Dining review: Durham’s Bua Thai Cuisine serves a treasure trove of culinary surprises

Bua Thai Cuisine is in Durham’s Sutton Square. The pad thai is the best in town. By Greg Cox Originally published 8/24/2017 DURHAM The tom yum dumplings at Bua Thai Cuisine are a work of modern art, each one a plump, puckered pillow of pristine white, nestling in a sleek black ceramic spoon. Painstakingly placed…

Food Truck Review: Spanglish is true to truck’s motto: Puerto Rican food with Southern charm

Spanglish food truck serves Puerto Rican food, empanadas and Cubano sandwiches among a broad menu. By Greg Cox Originally published 8/17/2017 On the side of the Spanglish food truck, printed against a background of whimsical drawings of fruits, vegetables and barnyard animals, is the truck’s motto: “Puerto Rican food with Southern Charm.” A few weeks…

Dining review: Brewery Bhavana pushes the envelope, yet completely makes sense upon arrival

Brewery Bhavana, from the owners of Bida Manda, brings to Raleigh a dim sum restaurant, brewery, flower shop and bookstore. It is one of Bon Appetit’s 10 best new restaurants in the country. By Greg Cox Originally published 8/17/2017 RALEIGH When Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha opened Bida Manda five years ago, they didn’t just give…

Review: CrossTies Barbecue, housed in railroad cars, takes diners on a hickory-smoked trip

CrossTies Barbecue in Carrboro, NC, is housed in vintage railroad cars and serves pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and other barbecue favorites. By Greg Cox Originally 8/10/2017 CARRBORO “All aboard!” As you’re being seated in one of the two refurbished vintage railroad cars – decorated in a suitably nostalgic style with brass chandeliers, art deco…

Dining review: Szechuan Heat brings fiery Asian cuisine, if you want to dial up heat

Szechuan Heat is in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons and offers authentic Szechuan cuisines along with other classic Chinese and Asian dishes. By Greg Cox Originally published 8/3/2017 CARY As you enter Szechuan Heat, the first thing that catches your eye – trust me, you won’t miss it – is the column in the middle of…

Dining review: The District’s eclectic comfort food will have diners feeling like regulars

The District, in the former spot of The Borough in downtown Raleigh, has a menu that’s Asian-inspired with a Southern influence. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/27/2017 RALEIGH If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you can’t have helped but notice that tater tots have become something of a…

We try 10 of the best salad shops in the Triangle

Fast-casual salad shops abound in Raleigh, Durham and beyond. We seek out some of our favorites. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/27/2017 A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we find relief from the summer heat in the cool green crunch of entree salads. b. good Multiple…

Dining review: Poké bowls abound. See what the fuss is about.

One Fish Two Fish in Carrboro and ZenFish in Durham offer their takes on poké, the popular Hawaiian trend. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/20/2017 Remember when people used to joke about sushi, calling it bait? Because, you know, raw fish isn’t fit for human consumption? Well, who’s laughing now? In just the past couple…

Food Truck Review: With gourmet chef credentials, Fetch Hot Dog Co. serves up a playful twist on traditional dog

Fetch Hot Dog Co. food truck offers eclectic hot dogs made from quality ingredients. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/13/2017 Joel Bohlin grew up in Chicago, where the definitive hot dog comes topped with a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, a shockingly bright-green sweet pickle relish, chopped onions, sport peppers, yellow mustard and a sprinkle…

Dining review: Vidrio’s dramatic setting leads to high expectations. The kitchen rises to meet them.

Vidrio on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh draws on cuisines from one end of the Mediterranean to the other for its inspiration. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/13/2017 RALEIGH Just outside the entrance to Vidrio, a curtain of water spills into a blue and white ceramic tile fountain. Reminiscent of a Mediterranean market square, the fountain…

Dining review: Paolo’s on 54 revamps longtime Italian restaurant, but keeps the classics

Chef Paul Zoccola renamed Morrisville restaurant Lubrano’s and has added a modern twist to the menu, in addition to keeping traditional Italian dishes. By Greg Cox Originally published 7/6/2017 MORRISVILLE For more than a decade after chef Paul Zoccola bought out founding partner Benny Lubrano, Zoccola was happy to continue operating the restaurant – Lubrano’s…

Dining review: Alley Twenty Six’s restaurant addition creates balanced blend of food, cocktails

Alley Twenty Six in Durham expanded into the neighboring space to add a restaurant to his bar. Owner Shannon Healy and chef Carrie Schleiffer have created the perfect balance By Greg Cox Originally published 6/29/2017 DURHAM There’s no telling how many cocktails Shannon Healy has made over the past two decades. Healy, the longtime head…