Cheap Eats

Regional, national chains worth visiting

September 27, 2012 

The Cheap Eats Express usually chugs on by McDonald’s, KFC and the like without even slowing down. But we’ve discovered a few regional and national chains worth a stop.

Aladdin’s Eatery

2 Raleigh locations: 6325 Falls of Neuse Road; 8201-107 Brier Creek Parkway

919-878-7690 (Falls of Neuse); 919-806-5700 (Brier Creek)

In a nutshell: An extensive menu of traditional Middle Eastern fare spiced up with signature specialties such as Len-Chili (that’s half lentils, half chili) and Farouk’s Falafel Pitza set this Ohio-based chain apart from the crowd.

Another Broken Egg Cafe

2608-120 Erwin Road, Durham; 1121 Market Center Drive, Morrisville

919-381-5172 (Durham); 919-465-1079 (Morrisville)

In a nutshell: Can’t make it to New Orleans? Get your eggs Sardou fix here, where you’ll choose betweeen bayou-accented offerings ranging from biscuit beignets to a Cajun tuna sandwich to bananas Foster waffles.


2052-570 Renaissance Park Place, Cary; 3000-100 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh*

919-659-8700 (Cary)

In a nutshell: Grass-fed beef on a trademark branded bun, house-cut fries and all-natural frozen custards make BurgerFi a welcome newcomer to the local scene. (Fans of In-N-Out Burger, the popular California chain that has yet to venture East of the Mississippi, take note: BurgerFi has a “secret menu,” too.)

* Note: Raleigh location scheduled to open around September 25.

Hurricane Grill & Wings

1389 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary


In a nutshell: It’s no surprise, given the name, that this Florida-based chain turns out some mean wings, which you can get with your choice of more than 30 sauces. Come to think of it, I guess the “Grill” in the name is a clue that they make a mighty fine burger, too.

The Loop Pizza Grill

Locations in Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill; see website for addresses and phone numbers.

In a nutshell: Fast, friendly service, reasonable prices and a solidly executed something-for-everyone menu (entree salads, individual pizzas, burgers and wraps, old-fashioned shakes and malts) have made The Loop a local favorite for families.


4117 Davis Drive, Morrisville


In a nutshell: Chopped salads are the specialty – choose from 15 signature combinations ranging from Cobb to Asian chicken, or create your own from the extensive cafeteria-style selection. An equally tempting selection of crêpe wraps, panini and sandwiches make the choice more difficult. Splurging on a house-baked double chocolate-chip cookie for dessert – now that’s a no-brainer.

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