6
Hong Kong Restaurant (Durham, for dim sum only) – 6
Korea Garden (Chatham Square, Cary) – 6
411 West (Franklin Street) – 6
Fiesta Grill (Highway 54, Chapel Hill, Mexican) – 6
Taqueria Superior (Roxboro Road, Durham) – 6
Neo-China (Cary, for dim sum only) – 6
Royal Sitar India (Durham) – 6
Suchi (Chatham Square, Cary, Indian) – 6
The Q Shack (Durham) – 6
Eastern Light (Durham, Chinese) – 6 (inconsistent, but
excellent potstickers)
La Dolce Vita (Southern Village Chapel Hill, gelato) –
6
China 35 (Cary, Chinese – Sizhuan menu only) – 6
Grand Asia Market Café (Cary, Chinese) – 6

Magnolia Grill – 5 (too expensive to be so
inconsistent)
Alfredo’s Pizza (University Mall, whole pies only: the
best of the local pizza, though it’s not great) – 5
Elmo’s (Carrboro) – 5 (mostly for the cobblers)
The Loop – 5 (lousy pizza, everything else seems fine)
Nana’s – 5
Spice and Curry (Durham Indian) – 5
Squids – 5
Lantern – 5
Fearrington House – 5
Ma Ma Wok (Cary) – 5
La Russa’s Italian Deli (Meadowmont) – 5
Aurora – 5
Elaine’s (Franklin Street) – 5
Bullock’s BBQ (Durham) – 5
Vespa (Franklin Street) – 5
Akai Hana (Carrboro) – 5
Pop’s Trattoria (downtown Durham) – 5
The Spotted Dog (Carrborro) – 5
501 Diner (Chapel Hill) – 5
Fortune Palace (Raleigh) – 5
China Palace (Garrett Rd., Durham) – 5
Penang (Franklin St) – 5
Spartacus – 5
Panzanella (Carrmill Mall) – 5
La Provence (Carrboro) – 5
Randy’s Pizza – 5
The Weathervane (Southern Season) -- 5

The Barbecue Joint (Durham) – 4
Sal’s Pizza (East Gate Center) – 4
Tsunami (Durham Japanese) – 4
Kurama (Durham Japanese) – 4
Lime and Basil (Franklin Street) – 4
Hunan Chinese (Airport Road, Chapel Hill) – 4 (avoid dim sum at all costs)
Rick’s Diner (Durham) – 4
Neo-China (Durham) – 4
Los Potrillos (Rosemary Street) – 4
China One – 4
Pao Lim (15-501, Durham) – 4
Jade Palace – 4 (Carrboro Chinese)
Sushi Yoshi – 4
Crook’s Corner – 4
Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza (Meadowmont Village) – 3
La Villita – 3
El Torero (Cole Plaza) – 3
Tandoor Indian – 3
Margaret’s Cantina – 3
El Rodeo – 3
Anna Maria’s Pizzeria (Carrboro Mall) – 3
Cinnelli’s (Downtown Durham) – 3
Daniel’s Pizza and Pasta (Cary) – 3
Carrburritos (Carrboro) – 3
Dillard’s BBQ – 3
Mama Dip’s – 2
Country Juction (Carrboro) – 2
El Cuzcutleco – 1

Out of Town

Red Rocker Inn (Asheville)—7
Lexington Style Trimmings (E. Center Street Ext, 336-
249-8211) – 7
Saigon (Greensboro) – 7
Mimosa Grill (Charlotte) – 7
Lexington #1 BBQ (Lexington)—6
Blue Mist Barbecue (I-64, near Asheboro) – 6
Taqueria Mexico (Charlotte, South Blvd.) – 6
Kohl’s Frozen Custard (Wilmington) – 6
Parker’s BBQ (Greenville, Wilson) – 5
B’s BBQ (Greenville) – 5
Panaderia La Mexicana (Charlotte) – 4
Capitol Grill (Charlotte) – 4
Stameys BBQ (Greensboro) – 3

Most delicious things to Eat:

Jaipuri paneer dosai, chana batura, guth vankay, Udupi
Dragon roll, crunchy roll, spider roll, Waraji
Galub jamun, Royal Sitar India (best I’ve ever had)
Fruit cobblers, Elmo’s (best I’ve ever had)
Apple strudel, jelly donuts, apelkupfen, almond
croissant, Sacher Torte, cherry marzipan tart,
Gugelhopf (mornings only)
Sourdough, baguette, Weaver Street Market
Pot stickers, Eastern Light
Chiles rellenos, Fiesta Grill
Shrimp balls, shrimp and taro cakes, Hong Kong
Restaurant (dim sum)
Southern-style biscuits, Red Rocker Inn
Hush puppies, Lexington Style Trimmings
Naan, Suchi (much better than the U.S. average)
Pastor tacos, Taqueria Chicho
Fried soft-shell crabs in spicy tomato sauce, Saigon

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