Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Triangle’

Just a hop away from the Raleigh-Durham airport is a large red wooden barn that houses one of the most revered institutions in the NC Triangle. The Angus Barn is much more than a mere steak house, and around Christmas time can be seen bedecked in lights, trees, apples, santas, and crowded with local families carefully dressed in their Sunday best for family reunions, dinner with Grandma, and milling about with chummy business associates impressing each other with their largesse. Downright impossible to get a reservation for the main dining area during these times, it’s best to go frightfully early, around 4pm, and set up camp upstairs, past the gun collection, in the no-reservations Wild Turkey Lounge, which has enough presence and Southern charm to satisfy any diner. Actually, due to the popularity of the Wild Turkey Lounge, a satellite area has opened up by the main entrance under some tents, which is open year-round.

This time we went in late April, which has a different, more homey feel to it than the pageantry of Christmas. Thanks to a reservation, my party was able to secure a table in the upstairs dining area, where we were greeted with a basketful of crackers and two small (or too small) crocks of cheddar and blue cheese spreads, and upon request was given a relish tray piled high with cucumber pickles, olives, pickled peppers, and celery. Forget the yummy twice baked herbed potato with cheddar or the huge “side” of Caesar salad and perfectly cooked prime rib with horseradish sauce and juice – one could happily munch on bottomless cheddar spread, homemade pita chips, and pickles all night with a glass of sweet tea. Expect a constant battle of the frustrating confines of ones own stomach, but just keep in mind that the portions (and service) are pure Southern hospitality and each additional course is worth sacrificing the previous course for room.

Don’t worry – the cheese spread and crackers are also available for sale in the country store by the exit.

9401 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27617, USA

See my December 2009 review here: https://rachelrecommends.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/angus-barn-a/

Read Full Post »

Just a hop away from the Raleigh-Durham airport is a large red wooden barn that houses one of the most revered institutions in the NC Triangle. The Angus Barn is much more than a mere steak house, and around Christmas time can be seen bedecked in lights, trees, apples, santas, and crowded with local families carefully dressed in their Sunday best for family reunions, dinner with Grandma, and milling about with chummy business associates impressing each other with their largesse. Downright impossible to get a reservation for the main dining area during these times, it’s best to go frightfully early, around 4pm, and set up camp upstairs, past the gun collection, in the no-reservations Wild Turkey Lounge, which has enough presence and Southern charm to satisfy any diner.

Fortunately, this time around we went in early April, and my party was able to secure a table in the main dining area at 5:30pm, though we had to wait until then for it to open. I was happy to do so, as that meant more time eating the fantastic cheese spread and pickles available upstairs. When we were later seated at our table, we were entertained by a circulating magician so suave I initially couldn’t tell that he was a stranger.

Forget the yummy twice baked herbed potato with cheddar or the huge “side” of Caesar salad – one could happily munch on bottomless cheddar spread, homemade pita chips, and pickles all night with a glass of sweet tea. To my delight, these wonderful delights were readily available at our dining table, too. Ok, then there’d be no juicy, perfect bacon-wrapped sirloin or lush, classic Southern desserts – sawdust or chocolate chess pie, anyone? Expect a constant battle of the frustrating confines of ones own stomach, but just keep in mind that the portions (and service) are pure Southern hospitality and each additional course is worth sacrificing the previous course for room.

9401 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27617, USA

See my December 2009 review here: https://rachelrecommends.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/angus-barn-a/

Read Full Post »

The culinary offerings are very well done at this small, upscale suburban restaurant in Durham, NC and in the interest of full-disclosure, my in-laws are regulars and quite friendly with the executive chef and staff. However, this past December, I was inexcusably slighted by an inattentive server in the bar/lounge area, which overshadowed what could have been a very nice dinner.

Throughout the evening, I watched servers presciently attend to my in-laws at various intervals without being asked – they just knew what was to come next. It was like being at some old-world millionaire’s mansion with knowing butlers flittering about the hosts in a well-choreographed dance – which didn’t include me. In fact, being accustomed to our hosts’ routine probably worked against me, as there were assumptions made by the staff which wouldn’t have been made at any other table.

First, everyone’s drink order was taken except for mine; the barman walked away as if there were only three people at the table and not four. I laughed awkwardly and shrugged since I probably wouldn’t have ordered anything anyway, but was left wondering whether I was slighted as the only ethnic minority at the table in the South. I don’t normally jump to such racist conclusions, but the mind does tend to wander when unexpectedly embarrassed, whether subconsciously or intentionally, by an otherwise friendly and attentive server.

We ordered food, and after enjoying my delicious appetizer, I decided that I needed something sweet and acidic to cut into the fat and salt. Throughout our meal, our server was clearly more focused on a table by the door than us (which seemed odd to me, since the executive chef himself was taking special care of my in-laws, even sending over an extra dish when one of the plates was taking longer than the others), and it wasn’t until everyone else was finished with their entrees that we managed to drag him back to us again.

I was practically done with my risotto and thus no longer needed the palate cleanser I was craving after appetizers, but since we had finally gotten him, I felt compelled to order something. But what? Mortified at being suddenly the focus of attention and feeling unreasonably singled out because I had to articulate my order without being preempted, I hurriedly fumbled through tasting four glasses of wine before finally ending up with a sweet dessert wine that I didn’t really want. Everyone politely waited for me to finish my dinner so we could move onto dessert and coffee.

While I recall the house specialty risotto as being uncommonly good, with a wonderful savory crunch, the rest of the meal was a blur thanks to the overwhelming feeling of being a third-class hanger-on accompanying VIP guests. It is unfortunate that a single (or double) breach in manners could ruin an otherwise pleasant evening at a restaurant, but that is how it is. Diners expect a certain level of care while in an upscale restaurant and a perpetuation of the dining fantasy. In this case, my high expectations were sadly disappointed.

 2514 University Dr., Durham, NC, USA

Read Full Post »

Angus Barn; A

Just a hop away from the Raleigh-Durham airport is a large red wooden barn that houses one of the most revered institutions in the NC Triangle. The Angus Barn is much more than a mere steak house, and around Christmas time can be seen bedecked in lights, trees, apples, santas, and crowded with local families carefully dressed in their Sunday best for family reunions, dinner with Grandma, and milling about with chummy business associates impressing each other with their largesse. Downright impossible to get a reservation for the main dining area during these times, it’s best to go frightfully early, around 4pm, and set up camp upstairs, past the gun collection, in the no-reservations Wild Turkey Lounge, which has enough presence and Southern charm to satisfy any diner.

Forget the yummy twice baked herbed potato with cheddar or the huge “side” of Caesar salad – one could happily munch on bottomless cheddar spread, homemade pita chips, and pickles all night with a glass of sweet tea. And maybe a cocktail. Ok, then there’d be no juicy, perfect spare rib or lush, classic Southern desserts – sawdust or chocolate chess pie, anyone? Expect a constant battle of the frustrating confines of ones own stomach, but just keep in mind that the portions (and service) are pure Southern hospitality and each additional course is worth sacrificing the previous course for room.

9401 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27617, USA

Read Full Post »