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Five Restaurants I Miss

Restaurants really come-and-go. Unfortunately some good ones weren’t able to make it for one reason or another. Which do you miss?

I’ll go with:

Lock, Stock, & Barrel (Colony Shopping Ctr) – The first salad bar in the area and one of the all-time best. Great sourdough melt burger, spaghetti, and sandwiches. Drinks were served Ball jars, and 50’s era jukeboxes were at every table.

G.D. Ritzy’s – Chain out of Columbus, OH IIRC. Great little fried burger and fries. Really good ice cream, too. Chain was mis-managed and folded, yet our stores (now Hooters on WF Rd and Breuggers on Avent Ferry) did well

El Pollo Asado (now Arbys near TTC) – Flame-roasted chicken chain that served pieces with sides of salsa, tortillas, and vegetables. mmmm.

Darryl’s – If you weren’t here before the sale to General Mills (or whatever- around 1980), you completely won’t get this one. Darryl’s was the child of Darryl Davis, Thad Eure, and Charlie Winston. I remember the iron jail cells, the elevator, the pong table, the graffiti-carved booths and tables, the heavy frozen mugs, the red carpet, and the jukebox like they were yesterday. Foodwise, I like the steak sandwich, hamburger, blue cheese dressing, pizza chips, and spaghetti. Perfectly family friendly yet totally appropriate for dates, it was probably the most perfect restaurant for daily all-purpose eating in this city’s history.

Sadak’s – Short-lived, but this sit-down middle eastern restaurant at Hillsborough and Horne (where Q-Shack was) was run by Walid Sadak, owner of Hector’s in Crabtree. I love Hector’s, but Sadak’s had some even more interesting items on the menu.

Honorable mention: Santa Fe (MacGregor Village), Luigi’s (NH), Deli King (NH), Su Casa (Crabtree), Oak Park Pharmacy, Glenwood Pharmacy, Nana’s Chophouse, Hang Chow, The Far East, Swensons, Jack’s Steakhouse, Brother’s Pizza, Hardees on Wake Forest Road (now American Pride car wash), Black Dog Cafe, Jason’s Donuts (Falls Village), Hamburger Hut (Morgan & Mayo).

Notes: Lock Stock, & Barrel has reopened in Clayton. It is in a strip shopping center and while it still features the sourdough cheeseburger, the owner didn’t bring much else. Darryl’s had pizza chips and blue cheese dressing that are now featured at the Angus Barn. Sadak’s baklava, hummus, and tabouleh are available at the Crabtree Hector’s (Food court).


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  • EG Said:

    I miss:
    Biscuit King in Durham, especially in summer when the tomatoes were fresh & ripe. Spicy BBQ chicken
    The “old” Irregardless in Raleigh. doesn’t seem the same anymore.
    Flying Burrito in Raleigh. The original in Chapel Hill has been diluted after being sold.

  • Oberlin Said:

    Definitely have to agree with The Black Dog. That place had the best shrimp and grits, everytime I’ve ordered them since then I’ve been disappointed. I’ll go ahead and throw out Scotty’s too – the one in the old North Hills, probably nostalgia talkin’ there though..

  • VaNC Said:

    I can’t believe you left out the Rathskellar on Hillsborough. Always packed, always a favorite. Miss the great salads, sweet potato ravioli, burger, marinated tofu, you name it. Was a great place to take a crowd when you had some meat eaters, some veggies, some who wanted something light, etc. It had a huge menu and all great.

    I miss Black Dog too. Wasn’t Yancey the chef there?

    I also miss the shakes at the Soda shop across from the courthouse. I think I had one every day when I was working and pregnant with my fist kid. Real ice cream milkshakes, none of that fake Char-grill paper carton “shake” stuff.

  • JD Said:

    I miss Darryl’s too. It was special when you got to sit in the iron jail, and they always brought homemade saltines to your table. My husband and I were reminiscing about Darryl’s over the weekend, when we visited the new Red Hot & Blue on Hillsborough. Nothing against RH&B, but it just isn’t the same.

  • Betty Said:

    I was thinking about Scotty’s, too. Great place to take the kids when they were little. I thought they were coming back somewhere?

  • karlaanne Said:

    VaNC got it right. rathskellar on hillsborough. my god i miss that tahini.

  • Steelcity36 Said:

    God I miss the Hook UP! Where else can one get fried seafood around here? In its absence somebody should open an Ice Cream shop or BBQ Restaurant in that location.

  • Ken Metzger Said:

    Oak City Diner – That place was always interesting at 3 in the morning.

  • RaleighRob Said:

    For one, I miss Ratskellar on Hillsborough Street. Was a great little dive restaurant with some really good food. Don’t get me wrong, I totally love Porters and what they’ve done with the location. In an ideal world, we’d still have both!

    Another big miss is Cafe Cyclo in Cameron Village. Vietnamese food, coffee house, and cocktail bar all in one! What a great place that was. I hate hate hate that they’re gone…they were the neatest thing that shopping center ever had.

    Speaking of Cameron Village I also heavily miss Big Sky Bread Company. Since their closure, Raleigh’s really been lacking for a decent old-fashioned bakery. So sad.

    I also hate to see Bistro 607 close. I’m sure Tasca Brava is great (can’t wait to try them), but if they had opened elsewhere on the Glenwood South strip and kept Bistro 607 open I’d be happier…I miss their take on elegant French food.

    Finally, a big lamentation for Sylvia’s Gelato Cafe on Hillsborough Street. Her delicious authentic Italian Gelato was the best frozen dessert in all of Raleigh. Best pistachio ever!

  • Rob J. Said:

    I still crave a bacon grilled cheese and (real) cherry coke from the old Johnson’s Pharmacy where EVOO now stands. Also, any list without Scotty’s from the old North Hills would be seriously amiss! Whomever commented about the Hobby Shop from North Hills was spot on..although we still have a jewel of an arts supply store in Askew-Taylor on S. Glenwood. May they live long and prosper…

  • Jimmy Said:

    Steelcity36 – HYSTERICAL!

    Darryls was THE date place in the 80s – I think the transition to corporate blech food was later than 1980 wasn’t it? They used to have this chili dog thing that you ate with a fork that nothing short of miraculous.

    Far East was the place where my parents went with their friends and their brown bags. It was the special occasion when the kids got to go. They had some very different menu items (Fong Wong Gai and War Ar Pai are names I seem to remember)

    Horwitz’s Deli – first in North Ridge Shopping Center, then Cary. Best rare roast beef sandwich, great pickles, just amazing food. I understand that DaVinci’s in Falls Village has hooked up with Horwitz’s meat supplier, but I haven’t tried it yet.

    Hearts Delight in Millbrook. Major high school memories there.

    Mutters Homemade Chips

    Arthur’s fries and cheesesteaks on the top floor of J.C. Penney

    Between this and the stores thread, I’m waxing nostalgic…

  • Dana Said:

    Well, VaNC, I went to UNC, so any Rathskellar outside of the one in Amber Ally is not even considered! :)

    Funny, SteelCity!

    Those Mutter’s chips WERE good. In fact, I really miss their grilled chicken sandwich. How hard is it to make a good chicken sandwich? Apparently there is skill, because the ones out there, like at the Cook-Out, are just simply good.

    I think you meant Arthurs that was upstairs in Ivey’s.

    Anyway, I actually miss the cafeteria that was in JCPenney as well as the lunch counter that was in Woolworth’s. So many big stores had lunch counters. Even North Hills Pharmacy had one next to the stairs. (remember how that store had that weird layout of being downstairs in the back?

  • Hunter Said:

    I miss Mr. Dunderbak’s Cafe in the mall. They had the best meats and cheeses for sandwichs at lunch and served a nice assortment of world beers.

  • Bartman Said:

    VaNC has it correct – The Rathskellar!!! It’s the only restaurant I miss. The vegetarian Sweet Potato Raviolli was amazing (and I am far from being a vegetarian)! I wish I could find this dish again elsewhere…

  • Ernie Said:

    Betty, don’t toy with me. Where did you hear Scotty’s was coming back? I used to eat there every day when I worked nearby. Tea and grilled cheese sandwiches. Man, now I won’t be able to work the rest of the day, I’ll be thinking about Scotty’s.

  • Kurt Said:

    ~ Daily Planet
    ~ The first incarnation of Yancey’s
    ~ Poole’s Luncheonette (back in the day)
    ~ Humble Pie when the menu used to change

  • cswiii Said:

    Seriously missing Red Palace right now. Still no news about any impending relocation — the domain name now points to a domain parking — although WHOIS still indicates that it has local ownership.

  • Seann Said:

    I second the Mr. Dunderbaks! Really miss that place.

  • Holly Said:

    I gotta put in my Dad’s Soda Shop in Cameron Village. I miss his egg salad, pimento cheese, bean soup, lemonades….mmmmm

    and… Karen’s

    and the Original Cafe Giorgios in MacGregor Village.

  • jrtlover Said:

    I thought of a few more great “oldies” –

    – North Hills Tavern and Steakhouse – GREAT steak sandwich, hamburger, unbelievable French fries and cheesecake! It was owned by Johnny Vasillion, and closed when North Hills went from a strip mall to an enclosed mall. Along with the really good food was the warm atmosphere. In the winter there was a fire in a huge open stone fireplace.

    – Mr. Ribs – on Hillsborough St. (then Hillsboro) on the left – kind of across from The Brewery. Great ribs and steaks, barbecued chicken etc. The owner of Crowley’s on Medlin Dr. was the chef, so that Crowley’s ribs are close to the original.

    – Hofbrau – Cameron Village (where the new noodles place is opening). Delicious German food – an institution that was packed all the time. It went with the Bryan Building fire in the late 60’s.

    – BALENTINES – Cameron Village – That’s the one I probably miss most. Only delicious cafeteria food I’ve ever tasted. Nearly everything was good. Their closing was very sad, especially since that space has sat vacant for so long. Their Saturday night buffet on the lower level was the fraternity gathering place, especially after home football games.

    – Oak Park Pharmacy lunch counter – nobody made better hot dogs or chicken salad, though it was a tight race between them and Cameron Village Soda Shop that Holly pointed out. I miss them both.

    Guess we’re all saying that Raleigh has always had good restaurants.

  • Dave Said:

    Second Nature cafe

  • Mel Said:

    Ma Perry’s, she was downtown across from the bus station, where the Quorum Building is now. She was Raleigh’s Mama Dip!
    Also Canton Cafe and Est, Est, Est.

  • eg Said:

    Rathskeller — how could I have forgotten that? Yes, one of my long-time favorites as well…thanks all for the reminders of some good meals in a lot of these places.

  • wendy Said:

    LSB was the best. The salad bar was great for the 80’s. We ate there weekly. The Mayberry at Colony was also quite fantastic for soup, a grilled cheese, and a great sundae.

  • jocon Said:

    I miss Brothers’ Pizza on Hillsboro. Every Friday my family would go. No menu necessary – eggplant parmasean for all of us.

    Steve’s ice cream just down the street from Brothers’. Coffee with heath bar mix-in. Great after a high school football game, too.

  • mr b Said:

    2nd to brothers…most people I know from Raleigh at some point had a friday night ritual at Brothers, us included. My sister and I would sit in the red cans by the front door…I remember finally getting to big for those. Thinking back, there is no way to count how many pizzas I watched being made in the back hall.

  • Spencer Said:

    Scotty’s was the best. I remember the one at Crabtree Valley Mall as well as at North Hills. It was on the 1st floor right next to Sears and near THe Recortd Bar. You ordered up front and then walked down the hallway to the back where they had seating.

  • Doug Said:

    ‘jocon’ took my list with Steve’s Ice Cream and Brothers’ Pizza.

    If I could remember the name, I would also mention the North Hills lower level restaurant from around 1980. “Beer, Cheese, and Cauliflower Soup” sounded so strange and tasted so good.

  • Dana Said:


  • Arthur! Said:

    Steelcity36- The HookUp use to be a BBQ place then before that it was an ice cream place, too.
    You just have to go to mayflower for Captn Charlies for fied seafoood.!
    Steelcity36 Said:
    September 11th, 2008 at 9:04 am
    God I miss the Hook UP! Where else can one get fried seafood around here? In its absence somebody should open an Ice Cream shop or BBQ Restaurant in that location.

  • Crystal Said:

    I know it’s just a chain and I shouldn’t even say this, but I seriously miss Bamboo Club. Crab rangoon with strawberry sauce… sigh. I think the closest one might be in Arizona now. The place was always packed – I have no idea why it failed.

  • Dana Said:

    I never tried the Shrimp & Grits at the Black Dog. The place was owned by two sisters, though. Their other sister owned Crook’s Corner in Wilmington, so it is likely that BD was serving the Crook’s Recipe, which is one of my all-time favorites (attached below). The Wilmington Martin sister and her mother started NoFo, and have a store at Five Points here. I ordered S&G at the Raleigh NoFo and hated it, but it is possible that NoFo is serving the S&G from Black Dog you miss.
    The closest thing to Crook’s version in Raleigh is 518’s Shrimp and Polenta, which very good. Anyway, enjoy this recipe. It is one of my very few favorites.

    Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    1 pound shrimp
    6 bacon slices
    peanut oil
    2 cups sliced mushrooms
    1 cup scallion — finely minced
    4 servings grits
    1 clove garlic
    4 teaspoons lemon juice
    tabasco sauce
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley — chopped
    salt and pepper
    1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
    nutmeg — to taste
    white pepper — to taste

    Prepare 4 servings of grits and add cheese, Tabasco, nutmeg and white pepper to taste. Keep warm in a double boiler. Peel shrimp, rinse and pat dry. Dice bacon and saute in skillet until edges become brown, but bacon is not crisp. Add enough peanut oil to bacon fat to make 1/8″ layer of oil in skillet. When hot, add shrimp in even layer. Turn shrimp as they start to turn pink. Add mushrooms, scallions and garlic (put through a press) and saute for about 4 minutes. Turn occasionally. Season with lemon juice, dash of two of Tabasco, parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon grits on plate and top with shrimp.

  • Chris & Paul Said:

    OMG! Su Casa was the ultimate in Mexican Cuisine! My husband and I loved that place and we have not found a tex-mex restaraunt to replace it. I hope that George, the owner, is happy in whatever he is doing now. We do miss his cooking! So glad that someone else appreciated his passion. We hate the cookie cutter restaraunts to choose from around here. Any suggestion of good tex-mex? We found great ones in Texas while visiting relatives!

  • Horatio Said:

    I miss the old cafeteria at the downtown Belk store where most of the vegetables were fresh and the ladies behind the line spoke to you like they were truly glad to see you. Also the doughnuts that were served in the snackbar in the basement were delicious…..never mind the fat content.

  • packangel Said:

    Not only am I hungry now but I can’t get what I am craving because all the restaurants are gone! The one I’m really thinking about wasn’t so much a restaurant as a lounge type place. It was called Cork and tried to make it before Glenwood South was truly the place to be. It had fantastic wine and good tapas. Very cool atmosphere!

  • Interstella5555 Said:

    I miss Steak & Ale behind Crabtree.

  • OldRaleigh Said:

    A shout out to my fellow old Raleigh friends who brought up some great places.The one thing all these places had was character…as well as being priced reasonably . Now you go some place and all the chains take your money and give you the…”Time to go” feeling. LS&B blue cheese dressing needs a mention as well as the Prohibition special at Darryl’s…thanks for the memories.

  • Arthur Said:

    Black Dog Cafe was great.

  • Karen V Said:

    Does anyone remember the name of the bakery that was on Daniels St in the OLD Cameron Village (behind the Village Book & Stationary) where the ABC store is now? I LOVED that bakery as a child (back in the 70’s)-everything they made was sooo delicious!

  • Dana Said:

    ?Federal Bakery?

  • Erin Said:

    Let’s not forget Rathskellar on Hillsborough :(

  • George Said:

    Chris & Paul Said:
    January 9th, 2009 at 6:08 pm
    OMG! Su Casa was the ultimate in Mexican Cuisine!

    I can’t get into the details of George’s history and woes between his restaurant and the Mall, but I can give you this link to order the hotsauce online and two locations in Alabama where the very same mexican food can be found (George’s father started the El Palacio chain).
    El Palacio Mexican Restaurant
    2008 Memorial Pkwy SW
    Huntsville, AL 35801
    (256) 534-9161

    1396 S Us-231,
    Ozark, AL 36360
    (334) 774-2077

    Hot Sauce can be ordered online at

    I miss the restaurant and especially George. Like all combat Marines, he’s in a class of his own.

  • Steve Said:

    Papagayo, circa 1987, MacGregor Village. Cool place.

  • Tim Said:

    I remember eating at so many of these restaurants. As a kid I worked at Horwitz Deli in North Raleigh. Loved their pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.

    I also worked at a restaurant in Crabtree that was in the food court, but can not remember the name of it. The year was 1987(?). It was a Japanese restaurant that was beside a Taco Bell. It was run by a really nice, personable Japanese Chef named Ko. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Chef Ko helped design the Kanki restaurants in Crabtree and North Raleigh. I’d love to find out where he is now and thank him for helping start my career. Thanks.

  • Dana Said:

    Definitely remember Ko. It was Smorgas first, then “Terikayi and Sushi ‘A'”. Loved and dearly miss his open-faced steak sandwich. Word is the IRS was looking for him and he vanished. Not sure what actually happened, but it is sad.

  • paul Said:

    great to read all the comments here. i grew up in durham but my mom would take me to raleigh almost every weekend to go see my aunt. this was around the late 80s/early 90s. really loved canton cafe; the interior was so exotic and cozy and the food (even for a picky kid like me) was awesome. i still salivate thinking about the cantonese chicken. my mom would tell me about going there with her friends and family way back in the 60s and it always felt like a really special place. other various memories… when i was finally old enough to wander crabtree on saturday afternoons i’d have a routine of hitting various stores then going to have a soda at mr. dunderbak’s. good times being young and somewhat independent for the first time. interesting to learn there was a papagayo in raleigh. there was one in durham in the 80s in a borderline sketchy area. i remember it was a huge hit with the duke crowd and was the first time i ever had mexican food and deep fried ice cream. instant hit. thanks for the memories.

  • vann Said:

    Federal.bake shop

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