Antonio’s Coney Island

Antonio’s Coney Island is located in a Shell station at 5108 Wake Forest Hwy. Because this is the former home of short-lived Carolina Steak & Cheese, I had to order a steak & cheese when I saw one on the menu.

The combo pictured above ran about $6.50.  While it wasn’t bad, it was pretty generic and the steak & cheese was very very skimpy. And by very, I mean very.

They also had burgers, chicken fingers, and similar fare.

(Update) We will be going back to try the hot dogs soon.

Published in: on September 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm  Comments (14)  

Tier’s Grill :)

Tier’s Grill won me over for sure.  Tier’s (601 W. Chapel Hill St.) opened September 12 in the grill space at the gas station on the corner of Chapel Hill St. and Gregson (across from the Police Station).

I was walking along Chapel Hill Street towards downtown and saw a smiley-faced Tier’s Grill sign announcing breakfast and lunch.  I’ve gone to the grill at this location during various proprietors’ runs and was curious to see what was going on with Tier’s.

My take on what is going on at Tier’s Grill is that the food is served up quick and as you like it.  The folks running the grill know what they are doing and have a nice touch with both customer service and making food.  I hope Tier’s lasts a good long while.

The burgers at Tier’s are delicious and cost $2.  The red hots have an easygoing kick and are nicely prepared (and also cost $2).  First I went to Tier’s for a snack, and then later that same day I went back for a feast.  Round one: one cheeseburger with the works (onion, tomato + condiments). Round two: one hamburger with fat back and the works, a red hot (plain) and a side of pig’s feet.  I liked all of the food I ordered a whole lot.

Tier’s “Breakfast on Toast” (from seven choices) is available from 8-11am.  Lunch starts at 11am and the grill closes at 7pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends.  I will return to Tier’s to try the Lunch Plate–at $5.50, it includes 1 meat (from eight choices) and 2 veggies (from eight choices).

Published in: on September 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm  Comments (1)  

Tacostumbras: Tamales!! and more

A year ago I might not have believed that I could get something that good lookin at a gas station convenience store.  I know so much better now!

Tacostumbras recently opened in the Exxon “Town ‘n’ Country” convenience store on University Dr. and Dixon Rd.  Based on my limited Spanish, the name is really funny to me.  It seems like it should mean something like “Tacos: Get used to them!” or “You’ll get used to tacos” or something about having a taco habit (which I have).  As the sign says, they serve tortas, tacos, and tamales and a board inside also listed menudo (possibly only available on Sundays).

Both the taco (lengua) and the torta (asada) were good–I can’t complain at all about the meat in either.  The tortillas weren’t freshly made, and I’ve been spoiled recently by Costa Azul in that respect, but I still completely enjoyed my taco here.  The torta was a bit mayo-heavy, covering up the flavor of the nice slab of queso, but the meat and salsas (especially the delicious salsa verde) put up a good fight against it (next time I’ll probably ask for it with no mayo).

The tamales, on the other hand, fully deserve the double-exclamation points they garner on the sign outside.  They come in red and green.  When I was indecisive about which to get, the cashier/cook chose green for me but later brought a red one over to our table, for free (and no, we didn’t tell her we were big-shot bloggers who could make or break her establishment with our pinky fingers.  I totally don’t know how to say that in Spanish, is why).  I recommend getting both colors; DNR, who has more tamale experience than I do, described them as dense but not slimy, and more flavorful than others he’s had.  Even without the blogger hook-up (just kidding) they are only $1.17 each (tacos are $1.87 and tortas $6).  I have not actually had tamales anywhere else in Durham (any recommendations?) but for now Tacostumbras is definitely where I’ll go to get my fix, especially as I can conveniently get gas and a carwash at the very same time.

Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 1:17 pm  Comments (11)  

That’s it, I’m moving: Cheek Road Grocery & Grill

Today I stopped by Cheek Road Grocery & Grill (5801 Cheek Road). First of all, let me say that this area of Durham is awesome — very much in the country, and exactly the type of area I had anticipated living in when I moved here. (I moved to North Durham instead, which is possibly as sparse but with much less country.) It is definitely beautiful country.

That brings me to Cheek Road Grocery & Grill, which is actually a grocery, grill, gas station, bait & tackle shop, social gathering spot, and mini pool hall (1 table).

I had a hotdog with chili and slaw. It was quite tasty, certainly much better than the offerings near me (Dog House). But I saw some other people eating cheeseburgers and was jealous.

(Sorry for the horrible picture)

You should definitely spend a couple of hours driving near Falls Lake and eat here. They are open for breakfast and serve lunch until 1:45. They have many offerings — besides the dogs and burgers, they had several types of chicken sandwiches, bbq, etc.

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Comments (5)  

Still slumming…? Only in the best way.

UPDATE: I tend to misuse words and think everyone knows what I’m talking about.  Slumming = eating at less-than-haute places such as trucks and gas stations.

I know we’ve been missed. It’s finals, sorry. But I managed to take a break for some slumming (by which I mean awesomely not fancy, nothing negative implied at all) and here are the results:

These are chicken livers and collards from Metro Express Market & Grill (2500 Erwin Rd, in the Exxon shop). I have wanted to like livers, especially fried ones, for a while now but have been having trouble. I’ve heard from people who do like them that they’re not as ubiquitous around here as they’d hoped, but that a couple of mysterious days a week, they’re available at Metro Express. I got lucky and they were there today (it’s Thursdays and Fridays). It was by far my best liver experience…maybe it was the pretty high fried-to-liver ratio, and/or the spiciness of the fried. Anyway, I recommend, but then I don’t know from fried livers, so take it with a grain of salt.

The collard greens were less good, though I’ve had worse.

We’ll be spotty during finals (the rest of April) but don’t give up on us.

Published in: on April 18, 2008 at 1:03 pm  Comments (3)  

Best Banana Pudding…?

I recently found out that I really like banana pudding so I went to Tommy’s Mini-Mart (1832 Cole Mill Road, at an Exxon station) on a tip that they had the best in Durham. Although I don’t think that I’m really discerning enough yet to accurately rank puddings, I liked the low pudding-to-other stuff ratio, but would have preferred slightly less mushy wafers.  Does anyone have any Durham banana pudding suggestions?

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 9:19 am  Comments (3)  

Sam’s: Beautiful on the Inside

I know most people already know and love Sam’s (the Quik Shop, not the Club). But it’s easy to miss and my favorite place to shop in Durham (possibly anywhere) so it needs a post.


I’m pretty sure it says nowhere on the outside that there is any beer on the inside.


It looks like a nondescript gas station convenience store, on the corner of Erwin and Main St (right before Ninth). But inside, when you walk past the junk food aisles, there’s this awe-inspiring array of beer. The word on the street is that it’s the best place to buy beer in North Carolina. It has everything I’ve ever gone looking for (huge Belgian selection and plenty of American microbrews, high-quality kegs, etc), and the guys working there know something about everything they have. You can ask them to show you something good and they’ll take you to something life-changing.

They also pretty much always have something new. Yesterday they had a display from New Holland Brewing Company, which is new to the store and I think has only recently been distributed in North Carolina.

One time there was this nasty rumor that Sam’s was going to close to make way for some sort of highway or railroad. That never happened, but the scare made me appreciate it even more. I’ll never take it for granted again.

Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 10:15 pm  Comments Off on Sam’s: Beautiful on the Inside