Cheap Eats: Affordable fare

CorrespondentMarch 28, 2013 

This month we sample a variety of affordable fare, from Carolina barbecue to Venezuelan arepas to omelets and gourmet sandwiches. For dessert, how about a cup of sipping chocolate or ground-to-order coffee?

The Cary Café

212 Grande Heights Drive, Cary


In a nutshell: Friendly service and a charming little dining room with fresh flowers on the tables and café curtains in the windows suggest that this is a cut above the typical strip mall sandwich shop. Breakfast omelets, homemade soups and well-filled sandwiches (including a signature chunky chicken salad) live up to that promise.

Cocoa Cinnamon

420 W. Geer St., Durham


In a nutshell: The husband-and-wife team behind mobile vendor bikeCOFFEE opened their brick-and-mortar location in January, and they’re making the most of the comparatively roomy digs. Building on the ground-to-order coffees that won them a following, they’re expanding the offering to include single origin teas, wines by the glass, and - you don’t want to miss this one - gourmet sipping chocolates.

Johnson Family Barbecue

5021-A Wake Forest Road, Durham


In a nutshell: The hardwood smoker in a screened-in shelter next door to Johnson Family Barbecue sets high expectations that this off-the-beaten-path newcomer is worth seeking out. The chopped pork -- moist and subtly smoky, available on a sandwich or a plate with two home-cooked sides, does not disappoint. Make Brunswick stew one of those sides, and treat yourself to homemade banana pudding for dessert.


4025-107 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh


In a nutshell: Venezuelan arepas get an update at this counter service eatery, where inventive filling combinations range from tilapia with baked plantains, caramelized onions and cilantro sauce to braised pork with black-eyed peas and pico de gallo. You can create your combos if you like, or even jettison the arepa entirely and opt for a low carb bowl or salad.

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