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Vegetarian in the Triangle?


neoplasticity
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Hello everyone.

Stumbled onto this site while looking for a recipe for zucchini blossum fettacine (awesome pasta i had in some neighborhood cafe off the beaten path in rome a few years back). didn't find the recipe but found this very nice community of food lovers.

anyway, i moved into the triangle 2 years ago from california and have been slowly checking out the restaurant scene here. its been slow going secondary to time and money constraints :) but am slowly getting a feel for the area.

the culinary adventures are somewhat limited by the fact that my wife is vegetarian and that i'm mostly vegetarian (i'll eat meat but i prefer to eat vegetarian if the option is available).

so far, we've found Udupi Cafe in Cary has a very good indian vegetarian buffet. Foster's Market in Durham is a nice lunch place. Nana's was good if a bit pricey but with limited option for veggies. Lime and Basil in Chapel hill was a bit disappointing to my wife for vegetarian pho. there has to be a good vegetarian pho place around here...

haven't found good thai food yet. haven't even bothered to look for ethiopian cuisine (we've driven up to DC and found some good ethiopian food there but i'd be surprised to find any in a small market like the triangle).

i was attributing the dearth of vegetarian options around raleigh durham to it being the south but our recent trip to asheville dispelled that notion. wow. that city is incredible for vegetarian food for its size. laughing seed was some of the best vegetarian food i've had. great fresh produce at early girl eatery. and salsa's had very inventive mexican food which was very fresh and tasty. in my experience, asheville far outstrips the triangle in terms of vegetarian cuisine.

but i got to thinking.. how can a town with 10% of the population have more and better options? so i must be missing something. please tell me that there are many great restaurants that i've not heard of around the triangle that have good vegetarian choices.

thanks to all that reply.

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Hello everyone.

Stumbled onto this site while looking for a recipe for zucchini blossum fettacine (awesome pasta i had in some neighborhood cafe off the beaten path in rome a few years back).  didn't find the recipe but found this very nice community of food lovers. 

anyway, i moved into the triangle 2 years ago from california and have been slowly checking out the restaurant scene here.  its been slow going secondary to time and money constraints :)  but am slowly getting a feel for the area.

the culinary adventures are somewhat limited by the fact that my wife is vegetarian and that i'm mostly vegetarian (i'll eat meat but i prefer to eat vegetarian if the option is available).

so far, we've found Udupi Cafe in Cary has a very good indian vegetarian buffet.  Foster's Market in Durham is a nice lunch place.  Nana's was good if a bit pricey but with limited option for veggies.  Lime and Basil in Chapel hill was a bit disappointing to my wife for vegetarian pho.  there has to be a good vegetarian pho place around here...

haven't found good thai food yet.  haven't even bothered to look for ethiopian cuisine (we've driven up to DC and found some good ethiopian food there but i'd be surprised to find any in a small market like the triangle).

i was attributing the dearth of vegetarian options around raleigh durham to it being the south but our recent trip to asheville dispelled that notion.  wow.  that city is incredible for vegetarian food for its size.  laughing seed was some of the best vegetarian food i've had.  great fresh produce at early girl eatery.  and salsa's had very inventive mexican food which was very fresh and tasty.  in my experience, asheville far outstrips the triangle in terms of vegetarian cuisine.

but i got to thinking.. how can a town with 10% of the population have more and better options?    so i must be missing something.  please tell me that there are many great restaurants that i've not heard of around the triangle that have good vegetarian choices.

thanks to all that reply.

hi! there is a decent-ish (can't compare with DC but still OK)

ethiopian place in durham called blue nile.

contact the triangle vegetarian society (google for their web site)

for more info on restaurants.

tallulah's in chapel hill is reputedly good, i haven't been there yet.

don't waste your time on penang, they have almost nothing.

there are lots of other indian restaurants aside from udupi

(e.g. tower, suchi's, india palace etc etc).

pao lim in durham has great veggie options in asian fusion

and indian-chinese, though people say the quality has fallen off

recently.

there are also some places on 9th street in durham...

hth

milagai

(fellow triangle resident and CA transplant)

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yes, tried penang and was not tremendously impressed.

blue nile food was a bit bland.

i agree that pao lim is good. as least as good as any other asian food i've found around here so far.

will have to try out tallulah and go google that veggie site.. didn't even know there was a society here...

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For ethiopian, we have had good luck with the place in Mission Valley...I forget the name. Although they have added meat to their menu, there is still good vegetarian to be had at Irregardless. Third Place coffee shop always has good vegetarian lunch options. Neomonde has lots of good vegetarian. True there are not many true vegetarian-only places, but so many places have great vegetarian options now.

It is hard to compare anywhere in NC to Asheville. It is the only place in NC where buskers compete for corners and they have drumming in a downtown park on weekends. It is an artist haven, an outdoors-person's dream town and a place of spiritual convergence, if you believe in that stuff. All those types tend to support veggie places. I love visiting, eating and hanging out in Asheville. I would live there if there were just more jobs there.

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thanks for the tips everyone, i'll check them out and report back.

i did find that triangle veggie society website and they recommended sage cafe in chapel hill.

which i must say was a disappointment. not to say it was bad, just that it was not anything special. the food was good but not inspiring and they were a bit overpriced in my opinion.

maybe its because im a poor student but when i pay 13 dollars for a dish, i expect to get something special. when i pay like 9 dollars, i expect something decent.

i'd say sage cafe should be charging more in the 9 dollar range... really, they should go check out laughing seed in asheville and figure out how a vegetarian restaurant should be.

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Off the top of my head...

I'd try Chai's on Erwin. I honestly haven't been thrilled with anything I've had there, but I believe they have a reasonably extensive veggie menu. And the broth is certainly better than Lime and Basil (of course that's about the same as being taller than a midget).

Baba Ganouj Cafe in the big Wachovia bldg. on Main St is much better than International Delights and has a bunch of veggie options. Neomonde in Morrisville and Raleigh is better still.

At the risk of tooting my own horn (which I suppose I'm about to do anyway), a project that I'm working on called Grasshopper is about to open and will have a lot of veggie options. Am I allowed to say this? Does this count as advertisement?

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Heck, yeah, you can toot your own horn. This is one place where restaurant management can interact with its customers. Lots of folks in the business solicit advice, too.

I had the pleasure of looking at Grasshopper yesterday (it'll be finished soon), and it should be a fun place to visit for drinks and a casual bite. We'll get a new discussion started as you get closer to opening day.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Off the top of my head...

I'd try Chai's on Erwin.  I honestly haven't been thrilled with anything I've had there, but I believe they have a reasonably extensive veggie menu.  And the broth is certainly better than Lime and Basil (of course that's about the same as being taller than a midget).

Baba Ganouj Cafe in the big Wachovia bldg. on Main St is much better than International Delights and has a bunch of veggie options.  Neomonde in Morrisville and Raleigh is better still.

At the risk of tooting my own horn (which I suppose I'm about to do anyway), a project that I'm working on called Grasshopper is about to open and will have a lot of veggie options.  Am I allowed to say this?  Does this count as advertisement?

ill definitely have to check those out. and ill be looking for grasshopper

maybe you can come give me some recommendations when i come out there? :)

Edited by neoplasticity (log)
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Hello everyone.

Stumbled onto this site while looking for a recipe for zucchini blossum fettacine (awesome pasta i had in some neighborhood cafe off the beaten path in rome a few years back).  didn't find the recipe but found this very nice community of food lovers. 

anyway, i moved into the triangle 2 years ago from california and have been slowly checking out the restaurant scene here.  its been slow going secondary to time and money constraints :)  but am slowly getting a feel for the area.

the culinary adventures are somewhat limited by the fact that my wife is vegetarian and that i'm mostly vegetarian (i'll eat meat but i prefer to eat vegetarian if the option is available).

so far, we've found Udupi Cafe in Cary has a very good indian vegetarian buffet.  Foster's Market in Durham is a nice lunch place.  Nana's was good if a bit pricey but with limited option for veggies.  Lime and Basil in Chapel hill was a bit disappointing to my wife for vegetarian pho.  there has to be a good vegetarian pho place around here...

haven't found good thai food yet.  haven't even bothered to look for ethiopian cuisine (we've driven up to DC and found some good ethiopian food there but i'd be surprised to find any in a small market like the triangle).

i was attributing the dearth of vegetarian options around raleigh durham to it being the south but our recent trip to asheville dispelled that notion.  wow.  that city is incredible for vegetarian food for its size.  laughing seed was some of the best vegetarian food i've had.  great fresh produce at early girl eatery.  and salsa's had very inventive mexican food which was very fresh and tasty.  in my experience, asheville far outstrips the triangle in terms of vegetarian cuisine.

but i got to thinking.. how can a town with 10% of the population have more and better options?    so i must be missing something.  please tell me that there are many great restaurants that i've not heard of around the triangle that have good vegetarian choices.

thanks to all that reply.

If Morrisville isn't too far for you, I highly recommend The Tower (southern Indian vegetarian) or Neomonde (Lebanese). The latter has wonderful platters where you can choose three salads so you can opt for vegetarian options. Neomonde's falafel are delicious too.

Neither of the above is expensive (especially if you go to the Tower's buffet).

Saladelia on University Drive in Durham offers vegetarian dishes but I don't think they're that good value. Also, their falafel are horrible (like golf balls in toughness).

Foodie Penguin

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well, went and ate at chai's this weekend and was pleasantly surprised. its a nice simple noodle shop. the noodles tasted good, the place was nice and clean, the people friendly and the prices were very reasonable.

not someplace to go if you want to "go out" but if you want a nice place to go grab a casual bite, i think its a great choice. definitely will go back. thanks for the recommendation detlefchef

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Hello everyone.

anyway, i moved into the triangle 2 years ago from california and have been slowly checking out the restaurant scene here.  its been slow going secondary to time and money constraints :)  but am slowly getting a feel for the area.

the culinary adventures are somewhat limited by the fact that my wife is vegetarian and that i'm mostly vegetarian (i'll eat meat but i prefer to eat vegetarian if the option is available).

I second the Ethiopian place in Mission Valley.

Also for Vietnamese you should try out 9n9 on the corner of Miami & Alexander in RTP--wonderful, there is also yikes I forgot the name __House of Noodles off of Capital.

Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh always has veggie options, Cosmic Cantina all over the triangle has great burritos, as does Baja Burrito in D'ham. There are oodles of Indian Places.

I think you'll find stuff you like, don't give up!

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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