OK, here's the (hypothetical) situation: Say you have one last day in Raleigh that is wide open, and you just HAVE to have your favorite local eats before you leave. You get to have breakfast at your favorite breakfast joint, lunch at your fave lunch spot, and so on. Where would those places be? And more importantly, what would you get at those places?
So, for a little Friday fun, I'll get the ball rolling. Feel free to contribute your own favorite spots.
Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day -- and the one I take advantage of the least. So if I was gonna start my last Raleigh Day out right, I'd head over to the N.C. State Farmer's Market Restaurant for a couple of pancakes, bacon and, of course, the biscuits.
(Honestly, I had no idea the website address for the Farmer's Market Restaurant was www.RealBiscuits.com. That. Is. Awesome.)
After presumably taking a much-needed, food-induced coma, I would probably head downtown to Clyde Cooper's Barbecue* for lunch. I don't see a need for any combinations; just give me a plate of chopped barbecue, fries (or potato salad), Brunswick stew and hushpuppies, and we're good to go. Heck, I don't even normally eat pork skins, but I will at Cooper's.
*I don't care which location it is. Cooper's is still the choice for me.
With all due respect to the "Real Biscuits" and Cooper's, the dinner choice was the easiest of all for me to pick for my Raleigh Day. Those of you who have read this blog over the years could probably guess that Hayes-Barton Cafe is my favorite restaurant in town. Atmosphere-wise, it has the perfect combination of coziness and borderline hokey 1940s/Golden Age of Hollywood decor that ... I dunno. It just works for me.
But the food. My God, man. The food. The tough part would be deciding between the meatloaf or the chicken pot pie. (That's the other thing about Hayes-Barton Cafe -- it's comfort like mom used to make -- if your mom was a phenomenal cook from the 1940s with enough time on her hands to pull together this stuff.) Either way, you can't go wrong.
Of course, no visit to Hayes-Barton Cafe would be complete without saving room/making room for dessert. If it's available, I know which slice of cake I'd go with: Pattycake. (Anything with white chocolate checks off the list for me.) And, of course, they would have it. IT'S MY FANTASTY, DAMMIT!
Now that I think about it, I may have to contradict my whole theme here and say that maybe I skip either breakfast or lunch in order to fully take advantage of HBC. I think I could eat both chicken pot pie AND meatloaf and still have room for cake. DON'T JUDGE ME!
(Images courtesy of N.C. State Farmer's Market Restaurant website, BBQGeek.com and Yelp)