Tag Archives: Restaurant Reviews Raleigh NC

Restaurant Review: Guasaca Arepa & Salsa Grill, Raleigh, N.C.

Guasaca Courtyard entrance

If you live in Raleigh and want to try some fresh and wonderful food based on Venezuelan cuisine, head on over to Guasaca, which recently opened off of Lake Boone Trail, right down from Rex Hospital. Believe me; you’ll be glad you did!

According to Guasaca’s website, the restaurant was “born out of the belief that it is possible to offer food that is delicious, affordable, fresh and healthy, all at the same time.” Well guess what? Guasaca lives up to all of this, and more! Needless to say I am thrilled that this new restaurant is less than three miles from home. It is set up somewhat like a submarine sandwich store – you stand in line and once you get to the counter you choose your ingredients. The line has always moved quickly when I’ve been there and the service is some of the friendliest I’ve seen anywhere.

Guasaca order here

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Raleigh’s Five Best Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled pimento cheese

I love pimento cheese and chances are if you’re from the South, you do, too. There’s nothing more comforting than a warm and gooey grilled pimento cheese sandwich and a bowl of yummy soup or some homemade chips. I recently shared my recipe for Kel’s Reduced-fat Jalapeno Pimento Cheese, which is quick and easy to make and tastes great.

Kel's Grilled pimento cheese

However, sometimes I want to order a grilled pimento cheese sandwich when I’m on my lunch break, so lucky for me a number of area restaurants offer this classic on their menus. Here are my Top-5 favorite places in Raleigh to get a great pimento cheese sandwich, hot off the grill.

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Restaurant Review: Community Deli, Raleigh, N.C.

Community Deli Raleigh

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”  ~  old English idiom

I probably drove by the Community Deli (901 Oberlin Rd., Raleigh, N.C.) a thousand times before finally stopping in a couple of weeks ago. The building itself is fairly nondescript – nothing really special to entice me to try it. Community Deli is close to Cameron Village Shopping Center, so if I’m hungry, I usually go to one of the many good restaurants there. But I kept noticing the daily special sign, with sandwiches, burgers or hot dogs at great prices. So I finally decided to give it a try and have been back several times in the past couple of weeks for the good deli food and the friendly, friendly service.

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Raleigh’s Best Brunches: Part 2 — Menu-Only Ordering

Tribeca brunch

In May I asked my readers what were their favorite places in the Raleigh area for brunch. I received numerous recommendations and have tried to eat at most of the places suggested. So finally, after many months of research, I’ve come up with some of my favorites. I’ve divided them into two separate posts: Buffets (read about them at: http://kelleychisholm.com/2012/12/13/raleighs-best-brunches-part-1-buffets/) and Menu-Only Ordering. This part focuses on places that serve brunch only from their menus, and many offer it both on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s always good to check with the restaurant first for its hours and to see if you need to make reservations.

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Raleigh’s Best Brunches: Part 1 — Buffets

Oxford buffet items

In May I asked my readers what their favorite places in the Raleigh area for brunch are (and congratulations to Jennifer K. for winning the $25 gift card to Target for her suggestion.) I received numerous recommendations and have tried to eat at most of the places suggested. So finally, after many, many months of research, I’ve come up with some of my favorites. Because I like so many places I tried, I’ve decided to divide this post into two separate parts: Buffets and Menu Only.

This part concentrates on some the buffets I visited in Raleigh, which are only open on Sundays. I actually prefer ordering from a menu rather than going to a buffet, mainly because I tend to eat too much because I want to try everything in sight. I then wind up feeling miserable for a few hours. Oh the things I do for this blog!

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Restaurant Review: Taverna Agora, Raleigh, N.C.

I was craving Greek food the other night, so Brad and I headed over to Taverna Agora (6101 Glenwood Avenue Raleigh, NC 27612), our favorite Greek restaurant in Raleigh. I love the “rustic ambience” of this place – it is so warm and inviting. There’s a great outdoors patio that is open most of the year, weather permitting. I’ve never sat outside since I like the atmosphere of indoors dining room (sorry for the dark pic), but maybe next time.

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Raleigh’s Best Creamy Chicken Salads


There’s just something about creamy chicken salad that makes it one of my favorite sandwich fillings. I like mine mixed with fresh chicken (preferably white meat) celery, onion, lite mayo, salt and pepper – that’s about it, although every now and then sliced grapes and sweet pickles can slide into the mix. I’m not too picky about the bread it’s served on (rolls, sourdough, rye, wraps, etc.) as long as it’s good and fresh. Or I can eat it right out of the container, plain.

Several months ago I posted my favorite Chunky Chicken Salads in Raleigh, with the promise to follow up with the best creamy chicken salads in the area. I could research this topic forever (and probably will) so I finally decided to get on with it and publish my favorites so far.

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Restaurant Review: Krave, Raleigh, N.C.

Early this summer Brad and I were on Glenwood South, trying to figure out where we wanted to eat when we happened upon Krave (510 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, N.C. 27603). Krave opened in late May in the space that was formerly the Red Room. Like the Red Room, Krave serves tapas, but also has added many sleek updates to the bar and restaurant as well an after-hours lounge on Friday and Saturdays, where the menu is available throughout the night and the DJ’s spin their original blend of acoustical magic until 4:00 a.m.

Note: Krave closed its doors the end of 2012.

Our meal was excellent, and  a couple of weeks later there was a Groupon offer to Krave, which I jumped on. We finally returned this past weekend and once again enjoyed some excellent food in a great atmosphere.

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Restaurant Review: Sunflowers Café, Raleigh, N.C.

One of my favorite lunch places in Raleigh is Sunflower’s Café (8 West Peace Street, Raleigh, N.C.  27603), which is located next to Peace College and in front of the Seaboard Station shopping area. I am not alone – Sunflowers is usually packed during the week, especially from 12:00 to 1:00, as long lines form at the counter where you place your order. While I love Sunflowers’ chicken and tuna salads, it is my go-to spot when I’m on a vegetarian diet, due to its extensive offering of delicious meatless sandwiches. Everything I’ve tried has been fresh and tasty.

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Angus Barn Pavilions – What a Treat!

My company just had its picnic at Angus Barn’s Pavilions and until I got the invitation in the mail, I didn’t even know it existed. I’m so glad that I know about it now! To be honest, I had no intention of blogging about this, especially since it was a rainy and untypically cool day for a late April day and, well, it was a company picnic. That is, until about 10 minutes after we got there. What a great place to hold an event, either corporate or private. Beautiful setting, superb service, excellent food. It’s a well-hidden gem behind the famous “barn” that houses the main restaurant, and I would jump at the chance to go back!

According to Angus Barn’s website, “The Pavilion seats 350 with additional space for 150 on the enclosable patio which can be quickly tented. Perhaps no other Raleigh area dining and event facility has a structure more adaptable to changing weather. It takes a mere 12 minutes to slide the removable walls of glass and cedar away and create a beautiful, open-air setting. If cold weather calls for a toasty environment, warm yourself inside by the skyscraping fireplace so tall that a person measuring 6’2” could stand in it.” The Pavilion is rustic, charming and cozy.

Plus it has a “Big Ass Fan” (seriously – look at the picture, that’s what it’s called) that is just too cool. And yes, it is huge.

Right outside is a beautiful lake that has a one-mile walking trail around it to enjoy when the weather is agreeable.

And even though it rained, the kids weren’t bored. There was the game truck, plus they played laser tag in the drizzle. They didn’t care. And some of the older “kids” had fun with corn hole!

But let’s turn to the food. Since our event was a picnic, we had traditional picnic-type fare, including burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, chicken wings (buffalo and barbecue), corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and ribs.

Oh my, the ribs – they were the hit of the picnic. Personally, I was not surprised, because the last few times I’ve eaten at Angus Barn I’ve opted for the ribs instead of steak because they are so, so, so delicious. On the way to the picnic I was hoping they’d be served and was thrilled when I saw a stacking heap of them. So were many of my coworkers!

There were some great desserts – awesome banana pudding and little velvety chocolate chess pie tart thingies.  And don’t let me forget about the table of hors d’oeuvres that included Angus Barn’s famous cheddar cheese spread and crackers. Yum.

But I do have to admit what thrilled me even more was that we were served by “Royal-ty.” That’s right, executive chef and Food Network’s Iron Chef winner, Walter Royal, was there, on a Sunday afternoon, serving up coleslaw, corn-on-the-cob and lots of smiles. Lexi and Gabe were rightfully impressed (so was Aunt Kelley!)

Speaking of service, it was all great, just what you would expect from Angus Barn, and maybe even better. Top notch – we were all treated royally.

Thanks to FMI for a great company picnic and thanks to Angus Barn for your hospitality, great food and outstanding service. A number of my colleagues hope we can hold our holiday party here!

Eat, drink and be merry!