Raleigh, N.C. — The Out & About team headed to Cameron Bar & Grill for a fried feast during Triangle Restaurant Week.
"I love when Triangle Restaurant Week rolls around because when else in Raleigh can you get a three course lunch for $15?" said Out & About contributor Tara.
Cameron Bar & Grill is one of many participating restaurants offering a three course $15 lunch during TRW. They also have a $30 dinner menu.
The location: Cameron Bar & Grill is in Cameron Village, right near the Flying Biscuit and the party shop. It can get a bit crowded in the shopping center around lunch time, so plan accordingly!
The restaurant: The restaurant is comfortable and contemporary, with rich brown hues and full windows. When the weather gets warmer, they have a comfortable covered patio area that is great to sit in.
The meal: Cameron Bar & Grill is serving its usual menu of traditional American cuisine in addition to the Triangle Restaurant Week menu. Their menus include everything from classic salads and sandwiches to braised short ribs and catfish. Here's what we thought of our TRW lunch experience:
Caitlin: While there were non-fried options (the Salmon Cake or the Low Country Reuben), I decided to indulge a bit. The Fried Mushroom Ravioli was lightly fried but crunchy enough to hold up to the creamy Marsala sauce. Underneath the ravioli was a little salad with tangy dressing, which was a good contrast to the ravioli.
For my entree I went with the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanada. It was a good size without being too filling (you have to save room for dessert!). The slight sweetness contrasted nicely with a little bit of heat in the sun-dried tomato and ancho chile chimichurri.
Triangle Restaurant Week 2014 Dessert was ridiculous, and I mean that in the best way possible. They took a bar of light, airy cheesecake, fried it, and topped it with apple compote, cinnamon sugar and a salted caramel sauce. This dessert hit all the notes – sweet, salty, crispy, fluffy. It was delicious, but way too big for any of us to finish.
All in all, it was a great meal and I would recommend checking them out if you're in the area! However, you may feel like eating just a salad for dinner to counteract all the fried deliciousness of lunch.
Kathy: The Fried Mac and Cheese Bites were great! They just needed a bit more of that sweet and smokey BBQ bacon jam. The empanada was a great lunch – the perfect portion size. I loved the pico de gallo and the chimiccuri sauce, and thought they were great accompaniments. The sweet potato and black bean filling was a great combo.
The highlight for me was the fried cheesecake topped with apples. This dessert was huge and the cheesecake filling was light and not too rich.
Overall, their TRW lunch menu gives you a ton of food for $15. The only complaint I had was the amount of time it took to get our food.
Tara: When I saw Mac and Cheese Bites and bacon, there was no contest. The bites were delicious but the best part was the BBQ bacon jam. The only other time I have had fried mac and cheese was at the fair but it was really greasy. These were not greasy at all and didn’t have so much breading where you couldn’t taste the mac and cheese. The BBQ bacon jam was sweet and smokey at the same time and really took this simple dish up a notch.
For my second course I went with the Low Country Reuben. The reuben had smoked brisket, collard green sauerkraut, thousand island and Swiss cheese. The sandwich was big but not so overwhelming where you can’t take a bite. The brisket was cooked perfectly and the collard green sauerkraut with the thousand island gave the sandwich a wonderful tangy flavor. The sandwich also came with chips and ranch. This was more than enough food and I ended up taking home a box of leftovers.
Usually for dessert I like to stick to chocolate but with the fried cheesecake being the only choice I gave it a try, and I am so happy I did! I will never look at cheesecake or apple desserts the same way again. The cheesecake was huge but was light and fluffy, not to heavy. The apple compote that it came with tasted like a sweet applesauce and wasn’t too overpowering for the cheesecake. I noticed that this dessert is not on their regular menu but next time I go in I will be begging them to make it for me again!
The service: Our waiter was attentive, and we never had to wait for more water or sweet tea. However, it did take a while for us to get our food – we waited 30 minutes for our entrees.
"This is really rough for folks who are on a lunch break and only have so much time to spend at the restaurant," Kathy said.
The bill: The TRW menu is $15 for three courses, excluding tax and tip. If you drink water, you can get a delicious and filling meal for under $20.
The verdict: We had a great meal at Cameron Bar & Grill! They have even more options on their $30 dinner menu, so if you can't make it for lunch, try them out in the evening.