North Raleigh Food

Hungry? Find great food to eat tonight in North Raleigh!

Bar and Grills Archive



May 2015



Kamado Grille

Written by , Posted in $$$ - Better budget a little for this, Bar and Grills

Located at 832 Springfield Commons Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609, Kamado Grille is brand new to the North Raleigh restaurant scene. Previously inhabited by Lucky 32, business partners, Tom Allen and Joe Dunn got the inspiration for Kamado Grille from their own backyard cookouts. As such, the fresh-faced restaurant features food cooked on “highly efficient, lump charcoal burning ceramic grills” [source].


Kamado Grille Atmosphere

Before you even step foot into Kamado Grille, the view from the outside is impressive. Anyone who may remember what this area looked like pre-Kamado Grille, will definitely do a double-take.

The outside  of the restaurant features plenty of parking, and a larger than life exterior with bocci ball out front, a covered, outdoor patio on the side, and an entry that makes you feel like you’re walking into an REI store.

As we walked up, we were immediately  greeted by friendly staff members (who were poised and ready at every entry point to open doors for guests entering and exiting the restaurant).

The atmosphere inside was light, airy, and clean. We received a brief, guided tour of the restaurant where we learned more about the way the food is cooked. There are at least 12 kamado grills, based on the traditional Japanese kamado), which are equipped to cook food at high temperatures for searing as well as low, slow roasting temperatures. Because these grills use charcoal, the food has an especially distinct, more flavorful taste.

Like the way the food tastes, and wish that you could buy your own kamado grill? Well, you can. Kamado Grille has a small, open guest shop area in the front of the restaurant where people can purchase their very own kamado grill on site, as well as purchase other restaurant-related memorabilia.

Kamado Grille

The restaurant also has several, large, flat screen TVs affixed to the walls. The screens feature live feeds of the chefs in the kitchen, preparing food interspersed with nature scenes and other images). There is semi-circular-shaped open bar area which boasts around 40 types of beer on tap, and there is also a separate bar area where you can dine while watching several of the chefs prepare your meal.

The seating is reminiscent of the outdoors and reflects Kamado Grille’s desire to ‘bring the outdoors inside’. There are evenly spaced pub tables and patio tables. The tables are made of a nice, high quality grain of wood while the chairs are wicker. There are also several black olive trees throughout the restaurant, imported from Arizona – and yes, they are real (we asked).

One of the highlights, however, is the fact that you can order your food sans waiter. Each table features an iPad where diners can select everything from speciality beverages, and refills on fountain drinks to ordering your appetizers, customizing main dishes and splitting checks. We found the iPad menu easy to use, and the service exceptionally fast.

Appetizer – KG King Wings

KG Wings

Cost: $9.50

The KG King Wings consisted of speared, smoked and grilled wings tossed in Bourbon teriyaki glaze and served with a side of ranch sauce.

These wings were absolutely fantastic. I’m typically not a wings person, but these were perfection. The combination of that glaze plus the fact that the chicken was cooked just right (not too overcooked, but well done and juicy) – delicious. I could’ve just ordered this and have been happy.

The wings were awesome. The meat practically fell off the bone, they were tender and juicy – and the teriyaki glaze was out of this world.

The wings were good, messy since they were all ‘together’. The sauce was great; the charred flavor was perfect, not too much. I just wish they had offered us some wet naps with this appetizer since wings, in general are messy.

Ipswich Lobster Roll + Sweet Tea

Ipswich Lobster Roll

Cost: $14

The Ipswich Lobster Roll consisted of fresh lobster roll, lobster meat, KG sauce, lemon juice, celery, and romaine served as an open sandwich.

This meal was definitely more than enough for one person. In fact, it was such a huge serving, that I wound up saving the other half and taking it to-go. The lobster tasted incredibly fresh, and I loved the flavor of the sauce with the lemon juice and celery. I wasn’t crazy about the side of veggies that I ordered though. They were labeled as “grilled veggies” in the menu. However, they tasted weird – like soggy and stale or something. The rest of the meal was fantastic though.

Reverse Seared Pork Bomb + Gingerale

Reverse Seared Pork Bomb

Cost: $16.50

The Reverse Seared Pork Bomb consisted of german reverse seared pork shoulder fillet with sweet bourbon glaze.

Like the name suggests, this dish was “the bomb”. The pork was SO incredibly tender and juicy. The blend of flavors between the pork, the charcoal grill flavor, and that bourbon glaze….I literally have no words. I would absolutely order this meal again in a heartbeat. The only thing I didn’t like at all was the side of grilled vegetables that I ordered. I took two bites and left it alone. The flavor was off – like the veggies were prepared by reheating some frozen vegetables several times in a row and then letting it sit. Also, the veggies were soggy tasting and lukewarm at best. The pork more than made up for this though.

St. Louis Style Ribs + Coca Cola

St. Louis Style Ribs

Cost: $16.50

The St. Louis Style Ribs consisted of a dry rub, cooked low and slow with Apricot Chipotle BBQ sauce.

The ribs were good – fall off the bone. They seemed a little fatty, but the sauce was great. The side of veggies was bad, or maybe just whatever they put them in? The oil? I did not like the taste. 

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Cost: Complimentary

The White Chocolate Bread Pudding featured homemade bread pudding topped with Jenny’s Bourbon dream sauce.

I loved this flavor. I just wish that the top layer of bread wasn’t quite as hard; I wish it was easier to bite into (like the rest of the dessert). The sauce and overall presentation were great, however.

Desert was good. I probably would not order again, but it was good. It tasted very custom.

Kamado Grille is a little on the pricey side. You’re definitely paying for the atmosphere; however, the food is just as delicious as it looks. You can definitely tell that quite a bit of work and thought went into Kamado Grille, and it shows.

Details such as high, vaulted ceilings with ample, natural light, to flat screens that give diners an inside, behind-the-scenes look at their food preparation, to how meticulously the dishes are presented – this is a restaurant that we would certainly recommend trying. Kamado Grille certainly brings a freshness to the North Raleigh food scene, and we are undoubtedly grateful.

Total (for 3 adults): $65.91*

*does not include tip



February 2015



Applebee’s – Triangle Town Center

Written by , Posted in $$ - Bring your debit card, Bar and Grills

Our most recent restaurant adventure took us to the Applebee’s at Triangle Town Center. If you want to avoid the lunch rush during the week, 2:30 p.m. seems like the perfect time to eat.

When we arrived, we almost had the entire restaurant to ourselves. The atmosphere was relaxing, the table was clean, and we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Applebee’s had upgraded to digital table menus as well as their traditional, hand-held menus. The menu had been revised as well and now included more food options.

The wait staff was extremely friendly and attentive. Our waiter was well groomed and didn’t even need to write down our orders – something I found to be even more impressive after we received our food with zero errors.

Ordering from the digital menu at applebee's

When one of our staff members suggested Applebee’s for our lunch spot, I was skeptical. In the past, my experiences with this chain restaurant were mediocre at best. Applebee’s was the place you went to with your college friends for late night dinners; it wasn’t exactly the first place I imagined eating at as a business professional.

However, to its credit, Applebee’s has emerged as great restaurant option. It’s versatile and attracts a diverse crowd of people – both with its food options, pricing, and atmosphere.

Mozzarella Sticks (8-Count)

Mozzarella sticks at applebee's

Cost: $7.49

The mozzarella sticks have become sort of a signature appetizer at Applebee’s – and with good reason. They are delicious!

Served up nice and hot, with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, these mozzarella sticks were on point. They were crispy and not overcooked. In the past, we’ve had issues where mozzarella sticks tasted overcooked and had a rubbery consistency, but these tasted great and went FAST. Also, these mozzarella sticks seem larger than they used to be, years ago when Applebee’s was serving them. Overall, it was a decent portion size for four adults.

Riblet Platter + Sweet Tea

riblet platter at applebee's

Cost: $12.69 + $2.39

The Riblets tasted great. True to the menu description, they were served hot and had a smokey, chargrilled flavor. The honey bbq was really good- it was sweet and not too hot. This is definitely a finger food, and the waiter was attentive to this, bringing wet naps to help keep things neat. The dish was served with Applebee’s signature fries and a side of cole slaw. Overall, it was a delicious dish that definitely hit the spot.

Kobe-Style Meatballs

kobe style meatballs at applebee's

Cost: $6.99

The Kobe-style meatballs consisted of meatballs served with Pomodoro sauce, sprinkled with blended parmesan cheese and served with a side of partially sliced ciabatta bread. This pub appetizer was tasty despite the somewhat unappetizing presentation. We suspect that the meatballs may have been zapped in a microwave and then “dressed up” prior to being brought out to the table. Regardless, the flavor wasn’t affected, and it was a satisfying, filling dish.

Clubhouse Grill + Sweet Potato Fries

clubhouse grill with sweet potato fries at applebee's

Cost: $9.99 + $0.99

The Clubhouse Grill sandwich had a lot going on: thick cuts of warm ham, turkey breast and melted cheddar & Jack cheeses with Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and a drizzle of the Applebee’s signature honey BBQ sauce on freshly toasted Tuscan bread.

Overall, the sandwich was nice and crisp. It had a buttery layer on the outside, and the bacon was crispy. It had had a good flavor, and it was VERY tasty.

The french fries were good but not great. They were NOT crisp, and they tasted too minimally seasoned.

Cedar Lemon Chicken

cedar lemon chicken at applebee's

Cost: $9.99

I decided to order something from the healthier side of the menu, so I went with the Cedar Grilled Chicken.

The dish was served hot and featured a generous portion of grilled chicken, garnished with finely sliced Granny Smith apple slices. The chicken sat in a bed of light, lemon and olive oil sauce, and it was accompanied by a blend of rice, quinoa, honey-glazed pecans and chopped cranberries.

Overall, the flavor was great. It could’ve been a tad hotter. I also found that while this meal was portioned appropriately, it’s probably not the best option to go for when you’re starving (as I was). I found that I was still hungry after I was done!


blondie dessert at applebee's


Cost: $6.29

What can be said about the Blondie? It was EXCELLENT. I liked that they served the maple icing on the side because even though one of our other staff members loved it- a sweet Blondie, PLUS sweet ice cream, PLUS sweet icing was just a little too much “sweet” for my personal taste.

Another LTTR staff member commented, saying, “Dessert was amazingly good. The Blondie by itself was too dry, but with the ice cream, it was amazingly good. The drizzle sauce was pure sugar goodness as well.”

Triple Chocolate Meltdown

triple chocolate meltdown at applebee's

Cost: $6.29

If you’re a chocolate lover, then the Triple Chocolate Meltdown was made for you. This dessert has been a featured item on the Applebee’s menu for years now, and with good reason! This molten lava chocolate cake is served up hot. When you cut into it, it oozes warm, chocolate-y goodness. Add a side of vanilla ice cream, and top it all with melted fudge, and it truly is a slice of heaven. This dessert is generous enough to be shared or decadent enough to be enjoyed alone. Just make sure you hit the gym afterwards!

Overall, our experience at Applebee’s was great. The staff members were polite, professional, and extremely attentive. The food was flavorful and delicious – and for the most part, presented nicely. And for a mere $68.00 for four adults, it was also budget friendly. We’ll definitely be back in the near future!

[photo credit: Irwin Funes]



May 2014



Winston’s Grille

Written by , Posted in $$$ - Better budget a little for this, Bar and Grills

From the outward appearance to the interior decor, Winston’s Grille has ‘fine dining’ written all over it. However, it still gives off enough of a casual presence so as to not be as intimidating. While Winston’s Grille does have a Kid-friendly menu, you may want to leave the kiddos at home as this restaurant primarily caters to a more mature crowd.

Winston's Grille

First Impressions

Winston’s Grille is a standalone restaurant located in a busy shopping plaza, at the intersection of Falls of Neuse Road and Spring Forest Road. Parking is a bit hairy during the lunch rush hour, so be prepared to circle the lot a few times, or plan to park in an adjacent parking lot.

The exterior of the restaurant is well kept with manicured landscaping and clean surroundings. We were only inside of the restaurant briefly before being seated on the patio. However, the interior decor reflected the outside of the restaurant; you could see the attention to detail.


Prior to the appetizers and entrées, the waitress brought out fresh baked buns with whipped butter. The butter and bread were incredibly delicious. The bread had a nice crust on the outside, and it was soft on the inside. The butter, because it was whipped, was easy to spread on the bread. The flavor of the bread had just the slightest hint of sweetness to it.

Fresh Baked Rolls with Butter

Dish #1 – Seared Tuna

The Seared Tuna is one of the featured appetizers on the menu. It consisted of sashimi tuna topped with sesame seeds, seared and served with wasabi, pickled ginger and a teriyaki sauce. I didn’t realize that the wasabi was going to be mixed into the sauce. I’m not a fan of wasabi, and when I read the menu, I thought it would be on the side. Despite this, the tuna was good.

Seared Tuna

Dish #2 – Chicken Caesar Salad

I ordered this with extra chicken. It was A LOT of chicken, but I preferred it that way. The caesar dressing was a mild caesar flavor- not too overbearing. The bread was AH-mazing. The service was a little slow. We were seated outside, but we weren’t seated where we wanted. I felt that the wait staff didn’t communicate the outdoor seating situation very well, especially since it was a cool day and we were seated in the shade. The service was not overly friendly or attentive. 

Chicken Caesar Salad

Dish #3 – Health Nut Salad with Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

I ordered lemonade with my meal, and it did not disappoint. It was served in a glass with a straw and a fresh lemon wedge on the rim. The lemonade was freshly made at the restaurant, and contained the perfect balance of lemon to water to sugar – not too much sugar, but rather, just enough to satisfy any sweet tooth (like mine). It was so good that I actually wound up ordering a second one (There are no free refills on lemonades).

The Health Nut Salad was also delicious. It consisted of fresh spinach leaves, mixed with a lemon-champagne vinaigrette, strawberries, bananas, almonds, cantaloupe, craisins, goat cheese and grilled chicken. The flavors blended together were incredible. I’m not usually a fan of dressings on my salads, but the lemon-champagne vinaigrette was light and airy and infused the salad with just the right balance of flavor. Everything blended well together to create a satiating dish.

Had I skipped the bread and the drinks, I might have been able to make more headway into my salad.

Healthnut Salad with Chicken


The service was excellent. The presentation of the food was excellent. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. Water glasses and fountain beverages were promptly refilled before anyone needed to request it. Dishes were cleared immediately in preparation for the next round of food, and all food orders were placed and executed without error.

The atmosphere was a little on the chilly side (sitting in the shade on the patio), but the table cloth, chairs and utensils were clean, the decor was on point, and the other restaurant patrons were respectful and on the quieter side. Overall, Winston’s Grille is a great spot for a more upscale dining experience, but what you pay for you most certainly get back tenfold in the quality of the food and in the quality of the service.



April 2012



Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Written by , Posted in $$ - Bring your debit card, $$$ - Better budget a little for this, Bar and Grills, Italian

Date night is always fun, but can be a challenge to find somewhere to eat when nobody is quite sure what they’re in the mood for. Such was the case the other night as my boyfriend and I asked each other “whatchu wanna eat?” and replied “I dunno, whatchu wanna eat?”

We finally decided we were in the mood for some Italian food and settled on giving Carrabba’s Italian Grill a try and headed to the location at 4821 Capital Blvd in Raleigh. As is to be expected on a Saturday night at any restaurant, there was an hour long wait. We were starving and decided to give the bar a try. We lucked out and found two seats immediately and got great personal attention from the two bartenders working that night.

He tried a glass of red wine and I opted for a blackberry sangria in a quartino (about a glass and a half). We were served fresh bread with olive oil and a mix of herbs and we also ordered the bacon and caramelized onion flat-bread appetizer. It came out pretty quickly which we appreciated. The flavor, however, wasn’t that great and we probably would not order this particular appetizer again.

For dinner, we ordered pasta Carrabba (fettuccini Alfredo with grilled chicken, mushrooms and peas) and the Manicotti (red sauce with a requested side of Alfredo sauce to add in). For our sides, we ordered a side salad and a soup (Italian Wedding soup).  The food was absolutely delicious.

I’m a huge fan of sangria and I have to say that the blackberry sangria here is probably the absolute best sangria I’ve had in the Raleigh area.

In all, our experience here was really great. Our food was served quickly and was hot and fresh and tasted great. Like I said, we’d skip the particular flat-bread that we ordered the first time but would be open to trying another flavor in the future.

We enjoyed the ‘personal’ service at the bar and appreciated how quick the staff was to take our order, bring us our food, and keep our drinks refilled. The bar did get a little busy as the night went on but for us, it was a far better experience than we think we may have had on the busy dining floor.

We can’t wait to go back to Carrabba’s and I am hearing that there’s a drink special on Wednesdays for $10 off a pitcher of sangria. I’m in!



December 2011



Piper’s Tavern

Written by , Posted in $ - Grab change from the couch cushions, $$ - Bring your debit card, Bar and Grills

A fun place to eat with decent food, Piper’s Tavern is one of our go-to places for lunch or dinner.

Piper’s Tavern is located at 8304 Falls of Neuse Road. It’s a bar and grille sort of place, where repeat business is probably the core of this restaurant’s success. They have a live band some nights, and there’s always a mix of folks: older or younger couples, families, friends having dinner and drinks together. They have a bar area attached to the main dining room, but it’s never too rowdy. Parking can be a little tricky if it’s a busy night, but if you are a little creative you can squeeze in somewhere closeby.

I usually order their portobello mushroom sandwich, but today I wanted something different. I opted for their Cuban grille while Mr. Man got their pizza. I wouldn’t have thought to get pizza at a bar and grille, but it was pretty good!

My Cuban sandwich was good – not great – but it was good for the price we paid for it. We also got some grilled bbq chicken wings. They were not breaded and the sauce was light, but they weren’t too bad! We paid about $30 for dinner and water. Adult beverage prices are comparable to other bar and grilles.

We’ve always had good service at Piper’s and we enjoy the atmosphere. They have special monthly events and a Sunday brunch.

Check out their website at