Cheap Eats

Cheap Eats: A local ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ tour

May 25, 2012 

Thanks to enthusiastic suggestions from several readers, this month’s itinerary takes us on a tour inspired by the Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Gypsy’s Shiny Diner

1550 Buck Jones Road, Raleigh

919-469-3663

gypsysshinydiner.com

Specialty: classic diner fare

In a nutshell: A retro chrome-clad building and a jukebox spinning tunes from the ‘50s and ‘60s set the mood at this blast-from-the-past diner. True to tradition, you can even satisfy a 3 a.m. Saturday morning craving for waffles. Allow plenty of time, because service can be variable.

Try: Corned beef hash, chicken-fried steak open-faced sandwich, homemade potato chips (also available as a breakfast side), old-fashioned milkshakes.

Joyce & Family

129 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina

919-567-1717

www.joyceandfamilyrestaurant.com

Specialty: Southern home cooking

In a nutshell: A recent relocation to roomier quarters allowed this former buffet eatery to grow into a full-service restaurant. The offering has expanded, too, but Joyce Staton still cooks everything from scratch. Bring family or friends and order family style: your choice of two all-you-can-eat main courses and three sides for a set price.

Try: Fried chicken is a must; other winners include chicken and pastry, green beans, yams, mac and cheese, banana pudding and house-baked cakes.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

1305 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

919-933-1324

Specialty: biscuit sandwiches

In a nutshell: This Chapel Hill landmark with a drive-through window is as close as you’ll get to a drive-in restaurant nowadays in these parts. There’s no seating, so plan on a picnic – most likely in your car, as you’ll no doubt quickly surrender to the tempting aroma of buttermilk biscuit.

Try: The fried-chicken biscuit is deservedly famous, though the BLT and country ham and egg biscuits are also worth the wait in the drive-through line.

Wimpy’s Grill

617 Hicks St., Durham

919-286-4380

wimpysgrillnc.com

Specialty: burgers

In a nutshell: Grab plenty of napkins, because the house-ground, hand-formed burgers are juicy at this tiny takeout joint. The place is only open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (they do a solid breakfast biscuit business in the mornings, too), and it’s cash only. Rest assured, your flexibility will be rewarded.

Try: The Garbage Burger (two quarter-pound patties, homemade chili, bacon, slaw, pickles, onions and cheese) if you dare. I’m partial to the classic double cheeseburger.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service