A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we venture off the beaten path for a grab bag of cheap eats worth putting a few extra miles on the odometer.
100 Dickens Road, Fuquay-Varina
A little slice of New York in Fuquay offering authentic bagels with a variety of fillings (if you’ve been searching in vain for white fish salad, your search is over). And the “Plus”? Three-egg omelets, sandwiches on house-baked breads and a pastry case filled with everything from Danish to sfogliatelle, a ricotta-filled pastry.
1232 W. Williams St., Apex
Authentic Liege-style waffles are just the beginning of a European cafe adventure where the very names of dishes (l’oeuf à la coque, asperges à la flamande, croissant aux amandes) are magic incantations that will make you forget that this was once the site of a Subway.
2001 Widewaters Pkwy., Knightdale
Consistently well-prepared Tex-Mex fare – and a few specialties such as chiles poblanos stuffed with grilled shrimp – have made this colorful strip mall eatery a local favorite since 2003. If you’re a fan of carnitas, you’ve hit the unctuous, crackly-edged jackpot.
3370 US Hwy. 1, Franklinton
You can’t miss with anything fried – chicken, chicken livers, shrimp – at this strip mall eatery specializing in down home Southern-style cooking. Fair warning, though: If you go on a Tuesday, when chicken and dumplings are one of the daily specials, you’ll have to loosen your belt a notch and plan on leftovers.
Small B & B Cafe
219 East St., Pittsboro
Farm to fork on the cheap? That’s the delicious deal at this quaint hideaway in downtown Pittsboro. How do lemon ricotta hotcakes sound for breakfast? For lunch, maybe a local egg salad sandwich and homemade soup. Or play the Wild Card daily special, and you could be dealt anything from banh mi to house-roasted beef with mashed potatoes.