Day 5 of Cheap Eats: Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro

Posted May 2, 2008

After four days of finding meals that won’t break the bank, WRAL reporter Kim Dean spent her final day at restaurants in Raleigh, Durham and Carrboro.

Her assignment: find a dinner-sized entree, with a drink and tax, for less than $10 – no fast food allowed.

Dean’s first stop was Poppyseed Market in Raleigh. Open just two years, chef and owner Julia McGovern says customers keep coming back for her homemade specialties and her reasonable prices.

“(They come back for) the local flavor, too. We try to remember people’s names when they come in and make them feel very at home and welcome. I think that has a big impact,” McGovern said.

Most of the menu items are less than $10, but patrons can splurge with a glass or bottle of wine.

Dean, however, stuck to her budget and ordered the homemade "loaded down with love" meat lasagna and salad with berries and sunflower seeds. With a drink and tax, the meal was $9.68.

Next up was the Original Q Shack in Durham. There, Dean ordered pulled pork, two sides and a drink. With tax, it came to $9.93.

With room for one final meal, Dean headed to Carrburritos in Carrboro for, you guessed it, burritos. With the rise in fuel and food prices, the restaurant recently had to raise prices. Owner Gail Fairbanks says the food is still affordable, though.

“You can come here and get out of here for $5 bucks,” she said.

Dean splurged and got their famous pulled pork burrito. Fairbanks said she makes it a point to pick the freshest produce and ingredients.

“We like to think it's part of our philosophy – good food for a reasonable amount of money.”

Dean’s burrito with homemade chips, salsa and soda came to $9.33.

“I shouldn’t talk with my mouth full, but this good,” she said.

(Of the 16 restaurants Dean featured in her "Cheap Eats" series, which is your favorite? To vote, click here.)

Monday on WRAL’s Morning News at 6, Dean has a story parents have to see to believe – kids on their best behavior. It's etiquette camp for kids.


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  • BULLDOZER May 2, 2008

    I know the thrust of the article was to show eating out cheaply, but, the story was written because of public outcry of food costs.
    If you are concerned about food costs, eat at home. For the most part, it is always cheaper and often better. And with the cost of fuel these days, don't forget the cost of gas to go out to eat

  • raldude May 2, 2008

    From what I see, none of the totals include tip. After tip, the total of the bill would be well over $10.00. I think this series missed the whole point of cheap eats in the triangle.

  • 1Rx4FN May 2, 2008

    I love how the criteria was "qualified" as the week went along.

    (Monday) - The entree, drink and tax all have to be less than $10.

    (Wednesday) - Reporter Kim Dean is traveling to local restaurants to find the best meals under $10.

    (Thursday) - Her goal is to get a meal, plus drink and tax, for less than $10 – no fast food allowed.

    (Friday) - Her assignment: find a dinner-sized entree, with a drink and tax, for less than $10 – no fast food allowed.

    These stories took a ripping this week based off of the $$$ criteria but at least I have some new areas to try.

  • cstanley3 May 2, 2008

    Poppyseed Markets online menu says the lasagna is $9.99? So how did Kim get it plus a salad and a drink for less then $10?

  • fkhaywood May 2, 2008

    Cheap eats!!! @ under $10.00 a pop, that ain't cheap. My wife and I eat out 90% of the time. My bill is usually in the $10-$12.00 range total for the both of us. We even eat rib-eye steak, shared, for under $15.00, tip included. I'm talking about meat, 2 veggies, and tea meals for me, and a sandwich or burger for my wife.

  • Through a glass darkly May 2, 2008

    WRAL was close, but missed the boat. The choice of $10 was poor. It is too low for a gourmet meal, and too high for a good cheap meal. If they have made it $15, then it would include more from the gourmet side (although why you would want 'cheap' and 'gourmet' is beyond me), while there are a tremendous number of great places that serve dinners for less than $8.

    I can't recall the last time I went out for dinner and paid $10 or more, although my dinner at Tir na nOg earlier this week was close.

    Lower the cost a couple of dollars, then see what you can find!

  • Dreamin of Disney World May 2, 2008

    Thanks for this serious. I've followed it every day, and took a few notes. Our family enjoys trying new places when we're out and this has been helpful. :)

  • butterpie May 2, 2008

    Thanks for this - thoroughly enjoyable. I checked it out every day. Would love to see it continue - a lot of additional good restaurants could be listed.

  • 2thebeach May 2, 2008

    The same people gripping are the same people who should have stopped reading after the first day! I have enjoyed the series.

  • PikeMom4real May 2, 2008

    DAY #5.How much farther are you going to take this?