Raleigh, N.C. — With some great recommendations, the Hot Point Deli had a lot to live up to. It lived up to the hype, but be warned, the menu is extensive.
The location: Just off of Buck Jones Road (1284 Buck Jones Road) near Cary. (NOTE: Since publication, Hot Point Deli has relocated around the corner to 1718 Walnut St.)
The restaurant: When we walked into Hot Point, we were immediately overwhelmed by the menu - written on several chalkboards. From pasta to deli sandwiches to burritos - there were so many options! We found ourselves squeezing between the growing line of people placing lunch orders. The restaurant itself is relatively small with limited seating, so go early if you want to have lunch! (The owner told us that the restaurant would be moving to another location soon - one that has more space.)
The food: A fusion of Pacific, Mexican and Italian. They have a selection of pizzas, salads and deli sandwiches, so you can pretty much find something that you want on the menu. They also serve imported coffee, beer and wine.
Our review: We started with a mix of Italian bruschetta and olive salad on crisp toasted rounds. I don't even really like olive salad, but found this to be delicious. It was a great start to the meal and was perfectly topped off with some fresh mozzarella cheese.
After a fairly lengthy wait, (the place was packed!) we got our food. We tried out the catfish tacos, which were filled with lightly breaded catfish, salsa, cheese and lettuce with rice on the side. This lunch was huge! Definitely filling and under $10.
We also had the spicy pork burrito, which was served with tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms, black beans, red rice, salsa, cheese and sour cream on a bed of fresh vegetables.
This burrito is huge and when we say huge we mean gigantic. This is definitely a time where it is ok to eat a burrito with a fork. However, it was so good no matter how full we got we wanted to keep eating.
The ingredients were very fresh and the pork was cooked perfectly. There was just the right amount of spice, so you weren't chugging water but still felt the kick.
The service: Although it took awhile to get our food, the service was good. The manager and owner Anthony Scherazo recommended the fish tacos and he was spot on. They were delicious. And he was right about the burrito being so huge, that no one has ever finished one.
The bill: Each item we ordered came in under $10, which made it a reasonable lunch option.
The verdict: We were impressed with the menu, but a little overwhelmed. Give yourself time to figure out what you want! Everyone in line told us that they had never ordered something they didn't like. We will definitely go back and sample their pizzas and sandwiches. We were especially interested in "Thanksgiving on a Bun," which features smoked turkey, cranberry relish, stuffing, bacon and mayo.