I have been meaning to go to Fork and Barrel in north Raleigh for some time. So, when my husband and I had some free time last week I insisted that we enjoy a rare lunch date there.
The Location: 6675 Falls of the Neuse Road, near the Chick-Fil-A and Home Goods. Parking is easy since there is a big lot for the entire strip-mall. The decor is typical sports bar/pub with TVs tuned to ESPN all around the bar. There is a large dining area and some shaded outdoor seating.
The Company: My husband and I. He is not as an adventurous eater as I am. He mostly sticks with the things he knows – BBQ, ribs, wings. His own "Holy Trinity."
The Meal: We started with the homemade chips for an appetizer. They arrived quickly and were seasoned with pepper, salt and a garlic. We opted for ranch dipping sauce, instead of the gorgonzola cheese dip usually served. A great appetizer but too large for us to finish.
For his entree, my husband ordered the buffalo wings appetizer. He loves to try wings everywhere we go. He got about 10 large wings coated in a tangy, but mild sauce. I was amazed at how much meat each wing had. Probably the meatiest wings I've ever seen. I tried one and liked the sauce. It had just the right amount of kick for me. I would definitely consider ordering them myself next time. He was happy with his selection.
I got the grilled chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries (a recent addition to their menu.) The sandwich surpassed my expectations. The sliced chicken breast went nicely with the fresh arugula, Swiss cheese and mushroom duxelle (a mixture of sliced mushrooms, onions and herbs). The chicken itself was already seasoned, but all of the flavors just came together to make a very filling and enjoyable sandwich. I got the tarragon mayo on the side. I am not a huge fan of mayo, but this was pretty good on the sandwich. I used just a little. They make all of their dressings in house, so I recommend trying them out.
The sweet potato fries were heaven. Seasoned with a little salt and a hint of cinnamon, they were worth the $2 extra we paid to upgrade from the traditional sides of garlic fries or homemade chips.
The Service: We were seated promptly. There was a little confusion with the entrees. Since my husband ordered an entree from the appetizer menu, they brought out his food a good five to 10 minutes before my sandwich. I had to actually ask for my sandwich, because I got a little worried! It also took a little long to get our check, even though the place was not packed. Otherwise the service was good.
The Final Bill: $35. A little pricey for lunch, but we did leave with leftovers – half a sandwich, sweet potato fries and homemade chips. My entree was $13 due to the $2 upcharge on the fries and his was $12 - a little steep for wings, but these were very meaty and large. The appetizer was $6.
The Verdict: We liked it. A nice relaxed atmosphere, great food. Definitely a place we would visit again.
Editor's Note: Fork and Barrel is an advertiser with WRAL.com. Editorial content, like restaurant reviews, are done solely from a journalistic perspective and are not solicited.