Cheap Eats

Cheap Eats: Destinations to stretch your dining dollars

CorrespondentJune 27, 2013 

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains.

Black Cat Café

4209 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh


In a nutshell: Cheery North Hills eatery serves sandwiches and light fare (including a strong vegetarian selection), also serves breakfast.

Try: Thai curry chicken salad, Pollo Cardinale sandwich, veggie burger, catfish tacos, country scramble.

Big Al’s BBQ

2920 Forestville Road, Raleigh


In a nutshell: Local caterer (and multiple barbecue contest winner) cooks over wood, opens a brick-and-mortar joint.

Try: ribs, brisket, chicken, Brunswick stew, banana pudding.

Bill-La’s Pollo a la Brasa

748 E. Chatham St., Cary


In a nutshell: Restaurant-within-a-restaurant serves Peruvian rotisserie chicken inside an Indian restaurant (the perennially popular Chef of India).

Try: Family Special takeout combinations are a bargain, starting at $19.99 for a whole chicken with dipping sauce, choice of two sides, and four cans of soda.

Dulce Café

5826 Fayetteville Road, Durham


In a nutshell: Come for the sandwiches and salads. Stay for the mouthwatering assortment of pastries in the display case.

Try: tarragon chicken salad, turkey-brie-green-apple panini, BLAT (the A is for avocado); then let your inner child loose on the pastry case.

Shrimp Boats

2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham


In a nutshell: Local landmark counter service eatery specializes in Calabash-style fried seafood. Insiders know they also make some of the best fried chicken around.

Try: Flounder is better than trout, and fantail beats popcorn shrimp. Fried chicken trumps them all.


5645 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh


In a nutshell: Fresh flavors make this Creedmoor Crossing newcomer a strong contender in the competitive field of Middle Eastern eateries.

Try: stuffed sweet bell peppers, chicken shawarma wrap; don’t miss the cafeteria-style selection of vegetable sides; or the pastries on the counter.

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